I’ve been doing this book blogging thing for 7 years now, and here’s something I’ve learned.
People either get it or they don’t.
And I think most people fall into the latter camp.
Say it’s a Monday morning and a group of coworkers are talking about the weekend. While everyone else has been binging on Netflix shows or running a marathon or driving a team of kids across the state for a soccer tournament, you’ve spent two glorious days reading and blogging and tweeting as part of Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon.
If you even mention this at all (which, after a few raised eyebrows, you’ve probably learned not to) you get a comment like, “How do you have time to read so much?” or “But you don’t actually know these people, right?”
Well, that’s the thing. Just like someone doesn’t know every single marathoner in that 5,000 person race, it’s impossible for us to know every single blogger. That doesn’t make the bond that we book bloggers have any less of a community.
Staying connected to and with the book blogging community is HARD. It can feel like a full-time job. According to my Feedly, at this moment I am subscribed to 326 book blogs. Yes, that’s right. Three hundred and twenty six. And that’s AFTER a fairly recent vigorous weeding of defunct (no posts in more than a year) blogs.
(Note that this number is just book blogs; it doesn’t include 35 blogs about parenting a child with autism, or 102 food blogs, or 180 blogs that are written by my fellow Pittsburgh bloggers, or …. yeah. I have kind of an intricate categorizing system going on.)
No, I don’t read every single post from every single one of the more than a thousand blogs in my reader. Even if that was the only thing I did all day, every day, I still wouldn’t be able to keep up. I skip and skim quite a bit, and I don’t comment as frequently as I once did — because, honestly, I hate commenting with Twitter, Facebook, Google and ESPECIALLY Disqus (I have never been able to figure Disqus out, ever).
Yet I still feel connected to the book blogging community.
With so many blogs, how’s that possible?
I try to participate in events like this one (Book Blogger Appreciation Week), Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, Bloggiesta, read-alongs and different blogging projects. It all depends on what’s going on at that particular time. Same with weekly features like The Sunday Salon and Weekend Cooking. Most of my comments and camaraderie stem from these sorts of activities — plus, I find them enjoyable and fun.
Like anything else worth doing, what you get out of book blogging is related to what you put into it — without being judgmental or overly competitive. There’s an investment of time, but we all choose what activities receive our attention. In a way, this is no different.
I love the book blogging community that we have created. I’m so glad to be part of it, and I’m glad you are, too.