For me, blogging is a hobby; an extension of my passion for books and reading. I do receive some books from publishers and participate in the odd blog tour here and there, but the majority of the books I review for my blog are those I have bought myself or have borrowed from my local library. Of course, it would be nice to have a blog with hundreds of daily hits, but frankly that would require more of my time than I’m willing to spend.
So I’m not a blogger who maintains any affiliate relationships either online or in real life. I do have a great relationship with my local independent bookstore, and there may be an opportunity to work with them soon, but for now I’m quite happy to work on my blog when I want and how I want.
However, as purely a reader, one of the best experiences I have ever had was last April at the first Books on the Nightstand Readers’ Retreat in Manchester, Vermont. Unlike something like BEA, where the focus is on the business of books and is huge in scope, the retreat was much more intimate and was all about readers and the joys of reading. Apart from interacting with some of the attendees online, I didn’t know anyone when I arrived, but once we started talking about books any unease disappeared and everyone became fast friends.
I’ve mentioned it already this week, but I am lucky enough to be attending another Books on the Nightstand retreat (renamed Booktopia) next week in Oxford, Mississippi, and I can’t wait to reconnect with some old friends and make new ones. For my blog, it will give me a great post topic as well as a whole bunch of new books to read and review.
(And I’ll say it again — if you don’t already subscribe to the Books on the Nightstand podcast stop reading this blog and do so right now!)