Taking Blogging Back to the Beginning

I discussed my reading resolutions last week and have been mulling my blogging ones. If I am honest, in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, I was feeling a bit cheesed off with blogging and so was not in best of places with it. Before we go on I should say that this is not a navel gazing post, in fact it could paint me in a bad light as opposed to the martyrdom or woe-is-me navel gazing writing aspires to. Basically before Christmas I was wondering if in fact the whole book blogging world had really got a bit/gone to shit. Oh, I should say this post may contain some swearing and is quite long! Do bear with it though as it means a lot and try not to judge me, ha.

I noticed I had distanced myself from the blogosphere somewhat. I have blogged for over six years now and followed some book blogs for a good while before that and so I have seen how it has changed. For me last year I just felt it had become to ‘grabby’. I was sick of seeing bloggers desperately begging for books on Twitter or showing off how they had the latest hyped book (because it was the latest hyped book, rather than actually loving the author or really wanting to read it) yet seemingly never reading or reviewing them. I was fed up with how competitive it had become (and indeed bitchy as I saw this morning when bloggers were tweeting how they thought some other bloggers – being vague – were only writing reviews to please publishers – WTF? I completely disengaged from it especially as two of them were two of the biggest offenders), was bored of seeing the same books flying everywhere, seeing bloggers feeling offended because they hadn’t received a certain book that was ‘so my blog’. I could go on…

I was particularly sick when on occasion I noticed that I myself was joining in. Yes on a couple of occasions I found myself thinking ‘erm, why on earth have I not had a copy of X when X has?’ and indeed emailing/tweeting publishers vying for a certain book they were showing off on Twitter. The moment I realised I had done it once or twice I felt rather sick with myself. What was happening that made me get like the people I was getting so disappointed and annoyed with? And why was I also feeling so negative to the people who were multiply offending? I suppose I felt it was giving book bloggers a bad name.

So here comes the truth about blogging for me personally – though I bet lots of bloggers have been through this in varying degrees, they just might not say so. And it all gets a bit dark. Back when I started blogging there weren’t many book blogs. You didn’t get free books, and so you certainly didn’t feel entitled to get free books because you had written a few dozen posts, let alone three or four, which seems to have become the case. No one really commented on mine, I didn’t expect them to. For me it was like a reading diary, a place to put my thoughts and stop boring all my friends. Simple as that.

Then a few people started to pop by, then a few bloggers started to comment and more came and I started to read them and a lovely network formed. Then publishers who were sending me books for work started to send some for the blog, lovely. Then a few non bloggers started to comment and follow, even more shockingly they weren’t my family and friends. I started to meet bloggers. Then my followers went up into their hundreds each month, and I was really chuffed, even a bit excited, (even when another blogger told me they got a few hundred a day – so there maybe has always been competitiveness about). I even got quoted in some books. I started a book podcast with Gav. I worked on some literary festivals, went to some blogger parties. It was all lovely.

By the end of 2012/start of 2013 somehow I was getting thousands of readers/hits a day. Somewhere at that point I started to believe Savidge Reads own hits hype. Somewhere I started to want more hits and more readers and more books and I needed to be reading more and more books and writing more and more posts. It had become a monster I was spending all my spare time thinking about and feeding. I was checking my hits every few hours and where I was in the ebuzzing Literature charts every month. There was even a tiny bit of my egotistical side, we all have one, who was thinking fame must surely beckon. I was talking about the blog all the time to family like it validated me, not my journalism or things I was doing socially weirdly. It was unhealthy. See, told you I would be honest even if it makes me look a right nutter. Judge me all you like, I am aware it is on the spectrum of crazy.

Some of all this unhealthy madness I put down to needing a diversion, which became a sort of coping obsession whilst my marriage broke down, I left London, was rather ill twice, Gran suddenly got ill. Some of it was just ego and believing my own hype. Then as Gran got more and more ill and I started spending more and more time helping to care for her as much as I could whilst getting a new job, I just couldn’t keep it up. I tried; blogging at night, blogging between Gran’s naps but my reading was out of sorts and so I had to stop. No choice. And I started to see, and even feel as the itch to blog was still there for a while and returned a little by September I was over the hits but wanted the content higher and better, the monster that had been created online and in my head. It wasn’t good. Then I started a new job and the Christmas madness was looming so I knew I needed to have a word with myself; blog less, read more, think on.

