Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Salon 1 - Introducing Trish

It seems kind of silly to be introducing myself when I've been blogging for almost two years, but here we go! Today is my first Sunday Salon. I've always really loved reading everyone's Sunday posts and have thought about writing my own from time to time. Why haven't I? Part of it is I don't always have something coherent that I want to say. A million things running through my head, but not just one thing I want to put down on paper (or um, typing up on screen). I also don't like to post things too closely together. Because I'm weird. I was looking at my archives for the year and realized that I've only posted 25 times this year. Some people have posted that often in the past month alone.

After recent posts this week, spurred by an anonymous comment left on Amy's post about community/connection, I took a very hard look at what I am doing at my blog. I believe that we are a community here. I have met wonderful people who I consider my friends. If something exciting happens throughout the day, sometimes I'll even think of a specific blogger--and sometimes I'll contact that person just to tell them what I was thinking. I love this connection, this little world that I discovered the summer of 2007 when I left my grad school community and was desperately searching for a new one.

And I feel like I am part of this community. While I wish that there was time that I could devote more to the goings-on, I try to participate in the bigger events--the Read-a-thon, Book Bloggers Appreciation Week--but I have found that I can't do everything that I want to. In my reflections, this past week, I also realized that while I feel like I am a part of this community, my community involvement mostly takes shape in the comments that I leave on other people's blogs. I love commenting. I love feeling like I am part of a conversation--even if it ends with what I say or what the blogger says back to me. I cherish that connection. Some weeks/months are better than others, but people sometimes ask me how I find the time to comment so much. I try to find the time where I can. And if I can't, I can't. And I realize that the 50 blogs that I subscribe to are a mere fraction of what is out there.

Because I share my thoughts and ideas and reactions through commenting, I feel like you guys have a pretty good handle on who I am. There is a connection there, and the people who I comment with regularly are the ones where that connection is stronger. It is stronger with those bloggers who take the time to respond to comments. It is stronger when I can leave a meaningful comment other than "great review." Trish--where the heck are going with all of this? Another reason why I've never done a Sunday Salon: I'm a horrible rambler. :)

I guess the point is, I don't feel like I am doing my part of upholding the community connection. At first I didn't want to get too personal on my blog. But then I found myself sneaking in little peeks of myself here and there. I think that I have a pretty solid voice--it might not be the strongest voice, but it is Trish voice, and I like to think that my voice shows through. While my more personal posts are sometimes few and far between, you've gotten to know silly Trish through the read-a-thon, nervous Trish through my incredibly embarrassing video, and little Trish tid-bits along the way, including my recent interview over at Natasha's. I have a lot to say, I just don't know if anyone is listening. Well, I know you're listening, but is anyone interested? This is a book blog. And my blog is pretty heavy on reviews. But after a year and three quarters, is that all I want it to be? For as much time as I spend on the blogosphere on other people's blogs, I feel it is time for me to put myself out there and do my part to maintain the community connection.

So--introducing Trish:

I've always been the reader in the family--for as long as I can remember, I was the one who could always be found with a book in her hand. I don't know what exactly it is about reading and books in general that I love so much, but they are a great source of comfort to me. I love even just looking at my books. Pulling one off the shelf and flipping through and picking up another one. I wasn't an honors student in school and I didn't even really care for my English literature classes. I often didn't even read my required reading (making up for that now!), but I was always reading something.

It wasn't until I was a senior in high school and I was getting ready to write my senior paper that I developed a true love for literature. We had a list of books that we could choose from to write our papers. My first choice was Pride and Prejudice and my second choice was Wuthering Heights. Of course Lisa B. got P&P and I was stuck with Wuthering Heights. But I devoured the book and fell in love with Cathy, Heathcliff, and Emily Bronte's writing. I poured myself into the paper (which was on imagery or something such) and started to sit up and pay attention during class. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had gotten my first choice of Pride and Prejudice. Don't get me wrong, I like the book well enough. But the language in Wuthering Heights was enough to make me drunk: "I lingered round them, under the benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth" (308).

When I went off to college I entered as a pre-medicine student. My background has always been stronger in math and science rather than the liberal arts, but after taking a freshman English survey course, I decided to switch my major to English instead. I entered my sophomore year at Texas A&M with a whole new focus of literature. I still shirked my assigned reading from time to time to read what I wanted to read, but a whole world of words was presented for me and there was no turning back. I didn't know what I would do with my English degree, knowing that I did not want to teach, so I minored in professional writing hoping that I could go into editing (editing you're thinking? Yes, I've never been very good at self-editing...).

After graduation, I had no idea how to get into editing. So, I started working at a small town fire department as an office manager. I loved my job and I loved working with firemen (who wouldn't!), but I couldn't do that for the rest of my life, right? I guess I could, but I wasn't being challenged in any kind of way. So, I took the bullet--something I had always been afraid of--and enrolled in graduate school. I was petrified. Graduate school is for really smart people--not people like me who sometimes read most of the books in class and don't have a firm grip on literary research.

After taking a year's worth of classes, I decided to get serious about my degree and transfer to Texas Tech University in Lubbock (well, the main reason for the move was to be closer to Scott who was getting his business degree there). After another year and a half I earned my MA in English and my lifelong affair with literature and language and reading was sealed. But in the end, Scott and I moved to Smalltown, Texas (Coleman...pop 5,000) and immediately my connection with other readers, the community that I had been apart of for a year and a half was gone. Sure I could email with friends about books, but the connection wasn't the same anymore. Which brings me to blogging...

Why I started my book blog
After several months in Coleman, I was bored and restless. I was reading reading reading, but the information was going in and getting lost somewhere in my muddled brain. A friend of mine recommended Yahoo Book Clubs, so I joined a couple. Four to be exact. But it seemed that the conversations were being dominated by the same folks again and again. Or there was no conversation about the books we were reading. I didn't feel like I was being heard--and it is tough not to be heard when there is an audience there.

On the Yahoo Book Clubs, I noticed that at the end of each month, certain members posted a link to the books they had read during the month. Curious, I popped over and...tada!! Book blogs! A whole new world where people posted about what they were reading. And then...tada!! Challenges! I quickly set up my own blog and never looked back to those book clubs. It didn't matter if I didn't have an audience here, I was writing what I wanted to write about. I was my own audience. I didn't have to worry about if people thought I was dumb or if they thought what I was saying wasn't valid because this was MY space.

Did I mention that I'm a rambler? I guess the whole point to this post is the idea of community and connection. The community is well and alive, and to many degrees I am very much apart of it. But my current method of commenting as much as I can and posting my reviews of books here and there isn't enough of a connection. I'm all of a sudden having troubles voicing what I mean because I'm not really even sure if I know what I mean. :P

I guess I want to reclaim the space that I've created for myself. My blog has always been heavy on reviews and light on other things because of the time commitment that I haven't always wanted to make, but also because I didn't think people cared. Well, guess what...I don't care if people don't care! :) People will read if they want to. If you want to get to know me more, you will. I don't have to be liked by everyone (although deep down inside I do think that would be really nice). I will never be a top-tier blogger, and I might be a little parasitic (I'm drawing on the language of that comment left on Amy's blog mentioned above). But I like that I can draw ideas from you. That I learn from you. That if I have a problem I can ask and you will be there (doesn't my blog look much better without that tired green? Thanks Dar!!). I would like to think that bloggers are mutualistic rather than parasitic. We help each other and make each other stronger readers and writers. If someone isn't learning from someone else, they are either damn good or not learning at all. LOL--now I'm ranting!!

In the end, this is my blog and my experience and I want to put myself out there more. If no one listens, I'll have a very good record of my thoughts. If you do listen, I can only hope that we get to know one another better. Whew--what a cathartic post!!

Off to Half Price Books to ditch some icky books and hopefully pick up some great new ones. So I'll leave you with a few questions--what are your blogging goals? What do you hope to get out of blogging? Are you here for the community/connection? What would you suggest to someone who is new to blogging and trying to become part of the community?


Anonymous said...

Nice to meet you Trish! I always like book blogs that have a little bit of personality thrown in there, so this is my kind of post :)

Amy said...

What a great post, Trish! I look forward to getting to know you better! (I also like personality thrown into a blog ;) And I'm glad you're joining in the Sunday Salon.

I know what you mean about commenting. I wish I had time to comment on everyone's blogs, but I do what I can.

bermudaonion said...

My son is an undergrad studying Professional Writing. He didn't intend to study English either, but had an outstanding prof his freshman year. I think he hopes to be a technical writer. Are you editing now? I didn't start my blog for the community, but I do love it. A great way for a new blogger to become involved is to participate in things like the read-a-thon and BBAW and leave comments on blogs they like.

