Wednesday, March 11, 2020

You're Sixteen, You're Beautiful, & You're Mine

Happy 16th birthday, Blob!

I know. Every year, I'm WOW and WOW again, but this number feels significant. Puts me in the mood for reminiscing:

So there I was back in 2004, not waving, but reading. I was at a crossroads. Life was interesting. No, it was frustrating. When I wasn't reading madly to escape, I self-soothed in other ways, mostly spending hours online with a group whose focus was tips on saving money. Penny-pinching.

Somewhere in with all the advice about home canning and dryer lint from these Amy D wannabes, someone mentioned blogs. What's that? What a funny word. It sounded like a body function, like fart or burp.

A blog, the person went on to explain, was a web log.  A weblog. An online room of one's own in which you could write about anything you liked. An online diary, of sorts. It could be public where anyone in the world could see it, or it could be set to private, and no one would ever see it but you. And yes, penny-pinchers, it was FREE.

I was all in, and a blog was born. Right away, I decided mine would be all about books. Soon after, I found out that you could author as many blogs as you liked, so I began one about earworms that quickly died after a post or two. I still often wonder how the earworm one would have shape-shifted if I'd stuck with it.

I set myself one rule: Every single blog entry must have something to do with books. Life might intrude, but books had to be present, if only in a peripheral glimpse. I think I've only broken that rule once or twice. I should have set more rules, because sometimes, I got unbearably pretentious. Lofty. Snobby, even. But I think it's all balanced out. After all, how far up in the air can your nose stay when your mother refers to your form of literary pursuit as "blobbing"?  She, like me, obviously picked up on the sound of the word.  But it was all in good nature and affection. In phone calls, after asking about my life, my week, my kid, my job, she would then say: "So how's Blob?" "Oh, fine." And Blob it was and Blob it is. A little lopsided, but always aspiring to bookwormy goodness.

Thanks to Blob, I've met so many wonderful bookworms. We've traded recommendations and actual books. We've inspired each other with reading challenges. One year, I signed up for seven! Whew. I was giddy.

So Blob, have another piece of birthday cake; we're sticking around for another year. Thank you to my book blogging friends for making me a better and more thoughtful reader, and although she'll probably never see this, my ardent thanks to that long-ago penny-pinching person who described what blogs were so succinctly. 


Sam Sattler said...

Congrats...again this year. I think that 16 years places you rather firmly in the list of Pioneer Book Blogs still in existence. So, well done.

I think yours was maybe even the first book blog I ever stumbled across. If not, it's defintiely in the first three i ever read with any consistency...and one of the others is another I still read today.

As you say, book-blogging really opened up the world for a lot of use to get together to have some fun with one of the first loves we all share: reading books. I know it has changed my world for the better.

Ruthiella said...

Happy Blogversary! 16 years is quite an accomplishment.

Nan said...

Congratulations! What a fun posting. You have a wonderful "blob"!

Nan said...

I also have been meaning to tell you for years how very much I loved your book.

Marg said...

Happy bloggiversary!

Unruly Reader said...

Happy blogiversary, my dear Bybee! Sixteen years -- Blob could have its own driver's license at this point. But I'm glad Blob is staying right here. So glad you and B are part of my world.