Note: Blogging has been brilliant for the wonderful people I have met, chatted to and started projects and podcasts with, the support when things have been a bit shit etc has been amazing, the books I might not have read without it and publishers have been great finds in the main, all the authors I have met which has been lovely, – I don’t want you thinking I am an ungrateful bookish bastard, ha!

So over Christmas I was mulling it all and I admit I was wondering if enough was enough? Yet then Gran intervened, from beyond the grave in a way, as on New Year’s Eve my mother gave me a bag of things of mine Gran had kept and in amongst the postcards and pictures and letters was this…

Early Review

One of my very first book reviews, of R.L. Stine’s Night of the Living Dummy, from when I was 10. Way before I had any idea about the internet or blogging and when all I wanted to do was write my thoughts on the book I had read. It seemed like a message, or the answer to the question I had been mulling subconsciously… Get back to the books and just writing about them. Forget everything else, enjoy the chatter and stuff that comes with it but don’t take it too seriously. Life is too short and there are too many brilliant books to read.

I think there is an illusion somewhere that getting lots of hits, which people seem to think getting lots of the latest free books equates too, might make you famous (it won’t), get you a job in journalism (unlikely), make publishers and authors fawn over you (get real, especially if all you are doing is being sent books and not reviewing them – which again I admit I have been prone to do on the odd occasion, sorry). It won’t even make you respected if you look desperate or obsessed about it. It is not what blogging is about, it should be fun and enthused, it should be about loving whatever it is you blog about. Anything else is a bonus.

So that is where I am at. I am ditching the negativity, not giving a toss what people think or how many hits I am getting, cutting all the “bookish bullshit” out of the equation and ignoring, or switching off/disconnecting with the book blaggers and whinge-bags. It is time to get back to simply reading the books I fancy, enjoying them, enjoying talking about them when I feel the need and just doing my own thing and not feeling the need to talk about book ALL the time, shocking I know! Ha!

I have pressed the restart/reset button and it feels very good to go back to basics and the books, speaking of which I out to get cracking on with reading a few and writing a review for later in the week. In the meantime who else is ready to join me in a positive fresh start?


Filed under Random Savidgeness

48 responses to “Taking Blogging Back to the Beginning

  1. Hear, Hear! Well done, you!
    Great message in reading between the lines of your first wee book report, kept lovingly by Gran!
    Yes, a positive fresh start is just the thing to do!

  2. Frenchie Caro

    Beautiful post, Simon, thanks for your honesty !

    You’re right, no pressure but fun and sharing about books is all that matters.

    And I’m joining you for a positive fresh start 🙂 We’ve got the same problems here on the French book blogosphere and last summer, after three years and a half of blogging, I took a break because I was fed up with all the drama – but I’m going to restart my blog this month.

    I wish you a wonderful year of blogging !

  3. Excellent post. This summer will mark my third year of blogging and I think that’s a pretty solid record, I’m absolutely thrilled at my 400-ish followers, but that’s a fraction compared to much newer bloggers. I don’t have a custom-built site/layout and I don’t receive every single book that publishers mail out. For the longest time this bothered me. Why would this person who’s only been blogging for three months get that book when I’ve been here for years? How did that blogger gain 500 followers in just a few weeks??

    I’ll admit that when I first discovered sites like netgalley and began contacting publicists directly, it was a free-for-all. I lost all self-control and requested everything – regardless of whether or not I actually thought I’d read it. If there was even the tiniest chance I’d enjoy it I requested it. Sure I got lots of books, but so many ebooks expired before I read them and the physical copies piled up without a second glance. I gave into that competitive mentality: I would never be seen as a serious blogger unless I had so-and-so’s newest book.

    My second year of blogging I realized I needed to take a step back. I still went a bit overboard with my requests, but I acknowledged it and knew I needed to change. I accepted that I will never be the Most Popular Blogger Ever and that I shouldn’t read what my ‘audience’ will like. I follow a lot of Young Adult bloggers and while I certainly enjoy YA, some of my favorite books of 2013 were Adult novels (Atkinson’s Life After Life, Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, Setterfield’s Bellman & Black). Shocking, but I even read library books and – gasp! – books I already own!

