But I don’t want to speak about this.
I want to speak about why this community is so freaking amazing, and what it means to me. It may sound trite, or saccharine, but blogging has given me so much joy, positivity and happiness. So much more than any amount of negativity it may at times succumb to. This community is driven by enthusiasm, love and passion. And you know what? I’m not talking about bloggers. I’m not talking authors, nor publishers, nor publicists; I’m talking about all of us. What makes our magical little corner of the interwebs so amazing is not any single person, nor any single faction, but the magic that occurs when all of our powers are combined. Yup. You guys: we’re Captain Planet.
The lovely Jodi Meadows recently contributed a wonderful guest post at Literary Exploration on working with bloggers from her view as an author, and said this: “with any group of passionate people, drama happens.” There are always going to be disagreements. Hell, if my best friend and I can rarely agree on a book (True story: She 1-starred one of my all-time favorites), what’s the likelihood that someone on the other side of the globe is going to have the same opinion as me, every time? Nada. But I love that. I love discovering why someone loved a book I hated, or the opposite. In fact, I’ve bought books many times based on intriguing negative reviews. I love that this community gives me a forum to discuss what I love: books. If you’re here, I think it’s fairly safe to assume you love reading, and you love books. Chances are you’ve fangirled over an author you love, and swooned over a fictional boy (or girl). If Harry Potter has taught me anything, it’s that love is the greatest magic of all. And I love that love unites us.
"[I love] the fact that it's a COMMUNITY. people are just generally lovely, warm, and supportive. we love books and we want to share the love."Blogging has introduced me to some truly amazing people. Before I started a blog, before I became a card-carrying Twitter addict, and before I had more books lying around my house than I knew what to do with—or have space to shelve—I thought authors were some flavour of elusive rockstar: distant and unapproachable, cool and aloof. I still think authors are rockstars, but I’ve lost the ‘aloof’ presumption. Authors are amazing, but mostly, they’re incredibly cool, generous funny people. I never thought I’d be talking to authors on Twitter, stalking their blogs, or, you know, actually speaking to them at all. The first time an author tweeted me back after I mentioned them in a review? I lost the freaking plot. I still squeal internally when my phone buzzes, telling me that the person who penned one of my favourite books is actually aware of my existence. And you know what? They are amongst the most humble, hardworking people I know. That author you love may be working a full time job, cooking dinner, and writing their next book in-between getting the kids to bed. They’re human. They have doubts. They have bad days and good days, but they do it for the same reason we blog about it: they love it. Most authors love this community as much as we do.
- Elena, Novel Sounds
And you know what? We owe a lot to authors, for without them we wouldn’t have book bloggers. When I first decided to blog, I was lost. Then I met other bloggers. Bloggers I admired helped me… and then we became friends. I still remember the moment one of my two best friends in the world and I met: it was on Twitter, fangirling over an author we both adored. We exchanged e-mail addresses, and my life hasn’t been the same since. The friendships I’ve gained blogging are amongst those I value most in the world. The times I spend talking to you guys, ‘wasting’ on Twitter, and squealing like a tween with Bieber-fever over the Etienne St.Clairs and Adrian Ivashkovs of this world are amongst of my favourite.
"It is beautiful to have met so many wonderful people. To have this tiny space, in this colossal internet universe, to express and share our thoughts and love about this beautiful passion we feel towards the book world."Bloggers are some of the most generous, warm, friendly people I’ve ever encountered. From the word ‘go’ I’ve felt accepted, embraced, and like I belong ‘here’. THIS is what blogging means to me. THIS is why I love it. I belong to an army of thousands as passionate and crazy as I am, as in love with books as I, only more wonderful, friendly, bubbly and kind than I could ever hope to become... but you guys have made me a better person. You have shown me the joy of sharing, of giving, whether it’s a book, or a moment of shared laughter. From the fierce among you, who never fail to champion those who can’t do it themselves, to those who are always there to talk, to share, and to laugh, and to the utterly insane, who I adore most of all, you mean the world to me. Every single one of you has become a kind of family. A big, insane dysfunctional one I wouldn’t swap for the world.
- Natalia, Dazzling Reads
If you need further evidence of the love that flows through every inch of the book blogging world, take a moment to look at what these bloggers had to say when asked what they loved about this community:
@sazbah The friendships I've formed!
— Alexa Loves Books (@alexalovesbooks) July 21, 2012
@sazbah the fact that it's a COMMUNITY. people are just generally lovely, warm, and supportive. we love books and we want to share the love.
— novel sounds (@novelsounds) July 21, 2012
@sazbah Being able to express things and communicate with like-minded people. And especially our Aus one- we all seem so close.
— Braiden Asciak (@livin_thru_arts) July 21, 2012
@sazbah Being able to chat freely about books; making friends. Plus, most of us have never ever met each other IRL yet we chat so easily! <3
— Rebecca (@readingwishes) July 21, 2012
@sazbah the togetherness!and meeting ppl JUST. LIKE. ME.
— Jenn @ Bawdy Books (@sunshinejenn03) July 21, 2012
@sazbah the people that love books just as me! And we're all friends regardless of where we live!
— Giselle San Miguel (@booknerdcanada) July 21, 2012
At times when drama overwhelms us, our everyday lives catch up with us, or negativity seems to prevail, it’s easy to lose sight of this. Persevere. I love this community because I love the passion, the positivity, and the love we all share. Bloggers, readers, authors, publishers—and everyone inbetween—you don’t need reminding, but I want to anyway: I love you. I love what we share. I love what we’ve built together. Together as a community, we have built something beautiful. Let’s not allow narcissism, nastiness and negativity to undermine that.
So this is my loquacious way of saying something simple. Thank you: For the books, for the laughs, for the good times and the bad. Thank you for everything. Let’s take a moment to focus on the good. Let someone know you love them. Send a tweet. Stop by somewhere and leave a comment, and if you wouldn’t mind, stay for a moment, and let me know what blogging means to you.
But above all, remember: I love you guys <3