Stupid Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I Hate It.

It brings back all the angst one felt in high school: am I accepted? Is what I write of quality? In this whole big world does my little voice even matter?

That’s not what BBAW is supposed to be about, of course, it’s supposed to bring the best of book blogging forward. The best blogs. The best books. The best thoughts about blogging about books. But then, of course, there’s me. Bellezza, party of one. Bellezza, so often against the grain.
How does one write about the blogs one loves without making the others feel they have unloved blogs by default? It’s horrible. It’s a concept I’ve been mulling over all day. I don’t know how to get around it, so I won’t say that my oldest friends in this book blogging world, friends from six years ago, include Les and Bookfool and Andi and Chris and Carl.
I won’t say that I miss Claire and Frances with all my heart, while still understanding that they have other lives.
I won’t say that Gary continues to teach me about poetry, as does ds, or that Tom and Richard and Stu  constantly challenge me to read the most wonderful translations which I often don’t completely understand.
I won’t say that the faithful, and insightful, comments from friends like Linda and Ally and Natalie and Audrey and Vasilly and Diane and Suko and Nadia keep me going, just like the film reviews and shared reads I enjoy with Arti.
I won’t say how nice it’s been getting to know new-to-me bloggers like Liburuak and LitLove and Caroline and Helen and Reading Buddy.
Nope, I’m not saying any of these things, for then I would be defining a certain group of book bloggers and leaving others out. Because ultimately? I don’t want to do that. This is not an elite corner for the select few. It’s a place for literature lovers and writers to record what’s in their hearts. For all of us to appreciate one another. And if you’re in my sidebar? That means I appreciate you and everything you do.

43 thoughts on “Stupid Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I Hate It.

  1. And you found a perfect way to deal with today's topic. Wbich after knowing you online for many years doesn't surprise me in the least. I recognize most of the names and agree wholeheartedly!

  2. I love the way you did (or didn't) do this. :) It is definitely hard to write a post like this but I think we all find our names SOMEWHERE and that should be enough — that even one other person appreciates what we do seems to make it worth it.

  3. *stands up and claps* I understand! I worried about writing a post today about the bloggers I appreciate but feared leaving someone off. I would really really hate doing that. I love the way you wrote this post.

  4. I ignore BBAW. In theory it's a good idea, but in practise it serves to divide the book blogosphere into cosy cliques and leaves the “unappreciated” feeling excluded.

  5. Bellezza, you say it very well. Our voices do count and matter, if only to a few. I came here because of the title of your post, and did not expect a mention–thank you. :)

  6. I loved your post, it works even on a meta level – I loved being appreciated ;). Personally, I have a conflicted relationship with BBAW, on the one hand I love reading everyone's posts to get new input and “meet” new bloggers, on the other hand I'm reluctant to create such a post myself. Hm.

  7. I agree with your post. I feel so bad about leaving people out, but I think you've done a great job and highlighted lots of fantastic bloggers. I'm also sad that some of my favourites have stopped blogging – many I highlighted in my BBAW post last year :-(

  8. Your words are very kind, but nobody doubted that :) Thank you! Also, I feel it is rather difficult to choose the best/greatest something or someone, since we are all different, with different interests besides books, and categorizing us would feel somehow wrong… (my two cents)

  9. I'm not a fan of BBAW for many of the same reasons you mentioned. It seems like a high school popularity contest in many ways — maybe I'm just too old for that:)

    I do have favorite blogs (like yours), and regular commenters (like you) who I so appreciate. Thanks for sharing your love of lit with all of us:)

  10. I too wondered about the whole leaving people out thing, it's why I gave myself specific criteria and explained it all. And it's why I went for a blog that had few comments. I felt really happy this year to be included on a blog's list, but I do remember what it's like when no one has mentioned you. I suppose it made me want to be a better blogger but then you don't always have the time, so it's difficult. I like the number of people you mentioned :)

  11. Yes! Let's make it official right here and right now: we're on for Little Women as a shared read, to be posted at the end of December.

    Now I need to make a post about the shared reads I have planned because I'm so excited about each one! Thanks for suggesting this and reading with me, Tom.

  12. Really I don't mind if I don't have a shout, if no one mentions me: for me, this is a great opportunity to get to discover other book bloggers, and to celebrate book blogging together. I really don't perceive the competitiveness in this event, and mind you, I'm by nature VERY competitive.

  13. Beautifully written. I believe if anyone creates a blog, the blog represents a part of the owners personality. Some of us can spend more time blogging then others whose time is limited. All blogs that I visit bring me something to like.

  14. I miss Claire and Frances too! So much. Such intelligent, thoughtful women.

    And I don't mind the appreciation. I like highlighting people others may not know about, and I try to highlight different people each time. But I do get the hesitation, I do.

