It just dawned on me that it’s my blogoversary. I actually don’t know what day I officially launched my blog, just that it was an otherwise listless day back in January 2011. I was tidying things up around here, and at the time I couldn’t figure out how my introductory post contributed to my blog, so I deleted it, but for the sake of sentimentality, I kind of wish it were still around.
I’ve never made a big deal out of my blogoversary before, but considering I’ve been writing at Books & Tea for five years, I thought I’d make a small celebratory post. FIVE YEARS! That’s a heck of a milestone.
I had discovered book blogs my final semester at college. I couldn’t tell you what I was searching for the day I stumbled across YA Highway and Forever Young Adult, but those blogs were my gateway. From there, I would click on Roadtrip Wednesday links or links in their comment sections to discover other book blogs, and I was enamored by what I discovered– enthusiasm for a passion for reading, something I once felt. After nearly five years of reading tomes and textbooks, the last thing I wanted to do was read even more, but these blogs changed that. After graduating, I knew exactly what I had to do– start reading again and launch my own blog.
My very first review was for a book by one of my very favorite authors. It’s called the Great Perhaps by Joe Meno. Although enjoyable, I remember I finished the book feeling rather uninspired; it doesn’t really compare to the genius that is Hairstyles of the Damned or the Boy Detective Fails. Still, I would recommend it. I will always recommend books by Joe Meno.
My favorite books reviewed on Books & Tea are basically anything by Bill Bryson (Shakespeare: The World as Stage and A Walk in the Woods and [hopefully] the Road to Little Dribbling), Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel, and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.
My least favorite books reviewed on Books & Tea are Divergent by Veronica Roth (my most popular post on Books & Tea) and the Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I had a terrible experience reading the books, which meant I had too much fun writing snark-riddled reviews.
Despite “tea” being a very prominent portion of my blog title, it doesn’t get the spotlight it deserves around here, so if you were not aware… I really, really love tea. In fact, if you’re a fan of tea too, you should check these out: Adagio’s Ooooh Darjeeling, TeaVivre’s Iron Goddess Oolong, Tealated’s Green Tea Delight, and Adagio’s Casablanca Twist.
Blogging was really easy when I was writing about my favorite thing ever (ME!). Seriously though, I’m not new to blogging. I’ve been blogging since I was introduced to the internet back in 1999 or 2000, but I always maintained personal blogs that were diary-esque. I have no idea why people followed me back then because I didn’t really lead an interesting life, but alas, they did. And I still keep in touch with my favorites. Book blogging, though? It’s a world away from personal blogging. It’s challenging. It’s competitive. It’s requires hard work and creativity to create new and unique content. It’s time consuming (mostly because I’m the world’s most distracted reader). But you know what? It’s so rewarding.
I wish I would have known about editorial calendars from start. I like to think I would have been a more organized blogger– one who could post consistent content on time.
I wish I would have been more involved in social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. I struggle with participating in these realms because I’m so late to the game, and I find it so overwhelming. What hashtags do I use? How do I engage with others?
I wish I would have been more eager to explore genres I was unfamiliar with prior to 2015; I think it would have prevented the many reading slumps I endured throughout my blogs lifetime.
I wish I would have taken more time to brainstorm potential blog titles. I don’t think I ever really believed I would have maintained this little space of mine for five years, which is probably why I settled for Books & Tea (the first title that popped into my head). I’m not actually a huge fan of the title, but at the same time, I can’t imagine calling my blog anything else.
Thank you to my dad who reads all of my reviews and never fails to let me know which ones are my very best. Thank you to my mom, who casually mentions during phone conversations that my recent blog post was hilarious and that she could practically hear my voice reading it aloud to her even though we live almost 900 miles apart. Thank you to my Love, Jon, who doesn’t get mad at me when I read in bed when he’s trying to sleep. And most of all…THANK YOU! Thank you to the people who accidentally stumble upon my blog searching for book reports (because that’s how I used to label my reviews), and thank you to the people who subscribe– my loyal readers, I ADORE YOU!