The Broke and the Bookish, who are celebrating one year blogging! As part of their festivities, the prompt for this week's Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten Reasons We Love Book Blogging.
I wasn't able to participate last week because, let's face it, I'm not really an "aww" sort of guy, but this week I've got loads to say. So, here are my top ten favorite things about book blogging.
1) It gives me an excuse to read tons of books: Not that I really need an excuse, but blogging does legitimize my obsession a bit.
2) It gives me a reason to read tons of books: This is not the same as number 1. From time to time in the last (almost) decade, mostly because of college, I've gotten into these long periods of time where I didn't read anything. I would tell myself that I didn't have time or would let life get in the way. Blogging has given me the push I needed to be continuously reading something. I was able to survive a busy semester with two grad classes and two jobs while reading 8-10 books a month...and I still got a 4.0. I no longer can explain away my reading deserts with the "I'm too busy" excuse.
3) It helps me to discover new books: I'm obviously not very particular with what I read. With very few exceptions, there is virtually no genre in which I can't find something I enjoy. Having a connection with loads of other bloggers reading books in tons of different genres, I've been able to find books I've liked and even loved simply by watching my blog feed.
4) It's introduced me to some amazing bloggers: I've made some really great connections with people through blogging, all of whom share an important trait with me: a love of books. While I have lots of real world friends who enjoy reading, I also have lots who don't like it at all. Blogging gives me the option of talking about books with people who have read them and loved them (or hated them) rather than trying to foist books upon the people I know outside of the internet.
5) It's given me a chance to connect with authors: Obviously I won't be on anyone's Christmas list, but through blogging, Twitter, and GoodReads, I've been able to have a more direct connection to some of my favorite authors (Deanna Raybourn, Neil Gaiman, Derek Landy) and some new discoveries as well (Jackie Morse Kessler, Sean Ferrell). Even if I never have a conversation with them, I can still see what they're up to in terms of writing, book signings, etc.
6) It's gotten me out of my comfort zone: Even though my rule has always been "if it looks interesting, read it," there are some genres (YA, short story, historical fiction) that I just never really enjoyed as much as others. Because of this, I tended to ignore book recommendations if they were in a genre that I wasn't interested in. Through this blog, I've read books that I would never have looked twice at in the past and fallen in love with them. The Book Thief, which I'll be reviewing later this week, is a good example of this, but so is Smoke and Mirrors (even though it's Gaiman, I kept avoiding it because it was short stories), The Screwtape Letters (I saw it as being merely Christian lit but discovered it was so much more), The Invention of Hugo Cabret (which had more illustrations than I'm used to and will hopefully lead me into graphic novels), and A Walk in the Woods (didn't think I'd like travel books, but was pleasantly surprised to find that I do). Even now, I have a huge list of books that have yet to be read, all of which were suggested by other bloggers and most of which are books that I would have passed over before starting this blog.
7) It's gotten me writing: I love to write, always have, but I seem to have found a particular talent for talking about books and myself. I had tried blogging in the past and it hadn't worked out too well, but book blogging has combined my loves of reading and writing and turned them into something that I can get excited about.
8) It's gotten me writing everyday: Not to toot my own horn or anything, but as of today I have not missed a single day of posting since I began blogging in March. This is sort of a big deal for me, especially since I tend to get bored with things easily. I also tend to have trouble sticking to a schedule, but this just clicked for me. It's something that I want to do, something that I enjoy doing, and so it's not difficult for me to spend bucketloads of time doing this every week.
9) It entertains and educates me: In the last few months I have entered unimaginable worlds and experienced amazing things...and all without leaving my chair. At the same time, I've been learning about lots of different topics, both from novels and non-fiction. I learned more about Islam and Buddhism; I became better informed about the struggle facing those who engage in self-mutilation; I discovered what sorts of crazy things can happen to your body after you die; I even picked up some new phrases from various foreign languages. With the books I have coming up next month (yup, that's right, I've already picked them out), there's even more opportunity for knowledge and fun.
10) It's taught me more about myself: I know more about what I like or dislike in a book. Even though I've been an avid reader all of my life, I didn't always pay attention to the finer details when I decided I loved or hated a book. Now I do and I tell the world all about it. I've also learned more about who I am and who I am in relation to other people. I know which subjects are touchy, which are open for discussion. I've discovered where I'm more open-minded and where I'm apt not to budge. It may sound kind of cheesy, but I feel like blogging has given me a much better understanding of myself.
And there you have it, folks.