Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Celebrating The Silver Words' Blogoversary | Whoa, Nostalgia

Heellooooo, everyone! Today is the blogoversary for The Silver Words! Eli asked if I would like to collaborate with him to celebrate, and I'm really happy to do so.☺

Before I get started on the topic . . .

The Silver Words is one of my favorite book blogs! Eli posts a lot of reviews. I love how well thought out they are and how he frequently offers an alternate book recommendations if the one he's reviewing wasn't that great. He also posts Monday Musts every week, which includes a must read, must hear, and must see recommendation that I'm always excited to check out. Along with those, he shares discussions (like the recent 2016 Reflection: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog), TTT lists, tags, and more. He's an awesome person and I'm really glad that he's one of my closest blogging friends. ☺ HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY, ELI!!

Onto the topic . . . 

Today, we're both sharing our favorite books that we read on our blogging career (so far) and possibly tying in how our blogging focus has changed. I'm not exactly sure how Eli will approach it (since we're posting separately), but I'll be focusing mostly why each book was a significant part of my blogging journey.  <------- Well, I tried. This post became wayyyyy more about my blogging focus and different blogging experiences I had than the actual books. 😂😂😂

I'm going to reach wayyy back to June 2013, when I have launched Reading is My Treasure (the original name of this blog). After checking Goodreads, it turns out that I had finished Storm the day before I started blogging, but it was the first book I posted a five star review for. It feels like a significant book of my blogging career because of that. 

Ohhhh, I haven't mentioned Justice in FOREVER. Before I decided to start blogging, I was really active in Goodreads groups and after I launched the blog, I believe that was helping me connect to indie authors (my memory isn't that great). I really liked to do author features for them and I occasionally included a review of their books. With Justice, I remember being SO EXCITED that I could share an interview with the author because I ended up LOVING her book. It was a really exciting and somewhat surreal experience because connecting with authors was so new to me.

As for Reality Boy, I think it was my first Netgalley read? As a blogger whose blog-related reading was mostly focused on review copies for a couple years, I have fond memories of the first few that I reviewed. :D I remember how passionate I felt about the book when I finished it and how happy I was with the review.

Ohh, man. 2014 was a great reading year! I could include a lot of titles, but I would like to write about my love for contemporary YA. Blogging helped my love for the genre grow even larger, I think. It was the genre that I was frequently drawn to and was the most passionate about. Writing reviews for those outstanding contemporary finds made me feel very satisfied. THE GUSHING. Sometimes, I would get SO into it. Faking Normal was by far my top favorite contemporary read of 2014 and is STILL one of my favorites. Tease was a read that lingered with me for a reaalllyyy long time and I was still thinking about it the next year. I have to include Anatomy of a Misfit because I remember feeling so surprised by that one, and feeling very good when I was writing about it.

I'll Give You the Sun is being included for a different reason: it was one of the first books (or the first--darn memory) I had read for an ARC tour. I don't participate in those anymore or do trades or ship books out, but this book marked one of my earliest experiences with mailing books. It's so much fun! Sending bookmail can sometimes be even more fun than receiving it. It feels kinda odd to reminisce about that in this post because it's not exactly a blogging thing--it IS, though. Blogging exposed me to sooooo many new experiences, including sending bookmail to fellow bloggers. I still haven't gotten a finished copy of I'll Give You the Sun, but it's one I must own one day.

I'm realizing that my blogging focus for 2014 and 2015 was all about experiencing new things. Maybe that was the intent back then, but as I'm thinking about it, the new and exciting aspects and possibilities of blogging was definitely what kept me motivated.

I knooowww, more contemporary. :D Trust me, I read a lot of fantastic speculative fiction, too, but contemporary just feels more significant when I'm thinking about blogging!

Romance. This was probably the year that I started getting much more comfortable with reading and reviewing romance books. I've always loved books with large focuses on romances and going on that romance journey with a book couple, but I haven't always been comfortable expressing that to other people. Being interested in the romance genre felt like something I shouldn't be interested in for some reason, but blogging made me much, much more comfortable with expressing how enjoyable I find romance to be. (Another blogging focus exposed: personal growth and overcoming challenges)

I believe Best Kind of Broken was one of the first books I read based on Holly's recommendation, and K.A. Tucker is an author she got me really into. I'm not sure how it played into my blogging focus at the time, but since that book, I've read soooooo many of Holly's book recs. It's really been one of my favorite experiences that blogging has enabled me to have! I've lost count of the times I've spam DMed her when reading her recs. :D Blogging has given me an easy way to connect with other bloggers and to talk about books with them. In 2016, one of my biggest blogging focuses was connecting more with other readers, and I'm very thankful that I started reading Holly's recs. I've started reading other friends' recs as well.

I had to include Second Position not just because the couple in that series still feels SO memorable, but also because it was one of the first books I reviewed for Sunday Street Team. (Back to the new experiences blogging focus.) That was April of 2015, which feels . . . very funny to think about. That feels like such a long time ago, and it feels like so much has changed since then.

I can run through these books quickly! Just watch:

Firsts - A book that I had so many thoughts on that I couldn't figure out how to edit and finalize the review, so I just posted my complete draft 7-8 months later. Ah, memories.

Girl in Pieces - Another Sunday Street Team book! It's one of the titles I'm the happiest that I had the chance to read through that team. (Sidenote: I recently resigned from the team, so the books I read for SST are giving me an extra dose of nostalgia at the moment.)

We Are the Ants - This is one I guest reviewed on! I haven't reviewed many books for that blog, but I really liked the experience of guest reviewing. :)

Double Life - The first S. Usher Evans book, and now she's one of my favorite authors to keep up with!

As for the blogging focus . . . er, this was the year things fell apart. The second half of 2015 was really where things started going downhill, and my focus in 2016 was to become happy with the blog again. I worked on changing the name to something I felt more comfortable with (Reading is My Treasure had never truly clicked with me as a title) and making other changes to mitigate the amount of self-doubt/negative self-perception/etc. that kept overwhelming me. It was a tumultuous year in terms of my mood and in that process, I lost my way (1000 points for your Hogwarts house if you get that Kpop reference) and now I have no idea what my blogging focus is.

Last Sentiments
I feel like I did a lot more reminiscing in this post than I expected. :D I miss the experiences I had in the first two-ish years of blogging! It was a ton of fun! Even though I don't have that same blogging spark now, I'm very happy that I currently have some great blogging friends that make me glad that I'm still blogging.☺

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