Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Avoiding burnout


For the final day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, the question is One of the unfortunate side effects of reading and blogging like rockstars seems to be a tendency toward burnout. How do you keep things fresh on your blog and in your reading?

Now that I’m entering my third year of blogging, I can see this becoming a real issue. The first year was spent in just sorting out the basics, and everything was new and exciting. During the second year I solidified more routines, like adding monthly review and discussion posts, and worked out some practical issues like moving from Blogger to WordPress. Now that I’m happy with my infrastructure and everything is running smoothly, it could get boring. What will keep me from stagnating?

I think it’s important to keep revisiting our practices and not just do them because we always have or because everyone else does them. I recently read an interesting post at Library Huntress, who has decided to stop doing book reviews. Can you have a book blog without reviews? Why not? Let’s all keep our focus on what gives us energy rather than depleting or stressing us out.

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Help, so many books!

In my reading life, I find it sometimes challenging not to become overwhelmed by all the possibilities out there. Before I got involved in blogging I would mostly just troll the “New and Interesting” shelf at the library or stick to tried-and-true authors I knew I would love. Now that I have so many ideas coming from so many directions my TBR pile is in danger of exploding. I have to remember to slow down and take it one book at a time, giving each one the attention it deserves rather than always thinking about what else I could or should be reading.

Although I like being part of the buzz for new books from time to time, I also don’t want my primary focus to be there. Juggling deadlines and feeling pressure to produce a review for a book I haven’t strongly connected with are things that give me stress rather than pleasure. Keeping to only a few new release reviews per year helps me feel more balanced and less like a book promotion machine.

What are your thoughts on this question? Is it possible to keep blogging without burning out?

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Community Connections


For Day Four of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, the topic is How do you stay connected to the community? Examples: social media, regular commenting, participation in blog events, etc. Tell us your faves!

All of the above, for me. I try to respond to comments on my blog and comment regularly on others. I use Facebook to share bookish news from all over as well as my own posts. This year I became a new Twitter user and I really enjoy it for brief moments of connection and recognition, like thanking another blogger for a giveaway book.

I especially love blog events and find them terrific fun. It’s great to join in with other bloggers and readers who are excited about a particular author or theme. Here are some of my favorites:

And to cater to my own interests, I created Witch Week and Elizabeth Goudge Reading Week, both of which have been highlights of my blogging life.

I’d love to hear about more events, and about your favorite ways to connect.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Books from other bloggers


For Day Three of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, the topic is What have you read and loved because of a fellow blogger?

I have found so many books in the past two years thanks to other bloggers, and I regret that I do not keep very good track of where I heard of them. So although I’m not always able to thank the book pushers in person, I am grateful for each and every one of them.

GipsyOne author I can trace back to the source is Margery Sharp, whose delightful comic novels I started hunting out because of Jane’s celebration at her blog Beyond Eden Rock. They are not available through the libraries and bookstores I frequent, so I would never find them just by browsing — a great example of how blogs can widen our reading horizons. This year I read the Gipsy in the Parlour, and I’m hoping to track down The Innocents next thanks to Jane’s wonderful review.MyBroMichael

I started reading Mary Stewart for a reading week over at Gudrun’s Tights. This author’s books are more widely available but my interest had not been sparked to read them so far. Once I started, I couldn’t stop! I enjoyed many of both her romantic suspense and her Arthurian novels last year, and reviewed several on my blog. I also wrote an article for Shiny New Books that summed up what I enjoy about this smart, entertaining author.

Here are a few other books I enjoyed, and where I heard of them:


All of these made my year-end list of Emerald City Gems, so it’s clear that my reading life would certainly be much poorer without other bloggers. Thank you all!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week – Interview with the Well-Read Redhead


Today, bloggers participating in BBAW have been paired up to interview each other and get answers to all our burning questions! I was so glad to be partnered with Kelly from The Well-Read Redhead, because I’ve long enjoyed following her reviews and other features. Be sure to visit Kelly’s blog today as well to learn some fascinating facts about me. 🙂

IMG_8909I’ll start with the obvious: Who are you and where are you blogging from? How do you spend your time when you’re not in the blogosphere?
I’m Kelly, 32 year old wife and stay-at-home mom to two little boys. My past (and likely future?) career is in higher education administration, but for now I’m happy to be home with my ruffians. 🙂 We live in the great white north of Rochester, NY, but I grew up in Connecticut.

