Wednesday, January 2, 2019

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Ten years ago today, 16 year old me started this blog for a purely selfish reason. The idea of reviewing books came to me when I won a contest for an Advanced Review Copy of one of Meg Cabot's books. On the back cover it said that it was an ARC and I had never heard of such a thing. When I realized that I could get books for free, before they were released I did everything in my 16 year old power to make that a reality. This blog was the place I would record the reviews I wrote in exchange for those advanced copies.

As I graduated High School and moved into College I had less time to devote to my reviews. I was reading less Young Adult novels, which was primarily all I had read and reviewed. As I evolved throughout College so did my blog. I started to review less ARCs and more library books of all genres. I've never been consistent with what I had read so why should my reviews be limited to the advanced copies? As I moved away from those, less got sent to me which was a relief as it had gotten out of hand.

I could never consistently post blogs either because life is busy! I never stopped reading, but I didn't always want to review the books I had read so I started writing more blogs that had nothing to do with books. I expanded my posts to what had become a minor obsession for me after I had graduated college and that was traveling. I became what I like to call a literary tourist. A lot of my trips involved places I had read about in books. I write about what caused me to go somewhere and what I saw when I got there.

If I had to pick a favorite type of post I love the ones like this, when I just write whatever it is I am thinking. Ten years ago a post like this never would have happened. This blog has always surprised me. I've had friends tell me about this local blog they had found, only to realize that it was mine (when I started this I used an assumed name as I had been a minor). I have also had some backlash over what I have written, both in reviews and about my adventures. This blog is almost a digital version of my life and it would be unrealistic if I didn't have problems here too.

Bookworm Extraordinaire is no longer strictly a book blog like it was when I started it 10 years ago. I originally envisioned that my reviews would one day become my profession. Now it is just a hobby, something for me to see how I have grown. People tell me they are impressed with my writing that they have seen sampled here, but like anyone I will always have doubts. Some consider me a writer because of what they've read here, but I don't think I will ever see myself that way. I'm not quite sure what will make me change my mind but rest assured if I figure it out I will probably write about it here!

I'm not sure what the future has to hold for me or for this blog, but looking back I can't believe how far this has taken me. I have had over 300 readers and when I reached that milestone I did a giant giveaway! My love of reading has sent me to two Book Cons in New York City, several wonderful Teen Book Festivals, and so many book signings! I have met so many other bloggers and readers at those events that no matter what I'm reading someone I know is reading it too so I always have someone to gush with! My travel bug sent me to two trips overseas including a 6 week solo backpacking trip. But most importantly it has allowed me to go on countless adventures, both real and read! Here's to the next ten years, bookworms and fellow adventurers! Thank you all so much for sticking with me!