Saturday, May 12, 2012

Behind the Blog # 1!

A new weekly feature!!!
Behind the Blog is a meme to help bloggers connect their life and interests to the content showcased on their blog. The feature hosts, Faye, Kathe, and Melissa will provide a different topic, idea, or question every week that bloggers can relate to themselves and the books, films, or other media they find interesting!
In honor of the meme’s launch, this week’s theme is beginnings. When did you start your blog? Who or what inspired or motivated you to do so? If you want to connect this to books, which book’s first line or paragraph hooked you and made sure you kept reading the whole way?
That's an interesting beginning for a new feature that's bound to bring up really interesting posts! 
Well, I've been into blogging since May 2010 (that makes it two years, in case you didn't feel like counting) but the idea for a book blog came around eight months back! Till then, I was rambling about how unfair life is, what I see around me and totally random thoughts on my first (and yes, still running) blog. The frequency of posts over there is low, about two-three posts a month and I've decided to heat things up a little, beginning with a makeover and adding new topics (goes without saying I'll do that after exams, it takes up time, you know)! 

Then one day I was on the Indian bloggers' site, Blogadda, looking up new blogs and things when I came across the blogger interviews section. The recent ones showed the blogger behind Books, Life and More, Smita, a respectable lady whose posts now I enjoy reading so much! (She was also among the very first members of this blog)! Being naturally attracted to anything with a hint of books, I explored her blog and found out a great way to share this love for books! Needless to say, I was truly inspired. I thought about the books I had read, about how sometimes I had tried to made a list of 'books read', but I had always stopped after a while or the list got misplaced. The idea that I could put it all somewhere, somewhere safe, and maybe find more people who might be interested in books, totally caught my attention. Being a midst exams and other useless things all the time, I took my time thinking about the new book blog I could create, where the initial idea was to record summaries of the books, so that when many months had passed since I had read a book and I wanted to revisit it, I could simply read my post and know what it was all about, in detail! So I began with it. 

Initially I mostly focused on summaries and less of the 'review' part, but then I came across the weekly meme, TGIF at GReads that had so many bloggers participating! That's when I actually came to know about so many book bloggers, some of whose blogs I took a fancy to, almost immediately! I gradually learned many things I ought to know as a book blogger, picking up things from others, learning, experimenting (and I realized I had been so stupid to write down whole summaries of books when I had started, endings included)! It just didn't occur to me that such a big community already exists and what things a review should, or should not have. Citing the thoughts of some very good friends and blog readers, I think I write better reviews now. ;) I always feel grateful to all those whose blogs I have followed, learning so much from them and towards those who provided well defined criticisms to help me create a better, and useful blog! I owe you all! :)

So, that's my story. That's how I started Journal of a Bookworm. Don't ask about the blog's name though. I always considered myself a bookworm (but I can assure you I'm cent per cent human and not at all creepy) and I thought this was going to be my online journal, hence, the name. 

Coming to another aspect of the topic, I would like to share how my love for books began! It was really early, my parents tell me it was as soon as I could read. It wasn't books, exactly, but they saw I loved reading. I would pick up the paper and read the name in my tiny voice, breaking up the words to form them whole. I wasn't very interested in socialization or television and passed my time either teasing my younger brother or poring over the story books mom got from school where she's a kindergarten teacher or from the bookstore. There was something in them that I couldn't resist. Once I knew I could read them, I wanted to know more about the world, their worlds and what the heroes did to save themselves from the bad guys. English was the favorite subject in school and I found it hard to resist anything related with books or the little bit of bookish knowledge I had. Not having people around who were interested in books, I sometimes felt sad and as much as I hate to admit, a little bit lonely. Relatives from the US bought some interesting and popular books when I was little and thanks to them, I had the fortune to read some books when they're supposed to be read. Studies caught up with me later on and my time with the books I so loved decreased. 