Amanda said...

I agree - I like a bit of personality thrown in, even if it's rambling. I"m a pretty good rambler myself. ;)

Literary Feline said...

Welcome to the Sunday Salon, Trish!

Like you, I believe we have a community here, and I am glad to be a part of it. We each contribute in our own way. I love your blog and your comments and think you do a great job at putting yourself out there.

What a great story about when you truly fell in love with literature! Making a connection with a book is such a wonderful feeling. And then about how you came to start blogging.

I didn't start my blog for the same reason you did, but I think your reason is one that I gradually came to appreciate the most--probably why my participation on some of my online groups has slacked off. My blog is my little place where friends can come to visit--I get to have my say and others add their two cents. I love it. I also like that others have their own little places I can go and visit and we can talk about what they want to talk about. I've met so many great people like you this way. And you're right--we are mutualistic. Not parasitic (although it's been kind of fun going around jokingly calling myself one of the parasites).

I feel so lucky to be a part of such a great community. I appreciate all of the connections I have made. You are a great group of people.

I hope that anyone new to blogging would feel welcomed into the fold. My advice to a new blogger is to be true to yourself and don't be afraid to ask questions or help if you need it. Put yourself out there--visit other blogs, stop in and say hello, and write about what's important to you.

Great post, Trish. I wish I could give you a big hug right now. :-)

Laura H said...

It's nice to hear more about you. You do a great job on your blog. I like to read your reviews.

Side note: My boss has a Master in English studies. She used to teach full time at the university but makes more money at my work (nothing to do with English studies). She now teaches only at night.

Trish said...

*Regularrumination - Nice to meet you as well. :) It's funny to me that we spend so much time on the blogosphere and don't really know one another. It's good to know who you're blogging with.

*Amy - I wish I had time to comment on every post, but I have to admit defeat. Just not enough time! :) Thanks for the welcome--I hope I can continue to commit my Sunday mornings to the Salon.

*Bermuda - No editing for me--I work for a small insurance company. :) I really enjoy editing (other people's writing), but I think in the end I would get bored with it. Good luck to your son; technical writing is great field to get into.

*Amanda - I never really was a talkative person, but I guess I have a lot to say afterall! :) And I love reading other people's ramblings, so it is time for me to share my own. :P

SmallWorld at Home said...

Welcome to the Salon! Your voice comes through loud and clear here, and I think it's a wonderful voice!

Scrap girl said...

What a lovely post. Welcome to Sunday Salon - we all hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

Bellezza said...

Trish, you're one of the best commenters in the blogosphere period! I'm amazed how you find the time that you do to leave so many comments on so many blogs. I loved reading about you here, even though I've "known" you for the two years you've been blogging. You raise some fascinating questions, ones that in my two years of blogging I'm still reflecting on. I often think my blog should be a Book Blog Only, but the problem is I have more that I want to say than just reviewing books. Also, I love when people share bits of their personal lives and thoughts as you did here. I guess I blog to be part of a community, to share my love of reading with others; google page rank and technorati authority be damned. I'm not in this to make an impact as much as I'm in it to make connections.

Anonymous said...

Trish: You weren't already here? I didn't realize. I thought you were. As for being a rambler, believe me, I can understand, I have a whole other blog devoted to my rambling: Unfinished Rambler. To answer your questions:

1. Blogging goals: short-term, do better on reconnecting with those in the book blogosphere; long-term, getting a self-hosted WordPress site, where I can more easily integrate all of my previous blogs into one blog.

2. Get out of blogging: Definitely community/connection. Yes, you begin blogging for yourself, but then it's about reaching out and connecting with others.

3. Suggestions for someone new to blogging: Comment. Comment. Comment. And oh, reply when people comment on your posts like Trish is doing here. The best bloggers in my opinion are those who take the time, effort and care to reply to your comments. Who knows? You may get a conversation going.

cj said...

Trish -

What a great post. You certainly took an interesting path to get where you are (from medicine to English, I mean) and I'm glad you did.

I love Wuthering Heights, both the book and the movie, btw.

I don't think there's any big secret as to why I'm here - I started this blog to keep track of how much I read during any given year. The friends and the fun are simply wonderful bonsuses.


Michelle said...

I love this post. Hello (and welcome!) I wish more book bloggers shared more of their personal lives. I feel more connected to you as a person after reading your story!

