10 years ago, I posted my first book review on a blog (not this one, these were livejournal days)! I would link to it here except that I really hate reading my old reviews. Anyway, the first book I reviewed was Sharon Kay Penman's The Sunne in Splendour. A book I really enjoyed and still own. So funny; nowadays, because I blog, I am often nervous about tackling long books. Before blogging, I was all about the chunksters that used to dominate fantasy and historical fiction.
My reading tastes have changed drastically over the past ten years. It's hard to parse out how much of that is due to blogging and all of you and how much is due to my own personal growth (or lack thereof). Regardless, I'm so happy with the way my reading tastes have evolved and broadened over time. I love that I read so much more widely now than I used to, and I think I am a kinder, smarter and better person because of it. Books can have such massive impact on individuals and on society as a whole. When I consider my personal mourning for Terry Pratchett and our national mourning for Harper Lee, I know that there is so much power in words to be agents of change in the world.
Bloggers, then, are the conduits through which books can reach people so that they can effect change. All of us worry, I think, that we spend a lot of time and effort writing about books that no one ever reads. But one thing I have learned about myself is that there's a long game. It can take me a long time to get around to reading a book I've heard about, but that doesn't usually lessen the impact that book has on me. Even if you told me about a book or an author years ago, and I just get around to reading it now, you were still that link. You made a difference.
Similarly, the impact of a story can be felt long after I've finished reading it. I remember so clearly reading The Awakening in high school and it not registering very much with me at all. But now, even though I've never read The Awakening again, I think back on how prescient it was about life as a woman and the decisions and trade-offs we must make. The effect may be delayed, but it's no less important.
So I'd like to thank you all for the influence you have had on my reading and on so many other people's reading. Perhaps you are lucky enough to see an immediate response to your recommendations. Or maybe you are struggling, wondering if anyone out there has read your impassioned post about a book that changed your life that seems to have hit the internet and faded so quickly. I promise you, the impact you have is often hard to track and invisible to you, but that doesn't mean it's not there. All of you have had an immeasurable impact on my reading. And because of that, you have influenced who I am as a person. (And let me tell you, I'm pretty amazing :-) ). Thank you!
Aww this is the sweetest post ever! Happy anniversary! You have definitely had an impact on my reading, as well. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Heather :-)Delete
Happy 10 years! Wow! That's an impressive run! What a nice way to mark the occasion, too! I know your reviews often sway me to add a book to my TBR list, and it's true that we don't always remember to come back and mention it, when we finally read a book years later! :DReplyDelete
Yes, exactly! But no less influential for the delay.Delete
Such a wonderful post! And believe me, you have influenced others' reading as well. I love your words 'there's a long game.' Here's to ten more!ReplyDelete
Cheers, Nan, I fully believe in the long game.Delete
Wow - ten! Happy Anniversary!ReplyDelete
Haha, thanks, friend!Delete
IS LJ dead? I have to go check now, it made me wonderReplyDelete
Nope, I think it is still around. Whether anyone still uses it is another story.Delete
Ten years is fantastic! I have definitely read and loved books because of your reviews and hope that I've been able to steer you toward some good ones as well. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Of course you have!Delete
Ten years of blogging is very impressive. You have definitely influenced some of my reading choices - I think I picked up my first Georgette Heyer book after reading one of your reviews. Happy anniversary!ReplyDelete
She is a favorite of mine! Though I have not read her in some time, it's time to go back.Delete
I love this post so much <3 Happy 10th blogging anniversary, friend. I'm so glad I know you.ReplyDelete
Right back atcha. Can't wait to see you in July!Delete
Happy 10th anniversary! You're right about the long game. I've read Johnny Hiro, Bab: A Sub-Deb, and Pym's Excellent Women thanks to your recommendations! (I have many more of your recommendations on my to-read list.)ReplyDelete
Oh, thank you, Christy! That means so much to me.Delete
Hugs hugs hugs to you, my lovely friend! One of these days I will make it up to Chicago to visit you because it is fun to hang out with you in real life! And happy happy blogging birthday!ReplyDelete
You should come in July and then me, you, and Ana can hang out together!!Delete
BEST IDEA EVER.Delete
What a great post! What you said is all so true, Aarti. I don't think I could have said it any better. Congratulations on your 10 years of blogging. I'm so glad to know you.ReplyDelete
Wise and kind words!ReplyDelete
Happy blogiversary! And such a sweet post. You are right - blogging about books has certainly changed me as a person too.ReplyDelete
Livejournal! �������� That's where my blogging about books started as well. YAY.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on 10 years!ReplyDelete
Long-term reading to the rescue in regards to chunksters and problems :) Loving what you've said about the affect being delayed but no less important. The change is important in itself. And regardless, you are in a position to talk about the book because you read it and can reassess what you know.
Great post Aarti, I've always found the book blogging community so supportive and inspirational.ReplyDelete