It wasn't until I was in college, when I was finally free enough to go back to the reading process. Mom accompanied me to a library, I got the best membership available and mmmm, enjoyed every bit of it! Then I explored other options to get books; from the library, finding out bookstores, thrift shops, ebooks. Somehow, borrowing (apart from the library) didn't much appeal to me so I refrained from that! And joining the book blogging community was the best thing that ever happened! Ever since I took up the Goodreads reading challenge, I swear I've never read so much before! It's such a great motivation!!! I mean, when it says, 'you're a book behind', it's as if it's stabbed me and I won't rest until it says 'great work, you're 1/2/3 books ahead!' :D 

If you liked this post and want to participate, head towards the hosts' blogs and submit your link! :)

6 comments:

  1. Ashna, first of all, thank you so, so much for being the first person to participate in Behind the Blog! :) It means so much to Faye and me, and I'm sure to Melissa as well even though she's away right now!

    I like your motivation for starting a blog: having a place to store summaries and revisit books! I love how it's evolved, too;. I mean, now you can tease people about how much you liked a book without giving anything away. ;) And I totally understand loving reading, English class, and, eventually, books! Like you, for a long time, I loved books, but I didn't religiously follow series and pick up each book as soon as it was released.

    I'm glad you've finally returned to reading, just as I have, and that the book blogging community has helped you so much. Everyone is AWESOME. Sarah (Saz101) is one of my favorites. She inspired me so much! Also, I want to find out your reading progress, as well as the books you like as soon as you read them, so I just sent you a request on Goodreads, okay? (I don't want to assume I'll be accepted, but please? :D)

    Though you're far ahead of me in this book blogging business, I hope we'll grow and learn together. Thank you for sharing, Ashna, and have a great Sunday! ♥

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    1. Kathe I'm so sure it will soon be picked up by other bloggers really soon! It's a great idea! :D

      Even I went serious and too much into series and books recently, thanks to book blogging and I'm loving every bit of it! :)
      Of course I'll add you! C'mon, you don't need to say please! I thought we were now past that! :P I'm merely six months into book blogging and I've so much to learn. I'm sure we can do this together :)

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  2. This was a great post to read, and I want to reiterate Kathe and say thank you for joining us on this meme, it means so much to us both (and Melissa, I'm sure!). So thank you!

    I also loved hearing how you started and how it evolved into something different because that is exactly what happened for me as well. I think that's the best thing about blogs and book blogs in general, they don't have to stay the same and most of the time it is better that they don't! The blogs grow as the blogger grows!

    I think the community is one of the best things about the book-blogging world and I'm so glad to hear that they helped you out, helped you to evolve. I'm so glad to have found your blog and I look forward to reading many, many more of your posts. Especially when you're so close to Kathe :-)

    Thank you again
    Faye <3

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    1. You're welcome! I loved the idea of knowing more about bloggers, I'm sure others would, too, when they notice it often... Book blogging is the best thing I'm doing and it feels good to know I'm not the only one who's evolved like this!! Like your blog too!
      Thanks for the wonderful comment! :)

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  3. I get jealous sometimes whenever I read how early you came around the world of book. I, like many others, was oblivious to the wonderful world of books earlier. But I guess, since I am reading, it's not that late for me. :D
    I am really happy that you started a book blog and posted some really amazing reviews. I liked reading earlier but never indulged wholly into it and would just leave reading for long periods once I was finished with a book.

    Lately I find myself taking time out no matter what I am doing to read, even if it means only some pages. A major credit should go to a 'bookworm' friend I have, because now I have a place to know what books I can possibly read and keep at it. Being a lazy bum I mostly went and still go for popular and positively reviewed books only. So its great really.

    By the way, that Goodreads reading challenge is still unreal for me. :P

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    1. It's never ever never too late to read, you know :) It feels so good to know you're enjoying reading and I'm sure you know many things now, thanks to books and other stuff you read, which you didn't know earlier about.

      I'm like you too. Especially with the books I buy, it's either those I've heard so much about or those that have exceptionally appealing covers! It kind of puts me off when people discuss famous books and I haven't read them and they casually say, 'you read so much. You surely would've / should've read this one'. :P

      You can set your own Goodreads challenge! With as many books as you think you can do. Even 10 or 20. It's like a challenge to yourself. :)

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