This is the fourth and final post in my blogoversary week!
I have a bunch of random thank-yous, and then a giveaway! (This didn't really work as a "top ten" theme. So sue me.)
As a reader and a blogger, I owe a debt of gratitude to:
I started off this blog with some posts about my childhood library and the early and on-going effect my three older sisters have had on my reading life. My parents were what I'd call "casual readers," meaning they were never as rabid as I am, but they enjoyed reading. My dad in particular usually had a book going, ranging from super smutty novels to Cold War spy stories to humorous essays (Will Rogers, Erma Bombeck, Dave Barry) to weighty biographies. Okay, that's kind of a weird and limited range, now that I think of it. In his later years, he developed a taste for mysteries as well, especially humorous ones.
My mom read less frequently, in part because she was a slow reader, and she hated wasting time, so it was hard for her to justify taking that much time out of her life to finish a book. But when she let herself sit down with a book (usually one recommended by a friend), she would read steadily and get it done fairly quickly. Books I associate with her are A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Clan of the Cave Bear, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, The Red Tent, and all things Michener. Now that I think of it, I read her copies of each of these after she'd read and liked them, so I guess our tastes were pretty similar.
But even if I saw my sisters reading more often than my parents, they certainly supported all of us in our reading lives. Exhibit A being our lack of TV. But beyond that, they gave us books as presents, took us to the library (even when we were on vacation in other places), ordered subscriptions to kids' magazines. If I was sick, someone was sure to stop by the library and bring me a stack of books. On long car trips, it was understood that I'd be perfectly happy sitting in the back seat with my books. My mom sometimes got exasperated with how much I'd read (see above re: wasting time), but for the most part they'd leave me to it. I knew my parents were proud of my reading skills, and I know that they would be proud of this blog.
My husband doesn't really get the reading thing. He reads, sure, but he doesn't read fiction, like, ever. Which sounds like a deal breaker, except for one major thing: he knows what it means to me, and he's supportive of my habit. Just like I get that he really needs to watch sports, something that has never interested me. He has linked his library card with mine and will pick up my hold for me. True love, I tell you.
My kids are second language learners and have other learning challenges as well, so reading independently is a struggle at best. Still, they love to be read to, and there is little that makes me feel happier and more successful as a mom than when they are both leaned up close against me, caught up in the story. The leaning started when we were reading picture books together, but I've found that even without pictures to track, they like to cuddle up when I'm reading.
The first book bloggers who left encouraging comments last summer were Nicole of Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Lory at The Emerald City Book Review. So sweet of them! I still only have a couple of official followers (whom I suspect are mostly related to me--Hi, Liz and John!), but there are people who comment often enough that I know I'm on their radar somehow. AJ, Elliptical Man, Beth W. Greg, and Lisa all leave comments on many posts. Shannon, Cait, Cynthia and Aine are all super responsible about responding to comments on their blogs (something I'm not very good about--sorry!).
Other bloggers have clued me in about amazing things like read-a-thons, good books, link-ups, and other blogs. Some of my favorites are over there in the sidebar, but it's hard to update it enough to reflect who else I've discovered and who's actively blogging.
I do have to mention some teacher-bloggers as well as all you lovely book bloggers. Pernille Ripp is who I want to be when I grow up, Carrie Gelson is who I wish was teaching my children, and the wonderful folks at the Nerdy Book Blog have given me my first taste of publication outside my own blog as well as thousands of book titles and all the feels. Two Writing Teachers got me writing more in March and beyond.
The Book Pushers (aka Librarians and Bookstores)
Deb at Readerbuzz and Anne at My Head is Full of Books are two examples of the many wonderful school librarians that every child should have at their school. Sadly, most schools in my area count themselves lucky if they have a full-time library assistant manning the stacks. I am grateful to all those being paid classified wages to do their best to fill those shoes, but I live in hope that we will recognize the importance of trained librarians in school health.
I adore public libraries, independent bookstores, used book stores, Little Free Libraries, big box book stores, online book stores, book clubs, people who give books as gifts, book subscription boxes, cheap book sites, and the book rack at my local grocery store.
I guess I should thank publishers and editors and agents and all that, but they are kind of the invisible side of things. *whispers thank you*
Oh my gosh. I just love authors, don't you? They write BOOKS for us! What could be better than that?
Check out my post of my favorite books I've read during this year of blogging. The winner of this giveaway can choose which one they would like! The book raffle is only open in the US, but because I don't want to discourage any international readers, I'm offering a bookish magnet raffle open only to international addresses. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway