I could talk about all the books I've read since I started, and I will if you give me long enough, but really for me blogging has been the gateway to things and people and experiences and even a business. Here are some things that have come from six years of blogging:
- Friends of the most wonderful (and offensive. Hi, Laura!) kind. They are not just blogging friends, they are real friends friends, especially the two other Southerners, and they enable me to buy books and eat cake and shout rude words in the children's section of bookshops and sing songs from Les Mis loudly outside Queen's theatre. One of them can walk around for hours in the most ridiculous (and beautiful) shoes, and one sends me secret santa parcels that make me cry and talks to me about minimalism and another I'm just looking forward to getting to know better. And one of them is from all the way over in America and has actually come and stayed in my house and I LET HER GO TO FOYLES ALONE BECAUSE I'M A TERRIBLE FRIEND (and then her luggage weighed so much she couldn't carry it anymore). These are people I would have never met without the wonderful world of book blogging and I am extremely grateful for them.
- Ninja Book Swap. Although I've recently had to close it to new participants I love the swap so much. It was the first time I ventured into a joint project with a person I (at the time) had never met before and Hanna and I had a lot of fun running it together. I'm excited to keep running it with the group of swappers I already know and trust, and I've met so many fantastic people through it as well as acquiring so many amazing books and sending many many copies of The Night Circus to people...
- London Bookshop Crawl - in case you're not aware, this is pretty much the reason I've been missing from the blog for a while. Last year I decided it would be cool to get random bookish strangers from the internet to come book shopping with me and lo and behold we had an amazing day going round lots of different bookshops and I got to meet some Ninja swappers face to face and made a lot of excellent new friends. It was always going to be an annual thing and we all thought it would be bigger this year, but this year I decided to put the event on Facebook and currently we're running three groups for the day and have literally 300 others taking part on their own. There are bookshops all over London joining in and it's totally insane, but very very wonderful and I'm terrified and excited and hoping it's going to be just as amazing as last year's was. (If you want to join the madness the Facebook event is here). If it hadn't been for my experience with Ninja Swap and with meeting Laura, Katie, Hanna, Ellie and Charlotte in real life I never would have had the guts to start this, so thanks blogging!
- Ninja Book Box. This is the most recent of my bookish projects, but blogging has made me so much more aware of publishers in general and there's no way I ever would have had the thought of starting up a subscription box of any kind without seeing all the other wonderful ones there are out there and realising that there isn't one that did exactly what I wanted - gives you books from all genres published by independent publishers along with gifts that are beautiful as well as being actually useful. Without blogging and all the previously mentioned confidence boosting projects I would have never had the guts to launch a Kickstarter which was really successful due to phenomenal support mostly from online friends, and now here I am with a business and once again thanks blogging!
So yes. Six years ago I'd just moved across the country with my fiance and was living in a teeny tiny flat with a teeny tiny shower and terrible windows on the high street with VERY LOUD buses going past constantly and now I'm married with two kids and a lovely house with a garden and all sorts of bookish shenanigans going on. It's pretty miraculous really, thanks for being here for it.