First order of business: the winner of Soy Chai Bookshelf's Birthday Giveaway is, of course, Alley from What Red Read. Congrats, Red! Send me an e-mail at jlmarck at gmail and I'll order your copy of Never Let Me Go. I say 'of course,' because she is the only person that entered the contest. Which brings me to my second order of business...
Ever since posting that giveaway, I've been feeling very unhappy about my blog. Why don't people want to enter? I ask myself. Is my blog that bad? After a year, why do I only have fourteen followers? Should I give up? I mean, what's the point if nobody reads what I write?
My husband stopped just short of forbidding me from quitting the blog, which I suppose is appropriate. However, this in no way made me feel better (nor did the fact that an article on yahoo linked to a blog post of his - congrats Sweets, I'm proud even if I am jealous). So I was still feeling bad, yet persisting in tweeting giveaway reminders every day, even linking to a new author whose book you could win in the hopes that she would retweet it (she didn't). Things were bleak.
But then, Ellen at Fat Books & Thin Women posted this. And she linked to The Reading Ape's recent series (first post here) on the purpose and styles of book blogging. I had never heard of The Reading Ape before, but I sucked in each post and sat back to ask myself why I started a book blog to begin with.
Of course, I didn't start a book blog to begin with. My first post was about tea, then there were some book reviews, but also some personal posts, and even some recipes. It took me a couple of months to realize that what I wanted to do was blog about books. Shortly thereafter, I discovered that my very long, rather in-depth reviews didn't appeal to many people. Soon after that, I discovered that the way to get anybody to read my blog was by participating in memes like Top Ten Tuesday. After awhile I told myself that the only way to get any real number of followers was to hold a giveaway (FLOP). And now here I am, whining about having an unpopular blog and not even thinking about the books anymore.
So I'm reevaluating. I'm going to write reviews that are however long I want, make my Top Ten lists because they're fun, and start enjoying books again. This may even mean I fail at some of my challenges because man do they take the fun and spontaneity out of reading (more on that in a separate post). I'm also going to start seeking out more bloggers that read the kinds of things that I read (most of the bloggers I follow do not), and maybe become more active on Goodreads. I'm here to discuss books, first and foremost, not win popularity contests.
After all, like my blog I've always been relatively unpopular. That was never a reason to not make the most of myself.