Tomorrow (December 17th) is the six-year anniversary of the day that I started Jen Robinson's Book Page. I remember the day I started the blog quite clearly, although I had no idea then of how big a role it would come to play in my life. I recall sitting on the couch with my laptop on my lap, selecting a fun snowman theme, and writing my first post. I'm not sure how it was that I had time to launch a new project a few days before heading to Boston for Christmas, but I also remember borrowing Internet access at my best friend's house over that holiday week, so that I could scour the web for any new literacy stories. And thus it's clear to me that this project had a strong hold on me, right from the start. (Special thanks to my friends Miles and Patrick, who both suggested blogging to me, and to Keith Ferrazzi, whose book Never Eat Alone helped inspire me to pull the trigger.)
In the ensuing six years I have:
- Read a great many books;
- Posted 658 book reviews;
- Posted countless children's literacy roundups (most recently with the partnership of Terry Doherty and Carol Rasco);
- Shared a number of Tips for Growing Bookworms;
- Gotten a professionally designed logo (by Sarah Stevenson);
- Participated in dozens of Carnivals of Children's Literature (hosting from time to time);
- Seen my blogroll grow from < 20 to > 200 children's and young adult book blogs;
- Seen the term "Kidlitosphere" invented (by Melissa Wiley);
- Seen friends get agents and book deals (and even movie deals!);
- Assisted in the launch the Cybils, Kidlitosphere Central, and the Children's Book Review Wiki (with Anne Levy, Kelly Herold, Pam Coughlan, Liz Burns, Colleen Mondor, Jackie Parker, Sheila Ruth, and many others);
- Attended and presented at all 5 Kidlitosphere Conferences; and
- Blogged for PBS, been a Readergirlz Postergirl, and occasionally participated in the SBBT/WBBT interview extravaganzas.
But there's no question that for me, the best thing about starting this blog has been the friends that I've made. Friends who I would never have had a chance to meet otherwise, who live in places like Australia and Germany, or Kansas and Arizona. People who share my love of classics from Elizabeth Enright and D.E. Stevenson, and people who share my addiction to dystopias. People who, like me, are equally passionate about children's literature and the Red Sox (or at least baseball in general), and people who, like me, care greatly that their children grow up to be bookworms. It's been such a joy to be able to attend KidLitCon and other conferences, and meet some of these friends in person. Others I have yet to have a chance to meet face to face. But they are still my friends.
These friends have shown me that I'm not alone in being an adult who loves to read children's books, and not alone in being a person who (regardless of profession) wants to grow bookworms. When I gave birth to my own Baby Bookworm last year, many of these friends sent wonderful books. Even more sent good wishes and encouragement and understanding. Even if I for some reason stopped blogging, I can't imagine not finding a way to keep these friends in my life. But of course I plan to keep blogging for as long as I possibly can.
Thanks for six great years! Here's to many more!
This post is (c) 2011 by Jennifer Robinson. All rights reserved.