Frances said...

So nice to meet you! I will have to stop by more often now that I have found your ramble-tolerant site. :) Just by looking around your blog, I can tell that there is frequently a good conversation here, and that you are well-loved in the book blogging community.

Today I am reading The Post Office Girl and loving it! Highly recommend it.

Have a great reading week!

Trish said...

*Wendy - Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I have been blessed to meet great bloggers such as yourself who have kindly taken me into the fold. :) And as for parasites--yours is one of the first ones that I came across back then and I have certainly learned so much from you. Hugs back to you!

*Laura H - I'm still hoping that you'll make the leap to start a blog so that we can all learn more about you. :) I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had gone on for my PhD and taught at the university level (I am qualified to teach community college). I have a tremendous amount of respect for teachers--not sure I could fill those rather large shoes.

*SmallWorld - Thank you for popping by! I appreciate you taking the time to to say hi.

*Scrap girl - I have loved reading everyone's Sunday Salon posts for quite some time, so I'm looking forward to joining the group. Thanks for the welcome.

*Bellezza - You have been so sweet to me these past two years and I really appreciate all of your kindness and thoughtfulness. I agree that I'm not here for impact but for the community. And I love when you share tidbits of your life--it does enhance the connection by so much. I think my focus here will always be bookish, but I'm going to try and make it a little more personal as well.

Trish said...

*Unfinishedperson - LOL--yes, I've been here all along. Same Trish. :) Thank you so much for sharing some of your goals and aspirations with us. I agree that blogging often does start as a personal endeavor and then begins to move towards the interpersonal connection. It is such a warm community here, huh?

*CJ - I was such an awful English student in high school, never reading the books and often sleeping through class or passing notes that I would have never thought I'd end up being so passionate about books. And I love your story about why you blog--it immediately drew me to you.

*Michelle - I guess because I'm so much more open in my comments that I leave on people's blogs I didn't realize that I wasn't really being very personal on my own blog. I feel much more connected to others when they share a little bit of their personality as well. You do a great job of that on your blog!

*Frances - Wonderful to meet you as well--and thank you for your kind words. Ramblers are certainly welcome here and encouraged!! :) I love a good rambler. I haven't heard of The Post Office Girl, but I'll definitely check it out.

Nymeth said...

Trish! I loved this post so much! I hope you'll join the Sunday Salon more often. You'd talked a bit before about how you started blogging, but it was so nice to get the full story about that and grad school and your move.

I know what you mean about needing a community of readers to belong to. Before blogging, I'd never really found one. My other big interest besides books is music, and I always had plenty of people to share that with. But not books. And that's only one of the many reasons why I'm so glad to have found you all.

My blog is also quite heavy on the reviews, and I shy away from writing more personal posts a lot of the time. But you know, I think that the way we react to books says a lot about us, so even from my reviews alone people could probably get a very good idea of who I am. But I definitely think that it's in the comments I leave to other people that I'm me the most. Does this even make sense? :P I love commenting because it allows for a more relaxed sort of interaction. And this is why I make an effort to reply to the comments I get.

My blogging goals: to share my love of books and to meet like-minded people. And my advice for new bloggers: Get out there and comment! Reach out, be yourself, and have fun.

Mari said...

What a wonderful post, Trish. Thanks so much for sharing.

I am so new to book blogging that I don't have much experience to share. I started the blog as a place to put all my bookish posts because they were starting to take over my knitting content on my knitting blog. I have always been a reader but not much of an analyzer of my reading and blogging about the books I was reading really helped me to think more about why I enjoyed my book or didn't. I was surprised when others starting reading my posts but was very happy to find other like minded readers. It has been a great experience and I love all the other bloggers I meet through it.

Terri B. said...

Hi Trish! This is my first week posting on Sunday Salon too. I love this forum that allows me to write something besides book reviews, but still allows me to write about books and reading. I agree with you about book bloggers being mutualistic. So far that has been my experience too. I do think of this as a community and I love visiting others who have the same passion. I'm not really looking for great writing when I read others' blogs (though I think most of us write well enough), but I am looking for others who share an enthusiasm for books and reading. It's wonderful knowing that there are people out there who understand when I start squealing with delight over some book I've acquired or some amazing story I'm reading. Thanks for being a part of this community!

debnance said...

Welcome to Sunday Salon! My voyage through the online book world has been very similar to yours...not many readers in my small town...Yahoo online world.

