Well, it was thanksgiving *fairly* recently, and although I don’t celebrate, I’ve felt a need to be grateful so here, have this post! I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently especially as I prepare to reboot this blog and move to Wordpress. I’ve tried similar projects in the past, moving from one place to the other; it’s never really worked out, but I’m hoping it does this time, and I think it will because I’ve realised how much the blog means to me. There are a few key reasons, and I’m sharing them below:

1. It’s my own personal corner of the internet

This is a really big one, and I probably could’ve split it into many categories but why not keep it as one? I love that I get to express myself, my opinions, my thoughts on books here. I don’t have to censor myself, or edit out my personality in the robotic way school likes to make you do. Here’s an example from recent times: I wrote an essay about a book as a practice for exams, and in the feedback I got, there was a circle around a passage in which I’d written “so” (for rough context the sentence the word was derived from was something like “I love books, so I’m willingly to spend money buying them” (I know that’s not exact but I’m trying okay)), and above it the teacher had written “through”. This comment annoyed me more than I would’ve expected; I didn’t mean “through”, I was fully aware of what I meant when I used the word “so”. I don’t feel that I have to be perfectly grammatically correct all the time, especially when it detracts from me getting my point across. Also, I’m such a freak about this kinda of stuff? I’m obsessed with correct capitalisation and spelling, which crosses into grammar sometimes (but only if it’s extremely bad). So I feel somewhat insulted when my grammar is brought into question. Technically, English isn’t my first language, but it’s definitely my dominant one.

Anyway, moving on from that mini-rant, what I’m trying to say here is that all the content on this blog (except guest posts/blitzes etc but you get my point) is written by yours truly, without supervision. I don’t have to report to anyone, or make changes based on other people’s opinions; if you don’t like it, don’t follow me! It’s that simple. Of course I’m always striving to make my content better and more enjoyable for the people who do read my blog, but I don’t feel that I need to sacrifice my personal voice for a prim, proper, formal tone in these posts. I like being myself! It’s only recently that I’ve realised how much that part of this blog means to me; being able to express myself is so important to me especially as when I was younger I felt that a lot of the time I wasn’t allowed to say what I actually thought and was stuck in a world of pretending to be who people wanted to be. This blog definitely helped change that feeling, and for that I’m so grateful.

2. I can talk about whatever I like (without being judged by other people)

Kind of following on from my first point, which is really an umbrella for everything to come, I can talk about things without being judged! It’s such a great feeling, especially when a lot of people still think reading is nerdy and uncool (I’m sorry us readers are more intelligent than you). I know the focus of this blog has shifted a bit from books as I’m using it to explore all of my interests more, but books are the reason I started this blog, and are a major catalyst in me being able to use it as a platform to speak out about anything and everything. The glory of all this being online is you don’t have to witness people laughing at you; all the adoration and hate is private, and as I’d like to think this community is quite positive I don’t feel that hate is a huge part of it; it probably exists, but in a small dark chasm paid attention to by only a select number of people.

3. Free. Books??!!

Yay, I finally thought of a point which is less related to point number one! In 2016, upon starting high school, I decided to take a chance and reach out to some NZ publishers and ask if they were interested in sending me books in exchange for promotion and a review. Well, it worked. I feel guilty because I am always infinitely behind in reading the books they send me (this holidays might be yet another opportunity to catch up which I should take instead of reading the latest books from the library I haven’t returned yet but should) but I do really appreciate them and try to fit reading into my busy schedule. If you’d told 2013 me, who read more books in a year than I probably ever will for quite awhile now, that I would be getting free books in a few years, I would’ve laughed in your face for sure. Dreams can become reality! So I’m going to keep on dreaming despite what others tell me.

4. The community

It’s funny because I’ve never felt like I’m part of this community; I don’t really have any close friends to show for it. Nevertheless, I’ve always felt really included especially when commenting on other people’s blogs. On Instagram, I had some fairly close friends through the editing/fandom community but there was always a strong sense of negativity surrounding the community and I’m not the greatest with keeping in touch with people online as I’m trying to cut back on screen time, mobile devices in particular so I guess we drifted easily. But I’d really like to get closer to people here, and possibly also establish links with them through bookstagram; we’ll see. Regardless, I appreciate everyone here for constantly making me feel welcome even as I’m little more than a stranger to a lot of you.

I can’t think of anything else right now, so I’ll just end it here, but thank you too to everyone who is reading this post; although I don’t get many comments I see proof of your existence through the engagement and also followers on my book related Spotify playlists. Is there any aspect of book blogging/something else you do which you’re really grateful for?