Fat Books & Thin Women

BBAW: Blogger Love
September 12, 2011, 3:11 pm
Filed under: BBAW 2011, Favorite Longreads | Tags: ,

It’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week! A time for us to all gaze at our belly buttons, thinking about what it means to be book bloggers and why it is so awesome. Also to give each other internet high fives, for a full week.

No one has ever commented on my ability to be part of a community. I am that person you see at a party, plotting her way out and with at least one book and one magazine in her purse on the assumption that the party will be the most boring social engagement of the year. I am the ridiculous Peace Corps Volunteer who took six months to learn the names of the volunteers in the group following mine, because I was so hell-bent on avoiding social interactions.

So in theory I love the idea of Book Blogger Appreciation Week because, you know, I believe! that book blogs are changing the way we write about books and interact with authors and other readers, and that book blogs are improving the “reading landscape” (don’t ask me what I mean by that term) and will sooner or later start to be read by people who don’t run their own book blogs. I mean, there are already some great book blogs that have reached that stage – but we need more! A veritable tsunami of book blogs! But in reality, I am that awkward kid hanging on the edges not sure of how to participate because (a) I am awkward and (b) I feel awkward with today’s conversation piece and talking about bloggers I like, who’ve influenced me, whatever, because what if I leave someone out?

My solution to this dilemma is to leave almost everyone out, because in a post just last week I ran through a list of people’s whose blogs I love and who’ve influenced my own. (Even there I missed some.)

There’s one blog that I started reading just a couple weeks after I started this one; and while I feel a certain affinity for the author because we’re both NJ people (!) and we both went to Rutgers (!!) and her husband lived in the same dorm I lived in, though not at the same time (!!!) it’s more that I want everyone to read her blog, this second, right now. Soy Chai Bookshelf is one of my favorite book blogs, and I feel like one of the most chronically underappreciated. Jennifer writes fantastic and incisive and insightful reviews of books I love and many that I don’t love (yet) but have decided to read based solely on her recommendation. Also she recently started a new vegetarian feature where each Monday she writes about vegetarian or vegan books, restaurants, cupcakes.

That’s it for me, today. Go read Jennifer’s blog and dare to tell me you don’t love it.

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LOL – I am that same person at a party – in fact I find a way to get out of family parties now and send my hubby with the kids so I can stay home by myself and enjoy some quiet time with a book. And I can say that here because none of my family will ever see it :) I will definitely go check out Jennifer’s blog, but I wanted to mention I am the same socially awkward person at a party, but I love the blogging community. I go through spells where I am social and then I go into hiding. Luckily right now I am feeling a little social – at least in the blogging world ;-) Have a great week!

Comment by Crystal F

Always a relief to learn I’m not the only person who would sometimes rather sit home with a book than engage with other people.

Comment by Ellen Rhudy

this is a great blog to have stumbled onto – there really are few pleasures greater than reading a good book and you’re right – it’s great that blogging makes it possible to connect with authors – I’m one for a start!

Comment by Slow Burn Publications

We’ve all been and sometimes still are that awkward kid, so you are in good and understanding company, believe me.

I am always torn with these kind of things, worried that in trying to acknowledge some I’ll hurt the feelings of others. Seems silly to be that worried about it, but I am and I do often feel that way.

I too like to point out blogs that I think are underappreciated, especially because I know it is rarely because the person doesn’t have wonderful things to say, it is because with all the blogs out there it can sometimes be hard to find someone.

To be honest the most rewarding thing about doing the challenges I do is that it often brings blog friends together that stay blog friends long after the challenge dies away. Even if those folks don’t visit my blog again until the next challenge, I love hearing about how those friendships have formed and are sustained. That is what community is all about.

Comment by Carl V.

What I love about your rip challenge so far (and the gaiman readalong in particular) is that there’s such a sense of community around the whole thing. I’m looking forward to interacting with all these people over the next seven weeks, learning more about gaiman and new ways of looking at his stories. What’s best about it may be, as you write, that I can picture doing this again a year from now with some of the same people participating, and building off the conversations we’ve had this year. (The readalong is also convincing me these are things I should look into more often. It’s so rewarding to have a real conversation about a book, to expand my own views and change the way I’m reading as I go along.)

Comment by Ellen Rhudy

As I told you on twitter Ellen, I know how you feel and I recognise the awkwardness so much. Seeing this comment by Carl V. I realise how easy it is to miss out on a great blog – even if it is one of the biggest ones around. For me, this is the first year participating in RIP VI and I somehow missed Carl’s blog these past 18 months. Seeing this it just makes me go: wow, I wish I would have know about it before. But I think blogging will do that to you: finding blogs through other great blogs. Very happy to have found both of you.

Comment by Iris

I know what you mean, Iris. I am constantly finding blogs where I look and see a bunch of common interests and even common friends sometimes and I wonder how on earth I didn’t find the blog before.

Comment by Carl V.

That is the kind of thing I hope happens every year. And it is fun because I know we can all only keep up with a finite amount of people and some bloggers I only “see” during challenges but we still have a wonderful time hanging out and discussing books.

Comment by Carl V.

Love this post Ellen. I am so anxiety ridden when it comes to social situations. Thankfully, people tell me they can’t really tell. So I’m the one sweating and trying to take deep breaths. ;)

Thanks for the introduction to Soy Chai Bookshelf. It always amazes me how great blogs just aren’t on my radar because I’ve never seen them. How does that happen?!?! Ah well, that’s what BBAW is here for.

Comment by jenn aka the picky girl

It amazes me too. Not often, but maybe once every few months, I’ll stumble over a group of blogs that line up with my tastes in every way…but that I’ve somehow never even heard of before. BBAW is turning out to be great for uncovering new blogs and a few old ones that fell off my radar.

Comment by Ellen Rhudy

Carry a very large book, with a serious looking cover, it scares most people.

Comment by Parrish

I think the book-blogging community is chock-full of people who are that awkward person at the party–I know I’m one of them myself.

And I totally know what you mean about the problem of singling out favorites, only to realize you left out some. I’ve realized over the last couple of BBAWs that the praise gets spread all around, which is great because we all get to find a few new-to-us blogs.

Comment by Teresa

Thanks for the great article on the BBAW blog. Really enjoyed it.

Comment by J.A. Yang (@jayang)

thanks for letting me know! i’m glad you liked it.

Comment by Ellen Rhudy

I think blogs are changing the way we write about books too and the way we interact with readers and authors. Thanks for sharing your fav and introducing it.

Happy BBAW!

Hope to stay connected.

New follower.

Comment by Lenasledgeblog.com

Thanks for visiting – I’m looking forward to checking out your blog!

Comment by Ellen Rhudy

I’m usually that person at parties, too. And I feel like the awkward kid, too! Let’s be awkward together :-)

Comment by Erin

This is why I love readers…I never feel more comfortable than when I’m around other people who get all awkward at the thought of being social.

Comment by Ellen Rhudy

I left everyone out too by not writing a post…I’d be the awkward one at the party too. I can relate.

Comment by rebeccareid

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