Top Ten Tuesday – November 26, 2013: Top Ten Bookish Things/People I Am Thankful For

TTT

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic:  Top Ten Things Bookish Things/People I Am Thankful For

This post really couldn’t have come at a better time. I was talking with Estelle the other week about how I’d really like to get more personal on my blog from time-to-time but it’s hard for me to know where to start. Every once in a while, I gush about my blogging besties or how I’m proud to be a nerd, but not often to I really get into a deep conversation and really get personal about things.

This week, I’m still relating my Top Ten Tuesday to bookish things that I’m thankful for, but I’m trying to get a bit more into detail on how they’ve really affected not only my blogging life, but my day-to-day life because reading and blogging have really become a bigger part of my entire life than I would ever have anticipated when I first started.

1. All of the friends I’ve met through blogging. People that once started out as just blogging best friends have turned into real life, text every day (all day), read books together, complain about things, ask for advice, I’m asking these girls to be my bridesmaids and come to my wedding BEST FRIENDS.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not as close with my friends from high school and college. I’ve grown apart from a lot of my high school friends simply because we’ve just grown up to be very different people than we were in high school. No hard feelings, but it’s just hard for us to stay in touch when we don’t have a lot of common interests or friends anymore. I still see a few of my college roommates and my oldest friends from elementary school from time-to-time, but we’re all really busy with our own lives and we’ve never really had the type of relationship where we keep in touch on a daily basis so we’ve tended to grow farther apart instead of closer throughout the years. We can always come back together and our friendship always picks up where it left off, but for a long time, I was missing the sense of a BEST friend — someone I could talk to every day to vent and laugh and cry. Of course I have Shane to talk to but sometimes you just need a female best friend and my ladies understand me in a way that guys just don’t understand!
I have my closest friends who I text literally every day, but I also have several close friends who I will occasionally text, others who constantly email, other who I Tweet with a lot. Then of course there are all of the people with I also talk to via blog comments. I’m always interacting with someone at least once or twice or ten times a day. I’m so thankful for everyone I’ve met just because I decided to pick up a hobby writing about my love of books. It’s something I never could have anticipated and I couldn’t be happier with the friendships I’ve formed when I thought I could never make “new” best friends.

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2. Interaction with publishing houses, publicists, and authors. My blogging experience is constantly enhanced on a day-to-day basis by being able to actually interact and talk with the authors whose books I’m reading and the publishers behind them. I can’t express how honored and thrilled I am when I get a retweet or a response from an author or publisher on Twitter, an invitation to a blog, a request to review a book, or the opportunity to read an ARC. For me, blogging is fun but it’s also really hard work and it means so much to me when an author/publisher acknowledges all of the work that I put into my content and sharing personal opinions. The relationship between authors, publishers, and readers is a beautiful thing and the bookish world couldn’t function without any missing piece. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t appreciate the opportunities, support, and appreciation that they offer to me and my blog.

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3. Anderson’s Bookshop. I absolutely love having Anderson’s so close (well, a little further now that I’ve moved) and how many AMAZING events they host. Being able to attend so many events has helped me meet authors and to interact with them in person has been really incredible! I’ve met several local bloggers like Katie from The Polished Page Turner and Monica from The Fuma Files and it’s been so great to be able to share the event with them and to talk about the authors, the books, and everything in between. Having Anderson’s so close has also given me the opportunity for things like my interview with the Fierce Reads authors when they were in town on tour. Macmillan asked me if I wanted to be the featured blogger for the Chicago leg of the tour and of course I had happily accepted. Without Anderson’s, that opportunity wouldn’t have even been a thought.

4. All of the comments and tweets and blogger interaction. Well DUH, of course I need a shout out to all of the followers and commenters and readers! Blogging would not nearly be as much fun without anyone there to read my words and share them with and every time I get a comment, it’s still new and exciting to me. I’m so grateful for all of the feedback, all of the support, all of the laughs and YOU guys make it worth blogging every day!