I've been trying to decide if I want to post my reviews (all of them? I can hear you say) on my blog. Thank you for your thoughts.

Lisa said...

Trish, I love the personal bits the most, I think! I mean, I love a good review as much as the next person, but when we're all reading the same books I start to skim.

I had no idea other book blog existed when I started mine. I remember the glee I felt when I found all the others and how many I bookmarked. I'm not very good at leaving comments, mainly because I tend to read blogs when I'm either at work or holding a kid in my lap, but I've been making an effort to do it more.

Kristen said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your post. So thanks for hat. I too am a fellow rambler and a former editor, actually, and my blog is a mixed up mess of personal sharing (some might say too much personal sharing) and book reviews so obviously I lean towards the blogs that highlight the authors' personalities.

I really only started my blog because I have a bit of a closet writer in me and wanted an outlet for it. The reviewing was simply because I have always reviewed everything I read and it seemed natural to add everything important in my life into the mix that is my blog. I will say that I didn't realize the tight and wonderful community that book bloggers have created until just recently and I am trying to become a more vocal member of that community now.

Daniel said...

That was a fantastic post, Trish! I've never commented in your blog before, but I've been following it for some time, and it's probably in my "Top Ten Favorite Book Blogs" list. (:

Susan said...

This is more than just a fun post, Trish. It's thoughtful and gives many of the reasons that i love posting - the online community, meeting other people who love books, and whether or not the personal should come into it. When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing or what was out there! From the first, I was welcomed, and I've always appreciated that. I'm starting to make friends, where some bloggers are moving more into my personal life, which I love. I think it's fascinating how we can meet in this place and exchange ideas, thoughts, the stories of our lives. So i say - welcome, Trish the personal, along with Trish the book blogger! and - I so had to laugh at your description of taking the English lit classes but not actually reading the books - lol that is SO ME!!! Now, like you, I am going back and rereading what I should have read then.

Very good first Sunday Salon post too! :-D

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

Now I'm going to feel like I'm the last one who doesn't do Sunday Salon. But I just know I wouldn't be very good at it. My biggest weakness (& biggest guilt) as a blogger is finding the time to leave comments on other blogs. I like to skim what people are writing, what they are reading. I feel like I'm aware of what's going on, but commenting is hard. If you feel like you're not a community builder than I'm in trouble!

Loved getting to know you better!

Laura said...

I'm glad you decided to start writing a Sunday Salon post because like I said last week, I always really enjoy reading your posts. I have always been able to see your personality in your reviews and other posts, but because I know you in real life, I can especially "hear" the Trish-ness in your posts. :)

Even though you say you aren't, you are definitely a "top-tier" blogger!

Janssen said...

What a terrific post - I'm so glad to know a little more about you. It makes reading a review a lot more interesting when you know where the writer is coming from. Plus, now I feel a stronger connection to you since I'm a grad student in Texas right now :)

I've been thinking a great deal about where I wanted to go with my blog in the last few weeks - I write book reviews, but the bulk of my blog has always been personal and I get a better response when I write personal posts, but I am so passionate about the reviewing too, that I can't give it up. I also have recognized I don't want to review every single book I read, but instead only recommend the ones I really like or steer people away from the ones I completely hated.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to The Sunday Salon posts! I'm glad you decided to start participating because I enjoy your blog and writing. I try to post Sunday Salon's every week. Though sometimes I don't get to it I'm glad when I do get to it. It's a good excercise and allows for me to just free-write in a way.

S. Krishna said...

Welcome to Sunday Salon, this was quite the post! I am similar to you in that I didn't let the personal bits into my blog until recently. I think adding them in gives it more personality though!

Melody said...

I loved this post, Trish! I find I've learnt something more about you after reading this wonderful post!

I started blogging, I was both awed and curious by this blogosphere so I thought I'd test it out by writing my thoughts on the books I read then. I wouldn't want to post too personal stuff on my blog so I thought chatting about books is the best since I love reading so much! And guess what, I found more book blogs along the way and getting to know more bookblogger friends through blog hopping and/or challenges throughout the years and I've never look back since!

I'm so glad to know you, Trish! Thanks so much for the friendship! :)

Chris said...

I hadn't seen that video. You have a great speaking voice. Great job!

samantha.1020 said...

Yay! I'm glad to see that you joined in on the fun of the Sunday Salon. It was a great post and I'm glad that you shared with us.

Ramya said...

That was a really nice post, Trish! I definitely got to know you much better! I started my blog in 2005 to keep a log of the books I was consuming.. For about 2 years I blogged in relative anonymity. My really close friends and some family members knew my blog and that was it.. and then I suddenly chanced upon reading challenges and through that the OT and then some other book blogs.. from that point, there's been no looking back. I have made some good friends here and zillions of acquaintances and i love it in this community. I am here to stay! I didn't intend to get personal at all in my blog.. but i guess, like you, I am a rambler and land up giving away WAY more about myself than i intend to!

Stephanie said...

Great post! It's so nice to get to know you a little better. If I had it all to do again, I would have majored in English in college.

Dar said...

What a great post Trish! You had me teary eyed a few times. I alwways read and I always listen just so you know. Yours was one of the first blogs I found and I was hooked after that. lol. I love the personal side to Trish now. It's great to get to know more about you. I've often thought of doing the Sunday Salon for that very reason too and maybe your post will spur me forward to do my own next week. You know why-because you're right. Who cares if anyone else cares of listens, I can just do it for me. I've made some awesome friends in this community, you being one of them, and it means a lot to me. So for me, blogging is about the books and reading (of course it is, that's a love of mine) but it is also largely about community and the great people you can meet if you let yourself. Ok, and you thought you could ramble. I better quit now because I'm sure I could still go on. lol.

Rae said...

Yaaaaaaay! More more more personal stuff!

Chris said...

Btw, I left you an award on my blog.

Trish said...

*Nymeth - I know exactly what you mean about being "you" the most in your comments; I feel the same way about myself. You do such a great job of expressing yourself in your reviews that we feel we get to know you. Of course I do love the personal. :)

*Mari - Even though you might be new to blogging, you definitely have experience to share! And I agree that blogging helps sort out some ideas about what you're reading--it's a big reason why I write about what I read as well!

*Terri - I look forward to reading your first sunday salon post! I love the enthusiasm that book bloggers have as well, and I know that my writing has gotten stronger through blogging--I think others would agree in terms of their own blogs. This community really is great, huh?

*Debnance - I don't read very fast so I do post all of my reviews, and I enjoy when other bloggers do as well. If you are finding it too much you could always do little mini-reviews here and there?

*Lisa - I love the personal and you do such a great job of letting us know you over at your blog. Do you remember the first time you discovered another book blogger?

*Kristen - I hope you are able to experience the community! Book bloggers really are the best and it couldn't be a warmer community. Thanks for coming by and saying hi--it's always nice to meet a fellow rambler!

*Daniel - Wow!! I hope you'll stop in more often. :)

Lisa said...

Yes! I blogged it...

Kim L said...

Hi Trish, pleased to meet ya! :-)

Thank you for the intro, I really do find it interesting to learn what brought people into book blogging. I was also looking for community when I started book blogging. I was also looking for a hobby, and it has kind of mushroomed to the point where it takes up a lot more time than I expected.

I waiver sometimes on whether it is worth the effort to blog, but then I think of all the things I've learned and done with blogging and I realize that even if I never become a "top-tier" blogger, it still has been worthwhile for me.

Trish said...

*Susan - Oh I'm paying for all of my slacking back in the day! :) I've been trying to catch up on all of those assigned reading lists. And I agree that the personal is definitely nice--makes blogging a little more fun.

*Natasha - Haha--plenty of people don't do Sunday Salon!! :) And Natasha, you are great at community building. You are such a strong presence--I don't think you need to leave a ton of comments to be a great blogger. For me, it just helps me feel more connected.

*Laura - LOL--you don't get enough of my bookish rantings all day long?? :) YOU should start doing Sunday Salon with me!!!! Yes, I just used four exclamation points.

*Janssen - Are you doing your grad work at UT? Focus in literature or another area of studies? I'd go back in a heartbeat if I don't have to write any papers. :) I think that whether you write on every book or just some books, its good to stay true to what you want.

*Planetbooks - Thanks for the warm welcome! I really look forward to getting to know the other Sunday Saloners and learning some new things.

*Swapna - I definitely like personality in a blog--helps us get to know the other bloggers better.

*Melody - Thank YOU Melody! I've really enjoyed getting to know you through your blog and comments. I'm constantly amazed at how big this community really is--so much fun to know so many other people who love books.

Trish said...

