I meant to do this yesterday, but already had a post scheduled. For those who don't know, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Without further ado, here are the top ten reasons why I love book blogging.
1.) Newly acquired knowledge about the publishing industry
Let's be honest here, I am not an expert on the publishing industry. At all. However, if you stick around Twitter long enough and follow hashtags such as #yalitchat or #kidlitchat you start to pick up on things. Before I joined GoodReads on started networking, I didn't know what an ARC is. Now I have an understanding of why they exist, and how processes such as querying work. There's still a lot that I don't know, but I feel better informed.
2.) The influx of bookish news
To be honest, I'm not sure how I kept up with book releases before GoodReads. I think I'd just stumble across them as I perused the shelves of my local indies. Between posts such as Waiting on Wednesday and those that focus on new releases, I usually have a pretty good idea of what's coming out in any given month. I've also stumbled across various cool bookish items in my journeying through the interwebs, such as awesome t-shirts from Out of Print clothing.
3.) The fact that it maintains my writing habits
I've always loved writing. I wrote short stories as a kid, lots of poetry in middle school and high school (mostly bad), papers in college and now reviews. I'm going to grad school in the fall, where I will probably be using my writing skills quite a bit. It's nice to have a venue where I can continue exercising them, even if it is a slightly different tone than anything else I've written.
4.) Opportunities to talk to and meet authors
At some point in the day, even if it isn't until late at night, I wind up taking a glance at my Twitter feed. Or an e-mail from GoodReads. Or some other social networking site. When I log into these places, I sometimes see Tweets or reviews from authors. The fact that I can reply to 140 character thought from an author or watch them in a video does boggle my mind just a tiny bit. One minute I'm hustling out of a bookstore with that person's shiny new book in hand, the next they are on my computer screen, vlogging or replying to me. I never really knew that this was possible as a child, probably because online social networking was far less expansive than it is today. Maybe I'm a dork, but when authors e-mail me, comment on a review or tweet me I periodically fangirl just a bit. I won't get into how much I fangirl once I meet them in person, but you get the point: talking to living, breathing authors is pretty cool.
How many times have I mentioned Twitter already in this post? I don't know, because I'm too lazy to count. In addition to networking, I also have fun with Twitter. I like that I can talk to others about reading, pick up on news and random facts or just share photos of my dog, Macey being adorable.
Some people clearly put a lot of time and effort into their vlogs. They painstakingly edit, add fancy intros, etc. I just turn on my camera, talk and put it on YouTube (although I admit, sometimes it takes a few takes for me to get what I want to say right). I like vlogging because I get a lot of comments from people who enjoy it, but also because I love watching vlogs. Seeing a brief video of someone talking books almost makes me feel as though I'm meeting them in person. Hopefully I give you guys a similar impression when I vlog. Plus, then you sometimes get to see Macey!
7.) Discovering new local indies
I have discovered so many awesome new to me bookstores since I started my blog, and it all started because of hair. My mom and I drive about a half an hour to go to our hair salon of choice, so I have time to kill once I'm done there. I was aware that author Swati Avashti lives in my area, so one day I asked if she had any bookstore recommendations. I was not disappointed! Plus, I also discovered a new bookstore when Andrea Cremer disclosed the location of her Nightshade release party. This leads me to my next point.
8.) Attending signings (especially with fellow bloggers)
Upon discovering lots of awesome bookstores, I started getting their newsletters and checking their websites regularly to see what events are going on. I'm much more well-versed on what authors are in they area and when. I've had the chance to meet with awesome book bloggers on a few occasions. I've found that when you stick said bloggers and a couple of authors in a room together, hilarity and great conversation ensues.
9.) Familial support
My family has known about my blog since the day I started it, even though I'd wanted to start one months before. They are all incredibly supportive and like to use it as a conversation piece. My mother has even started her own blog, The Random Animal. Go check it out. Meanwhile, Macey offers non-verbal support by sleeping next to me while I read and blog.
(This picture is not staged. Macey may or may not be spoiled.)
10.) The friendships
That's right kids, I'm about to get sentimental. You already know that I put a decent amount of time into this blog and Twitter. A couple of Tweets or comments can lead to e-mails, long g-chats, fun things sent through the mail and occasionally, meet-ups in person. Sometimes these people are bloggers, sometimes they're authors. At any rate, the people I've met through blogging are the ones that make it worth it.
Now I want to know what you guys love about blogging. Let me know in the comments!