5. WordPress.org. I absolutely love self-hosting my own website. WordPress.com was a great starting place but switching to self-hosting (it’s been almost a year! Wow!!!) has been so much fun. I love being able to customize whatever I want to (with LOTS of help from the WordPress.org forums because let’s be honest… CSS is a lot of Googling and then guess & check) and actually embed Rafflecopter haha. I think it’s really helped me take my blog to the next level!

6. Recommendations. Admittedly… Had it not been for blogging, I probably never would have picked up a fantasy novel. Or sci-fi. Or had the courage to pick up and read A Song of Ice and Fire! I’ve had recommendations galore for books I need to try, authors I need to read, and people to read series with! Speaking of which….

7. Read Alongs. I’ve actually been a part of many read alongs and hosted quite a few myself! I love being able to read a book at the same time as other people, talk about it in different ways that I wouldn’t normally think of, and have a support group as I read!

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8. The opportunity to have a hobby. I didn’t really have a hobby for a long time. Not one I could throw myself into. I would scrapbook here and there, crochet, paint, take pictures (none of which I was really good at haha!)  but once I started getting back into reading, it was so easy to dive right it. There will always be new books, new stories, new adventures, and I’m lucky enough to have a hobby that never gets old!

9. An excuse to stay in. For that last few years, I’ve been growing more and more reclusive. Or maybe I”m just growing up. I’m not quite sure. Either way, reading and blogging and writing have all become wonderful excuses for me to stay in or rather, wonderful pulls to sway me from going out haha! I’ll go out every once in a while, but really, clubs and bars and parties are just SO not my thing anymore. I think that’s what they call growing up, but I call it an obsession with books! I’ll take any excuse to stay home with my books and get all nice and snuggly on the couch.

10. Most importantly, a sense of accomplishment. I think I have a fairly good job and they treat me well (on the days I don’t want to pull my hair out, but don’t we all have those days?) but I don’t really leave there feeling accomplished. I finish what I need to do at work but I don’t necessarily feel satisfied from doing my job. Reading, blogging, setting goals, achieving personal milestones, sticking with a freaking project for once, I mean come on! Blogging is the best thing to happen to me since sliced bread. (“Ah, sliced bread. A wonderful Lady MacBeth.”) I feel a sense of accomplishment when I sit down to write a review and finally finish it (sometimes days later, but hey, that happens) or come up with a new idea for a discussion or complete a reading challenge. I have a daily sense of achievement from my blog posts, my reading accomplishments, and my interactions with the book blogging community. It’s just a fantastic place for me to be in my life and I’m so happy that I’ve found something I can grow so passionate about and really feel like I belong. 

13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – November 26, 2013: Top Ten Bookish Things/People I Am Thankful For

  1. Stormy

    Ah, I didn’t do a TTT today but I LOVE yours(and if I had done one, I would have so many of the same ones on there!) I totally get what you mean with the sense of accomplishment. Blogging is a fun hobby for me, but it still lets me feel creatively and ambitiously fulfilled. I have other smaller hobbies too–photography or baking, I guess–but there’s not that same sense of “Aha! I did that!”. I’m the type of person who’s always been pretty ambitious, so having something that’s both fun but also rewarding is a HUGE must for me, or I get a bit down. Blogging has helped with that SO much!

  2. Rebecca @ The Library Canary

    This is so perfect. I agree with everything. I started my blog back in February and it was the best decision I could have made. It’s been so amazing getting to know bloggers and being able to interact with authors and publishing houses. I still fangirl like crazy when my tweets get retweeted, favorited, or replied to. One time Heather Brewer commented on my blog and I died. Lol. I love that you said that your blog makes you feel accomplished. I’ve been unemployed for over a year now and without my blog I don’t even know. I would’ve probably gotten depressed or gone completely stir crazy, but my blog keeps me feeling creative and accomplished. I feel so great when I finish a post or come up with a new idea. And if I’m feeling down I can just talk to all the wonderful bloggers out there and I instantly feel better. Great list, so well-written. 🙂

  3. Pam@YAEscapefromReality

    Wow, looks like you’ve met so many wonderful authors! Blogging is definitely a great way to connect with other readers and I love getting recommendations. There are definitely books I would never have read if it weren’t for other bloggers. What a great list!

