Mar 29, 2011

1, 2, 3, 4!

4
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things mean a lot is four today! I’ll spare you the usual paragraph about how quickly time has passed and how it often feels like I only started blogging yesterday, though in my defence, it would be absolutely true. I can’t really afford to do a giveaway this year, so this will mostly be a thank you post. Thank you for being there. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and interests. Thank you for so often challenging me to see things from new angles. The other day I was reading a book called Reading, Readers and Librarians, and I came across a quote that perfectly expresses one of the things that I appreciate the most about blogging:
Reading is a very individual activity and a very communal one. The act of reading is done individually and sharing it makes it communal. One of the joys of reading is sharing the thoughts and feelings a book has provoked in you with others.
Thank you for allowing me to do just that. It has made me a better reader, and it has made reading even more rewarding – something I wouldn’t have thought would be possible before I started.

The last couple of months of my life have been quite stressful, and also a little strange blogging-wise. Because my free time is much more limited, I don’t feel as involved in the community as I used to. I don’t have nearly as much time to engage with other bloggers and readers, to participate in fun bookish events, or even for discussion posts that I know will be time-consuming. This makes it easy to feel that I’m past my peak, that I don’t know anyone anymore, that I’m not really bringing anything new to the table. I miss feeling more a part of things, and sometimes I worry I’m doing this on auto-pilot. But on the bright side, I’m finally learning to let go of the silly but persistent belief that if I can’t be here a hundred per cent, I might as well not be here at all. Sharing the books I read with all of you is what I want to be doing, time limitations and all.

It can be easy to lose motivation lately, but when I think of everything blogging has done for me, I know I don’t want to go anywhere. I can safely say I’d probably be a different person today if four years ago I hadn’t randomly stumbled upon the Once Upon a Time challenge and decided to create a blog so I could join the fun. I wouldn’t be in library school if not for all the awesome librarians I met through my blog. I wouldn’t have discovered many of my favourite books and authors, and I might not have pursued what are now some of my main interests. And perhaps most importantly of all, I wouldn’t have met what are now some of my favourite people in the world.

So again, thank you for everything. At the end of the day, I know I want to stick around for many more years.

79 comments:

  1. I also started blogging to join a challenge. And truly, who knew that blogging could have such consequences and lead to so many friendships from around the world.

    I'm sure blogging, like everything, runs in phases. As long as you're still thinking and reading, you'll have something to contribute to your blog.

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  2. I hope you stick around for a long time! and I agree, it's a life-changing thing to do. I too have met many lovely people through blogging, and been introduced to so many wonderful books. So Happy 4th Birthday!

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  3. ANA I LOVE YOU NEVER STOP BLOGGING. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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  4. Congratulations Ana! Way to go!

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  5. Parabens! (este comentario vou fazer em Portuguese, ok? :))

    Deve ser complicado gerir continuamente um blog que se tornou um ponto de referencia na cominidade, sem sentires que tens que estar sempre um passo 'a frente. Mas acho que estas a encarar as coisas de uma boa forma: 'as vezes sabe bem ser levada pela corrente.

    No outro dia estava a ler um artigo sobre Portuguese a liderar em varias areas e apeteceu-me enviar-lhe um email sobre o teu blog :)

    Um grande abraco de Bruxelas e desculpa a falta de acentos!

    Xana

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  6. Congratulations, Ana. Four years is quite a long time in blogging land. I enjoy reading your blog and I hope you will continue for a long time.

    We all have our times when we can't blog as much as we want, it doesn't matter!

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  7. Congrats on four years Ana! I know I haven't been around much lately, but even if I'm not visible, I really am here. I understand completely what you mean by autopilot and actually have just spent the past few weeks deciding if I wanted to continue blogging at all. I do, and so I've made changes to help me keep going and NOT feel like I'm on autopilot. I'm still not around much, but I will be one day again. I'm glad you're sticking around. :)

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  8. Congratulations, Ana! The blogosphere is a better place with you in it.

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  9. Happy blogiversary to you! Happy blogiversary to you! Happy blogiversary dear Things Mean A Lot, Happy blogiversary to you! Yay - four years and there was me thinking I was old at 2 and half! Here is to many more.

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  10. Happy Blogaversary!

    Blogging motivation changes just like anything else. I once also felt obligated or guilty, then realised how ridiculous that was. It should always be fulfilling.
    If I ever feel overwhelmed, I go back to basics... as you mention, you're here to share which books you've read and enjoyed.

