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Top 10 Tuesday — Thankfulness

26 Nov

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday is a Thankfulness Freebie. All month I have been celebrating my 10 Year Blogiversary which has spurred a lot of reminiscing — last week I blogged about reading changes over the past 10 years. Despite some tragedy and disappointments that my family has seen, there has been plenty to be thankful for. Our 3 kids are finished with school and gainfully employed. 😉 One child is married with a baby on the way. My husband and I have embraced the empty nest and now have great memories of places visited and fun experiences. And of course I am thankful for all the bookish goodness in my life.

Books have always played a huge role in my life. I remember as a child sitting in front of the bookcase pulling book after book off the shelves to read. I especially liked the encyclopedia that featured far away lands and peoples. (I am definitely showing my age now!)

So today, I am recounting what I am thankful for in my reading life.

 

 

Top Bookish Thankfulness

 

Parents who nurtured my love of reading. I always got a book for every holiday and birthday. Trips to the library were the norm, and bookstores were a shopping destination.

A husband that indulges my hobby 😉 . My husband teases me about all the books that have piled up over the years despite my diligence in giving them away. Nose in a book is a common phrase as well, but like my parents, he sees my bookish habits as a positive. I have even succeeded in bringing him over to my side of things — he regularly listens to audiobooks now.

Children who like to read. While I don’t always share the reading choices of my kids — technical articles for the engineer, non-fiction for the therapist, and theology for the attorney — I am so glad that they regularly read. My work here is done 😉 .

Modern book technology. I love listening to audiobooks on my morning walks and during road trips. And my Kindle (I am on my third) was one of my favorite gifts ever.

The Christian fiction book community. When I started my blog 10 years ago, I would never have dreamed where it taken me. I love the interactions with publishers, authors, bloggers, and readers, both online and in person. It has been truly wonderful and a blessing.

My book clubs. What started out as a way to talk about books, has developed into caring relationships. Yes we still talk about books, but our friendships have deepened along the way.

My blog readers. I am especially thankful to those who visit my blog everyday. Your comments have encouraged me and let me know that someone really does care about my opinions. To that end, my 10 Year Blogiversary Giveaway is for you! Check out the link to the giveaway HERE.

Top 10 Tuesday — 10 Years of Reading Changes

19 Nov

I am celebrating 10 years of book blogging this month. Woo hoo! (You can find my 10 Year Blogiversary Giveaway HERE.) Over the last 10 years a lot has changed — 3 children out of the house and well into successful adulthood (through with college/grad school/law school), a new daughter-in-law, and a first grand baby on the way — some very great changes! With the increased time on my hands, my reading life took off at a greater pace and back to the pre-kid levels I once enjoyed. And book blogging has influenced my reading choices even more so.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme — Changes in My Reading Life — fits in well with my month long blogiversary celebration as I reflect on all the benefits blogging has brought to my life. So here are some of the changes that have occurred in the past 10 years.

 

10 Years of Reading Changes

Reading on a schedule. Book blogging requires a good bit of organization, and reading according to a schedule keeps me from being too behind in my reading commitments.  Where once I picked up any old book that caught my fancy, I now have a list I follow pretty faithfully.

Reading new-to-me authors. I have been introduced to some great new favorite authors because I was introduced to them through blogging opportunities. Of course, this just makes the TBR pile bigger and bigger.

Reading small press and indie-published authors. One big benefit to blogging is coming into contact with authors who are independently published or from smaller houses. Again, I have new favorites I may have missed because of limited exposure. I hope my blog has introduced you to some great authors you may have missed otherwise.

No more binge-reading. In the past when I found an author I liked, I read ALL the books! I can remember reading Mindy Starns Clark’s Million Dollar Mysteries straight through. Now due to that pesky schedule, I have to wait to fit in books to read.

Less and less just because books. Again the reading schedule keeps me from reading on a whim. I am trying to allow for more gaps in the schedule to accomodate books that catch my eye and my fancy.