    Heading into my third year I want to step back even further and get back to the basics. I’m okay with not having a popular weekly feature. Playing the numbers game is exhausting and I don’t want to do it. It’s okay if I don’t become besties with an author. My biggest goal for this year is to seriously THINK about a book before requesting it or accepting a copy. Will I actually have time to read it? Do I even want to read it? I recently declined a review copy from a publicist and once I got over my fears that THIS PUBLISHER HATES ME AND WILL NEVER WORK WITH ME AGAIN (!!!) I felt great. I’m also looking forward to reading what I want to read.

    Yikes, this wound up getting pretty rambly. Sorry! & I’m pretty jealous of how nice your handwriting was at 10. 🙂

  4. I started a year after you when you were already one of the large names in book blogging I know you feeling of book grabbing I don’t even bother to email publishers any more any books I get know are either via message on twitter unsolicited or a request to me via e mail I start this year on ground and running and concentrating on what matters to me and that is fiction in translation I know it is now common to see people talking about blogging more about translation than it was five years ago when it was a rare chance folks mention books in translation it’s nice see folks take note but I miss old days I love to discover and pass on love of books people don’t know why be a fish in a huge shoal bowing down to peer pressure and loving the buzz book which I most time will be forgotten in a decade or so no I
    Want be a shark hunting the little known books and catching them . For me my blog is about love for the world of literature nothing more

  5. I hope 2014 is good to you Simon! I had company over Christmas and I realised how silly my piles of unread books must look. It’s good to take a step back now and then.

    I want a nice realxed year of reading and blogging and definitely not getting sucked into any drama.

  6. margene

    Looking forward to your new outlook! I enjoy your reviews no matter what the book or how new/old it is and I enjoy hearing snippets of your life, too.

  7. gaskella

    Hear, Hear! I heartily concur. I have only ever asked for three books directly, and felt guilty about that. I do get a few review copies via Amazon Vine, and some others via direct requests from the publishers, but am cutting back on that this year.

    This is the year of reading ‘What I want to read, when I want to read it.’

  8. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Exactly right Simon. I have not been blogging that long, but I remind myself that I started doing it for me – to record what I feel about books, and share that with anyone who might want to read. If they don’t, that’s not the end of the world, but if they do that’s nice. I have had very few free books and I wouldn’t accept one I wouldn’t read – because this year it’s definitely all about the pleasure of books!

  9. Hear, hear! And, this is how we readers appreciate you best…when you are doing what you want to do on your own blog because you enjoy it. Best to you in the new year! I must say that I’m so sorry to read about all the negative Twitter activity. I was challenged to get myself a Twitter account after you made a comment on one of the podcasts something along the lines of “anybody can use Twitter.” Well, it’s all set up and I’m following some folks, but….it occurred to me this week that I am probably not going to succeed at this Twitter thing. I never have my phone with me! (It’s usually in the bottom of my purse with the battery getting low. Hanging head in embarrassment.) Perhaps this is just not the season for me to get started on it. At any rate, I’m not going to let it bother me for now, and I refuse to feel like I’m missing out! 🙂
    Happy reading to you!

  10. Good stuff. Always difficult to share what you really want to say, rather than what you think people would like you to say. Very glad you haven’t decided to stop altogether.

  11. Couldn’t agree more. I must say I have always turned a bit of a blind eye to the negative side of blogging but then I’ve always known I don’t have the spare time and energy to throw myself into it 100%, so it’s important to keep it fun. For those of us who love books, it would be a real shame to do anything to jeopardise our enjoyment of reading, right? So happy reading and all the best for 2014!

  12. Great post – it is spot on with how I feel about blogging lately. This year is going to be about the books – reading what I want, blogging about what I want, enjoying reading. I don’t care about popularity when it comes to blogging, because that was never my intention when I began posting – I just want to enjoy it again. Cheers to you for this honest post 🙂

  13. Wow, I feel kinda blogging-naive. I’ve been bloggin’ for 4 years, and I didn’t even know (until very recently) that publishers sent review copies to bloggers, let alone the sheer amount that some bloggers seem to get sent. Weird. I found out when I was offered a review copy of some book or other, which I accepted, but immediately felt under-pressure to read and review ASAP, as if the publishers would be checking-up on my blog. Didn’t like it (that is, I didn’t like getting a free book (which I felt I hadn’t earned) and then feeling pressurized to review it). …and that was my experience with review copies…. Never again.