  4. Kay @ It's a Book Life

    I did not realize that you live close to Anderson’s Bookshop! I live about a half hour away. I haven’t been to a lot of things there yet (I just moved to the area this summer) but I did go to the Veronica Roth event and that was awesome. Maybe we will meet up at an event sometime! I just love the reading blogger community and I’m glad you are loving it too.

  5. Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages

    I love all your points and I had a few on my own list today. I really love your last one though. It’s something I actually think about a lot, except about running, not book blogging. Three or four years ago I was utterly and completely miserable at my job and didn’t have any luck finding a new job and was just not good. But then I started running and it was the most amazing thing to set goals, measure how I was doing, and then reach my goals. I feel like so many people complain about their job and how they’re stuck and I just want to scream at them that your job isn’t your life and that there are other things you can do, even when you’re stuck at your job, to be happy.

    Oddly book blogging was the opposite for me. I started blogging at a time when I had too many things going on in all aspects of my life and many goals I needed to reach. But blogging to me is just so much fun and I feel like I get so much out of it that even though it’s another thing I need to do, it’s worth it.

  6. Jan

    I haven’t been blogging for very long at all but I’ve loved getting to know other book blogs and bloggers, getting recommendations and curling up at night after work with a book and a coffee is definitely an experience I’m thankful for!

  7. Estelle

    Yay for getting more personal! See? You did it. 🙂 You hit on so many of the things that I love about blogging: the friendships, that sense of accomplishment, and just having such a a record of all the things you are working on day to day.

    I’m so happy we started talking this year, and I hope we continue to do more of it. I think it’s so sweet and adorable and amazing about your book friends transferred to REAL LIFE FRIENDS and will be bridesmaids? Oh my god. I feel like this is the start of a great fiction novel. Big hugs as always, friend!

  8. Alexa Y.

    I loved this post Brittany! I think it’s great you want to get more personal on the blog, and you certainly did that here. I’m happy that you were able to make great friends through blogging and think it is SO cool that you’d invite them to be a big part of your wedding day! In line with that, I’m glad that we’ve become friends through blogging as well, and hope that we continue to develop that friendship in 2014 and beyond.

    I’m also loving what you said in #9 and #10, as they are exactly how I feel about blogging and what it’s given to me. I do enjoy what I’ve discovered about myself because of the blog and reading — including the fact that I prefer a night in to a night out.

  9. Rachel

    Oh my gosh, I loved this post. I really do feel like I got to know you a little better, and if you decide to keep doing personal posts in the future, I will definitely read those! Seriously though, this list was beautiful. You probably don’t know this, but you were the first blogger I ever really interacted with way back in the day, so you’ve always been a huge inspiration to me 🙂 I’m glad I’ve gotten to know you over the months and I hope we’ll be able to see each other again sometime soon!

  10. Jan

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award! 🙂 Details can be found on my latest blog post.

  11. Nicole

    What a lovely list! I am thankful for many of these things too, but extra yes to number 8. I love that I found a hobby that means so much me. What a wonderful thing to have in life <333

  12. Liz (Along for the Read)

    I am super late reading this since I have basically not read any blog posts this month (oops) but I LOVE this list. It is so great to see into the lives of other bloggers with a more personal post, and I relate to so much of this here. It has been great to discover your blog over the last year, your personality and love of reading really shine through. That is amazing that you have managed to make such good friends though blogging, and have put yourself out there like this, I hope to put myself out there a little more over the next year. Personal posts are something that I am scared to do, but I love reading when others do them so we will see!

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