Sunday, December 18, 2011

One Year Bloggiversary! // In Which I Act Like a Total Sap


When I started this blog almost a year ago, I didn’t have a noble purpose in mind. Mainly, I just wanted to read classics, and the Internet seemed like a good place to get book suggestions. I didn’t want to open my eyes to the wonders of literature or to take another look at human nature. I wanted to blog about books, because I had too much free time on my hands.* That was it.

After I graduated from college, this blog became more and more important to me. I like to think that most people consider twenty-year-olds who read classics a novelty, but the truth is most of them think I’m weird.

Donna, the only friend I could enthusiastically converse with about Madame Bovary, went away to law school. I was left in my little town with no one to talk to about the magnificence of The Great Gatsby or the swoonworthiness (yeah, that's a word) of Mr. Rochester (particularly the Michael Fassbender edition). The blog became my only outlet for all my bookish thoughts. (Don’t get me wrong. I have great co-workers, but their idea of a great book is one that contains sparkly vampires. Death to Twilight!!!)

Looking back on all the books I read this year, I’m really thankful I started this blog. My first purpose was to be entertained, but I don’t think I’m exaggerating if I say that I’ve grown as a person. All because of Your Move, Dickens.

I’ve definitely become more open-minded. I never thought I would read anything by Tolstoy (ever), but I’m currently plodding through Anna Karenina.

Because of The Bell Jar, I realized that I’m not the only person in the world who feels aimless. A lot of people want to be so many things, and finally deciding on something feels too much like you’re giving up on all the other things.

The Sun Also Rises taught me that you have to face your problems head-on. Running away to a scenic Spanish village or getting drunk everyday won’t solve anything. After the beautiful scenery disappears from the view or once your hangover wears off, your problems will still be there.

By saying that it’s vile to use horses in the war, Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front made me realize how important every single human life is. If it’s vile to use horses in the war, then isn’t it viler to sacrifice human lives? I think that passage from the book will always stay with me.

All the people I’ve met so far in the blogging community have all been wonderful. You’re all so welcoming and warm, always ready to share your ideas about books and to suggest authors I might like. A ton of you made me see things about the books I read I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. When I posted about Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, the comments just blew me away. You people are all so smart that I have to think really hard while writing posts, just to come up with something semi-substantial to add to the table.

Also, your pictures of your TBR piles and book hauls make me feel better about my book-buying habits. I. AM. NOT. ALONE. LOL.

So, basically, I just want to say thank you to everybody who ever visited, commented on, or followed this blog. It’s been a great year.

*I started this blog because I had too much free time, but now I have to sacrifice at least two hours of sleep to maintain this blog. Funny how life works sometimes.

30 comments:

mel u said...

Great post-after 2.5 years as a book blogger if I had to say what I like best about book blogging can be summed up just by quoting this from your post

". AM. NOT. ALONE"

Here is to many more years of reading It is Your Move Mr Dickens-Oh yes, dont forget Dickens 200 day coming in Feb 2012!

Jessica said...

I swear I've read so much more challenging stuff, stuff I never thought I would be clever enough to read since blogging.

Oh and I'm 31 and am considered werid sometimes by ppl for reading classics (by ppl I hang out with anyway)

Risa said...

You've voiced quite a few of my sentiments! -- the whole idea of having so many people to share our reading experience with and to be greatly encouraged to pick books we would never otherwise have read on our own. I personally believe my discovery of the book blogging world is a great book...but it's been a bit of a bane as well as I tend to spend more time blogging than reading!!

Well, congratulations on your one year...and may you have many more. :)

Nymeth said...

Happy blogging anniversary, Darlyn, and here's to many more! I can so relate to your post - I used to feel so alone in my reading obsession until I started blogging.

o said...

Happy bloggiversary! This is a lovely post <3

Trish said...

Congratulations on your first bogging year! I've enjoyed following your posts and all the books you're reading. I started blogging a few years ago with similar thoughts. No one else I know is reading these types of books, the old ones, the classic ones, the famous ones, so I needed to search out others who would 'get' and appreciate what I meant when I said I loved that part in Crime and Punishment when the police inspector plays along with Raskolnikov, making him think he's in the clear. It made my skin crawl in the most satisfying way! I love how the old authors have such an incredible grasp of the human condition in all its frailties and joys. It's good stuff and I can't (don't want to) stop reading. Ever.

Here's to many more!! :)

Mel said...