    As for the hits thing… yeah, it is what it is. I get 5-10 hits a day on my blog, which is 5-10 hits more than I except or probably deserve. If I was bloggin’ for the hits, I’d have given up aaaaages ago :). Just a shame about the unpleasant so-and-sos that get through and write nasty things beneath my reviews from time to time.

  14. Jo

    I think you might have hit the nail on the head, regarding this. For a while I was a bit like, why can I not get any higher in the rankings, I’m not getting enough free books and then I thought. Why am I doing this? To fulfil my personal challenge of reviewing every book read and recording it somewhere for me to refer to.

    If it helps some readers to my blog, finding another book, great, if it doesn’t then great too. There are lots of books to read and we all have plenty to choose from.

    I had no idea there was all this stuff on twitter, it has completely passed me by. I suppose that means that I am in my little blog bubble and nothing is bothering me about my blogging.

    Interesting post and look forward to reading others comments.

  15. Great discussion thread goin’ on here. At first I would request copies from publishers, but then I realized I had enough books to keep me occupied for years! Ever since then, it’s been my goal to whittle the TBR list to a manageable number.

    Cheers to your fresh start!

  16. I am glad to hear you are not stopping, I would have been very sad to see that happen. I understand where you come from, blogging should be about the books and the joy of reading. I have a small blog (only started about 1 1/2 years ago) and sometimes I see other blogs that also just started or are even younger and I see them aready having loads of followers etc. And I do get a bit jealous sometimes, but then I remember: my blog is mine and I love it and I love it even more to read the books I want to read and write about it.
    I hope you read wonderful books this year and tell us about them.

    Kind regards,

  17. A wise post followed by many wise replies. Thank you for taking the time to tell us all about your book life.

  18. Simon, this is a marvellous post (you don’t sound like an ungrateful bastard).

    Even though I only started blogging 2 years ago, I didn’t really discover book blogs until this year really. Then discovering NetGalley in August pushed me in a direction I’m now working my way back from, where I wanted to review the latest books and get involved on Twitter. I had a moment a few months after that where I just thought ‘what am I doing?’ I began blogging to write about the books I was reading, and they weren’t really new releases, why was I pushing myself to fit in with some of the new blogs I had found. If that’s what they enjoy, that’s fine, but it’s not what I enjoyed. I agree with you, it’s too stressful and blogging should be fun.

    Anyway, I’ve managed to make this about me, so I’ll shut up now. Essentially what I’m trying to say is, although I’ve experienced it on a much smaller scale, I understand.

  19. Bravo Simon! As all the comments here show you are not alone in being a bit angry and disillusioned with it all. I certainly have been. Our blog has been going since 2006 – in fact our 7th anniversary is coming up in a few days – and I last year I suddenly felt left behind by all the new blogs about, and felt old and outdated and behind the curve with review copies and blog tours and challenges. This year, like you, I want to get back to doing it for myself and for the sake of my reading. And for the real conversation about the books, none of this one bragging but just real conversation. 🙂

  20. I’ve only just started my own review blog after reviewing for someone else for the past 2 years. I didn’t intend to start on my own and my following is only tiny but I love reading and hey, if just one person per post discovers something new, then job done in my opinion.

  21. Ruthiella

    Wow, you had fabulous handwriting for a 10 year old!
    None of the blogs (Stuck in a Book, Thomas at My Porch, Cornflower, Litlove, Books & Chocolate, Citizen Reader, Fig and Thistle, etc.) that I follow are about reviewing the latest book or monetizing blogging. At least that is my impression. They just love reading and sharing their bookish thoughts and that is why I follow them.

    So good on you for pushing re-set and getting back to what you love. And don’t forget, the non-review posts are also great! I love seeing your cats or book paraphernalia or that time you baked!

  22. That’s a stunningly honest post, Simon. I started blogging a year ago, and since the aim was to make some inroads in my TBR pile (pace Howards End is on the Landing) ie to abstain from getting new books for a year, I certainly wasn’t seeking to solicit books. Since the start of the year I’m just a bit thrilled that I can catch up on things published last year that I missed (Lionel Shriver’s ‘Big Brother’ and ‘The Reason I Jump’ were – to my enormous joy – behind the door when I got home from work half an hour ago.)

