An interesting question, this, because after blogging about books for six years I think its meaning has changed for me. Grown up, perhaps, from when I first conceived of my blog.
To begin with, I didn’t even begin as a book blog. Hence the bizarre name of my blog which loosely translates to Gentle Beauty. Not implying that I am a beauty, but instead relating to the fact that I want to blog with the beauty of a gentle spirit. So, there’s that.
But, when I discovered that people were actually blogging about books I quickly climbed on that train. Imagine! Discussing my greatest passion with people who love it as much as I do! So book blogging became all about sharing great literature.
Then, I became aware of stats. Suddenly, math entered my beautiful world of words. What is my Google Page Rank? What is my Technorati authority? How many people are following my blog, subscribed to my reader, tweeting my posts? It became ridiculous that I even considered those questions, let alone worried about them. Book blogging almost became, as I’ve called it, “turning my joy into a job”.
Closely following the heels of what’s-my-rank came look-who-is-requesting-my-reviews. Publishing houses such as Simon and Schuster, Penguin, Random House, Melville House and SoHo Press started sending me books free. No charge! The only price was the time required to read these stacks of books and the pressure I put on myself to give a positive review.
So now I’ve come full circle. What does book blogging mean to me? Not stats. Not free books sent in the mail. Not giving only glowing reviews. Book blogging means reading what I love, and sharing it with you, while abandoning the pressure from outside sources. Which always seems to come in an attempt to invade your joy if you let it.