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  11. Congratulations! You are one of my favourite bloggers and a constant source of inspiration *hugs*

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  12. I sympathise entirely with your feelings - once you've been blogging for three, four years, it gets harder to keep things fresh (for oneself, that is). And it doesn't take much of a tug from the real world to hook us out of the virtual. But you have outstanding quality control here, and all your posts are beautifully written and insightful and always worth reading. Here's to you finding the exact balance between blogging and life to bring you sustainable pleasure.

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  13. Okay, I don't even have to tell you that I'm all teary-eyed now, do I? It's not even possible for me to imagine how different my life would be if you hadn't started blogging. My life without you in it is something I do not even want to try to imagine! Wow--I can't believe it's only been four years, you know. Sheesh--I remember how much guts it took me to first start commenting on your blog...I was just so intimidated. I couldn't fathom that someone who wrote so beautifully, who was so intelligent and insightful, could ever be so warm and welcoming and kind to someone like me. In short, I was an idiot! :P Because what I found was that there is no one more kind and generous and supportive and just plain awesome in this world than you. Your friendship means more to me than words could ever ever say. So HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY!!! And here's to many more years!!! I love you, Ana!!!!!

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  14. Happy Blogiversary! Your less-than-100-% is actually still way more than most of us at full blast. And Ana, you have made a significant impact on *my* life! And I know I'm not alone in feeling that way. So much reading, and even thinking, I would not have done but for you! Yay for you, at full throttle or just on cruise control!

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  15. Congrats on four years, Ana! I agree; it can be hard to keep things fresh and exciting when blogging. But when I think about all of the book recommendations and people I would have missed out on, there is just no way I could give it up. I love all the insight you provide in your posts, particularly the ones you have been doing for a Year of Feminist Classics. I hope the balance you need is found soon!

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  16. Congrats and Happy Blogiversary, Ana!!!!
    I just want to say: I'm so glad to know you! :D

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  17. Congrats on reaching such a momentous milestone, Ana! I find your posts so enriching (and engaging), and my book blogging world is certainly richer for having you in it.

    I am desperately trying to get my blogging mojo back. I think I'm back on track with reading, now it's just that pesky writing bit! :D

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  18. Happy blogoversary! I'm so glad you're part of the book blogging community—virtual hugs all around.

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  19. I don't think anyone who takes up book blogging can fail to be changed by it in some way. I know I have and that I've met some precious friends I would be lost without now. Congratulations on your four years! :-)

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  20. Congratulations on being four, Ana! I have to say that I am so glad to have stumbles on your site two years ago because your reviews and thoughts are always so penetrating and astute. It also helps that your writing is eloquent and intelligent and that you share some great recommendations with all of us. I know what you mean about how blogging changes your life. It has given me a home in a community of like minded individuals and has refined and strengthened my tastes. I also want you to know that your recommendations always lead me to buy the most books, and I thank you for sharing them so excitedly and willingly. Happy Anniversary. I hope you are around for years to come!

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  21. Happy Anniversary! *throws confetti* I'm also thrilled to have come across your blog - I quite like the thoroughly eclectic nature of the books you read. From classics to YA to contemporary fiction to fantasy, etc., it's quite a range and an example of the fact that you love reading that much. It inspiring for me as a less than one year old blogger, so please do continue to blog as I love to read your thoughts and insights!

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  22. Congrats Nymeth! And yes, it is better to be here some of the time, when you can and when it's manageable, than not at all. The book blogging community is a better one for having you in it.

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  23. Thank you for all you've done for the blog world! Happy blogiversary!

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  24. I love your blog. Hope you keep blogging forever! Your posts are always so insightful. Happy happy blogiversary!

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  25. Happy blogiversary, Ana! That March was a good month to start a blog. :)

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  26. Congrats on the four year anniversary! That is quite a huge accomplishment :-D

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  27. Congratulations on four years of blogging Ana! And can I in turn thank you for being such a wonderful blogger who I feel is actually always there for her fellow bloggers?

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  28. Congratulations on four years, Ana! It's quite an accomplishment to remain committed to something that long, and only logical that its role in your life will shift and change with your circumstances. I've very much enjoyed many of your recent posts, so rest assured they don't seem like autopilot to the outside world. :-)

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  29. Happy bloggiversary, Ana! Four years is quite a while in internet years. :)

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  30. Happy Blogiversary, Ana! Four years is a good amount of time to be blogging. :) You have made quite an impact on the blogging community and I hope that you continue to for many years to come.