    I’m really delighted you have found a second wind and a slightly different course to take. You should never forget that you took the upset and pain of the loss of your grandmother and turned it into one of the most innovative Twitter/Blog tributes ever – and it went global! Don’t be in any doubt that – when the scales are balanced – your blogging has been an enormous force for good. And I’m sure that – from The Other Side – Granny Savidge had a hand in making sure embracing your juvenilia meant you got your mojo back. Read and blog on!

  23. Well said. I have gone through some of the same feelings you have. I started blogging in 2009 and even then there weren’t that many book blogs. However the market quickly exploded and like you I found myself wanting to read faster, get more free books, more commenters, more hits. It was insane. Finally decided to step back last year. It was a terrible blogging year but a good reading year. I read only the books I wanted to read and blogged about some of them. I hope to blog more in 2014 but I don’t think I’ll ever get back that insane feeling of being pressured to blog and read and have more visitors. Thank god.

  24. You can’t just post half a review and leave it at that! I’m on tenterhooks! What happened to the dog?

    Brilliant childhood book comments aside, I loved this post. I’ve never really been so fussed about being sent review copies – although I have had 3 or 4 very recently from NetGalley that I’m really excited about, and it is always such a privilege when that happens – but I have often got myself wound up about hits and comments and thinking ‘what is the point of carrying on with this when nobody is reading it?’. But even if I am only getting 30 hits a day, and most of those are false spammy hits, it is totally worth it for the people who do read regularly and comment, and the sense of community that blogging offers.

    I had a bit of a blogging break for a few months last year and found myself gushing about my latest reads to blank-faced friends and family, so I think they will be pleased that I have re-engaged with my online outlet for bookish thoughts, too.

  25. Great post. Keep it fun, read, and talk about the books. Simple, yet perfect advice.

  26. Atthetableandinthegarden

    Simon, although I have not commented in the past, I have discovered many wonderful books through your blog – and I thank you very much for that.

  27. I admit sometimes I feel competitive, but I can never be the full-on book blogger and I have come to peace with that. I just don’t read fast enough, and I hate accepting books without doing a review.

    Anyway, actually wanted to comment that I love your handwriting on that note. I am going to show it to my daughter as an example of what her handwriting should look like. So neat!

  28. Carol Roberts

    Simon–I am one of your non-blogger followers. I have recently started listening to your podcasts, especially like the ones with Thomas. I love reading and your blog. You have introduced me to two of my favorite authors — Susan Hill and Kate Atkinson. Am really glad that you have decided to continue blogging, and, at the same time, take time to relax and enjoy what you’re reading.

  29. Love your blog, Simon. I’d always wondered just how competitive/ crazy the whole book-blogging scene was and now I know! Reading has to be about pleasure, surely, so going back to basics makes sense. Have thought of blogging for ages but know I’d get competitive and use it to distract myself even more from writing. Good luck with the fresh start. Look forward to reading all about it (no pressure)…

  30. Col

    Read this really interesting post on the Tube. Alas it was so interesting I missed my bloody stop at Blackfriars so my fresh start was instantaneous! Beyond that though I don’t know much about the blogging issues you mention – think I might be in a cocoon as relative newcomer – and think I might stay there!

  31. This is very interesting for me as I have just started book blogging and I didn’t even know you could get free books! Given that my blog is a project to read all the books I have already, free ones aren’t going to help too much there! Do what makes you happy. What is the point in anything else?

  32. Kateg

    I am one of your non blogging followers and while I enjoy your take on all books, be they new or old, you have helped me find older books to read that I had never heard of before. One of my favorites from 2013 was Mrs.Bridge by Evan Connell and the companion Mr. Bridge is on my TBR. Also, here in the US while we are taught Dickens in school and I took more than several literature classes in college and afterwards, I had NEVER heard of Wilkie Collins. One of my. Sons gave me The Woman In White for Christmas and I hope to be into it by the end of the month. You have also directed me to Daphne duMaurier and the wonderful Rebecca! Whatever you choose to blog about interests me and Iwould be sad to see you give it up completely.

  33. Good for you! I thought that I was the only one thinking this about blogging! I was so obsessed with getting hits and then when I wasn’t getting the amount that I thought I should, I became fed up with it all. However, you just have to do blogging for yourself and write what you want to write. If people enjoy that great, but as long as you are enjoying what you’re doing, keep doing it!

    Btw, I have never taken up offers rom publishers to review books for them. I only review the books I want to read, or ones that friends or commentors recommend.

