Today marks the 7th anniversary of the day that I started Jen Robinson's Book Page. One weekend, after suggestions from two different friends that I stop talking about doing something regarding children's books and take action by start a blog, I just sat down and did it. I chose TypePad because that was the software that Keith Ferrazzi used for his blog and I had just finished reading his book Never Eat Alone.
I didn't have my own logo back then (thank you Sarah Stevenson for the one I have now). And I only had a few links in my blogroll. But I started recommending books (I can't really call what I was doing back then reviews) and sharing literacy links. I wasn't a parent, or a teacher, or a librarian. I was just an adult who loved children's and young adult literature, and cared passionately that children growing would have a chance to love books, too.
It's now seven years later and I am a parent to 2 1/2 year old Baby Bookworm (though still not a teacher or a librarian). The content of my blog hasn't changed all that much. I still read and recommend lots of children's and young adult books (though I think I'm a bit more nuanced in my reviews than I was when I started). I now describe myself as a literacy advocate, and I work with Terry Doherty from The Reading Tub and Carol Rasco from RIF to share literacy and reading-related news each month. I send out regular Growing Bookworms newsletters, and I also share quite a bit of literacy and reading news on Twitter.
But the great thing that has happened over the past seven years is how much my blog has led me into a larger community. I'm the Literacy Evangelist for the Cybils (though others do most of the heavy lifting there). I've been a board member for the Foundation and Friends of the Santa Clara City Library (and still help out with their Facebook and Twitter accounts). I maintain user access for the Children's Book Review wiki, and I'm a board member for Kidlitosphere Central. I've attended nearly all of the annual Kidlitosphere conferences (the most recent one was the first that I've missed), and I always try to participate in MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge each spring.
I've read a lot of great books in the past seven years. I hope that I've helped a few people to find books that they've enjoyed, too. But more importantly, I've made real friends through my blog, kindred spirits who I never would have had a chance to meet without this online connection. For that, whatever else happens with my blog in the future, I will always be grateful. I hope that I'll still be here blogging seven years from now.
Thanks for reading. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and/or whatever your winter holiday of choice might be.
This post © 2012 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.