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  31. Congrats and I hope that you will continue to blog for a long time.

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  32. Happy 4 years of blogging! Even if you feel like you aren't at 100% lately, I'm grateful for your blog. Without you I wouldn't have read Pratchett's Nation (which you recommended) and I wouldn't have found half of my favorite blogs from your blog roll. I always enjoy your comments when I see them on my posts and I love reading your reviews and thoughts. However much you decide to blog or not blog, I hope you're around for a long time in some form. Thank you Ana!

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  33. Happy blogiversary, Ana! I always love reading your posts even if I don't always have time to comment. Congratulations on your four years of blogging!

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  34. Wow! Four years is incredible! Congratulations!! I love the quote...so true, so true :):)

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  35. Four years! Wow! Congratulations. I've really only been reading book blogs for about a year so that astounds me. I love your blog. Your posts are so well-written and well thought out. It amazes me how well you can articulate how you feel about books. It's very inspiring. As long as you're blogging, I'll be here reading it!

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  36. thank *you*
    I'm glad you started blogging 4 years ago:)

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  37. Happy 4 Years! This seems like an appropriate time to tell you that your blog was a big reason I started blogging in the first place. Prior to blogging I read 3 other book blogs, yours being one of them. The more I read your posts and the more authors you introduced me to, I was inspired to start my own blog. So congratulations again on 4 years, and thanks for inspiring me to build my own blog. Things Mean A Lot still remains one of my favorite book blogs.

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  38. Aww. Happy four years, and congratulations! That's a long time! :-)

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  39. Happy bloggiversary Ana! The last couple of months have been stressful and weird for me too and my blog has suffered. But I'm staying, because of many the same reasons as you said above. Glad you are too.

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  40. Happy Birthday, four-year old!! You bring so much to this bloggin table. Thank you! (And many more...)

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  41. Happy bloggy birthday Ana! I know exactly how you feel about other pieces of life getting in the way of feeling like part of the blogging community. I feel just the same right now, plus I'm on this slump where I can't seem to get any reviews written. But I love book bloggers and I cannot leave them and that includes you, lady, so I hope you will stick around if you can. You were one of the first bloggers to regularly come by my blog, and show me how nice and awesome the book blogging community can be. I think you're absolutely brilliant!

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  42. I think it is so funny that so many of us started blogging because of a challenge. Mine was the Chunkster Challenge as it motivated me to finally read The Three Musketeers. :)

    Happy blogoversary!

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  43. Happy blogiversary! I am so glad that I found your blog so long ago. I'm also glad that you're sticking around even if you can't participate as much as you would like to. :-)

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  44. Happy 4 year anniversary! I am finding that I am enjoying the same intriguing reader connections a book blog has to offer, only I'm much newer, having only gotten started a few short months ago! The sheer number of insightful book blogs can be overwhelming, and with my limited access at work and exhaustion at home, I hardly find what I consider adequate time to keep up with all I'd like, and to comment on all I'd like to, but I'm happy to have all these lovely bookish souls around when I do have time to connect. Sincerest of thanks for being one of them.

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  45. Wow Nymeth! Congrats on sticking to it for 4 years - your persistence is most impressive! Your blog is the blog I always click on to learn something random about some niche literature that I don't normally read. Keep up the good work and continue to enlighten and inspire us to think more critically about what we read!!

    --Sharry

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  46. What everyone else said, plus this: yours is still at the top of the list of the book blogs I recommend to people who have never encountered a book blog before. I love the wide range of genres you review, and your in-depth, insightful reviews are always worth reading...I would come back here even if you only blogged once a month. I think I speak for all of us when I say, "Blog at your own pace - as long as you keep blogging!" Congratulations on four fantastic years of reviewing books in such a way that we ALL want to read what you're reading!

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  47. Congratulations dear Ana on four years of blogging. I understand a lot of what you mean about feeling past your prime or not as connected. I think it's natural for there to be ebbs and flows and frankly there's so much more in addition to just blogging. And you're experiencing some of that. It's OK and I'm glad you're able to let go of a little bit of the guilt (I'm still working on that).

    Glad you're here to say. You do add a very unique voice to the book blogging world and are admired many times over. ;)

    Hugs my dear.

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  48. Thank you so much for the kind comments, everyone! I wish I could reply properly, but this is a bit of a Week of Doom. You are all so lovely, though - hugs all around.