*Chris - LOL--that video is a little embarrassing, but I guess the awkwardness is just me. :) And thank you again for the award.

*Sam - I've really enjoyed your Sunday Salon posts over the past few months so it's fun to join.

*Ramya - I think that as we get to know one another more and get more comfortable it gets easier to share a little more personal information or even just personality. I love your ramblings!!

*Stephanie - Although I don't really use my degree, I wouldn't have it any other way. If I were to go back for more, I think I might major in history. What did you study in school?

*Dar - Yes!! You should do the Sunday Salon; I would absolutely love that and I know everyone else would as well. You have become such a strong member of the community, it's fun to get to know one another. And ramble on--I love it!

*Rae - LOL--I'm so bad about posting on my "personal" blog. :) What can I say? I'm lame!

*Lisa - I just popped over to look--I love the little edited note about 61 new blogs. :) Sounds about right.

Trish said...

Kim - I love your blog! And you do the perfect amount of personal and book in your posts. Who are those freakin' "top-tier" bloggers anyway?? :) I'm guessing they're not the fun ones!

Stephanie said...

Trish -

I've been following your blog for a long time now, and I hardly think of you as "parasitic". Sheesh. As you can tell by my last post, I was a bit riled up by that comment as well. You are certainly a top-tier blogger in my world!

This was a great post. It's nice to know a little more about you!!

Jeane said...

It's so nice to meet you, Trish! Like you, when I first started blogging, I didn't want anything very personal on my blog- just about books. I'm starting to re-think that. I started college as an English major and then switched to art- but now I kinda regret that... I love the connection with other book-lovers that blogging gives me.

Lezlie said...

Nice to meet you again! :-) I have something like 150 book blogs on my reader, so I don't comment on each one as much as I would like to, but I'm out here reading whatever it is you want to share! :-)


Michelle said...

Wow! I never have known what the Sunday Salon was ever even about! I know I have been a little MIA lately, just really busy. I love reading your blog. It is nice to keep in touch this way. I love to read what you write! I am glad you are sharing a little more personal things. I feel that even though we are family, we don't KNOW each other that well, so this has been fun for me. YAY!

Trish said...

*Stephanie - I know I shouldn't have been bothered by that comment--and I think based on the response that we both got to our posts, that commenter is in the minority.

*Jeane - I didn't realize you had started out as an English major! Your artwork is so beautiful that I think it is a fitting degree for you. I love reading other people's thoughts on books, but a little personal tidbit here and there is fun.

*Lezlie - I hear ya! With so many blogs out there it is tough to comment on all of them. I wish that there was more time to get around.

*Michelle - I think that people use Sunday Salon how they want to--writing about what they read that week or a certain topic. They're fun to read. Oh my gosh--you need to go hiking down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with us this summer. I'm pretty sure Rachel is going!! How much fun would that be?? I wish we lived closer so that we could hang out...

Debi said...

Oh sweetie, do you have any earthly idea how wonderful this post is?!! Me loves, loves, loves when you put in the personal stuff!!! Doesn't mean I don't love your reviews, because I certainly do. But when it comes to blogging, waaaaaay more important to me than the reviews are the friendships. And you, dear Trish, have been so generous with yours! I couldn't NOT imagine this whole bloggy world without you!

Heather J. said...

I finally am getting caught up on reading your blog (and everyone else’s) after a few days without internet – oh, the horror! It was very nice getting to know you a bit better. I agree that there CAN be community out here is blogland but it does require effort on all our parts. You’ve made a great step toward it with this post.

One question for you … what did you end up DOING with your degree now that you’re in Smalltown USA?! (Oh, wait, I’m reading the comments now and I see you answered that already …)

And I share completely your love of Wuthering Heights. I’ve been talking about doing a reread sometime soon, TBR list be damned.

As the list of blogs in my Google Reader gets longer and longer, I find I’m commenting less and reading fewer posts. I really miss the conversations with other bloggers, and I miss the time spent actually ON their blogs, following up on comments, checking out new layouts, etc. It’s about time to cull the Google Reader and get back to the community for me … I’m really missing “the way it used to be” and your post really pointed that out to me. So thanks!

PS. LOVE the new look of the blog!

tanabata said...

Feel free to ramble all you like, what a great post! I loved hearing about how you came to your love of literature, and later blogging, and I look forward to getting to know you better in the future.

