Ten years of blogging. I can hardly believe it.

Back in 2003 when I first started there weren’t all that many book blogs around. There were some. The first ones I found were Maud Newton and Bookninja. Through them I discovered a few others. At that time it seemed to me they were all so very literary, all people who were working to become published writers, all so very smart and I never left a comment because I was so intimidated. It’s a good thing I started blogging before I found them otherwise I might have changed my mind. I had heard about blogs from I don’t know where and I thought, hey, I should start a blog about books I’m reading. I was feeling rather alone in my obsessive bookishness and I thought maybe somehow talking about books on the internet would help me find other equally obsessed bookish folk.

Blogger was pretty much the only game in town. It had all of five or so really basic templates to choose from and if you wanted to customize anything you had to know html as well as Blogger code. I bought a book – surprise! – and learned both and discovered what great fun it was monkeying around with code. Blogger had very few bells and whistles. Their comment feature was pretty cruddy so I found a third party comment site and added their code. It was a sad thing when I moved from Blogger to WordPress several years later to not be able to transfer the comments with the blog posts but there was nothing to be done about it.

A few years after I started blogging the number of book blogs had grown quite a lot and was starting to become a little community. It was still small enough that it seemed like everybody knew everybody or at the very least knew of everybody. And then there was an explosion and book blogs became a thing and there were more than I could keep track of which was great but also sad because, while there was still a great sense of community, I also felt a sense of loss at not being able to keep track of what everyone was reading and doing.

And the years have flown by. I have discovered and read books I probably would have missed if not for blogging. And my TBR pile! Pre-blogging I had a lot of books, I won’t deny that, but I am pretty sure I can blame a good many of you reading this for adding a book or two or three to my shelves! I’ve made 2,980 posts counting this one (I so wanted to say 3,000, but we don’t always get what we want) and you’ve helped contribute to the 26,267 comments and counting.

Every now and then, as is natural I think, I find myself wondering how long I might keep up this blogging thing. And every time I ask myself, am I still having fun? And the answer is always a resounding yes! As long as I am having fun, I will keep at it which means I might be going for another ten years.

You know what makes blogging so much fun? You. I know it sounds trite and sentimental, but it’s true. All of you taking the time out of your busy day to stop by and read and even leave a comment is as thrilling and wonderful and completely mindboggling as was the very first visitor and comment I ever got. What is even more amazing to me is that so many of you have also become friends. It is far beyond my wildest dreams. Back in 2003 all I was hoping for was contact with a few people who wouldn’t say things like “wow you have a lot of books” and “why are you reading Charles Dickens?” and “you sure read a lot.” I feel like I have found my people and what a great big bunch of fantastic people it is.

Thank you.

If I were a billionaire I’d throw a huge party and send you all plane tickets to get you here. Since I can’t do that I have put together a little thank you present, a sort of reading kit with all sorts of goodies in it. But because I am not a billionaire I have only one to give away so everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for it. I will draw a name next Saturday.

Now Bookman and I are off to the Twin Cities Book Festival where we will attend a reading by Nicholson Baker, a panel discussion on what and how to read in the 21st century, a session or two we haven’t decided on yet, and of course, there will be booksellers there and I might buy a book. Or two. Wasn’t it thoughtful of the organizers to have it on my 10-year blogiversary?