In a few days I will have been blogging for 4 years! It is really hard to believe. I was supposedly doing my blog reading either, though, and I got to thinking about how blogging is a lot different now than it was four years ago. For starters, there are a lot more bloggers now than there were when I started! I just read the blogs in my blog roll on my sidebar. I didn't need fancy programs to keep up with everything. Now, I could probably read about twice the amount of blogs that I do now and would still not visit everyone. I am going through a period now where I am marking all as read more than doing any blog reading. It's a bit sad, really.
Then, there are the bloggers that don't blog anymore. It's sad.
When I started blogging there were really no review copies of books. Now, there is a feature called Mailbox Monday and I see people receive like 20 books in the mail and a lot of them are review copies. I remember how excited I was when publishing companies started contacting me to review for them. I still very rarely contact them. (Although, I did contact Penguin Canada, but that was an exception!) Reviewing books is a nice aspect of book blogging. I read a lot and my finances are not really of the type where I can afford to buy everything I read... So, it has helped me a great deal! This year I re-added the library to the mix, too. Review copies of books are a lot of fun, though. I get so excited when I get books in the mail. It is like Christmas!
It does bother me when new blogs either start up just to receive review books or they have been blogging for about a month and expect large quantities of review books. I honestly think reviewing books should be earned. That is my personal opinion, though.
On the review copy theme, there are now things like Blog Tours and companies that set up blogging tours. That is a very new thing. I do admit that sometimes I find Blog Tours tedious. I don't mind if it is spread out over a month, but one book being reviewed on several blogs all on the same day drives me crazy! If it is spread out over a period of time I will read the various reviews, but if you slam me with same review over and over again on one day I can pretty much guarantee that I stop reading after a while! There are exceptions. There is new thing called the Classics Circuit (I don't have the URL handy) and I think it is so cool! I mean, blog tours for dead authors is a fun idea, really.
Another thing that brings to mind is Reading Challenges. I remember when there were only a couple reading challenges. I remember me and my blogging friends at the time having unofficial ones every so often and Carl's challenges have been around as long as I have, but now, now it is just insane! I join them, yes, but I am starting to get a bit afraid of them. There are so many it is a bit over-whelming. I join too many, but there are still so many I could join... Just as scary is the amount that some of you join. I think I have too many, but I am small potatoes compared to other people!
All this really is leading up to me hating the fact that blogging is not always fun. There have been big... debates... this year about various issues. I feel like an outsider because I really don't care and very rarely say things, but I do hate that the issues have to be there. I think I will leave it at that. The last thing I want to do is stir up trouble.
Part of me really hates the fact that blogging sometimes seems like a popularity contest. I despise the Followers function on Blogger, for example. I love that people read my blog, don't get me wrong, but I don't feel the need to broadcast to everyone how many people read my blog. It's just not my thing. I also don't check blog stats or freak out about the amount of comments that I receive. The charming comedian is often telling me I am very laid back, and I guess I take that approach to blogging. That does not mean that I am oblivious, though. Just because I am quiet does not mean I am not paying attention! Sometimes I do get sad when my commenting is down, but not enough that I really seem to do much about it... That is just me hoping that I am not blogging for myself. That gets a bit dull!
I could go on and on. I notice a lot of changes in just the last year; let alone the last four! And, I was trying not to insult anyone. I hope I accomplished that! This is mainly just observations on things. I do know for sure that I am very grateful to everyone that reads my blog and I am happy to have met all the wonderful people I have met through book blogging. Thanks for making book blogging a mostly fantastic experience! I am going to shut up and go read now...