|I couldn't find a bookish photo of me as a child, so here's an irrelevant photo of me, aged three, holding a daisy chain that I definitely did not make but appeared to take credit for anyway.|
I had no idea that book blogs existed or that there was a whole community surrounding it, and I solely judged books by their covers and their descriptions, not awards and fun promo campaigns. I never noticed book trends, and the lack of diversity in literature didn't even occur to me until I was about 15 because I'd never seen anyone talk about it before.
Being a book blogger means I am incredibly privileged. I wouldn't be the person I am now without having read so many books I've been lucky enough to receive thanks to working with publishers. But that doesn't stop me thinking about how lovely it must be to get to read whatever you want, whenever you want. I love reading and I love being a book blogger, of course, but there will always be a small part of me that envies those who are able to go weeks or even a month or two without reading a single book, guilt-free. I considered doing that myself, but then realised that that's not actually an option. I look back fondly on the days where I'd be sat in bed and I'd pick up a book with absolutely no strings attached. No 'should I review this?' or 'how many reviews have I got scheduled at the moment?' or 'is there anything else I should be reading instead that has a deadline?'
Maybe people who work in the industry sometimes feel the same way?
However, I wouldn't change a thing. Through book blogging, I've received invaluable experience in the industry, and I've read way more books than I ever would have been able to if I didn't have this shiny corner of the Internet. I've made friends, met the most inspiring people, had the coolest opportunities and been to the most interesting places. I've found a community that, for the most part, is lovely, supportive, and willing to help anyone who needs it.
Book blogging might mean I read in a different way than I did before, and it might be stressful sometimes, but it's changed me for the better and I wouldn't have it any other way.
How have your hobbies changed you?