I've been terrible about commenting on others blogs lately, a lack of time on my part, but I'm glad I still have a few loyal, regular readers. And I do try to comment more when I can.
I still feel a little on the outskirts of the book blogging community but I've definitely taken ideas from other bloggers (I'm a parasite too, I guess!) and through them I think I've become a little better blogger in the process. Hopefully, anyway.

Thanks for your thoughtful post and sharing with us.

Anna said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us. I hear what you're saying about sharing personal stuff. I don't do it too often, mainly because I'm not sure anyone would really care. If I had something exciting to talk about in the personal realm, I probably would. I enjoyed getting to know you through this post.

Diary of an Eccentric

Red lady-Bonnie said...

This is my first post to your blog. I stopped by after reading about your blog on Joy's post as we both were featured in her post about passing on awards. I figured that I should stop and visit your blog. I've added it to my google reader now.

I haven't posted any Sunday Salon posts and may consider adding that to my blog. I started my blog last July and have found the book bloggers to be a great community. I didn't want to share that much personal info as well and I am finding a balance. I enjoyed reading your post and learning about you and how you came to love books and reading.

I read Amy's post earlier this week but didn't comment as most of what I felt had been well said. I found that reference to top-tier bloggers and parisitic bloggers to be insulting to newer bloggers that are starting out. Who's to say who is a top-tier blogger?! I think that every blog has it's own personality and style and they grow and mature with time. I like your attitude, "people will read if they want to"! There are so many wonderful bloggers out there and helpful to newer bloggers and I am doing the same. This shouldn't be a competition, it is a community to share and build our love of books. Each blog is unique and thanks so much for writing about this! I look forward to getting to know you.

Sarah said...

Welcome to the Sunday Salon Trish, and thanks for your thoughtful post on why you read and blog. I find it fascinating that you became an avid reader gradually.

I'm not a prolific blogger and wonder how some people have time to read and post so much. When I do post though, I enjoy it, both because it clarifies my own thoughts and because I get a chance to enter a conversation.

Trish said...

*Debi - What would I do without you? I just want to give you a big giant hug. :) Really I don't throw in a lot of personal stuff because I'm pretty dull! Ha!! Partly kidding, but thank you for being so great to me.

*Heather - I definitely think that being part of the community takes a lot of work on everyone's parts. Sometimes we have more time for that than other times. I definitely wish I could devote a little more time to the blogosphere. I'm actually not in the small town anymore. :) Hubby and I only lasted a few months before we realized we were wasting our potential. I work in insurance--nothing to do with my degree. :) Guess that's how it goes. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment.

*Tanabata - Oh I think that in some respect we are all a little parasitic, but that's such a terrible way to define it! We all take a little, but I think that most of us give back as well. I think that's also indicative of a community. Commenting gets tough--I wish I had more time to make the rounds.

*Anna - LOL--I know what you mean about something exciting in the personal realm. Sometimes I feel like I live vicariously through others and their excitement. :) The personal is nice, but I love the bookish connection, of course.

*Red Lady-Bonnie - Thanks for coming by! What I found to be truly irritating about some of those comments left on Amy's site is that we ALL started out as little bloggers with no audience and probably not the best written reviews. I know that I relied heavily on other bloggers to learn the ropes of blogging and shape my own blog. I don't think that makes me parasitic and I would hope that new bloggers would feel comfortable asking some of us more seasoned bloggers questions. No one started out being top-tier--whatever "top-tier" means anyway.

*Sarah - I've always been an avid reader, but it did take a while for me to truly appreciate literature. I have NO idea how some of the more prolific bloggers find the time to post so much. I think some of them are super-human. :) Thanks for coming by!

Eva said...

Great post! I have a hard time trying to balance personal and book talk, because I read so much in order to keep up with reviews I'd have to post one almost every day. But I don't really want to do that. *sigh* It's difficult!

joanna said...

Oh Trish, I've been having similar thoughts lately! I absolutely love being part of this community but does that mean that I can show more of myself via my blog? Or should I just stick to reviews? I don't know where my thinking will end up, but I do know that I loved reading about you and your thoughts about blogging. Thanks for this post!

Trish said...

*Eva - I agree that the personal/book talk balance is tough, but I don't read very fast and my life isn't very interesting! :P Kind of kidding...

*Joanna - I like a little personal mixed in, especially as I get to know bloggers a little better. I think you'll eventually find the right mix of both.