When I began blogging, I was looking for other readers to talk about books with. I’d hoped I’d find other people who read what I had read so we could have a discussion. As people began visiting my blog, I returned the favor by reading their blogs. I was amazed by the variety of wonderful-sounding books that were out there, and I got plenty of wonderful ideas for my future reading. For a year or so, I tried to read a little bit of everything, pretty much trying to read a little bit of what everyone else was reading. I read a lot, sometimes more than 20 books a month. (That’s a lot for me.)
As I blogged more, I began to find that my favorite books fit into certain categories. I began to settle on classics as the books I longed to pick up next. As my life has become busier, I’ve found that I read a lot less, but the classics haven’t been going away. I still enjoy writing about what I read.
Nonetheless, I look at book blogging as opening up the world of classics. Although I studied English in college and was awarded a Bachelor’s degree, it was book blogging that introduced me to Wilkie Collins. Honestly, I’d never heard of him before! And, I’d always meant to read Steinbeck and Dickens and so forth in depth, but it was knowing that there is a community of readers out there that also (may have) enjoyed these books that prompted me to pick it up and reflect on it on a blog. I love having a place to vent about those classics I didn’t love. Blog readers have, in some cases, encouraged me to give a book a second chance.
I don’t want to go back to writing 10-page papers on literature, as I did when I was in school. I did enjoy it for four years, but I’m in a different stage of life right now, stay-at-home motherhood, which is busy enough. Instead, I thrive on writing my reactions to what I’ve read for my blog readers. It’s for me, too, of course. But I love clicking publish and then seeing other reader’s reactions, good or bad, to the same book. I love reading back through old posts and seeing where I’ve been. And ultimately, I love knowing that I have years of reading and reflecting yet to come.