  34. I’ve been blogging nine years in February, and I wish I could spread this post far and wide. In fact, I’ll try my damndest. This urge to check the hits and obsess bites hard but then seems to go (for many of us) as quickly as it came. Blogging should be fun, and above all it should be honest and fired by a love of reading…not a love of stats. Great post here that speaks to me on so many levels.

  35. This just hit the spot for me! I think the book blogging community has been lacking in the last few years, too. So many people who don’t do it for the love of it, just for freebies and maybe attention. That’s why I started the Book Bloggers Discussion Group, to hopefully get back more of a sense of community. It works for some, not for others, but it does help me feel less like no one is out there anymore. I am reconnecting with my favorite blogs and making sure I always check them and not worrying so much about missing out on posts from wannabes (by which I mean people who are not in it for the love of books.) They have been here and there since I began blogging 5 years ago, but never in this number. I hope we can all take your words of wisdom via your own experience and get back to the basics so we don’t get burnt out for good. Thank you for such a wonderful and inspiring post!

  36. Thank you for putting into words what seems to be a weekly struggle for me. I just started blogging last August, but every week or so I feel the need to reassess, question, and critique my motives and my approach. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  37. There seems to be change in the air, I have also felt the same. My blog is small but I was starting to feel the pressure to read as much as possible so I could review as much as possible, rather than just read what I pleased. I didn’t want reading to become a chore and so I too am taking a relaxed view of the blog. Best of luck with your new approach!

  38. Hello! I started book blogging only little more than a year ago and from the beginning made it my point to write only about books which I liked and not to run after followers. My blog is still small, but who cares… if I had continued to write a few lines about the books I loved in my letters to my friends, I’d have even less readers now! Still I’m reviewing a book a week… Enough is enough. Like you said, there’s a life apart from blogging and the main thing is to relish our reads. Thanks for your post!

  39. I totally understand where you are coming from. I don’t do a book blog but I still have similar feelings. I started my blog because I was going through a difficult time and it helped getting some things out of my head. It was really for me which sounds odd when it is so public. Over the years it has grown and I have felt it has at times been for the reader rather than me. I know at times it can seem needy and self indulgent and I do try to avoid this. I have thought about stopping to but I enjoy it so will carry on.

  40. Sarah

    So glad you are feeling good about your decision to refocus on the important part of the book world – enjoying them! Also glad you’re going to still blog as I’ve found some of my favorites through your site/podcasts (Diving Belles being one of them, along with introducing me to M.C. Beaton, believe it or not.) So here’s to happy reading in 2014 because that is what reading should be about

  41. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m so happy to have read this post that encapsulates so much of what I’ve been thinking lately.

    Wonderful 🙂

  42. mikewbn1

    I’ve just passed my one year blogging anniversary and am not in the heady heights of receiving anything free from publishers except for NetGalley (which I presume anyone can join?) and I only ever download books from there that I actually fancy reading. But I do get sucked in from time to time checking how many views I have received – more out of curiosity (who are these mystery people??) – and I do wish a few more readers would leave comments. The main purpose for my blog is really just for me to record my own thoughts and I am always more pleased to hear that a friend has read and enjoyed it than a stranger…

    On Savidge Reads my favourite posts are always the straightforward reviews of books and the snippets of life at Chez Savidge!

  43. Pingback: Other People’s Bookshelves #27 – Matt Cresswell | Savidge Reads

  44. You suck! Sorry, I couldn’t resist (and am joking). Like others have noted here, you were one of the first book blogs I came across. And you introduced me to one of the best books ever, The Woman in White.

  45. Lovely post. I think most of us who have been around a while (7 1/2 years for me) have gone through a similar progression.

  46. This post makes me glad I don’t read that type of blog! I always enjoy your blog because your passion for the books comes across, and I like the personal snippets too. This is a great post.

  47. I’ve been blogging for almost seven years and believe your words should serve as a reminder to all of us on a regular basis. I sometimes find myself having feelings of envy every now and then for one thing or another, but then I remember why I’m doing it and why I’ve been doing it for so long … the books and those that love to chat books with me, those that I can connect with books more so online then I have ever IRL. Thank you for sharing this and being so honest. I truly appreciate it!

  48. An “examined life” is woth living. Love your blog. Keep on keeping on. I find your blog posts entertaining and very helpful, thank you.

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