I am so thrilled to be celebrating two years in the book blogging community today! My life has undergone so many changes over the past two years, but I was determined to keep blogging a part of it no matter what. With two years of blogging under my belt now, I can’t imagine my life WITHOUT this hobby, this community, and this incredible journey. My blog is one of the things in life I am most proud of, and the support I’ve received has truly been so meaningful and rewarding.
While some may grow their followings tall, I’ve chosen to focus on growing mine wide. I may not have tens of thousands of followers, but the engagement I receive on every one of my posts, especially my discussions, is so deeply rewarding for me. The community has been so supportive, so active, and so encouraging of my endeavor here at Girl in the Pages that I truly, truly have stayed for the friends I’ve made. So if you’ve ever followed me, tweeted at me, commented on a blog post, or even just said hi, please know how deeply and positively you’ve impacted me, and I cannot thank you enough.
A Bit About My Blogging Journey: I started my WordPress account in the fall of 2012. I initially used it as a lifestyle blog to chronicle being an undergrad, my love for fashion, decorating my first apartment, and, of course, the life of my cats. I posted a little here and there, and the next summer I decided to start posting the occasional book review as well. It wasn’t until I started reading my favorite childhood series (Harry Potter) through a critical and academic lens for my study abroad course that I realized there was SO MUCH I had to say about all of my beloved YA books and that SO MANY of them had such strong themes for analysis. Two weeks after I returned home to the states I posted pictures of my trip and officially re-branded myself as a book blog on February 6, 2014. Girl in the Pages was born!
Now, a few lists to commemorate my blogging journey so far (because we all know book bloggers love their lists)…
Top 5 Bookish/Blogging Moments:
- Bookchella (also known as YALLWEST)
- ALA 2015 in San Francisco
- Moving to Self Hosted
- Meeting Morgan Matson at the Bay Area Bookfest (and having her compliment my necklace!)
- Meeting Susan Dennard and Alex Bracken at the PassTruth tour
Top 5 Ways Book Blogging Has Changed Me:
- Through reviewing I have found a way to keep my love for critical thinking and scholarship alive, using the skills I learned in college to analyze books and facilitate discussions
- It’s made me appreciate the power of social media infinitely more (for better and for worse).
- It’s made me feel validated in my choice of YA literature as my passion, when so many of my peers looked down on it in my college English program. I even wrote my senior thesis on Harry Potter…and received 100% on it!
- It’s made me demand better content from what I read. Yes that may seem high maintenance, but I am glad that I expect more progressive themes, captivating writing, well rounded plots and multi-faceted characters from authors.
- Blogging has helped me develop an important new skill set. From learning about maintaining my own website, dabbling in graphic design, and engaging professionally with publishers, blogging has helped cultivate a skill set within me that has helped me in my professional life as well.
Top 5 Favorite Posts from the Past Year:
- Don’t Be Author Shy: 5 Tips for Talking to Authors At Events
- Relationship Role Models: Jace and Sam from My Life Next Door
- Considering My Culture When Reading
- Are We Too Hard on Our Heroines?
- Why I Still Read and Write Reviews
To celebrate all of my loyal followers and commemorate all of the time I’ve spent blogging, I am hosting a blogiversary giveaway! The winner will win a copy from the Book Depository (up to a $15 value) of any book that I’ve reviewed on my blog. You can see a list of all eligible titles in my review index. The giveaway is open internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you free. I do check EVERY entry, so no cheating please!