The topics from the last few weeks haven't inspired me to post, but I couldn't pass up the warm fuzzies this week's topic brings to mind.
I've been blogging here for over 4 years (it used to be a lot more regular than it has been recently), but in those 4 years, I've learned a lot about myself as a reader and a blogger. So, here are the top ten reasons why I love being a reader and a blogger.
- The Community: When I began blogging in the fall of 2009, I wasn't aware of the larger book blogging community. I was very much blogging in isolation and in hopes of completing my goal of reading my 250 classics. When I got my first comment that wasn't from my mom, I was shocked. From there, I grew to love the book blogging community and all it had to offer.
- Friendships: I never imagined the friendships I would form through blogging. Getting and sending Christmas cards, writing letters and e-mails, conversations on Facebook and Twitter...it wasn't something I planned on when I started writing here. But I'm happy to say I've formed some amazing and lasting friendships through a shared love of the written word.
- Challenges: Whether you're successful with them or not, I love a good reading challenge. It all started with my initial challenge (which I have yet to complete), but it's led to many others. Reading in a "challenge" format provides some inspiration when you're stuck in a reading rut, and it's always fun to fail in great company. ;)
- Readalongs and Group Reads: I think what I love most about the community of book blogging is that it lends well to banding together to tackle tricky reads. During my time blogging, I've participated in so many groups reads and readalongs, and I've been able to tackle some crazy reads-Atlas Shrugged, The Brothers Karamazov, Clarissa (I actually never finished it), and more.
- Finding New Books/Authors: I will be the first one to admit that while I thought I read rather broadly prior to blogging, I've since learned about so many new authors and books that I know I will never read everything I want to in my lifetime. I'm continuously adding both books and authors to future reading lists, thanks to the suggestions of fellow bloggers.
- Exploring New Places: I'm not a very well-traveled person. In my lifetime, I have only been out of the country a small handful of times, and just across the border to Canada (a couple of times to Sarnia to march in a Christmas parade when I was in band, and once on a weekend trip to Toronto). And while I would like to travel, I don't know if it will ever happen. But, I have traveled the world over through books...and to other places besides!
- Learning about New Topics, etc: As a teacher myself, I love any opportunity to learn something new. Books give me that opportunity and the options are endless.
- Escaping Reality/Finding Comfort: I know that there are many people who settle in front of the TV when they aren't feeling good or need to escape for awhile....I can disappear into the pages of a book, which I find to be a far more valuable experience. Books always give me the comfort I crave.
- Collecting: In many ways, I'm not only a reader, but a book collector. I think I'm lucky to live in an age when there are so many options and beautiful covers for me to pick from. And while my husband might not see the sense in owning 4 different collections of Austen's novels...I know that I get a different reading experience from each edition.
- Sharing an Experience: This is definitely the connection between these 2 topics. There is something so....inspiring to me about reading a book that has been read for hundreds of years and knowing I am one of many to share that experience. Probably, above everything else, that is what matter to me most!
How about you? What do you love about blogging and reading?