I agree with so much of what you say about the experience of blogging about the books we read - and you say it so well :) Books are not only eye opening and life affirming, but if you think about it, show ourselves to ourselves, because every story is interpreted through our own filter, our own humanity. We connect with what we connect with about a story because of who we are, just as much as who the author is or what she or he is trying to convey.

Teacher/Learner said...

Congratulations on your blogoversary! I agree, being a 20-something and a reader of classics myself, you do sometimes get odd looks. I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one, either :D

Laura said...

Awww, happy blogoversary to youuuu! I also don't really have anyone IRL to talk books with (at least the books I like to read) so blogging has been AMAZING for that :). Also agree with you so completely about The Bell Jar!

Allie said...

Happy Blogiversary!

I'm so happy you decided to join in on all the bookish conversations. I know that I have enjoyed reading about your journey through the classics!

everybookandcranny said...

First off, congrats on your blogiversary! I also didn't begin blogging with any high or noble ambitions, just something to do, but I too have found that it has enriched me in ways I hadn't anticipated.
I've never been particularly drawn to The Bell Jar but your comment about it makes me want to read it, as I feel much the same way, and I'm not even going to say how old I am. :)

Bex said...

Congratulations on your blogoversary! I've got my first one coming up in January too so I totally appreciate the need to be a bit sappy!

Blogging is awesome :-)

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

Happy Blogoversary!

I always enjoy reading your thoughts on the classics, whether I have read the book or not (and if I've not read it yet, I usually want to after your review!).

mooderino said...

Well done on your anniversary, Darlyn. This is one of my favourite sites to visit.

mood

Zibilee said...

Darlyn,
I am so glad that I found your site and that you are always here to tempt me and get me excited about the books that everyone else seems to overlook in favor of all the new releases. I so enjoy the time I spend here and your intelligence and wittiness when it comes to all things classic. I hope that you have many more years of reading these books, and sharing your thoughts on them with us. Happy anniversary!

simplerpastimes said...

Happy Blogiversary! It's been enjoyable to read your posts, and I'm glad you've found so much beneficial from posting and joining in the online conversation.

Here's to another year of good reading!

bibliophilica said...

Congrats on your 1-year anniversary. I am glad you have joined the book blogging community with a focus on the classics, which are my preferred genre as well. Your blog is on my short list of ones I try to keep up with.

I'm closing in on my two year (I can hardly believe it!) blogoversary myself, and I have found the experience to be quite enriching as well.

-Jay

Sharon said...

Congratulations on your one year Blogiversary! I've enjoyed following your reading journey through the classics this year and look forward to more. Keep it up!

Andi said...

Happy bloggiversary!!!! It's wonderful to have had you for a year now. I always enjoy reading your posts. :D

Caro said...

Happy Bloggiversary! Lovely post. I love the references to different classics and how they've enriched your life, I had a similar reaction when I read The Bell Jar.
I love how blogging about books means actually thinking about books, which in turn always makes us grow. No matter what our intentions were in the first place.

Audra said...

Fabulous post -- solidarity plus book love always makes me teary! Glad I found you as I always enjoy your thoughts and observations. Looking forward to another year reading you!

Beth said...

Congratulations on your first year! I certainly enjoy reading your super smart and witty reviews! I think the blogging community offers so much more than people tend to believe. I especially like that you included a space for all the things you've learned through your literary adventures.. here's to so many more. Cheers :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

So glad you decided to blog in the first place, that I found your blog and that you've decided you like it. I've been blogging for 2 years now and I'm blown away by the amazing group of readers out there.

Kailana said...

Happy Blogiversary! I just celebrated 6 years, so it has been a lot of fun meeting all the bloggers have come along in that time. :)

Aarti said...

Happy blogiversary! What a sweet post. I now, of course, REALLY want to read The Bell Jar.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

Happy blogiversary! The hobby-time consuming things, I can definitely relate to that!

Jillian said...

Aw! Happy Bloiversary! I love this post, and I love reading your blog. I'm glad you joined the book conversation. I don't have many people in "real" life to talk books with either, so I deeply value our little book club. x

Christa @ Hooked on Books said...

Happy Blogoversary!!!

I love reading your blog and I can't wait to see what you read in year #2

Shelley said...

Happy Bloggiversary! I love reading your thoughts on books and life, and I look forward to more. It sounds like I need to read The Bell Jar soon--it sounds like the story of my life!

Rebecca Reid said...

Aw, happy bloggiversary (very bleated of course). I can really relate to what you say here.

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