When I’m not blogging (or parenting!), I’m reading, running, practicing yoga, scrapbooking, enjoying the outdoors, and brainstorming vacations with my husband (we love to travel, though we are sticking to kid-friendly destinations these days!).  Oh, and I’m drinking wine. Lots of that.  🙂

What do you value most about reading and blogging?

I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t love reading. There’s certainly the escapist part of it (love being transported into someone else’s story…what a great way to relax after a crazy day), but reading is also such a wonderful way to gain an understanding and respect for other people’s experiences. I did well in school and have two college degrees, but being an avid reader (of both fiction and nonfiction) has been a major part of my education as well, even if self-directed.

As for blogging–I think many of us agree that one of the best things about reading is sharing the experience with others!  Blogging about books has been a wonderful outlet for that, and I love all my book blogger friends. I’m also finding similar camaraderie in the running blogger community, which I love.When I started the blog in 2012, I posted more frequently, but even though my posts are more spread out now, I don’t feel any less connected to my fellow bloggers, thanks to conversations on their blogs and other areas of social media.

What’s the latest book you read that got you really excited, and why?

The last one I finished and gushed about was The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. That one totally took me by surprise and blew me away!  I should also mention that I’m currently reading What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, not done yet but can’t remember the last time I was this glued to the page!

wrrunnerYou started “The Well-Read Runner” as a temporary feature, and then kept it going because you liked it so much. What do you particularly enjoy about this aspect of your blog?

I started my running posts because I wanted to track my training for my second half marathon, and keep myself accountable by checking in via a public forum. However, once the race ended, I realized my blog had been enlivened as new running-blogger friends began to appear alongside my reading-blogger friends in the comments section. I’d been struggling for a while with how to keep my blog fresh (hard to do when you’ve been at it more than a few years), and this felt perfect. Why give up a feature that I had such fun writing? And honestly, though my love of running is not nearly as long-standing as my love of reading, I sure do like sharing it just as much.  🙂

Has your blog changed direction in any other ways over the years? Do you have any wishes or goals for the future?

I’d say the running feature has been the only significant change in terms of topic. I was pretty solely book focused before that.  The only other major change has been in the frequency of my posting. When I started in 2012, I was still working part time and only had 1 kiddo at home.  Since then, we’ve moved (from Albany to Rochester), I quit my job, and my second son was born…so my blogging frequency has had a lot of peaks and valleys. That worried me at first, but I finally realized that even when I disappeared for a while, my dedicated readers stuck around…and really, I’ve never been all about the page hits anyway. I started blogging to share something that I love, and that’s what I want to keep doing. My only wish for the future is that I can keep it from getting boring around here, and that I can maybe, hopefully, eventually attend BEA! Long standing dream!

What’s one fun fact about you that readers wouldn’t know from your blog?

I road tripped to the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 with two of my cousins, and it started my long-standing obsession with the Olympics. Can’t wait to take our boys one day!!

The Well Read Redhead

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Introductions


It’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week, hosted by the Estella Society! What a neat idea to spread some positivity and joy in the book blogging community.

Polly, Tom, and Laurel from Fire and Hemlock – found at Deviant Art

The first of five daily topics is: Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.

Here goes — it’s hard to narrow it down to five though!

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones – for its brilliant intertwining of myth with modern life, along with music and books and art…what more could you want?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – because it was the book that hooked me on classics.

Tam Lin by Pamela Dean – because if you read it you’ll learn all about where I went to college (in an alternate universe).

The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies – because Davies is a wizard of fiction, and I’ve learned so much from him.

Knitting from the Top by Barbara Walker – because it showed me I didn’t always have to follow the pattern.


What’s on your list? Do tell!