Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 Badge

Today kicks off Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW for short), a week devoted to recognizing the awesomeness of the book blogging community. More eloquently stated on the event’s website, BBAW was created “to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to the promotion and preservation of a literate culture actively engaged in discussing books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading.” It’s been going since 2008. It’s also the event I so fortuitously stumbled upon by accident last year, the one that gave me a glimpse of the amazing breadth and depth of the book blogging community and convinced me to take my first faltering steps into it. So, obviously, it is an event that is rather dear to me.

Each day of the week brings a new theme on which bloggers around the world write. Today’s centers on community, encouraging bloggers to “highlight a couple of bloggers who have made book blogging a unique experience for you.”

Now, book bloggers as a group are generally some of the most friendly, welcoming, and supportive people I have ever encountered, which makes it hard for me to highlight just a few individuals. So instead, I’m going to focus on something a little different: my Reading Buddies. (Not sure what that means? Check out the Reading Buddies page.)

Kids being read to
Click for photo credit

I started Reading Buddies because I love to read books with other people. I like knowing there’s someone I can discuss, gush, or ponder with. I like being able to do more than just write reviews, to dig into the characters and talk about plot points that would spoil the book for those who had not read it. I also love the different perspectives each reader brings to a book, how the thing one person may not even notice is the very thing on which another reader’s experience focuses. I’ve found that reading a book with someone, even informally, allows me to learn a bit about them, to have a sort of conversation, however brief, that goes beyond reading one another’s blogs.

When Reading Buddies began, I was prepared for it to fall flat. There are so many fantastic readalongs and online book groups out there that I doubted there would be room for one more. Eight months later, though, I continue to read a Reading Buddies book each month…and people join me. I love it! I cannot thank you enough, all of you who have read with me or who plan to. Thank you for supporting Reading Buddies and for sharing a little bit of your precious reading time with me. Each of you has absolutely “made book blogging a unique experience” for me.

Any attempt by me to list all my Reading Buddies would result in someone getting left out, since no formal list of participants exists. However, if you’ve read a book with me, I’d love for you to say so in the comments.

So, what bloggers have made book blogging a unique experience for you?

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56 Comments

  1. Uh, can you delete the above comment? My browser was having hiccups all over the place. 🙁

    I think your Blogging Buddies is an awesome feature. It’s sometimes surprising how what you don’t expect to be popular wins followers and vice versa. Enjoy BBAW!

    1. Done! (Much earlier than this!) I hate browser/phone/etc. hiccups/freak-outs/etc. I’m finding it’s so hard to predict what will work and what won’t — you just have to try!

    1. Thanks, Trisha! I plan to continue. And you’re totally allowed to wimp out on books. That’s part of the point — it’s low stress, no commitment. Maybe in the future another co-read will work out better!

    1. I’ve crossed some great books off my list thanks to the project! Definitely fun to do it with other people, too.

  2. One of these days I’ll participate in Reading Buddies. I love what you do here, just haven’t been reading! Though it’s been fun participating in other readalongs with you. 😉

    1. Gosh, Trish, with all your free time, why haven’t you participated?? Ha, kidding!! I completely understand. No feeling bad about it, because that would completely defeat the purpose of Reading Buddies. I agree, you make for a fun readalong participant/leader! 🙂

  3. I love your creation of the Reading Buddies program, and always find myself thinking that it’s a really great way to connect with others and maintain s strong sense of community in the blogging world. Kudos to you for creating it!

    1. Thank you! I am finding I really love reading with other people, especially in a low-pressure environment. For someone who doesn’t excel at things like Twitter and networking, it’s a nice way for me to get to know other readers.

  4. I’ve enjoyed the few Reading Buddies reads we’ve done together. I think it is a great idea, and it forced me to finally read some books that I meant to read but kept putting off.

    1. Me too, Jenners! I’ve read a bunch of books that’ve been languishing in TBR land as well. And I’ve found it’s much more fun to tackle the darned things with others than alone 🙂

    1. Thanks, Linda. No need to worry if you fall behind the group! The point is that Reading Buddies is low stress, so you read and post when you can/if you want to. I’m even willing to discuss books after I’ve posted the final post. And on the Goodreads group, there really aren’t any time constraints to the discussion at all. But, I’m happy you enjoy the posts anyway!

  5. The creation of the Reading Buddies was such a great idea! Though I have a big stack of books to be read on my shelves, it encourages me to read books I maybe wouldn’t have read (for instance, I discovered and really enjoyed Bill Bryson with his “Walk in the Woods” and Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let me Go”). Plus, it improves my practise of english!

    1. It’s been such a pleasure reading books with you, Virginie! I’m so happy you read along so frequently. And I, too, have discovered some really great books through the project!

  6. Your “Reading Buddies” is a wonderful project and I’m not at all surprised that it’s done so well. It’s nice that you keep it informal, ask everyone interested their opinions about what to read and you read a great variation of books!

    This is a fantastic post, Erin!
    I hope you have a great week!

    1. Thanks, Amy, for your kind words. It’s a project I’m really loving and am happy that it found such enthusiastic support, both from those who participate and those who don’t! I hope you’re enjoying your week as well.

    1. Thanks, Danielle! I’d love to have you along for a read sometime. One of my favorite parts of BBAW is all the connections that suddenly spring up. I find it absolutely delightful 🙂

  7. This amazing book blogging community is one of the reasons I started blogging, too. I was fortunate enough to meet a bunch of book bloggers a few years ago, and I was just blown away by how friendly and wonderful they were!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier 🙂 Happy BBAW!

    1. It’s amazing, isn’t it? I’ve never encountered a community quite like it and wouldn’t give it up for the world. Happy BBAW to you as well!

    1. Exactly, Michelle, I completely agree. Plus, we’re all going to read anyway, so coordinating a bit is a fun way to get to know others.

  8. I keep *meaning* to be a Reading Buddy, but I’m notoriously bad at follow-through on my good intentions. I *will* be a Buddy…someday! 😉

    Hope you’re having a fab BBAW so far!

    1. Haha, I can totally understand! Reading Buddies is supposed to be low stress, so whenever it works out, it works out. I’d love to read with you sometime, though!

  9. How great that you get to read along with others like this! I’ve read quite a few group reads on GoodReads, but somehow I don’t think it’s quite the same.

    My aunt has challenged me to read Gone With the Wind next year and offered to read along with me. I think I’ll take her up on it, for the very reasons that you described in your post. So now, instead of dreading starting that brick of a book, I’m looking forward to reading it with her.

    1. It’s really fun, and quite unlike what I’ve experienced before. How fun that you’ll be reading Gone With the Wind with your aunt! That’s sure to be a great experience, especially when it’s a book you’re dreading a little. Having someone to tackle it with makes all the difference.

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