Reading the book first. This is one great perk to book blogging. I often receive books before release dates, making me very smug around my reading friends.  😉

Being in the know 😉 . Being in contact with authors, publicists, and publishers has increased my awareness of new books coming up in the future. It has also increased my book-bullying tendencies and my street cred with my book club. (Insert eye-rolls and raucous laughter here.)

Expanding genres. While I have always been very eclectic in my reading, I have added more books from less favored genres. Contemporary romance and Amish fiction were low on my preferred list, but because of blogging I have must-read authors from those genres now.

All the books — all the time. My reading time has increased with every book that makes its way into my house. It is not unusual for me to be reading 3 books at a time — one hard copy, one on Kindle, and one audiobook.

So there you have it — 10 years of book blogging has filled my shelves and my life with wonderful stories, authors, and experiences. I highly recommend it!

 

Why I Read And Review Books

21 Jul

My husband thinks I need to parlay my blog into a money earning endeavor.  I spend a lot of time blogging, shouldn’t it pay off?  So I began examining just why I enjoy reading and blogging about books.

1.  I am a Crazy Book Lady. I wasn’t always. I used to be a crazy book girl and then a crazy book teenager.  I have only attained lady status in the last 20 or so years.  I have always loved to read.  I majored in English in college so I could read books.  My only regret, is that I didn’t major in Library Science (that’s what it was called in the olden days) so I could have spent my working years in the hallowed halls of libraries.  I took a hiatus from Crazy Book Lady while my children were young.  I only had time for Bible study reading. But all that changed in September 2001.  Along with our nation’s fight against terrorism, I began a personal war with Multiple Sclerosis.  (And with God’s strength and the precious prayers of my husband, family and friends, I am winning!)  My first symptom was a partial and thankfully temporary blindness.  I was brought face to face with the possibility that my book reading days might be at an end.  Several rounds of IV steroids later, I could see again!  I again took up Crazy Book Lady status and have not looked back.

2.  You are what you read. I was never a very discriminating reader, at least not by subject.  I did not read cheap, romances at all!  (If I read any, they were expensive).  But God had other ideas.  After a series of hot and steamy, Scottish time-jumping books, God sat me down and had a talk with me.  I soon realized that it did matter what I did in the privacy of my own mind.  I try to base my reading choices on God’s directives, and Philippians 4:8 has been a very clear guide when I pick books to read.  I even threw away a best-selling novel that I found especially distasteful, even though it regularly makes all the reading group lists (even Christian groups).  So I spend my time with classics and contemporary Christian literature.  With so little time, you need to be choosy about the many books you pick up.

3. Go tell.  Who me? Okay, I am not Billy Graham, but even I know Jesus’ words weren’t meant just for 12 poor, 1st century, Jewish men.   I believe that God gifts us with personality, talents, passions and spiritual gifts. So,  what better way for a crazy, book-loving woman to tell of His love by telling others about books!  Well, at least I think it is a great way!  I read everywhere, doctor’s offices, drive-in teller lines, restaurants . . . .  And everyone asks what I am reading.  It really is a non-threatening way to introduce God to others.  And for those who are already believers, I try to suggest (press on them) good books to read to encourage, strengthen and enlighten their faith walk.  This blog is an outgrowth of my church’s library. When I became the official Crazy Church Book Lady, I thought a blog was a cool way to get the word out about the great books in the library.  Then I found out I could get FREE books for the library if I did online reviews. Wow, get free books to read!  My husband and our budget are soooo happy.  Then I found out there were actually real people out there that I didn’t actually know reading the blog.  This was even better and a little scary.  What if I said the wrong thing?  Oh yeah, maybe God is in on this too!

So that’s my story.  I love God, I love to read, and I love to be a nuisance about getting others to read.  It doesn’t pay much, but I hear the rewards are heavenly.

Update:

I am no longer the librarian for our church, but I am still doing my crazy book thing!  I loved the time I spent working in this ministry, but God is directing me somewhere else.  And though I will miss it, I know that the library ministry was not really mine, but God’s.  So I look forward to seeing what God will ask me to do next.

 

Thanks for visiting,

Beckie