    But it's also neat to find out who the bloggers I love also love to read. :)

  15. Thanks for mentioning my blog.
    I totally understand where you are coming from. I find it hard to pick favourites as it seems to imply the others aren't as good but that's not the case. It's just you feel closer to some, and those reasons are personal. It's tricky. It makes me realize that people in general are maybe to even so competitive but really vulnerable.

  16. Oh I know just what you mean! I was so relieved to hear there'd be no awards this year, as they seemed the cruellest of all. I've been blogging for so long and watched so much ebb and flow online that this seems a very transient medium, in which the notion of 'best' makes very little sense. BUT, I have been so happy to get to know you recently, as it really is a shot of adrenaline in the arm to meet new blog friends. I tend to lose faith that can still happen, so it is extra wonderful when it does!

  17. Oh B, can I say I love you? I really do. I miss you with all my heart, too. I'm trying to get back into blogging again. Hopefully be able to manage my time better to make time for this again. I miss the friendships. And I miss being bookishly up to date.

    I was pleasantly surprised, as I thought to visit you today, upon seeing the title of your post. I didn't realise it was that time of the year, Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Then I see what a lovely tribute you've written. This is what heartfelt appreciation means. I'm so touched you made me cry. *Huggsssss*

    I appreciate you!! xx

  18. I've beed an avid reader my entire life and just within the last week happened upon the book blog world. Oh my goodness!! It's overwhelming, there are SO many and I secretly think, could I do this? I think I'll just visit for awhile before I make that leap. So far I've liked yours and another the best. If you are going to be discussing Little Women, I'm here to stay! My hotmail and Twitter accounts are missjomarch. That may give you a clue. I'm so excited to have found this new world and that I've landed here.

  19. A NOTE
    Life is the only way
    to get covered in leaves,
    catch your breath on the sand,
    rise on wings

    to be a dog
    or stroke its warm fur;

    to tell
    from everything it's not;

    to squeeze inside events,
    dawdle in views,
    to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

    An extraordinary chance
    to remember for a moment
    a conversation held
    with the lamp switched off;

    and if only once
    to stumble upon a stone,
    end up soaked in one downpour or another,

    mislay your keys in the grass;
    and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;

    and to keep on not knowing
    something important.
    Wislawa Szymborska

    I know it is an obvious response from me, but it's how I best communicate. Love the post & the sentiment.

  20. Sounds good, Audrey. I'll put together a post (perhaps for tomorrow?) announcing The Little Women read along for December. Glad you're interested in participating, too!

  21. Finding your blog has been a great treat for me! And this post really struck a chord. I am frantically busy at the moment and my brain is exploding under the strain, so I hadn't realised that it was BBAW this week and I am not going to manage to post about it. Which is a shame in that there are so many blogs I love reading, but on the other hand feels like a relief too. I hope that those people whose blogs I read regularly already know that I appreciate them (and if not, I must ensure that they do!). But I can't even deal with having a blog roll, much as I enjoy wandering through them on others' blogs, because of that whole 'high school element' as you so rightly call it. I should hate anyone to feel excluded.

  22. Well said, Bellezza :) There is always the chance of indadvertedly hurting someone by not naming them, but on the other hand… fellow book bloggers that you care about deserve appreciation too!

  23. I recognise that feeling all too well. I contemplated highlighting a few bloggers this year who have been personally important helping me through a rough year, but then I considered how much I appreciate all of you. And my list kept growing to such proportions that I just couldn't post it. Knowing I'd probably still miss out on tons of bloggers.

    I am with you on Francis and Claire, I miss them so much.

    I also wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your blog. And that I'm so glad I finally started commenting on it again (even if very sporadically).

  24. I don't even know how I missed this post. I'm so sorry! I can't thank you enough for including me in this (my heart is full), and I know what you mean about including some and feeling like others miss out. Yet again, eloquent and concise with your words, Bellezza, I so often am inspired by your posts, so I thank YOU!

    By the way, I am blaming my lack of following blogs lately on a recent business trip, and that also includes not being able to finish The Secret History yet. But soon. Very soon will I finish this incredible story and I will be so sad when it ends. What will I ever pick up next that will match this same haunting quality? I feel bad for the next book I do pick up, as it shan't have a fair chance at all.

  25. Bellezza, the way in which you responded to the given topic is thoughtful and compassionate. These kinds of decisions are hard because of all the things you pointed out so well. It reminded me of elementary school when we played “Völkerball” in the gym and two captains had to choose their teams. When I think of this now, my stomach cringes and my feelings fly to these who stood there in the middle of this vast hall unelected until the end. Your kindness, as a person and as a writer when you talk about books with so much respect and with love, is an inspiration and I am glad that we met in this world of book lovers.

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