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  49. Congrats, Ana. Your blog is wonderful. Kepp up the good work at whatever pace feels good to you.

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  50. Oh Ana, you contribute so much! And take it from me, with my small little humble blog, that it doesn't matter how much or how little you write or contribute -- just *be there* and that's what matters. I totally get it about Week of Doom (Month of Doom, Year of Doom, Life of Doom...) but hugs all 'round and things will get better eventually. In the meantime, hooray for books and book bloggers!

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  51. Autopilot! Good heavens! That made my jaw drop, because your blog is no less a delight than before.

    Even if you never replied to another comment, or visited another book blog, or participated in another event, the eloquence and intelligence of your reviews would be a bright light in the community!

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  52. Congratulations on being four! That's quite a milestone! In typical Hallmark card spirit, wish you more wonderful years of blogging ahead. :)

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  53. Happy blog-birthday, Ana! Whenever I read your anniversary posts I realize I'm just a few weeks behind you. You were one of my first blogging buddies from way back then. I'm glad you're still here! And yes, please just do what you can, and don't let perfectionism wreck things. I think in order to have staying power and not feel burned out, you really need to let it go and remember to enjoy yourself. At least that's what I tell myself when I start feeling out of the loop and stressed about it. If it's not fun, there's no point. Who could have imagined how rewarding all this would be four years ago? :-)

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  54. Lady honestly you are one of my favourite people around these here parts and I too am stunned that you could possibly think your blog looks to others like it is dropping into autopilot mode. Never change!

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  55. Damn my inability to sign out of things! The one above is me.

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  56. It is us, your readers, who thank you for blogging. No matter how often you do it. Don't feel guilty if it ebbs and flows for you.

    Four years is a long time -- happy blogiversary!

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  57. Happy 4 Years!!! I'm so happy that I happened across your blog about 2 years ago..you've added much to my reading life!!

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  58. congrats, Ana! I completely relate to what you're saying about "not being there 100%" and feeling like you don't know anyone anymore. I have felt the same lately since life has gotten busier. I'm glad you'll stick around at whatever level you can mangage. As is obvious from the comments on this post, we're all happy to have "met" you too!

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  59. I'm so glad you're still here and blogging, even if it's not the same blogging you were doing before. I even feel like my "day" has come and gone, I don't know a lot of new bloggers! I feel like I have a very specific corner of book blogging (and I'm so glad it includes you)!

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  60. Congrats on your four-year anniversary! That's a wonderful accomplishment.

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  61. Congratulations on four wonderful years. Thanks for all you do to make this a rich and vibrant blogging community!

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  62. Congratulations on such a long lived blog! It's endlessly fascinating and I'm glad that we've chatted a bit on Twitter too!

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  63. Like so many others, I'm so glad that you decided to stick around. I love what you bring to my life. :-)

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  64. My day wouldn't be the same without your purple page and occasionally purple prose. Thanks for sticking around!

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  65. <3 I'm so glad you blog! Here's to four more years, and four beyond that, and four beyond that... :)

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  66. A little belated, happy blogiversary!

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  67. Happy Blogiversary! Yes, blogging has done all those things you've mentioned for me as well...and I've been having the same problem with a lot less free time in the last months, so I feel a little less connected to the book blogging world. But as you say, it is so worth it. Glad you've decided that you'll continue giving what you can (which is SO much, and such a great perspective) and take things as they come. Lucky for all of us!

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  68. Congrats! I didn't see your blog in the beginning, but after four years, you can pat yourself on the back for writing such consistently good and thoughtful posts. I enjoy reading them. Also, I can sympathize with not having as much time to participate in the blog community as I'd like. But I'll participate as much as I can.

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  69. Beautifully said, as always. Happy blogiversary!

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  70. I'm a little late, but happy bloggiversary! I'm so glad I found your blog. You always manage to say something insightful about the books you read, and I always look forward to your posts. :)

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  71. Belated happy blogiversary to you Nymeth!

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  72. Happy blogiversary, Ana! Sorry I'm so late. Been so swamped lately I can't tell day from night these days. Keep on blogging!

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  73. Happy Bloggiversary Ana! Thank you for being such a wonderful part of the book blogging community. Love reading your posts and look forward to many more! :)

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  74. Very happy (belated) blogiversary!
    Parabens!

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  75. Did I really miss this post?? I'm so sorry! Like you I've been blogging on and off (mostly off!). But happy happy belated 4th blogiversary Ana! Much love to you! xx

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.