As I approach the 2-year anniversary of my first Book Sage post, January 16, 2011 (thank you Steve S.), I find myself thinking back on the last couple of years. What have I gained from this experience? What could I do to make the blog better and more useful? I can (and will) wax philosophical on the first question. I will need you to give me honest (even brutal) feedback on the second. Please do not spare my feelings. As most of you know, I can take the blows. Besides the enormous self-satisfaction I get from writing the blog (this is always about me), I do, in fact, want the blog to provide a service. If I'm missing out in some direction, I want to know that. If you simply don't like the typical subject matter of the blog or think my writing style belongs in grade school, feel free to shout that out too. Whatever personal relationship I have with you will (most likely!) not be affected by your frank comments. Onward to question #1.
What have I gained from this experience? Here's a top 10 list:
1. Even though I didn't think it was possible, I have even a greater love of books than I did back in December of 2010.
2. I have met nearly 2 dozen local authors. I value these relationships whether I'm in touch with them on a regular basis or hardly at all. In fact, I have had the good fortune to interview 10 of them, from which I have posted 5 of those interviews, with the other 5 coming in the next couple of months.
3. Due to one of those interviews (Meg Waite Clayton), I have joined 2 book clubs. I never thought I would ever do that. And from those, I have read either good (The Wedding Plot, Rules of Civility, The Night Circus) or outstanding (The Pleasure Seeker) books.
4. I have read books in genres that I have never read before. Some of these are: erotic romance (notice this was first), young fantasy, paranormal, and urban fantasy.
5. I have, and have had, an opportunity to read ARC's (advanced reading copies) of authors that I have never read before (and even a couple from authors that I read regularly - James Grippando and Harlen Coben) from publishers (PenguinGroup Books and HarperCollins) and publicists (Lizzie McQuillen and, just recently, Mary Bizbee-Beek).
6. Many of my friends and family have written guest blogs, thus giving you readers a break from my writing as well as providing fresh perspectives on different aspects of book world (what created your love of books? what do you like about the ereader? who are your favorite literary characters? among many others).
7. I have attended launch parties, book signings, holiday get-togethers. I can't get enough of these events.
8. I have established relationships with local bookstores (Books, Inc. in Palo Alto and Recycle Books in Campbell).
9. I have had the pure joy of recommending a book that someone reads and really likes or, even, loves. That is such a cool feeling.
10.But the #1 benefit of writing this blog if, in fact, it's happening, is contributing to more people reading more often. That was my stated goal in my first post and will always be what makes me the happiest.
As for the 2nd question, feel free to weigh in. I meant it that I want to hear how this blog can be better. The list of 10 above is all about me. Please let me have feedback that is about you.