Difficult as it is to believe, today marks my 9 year anniversary of blogging at Jen Robinson's Book Page. Over the past nine years I have shared approximately 2950 posts, including 1043 reviews. Which sounds like a lot, but it works out to about 6.3 posts/week, of which 2.2 were reviews. The rest of the posts have been some mix of literacy links and news releases, milestones regarding my daughter's pathway to literacy, and general tips for growing bookworms. [I've also shared some 15,500 tweets in the 5.5 years that I've been on Twitter, which is rather frightening.]
Clearly, my blog has been a significant part of my life. Throughout these 9 years I've become involved with the Cybils Awards and Kidlitosphere Central. I've attended all but one of the Kidlitosphere Conferences, and organized the most recent one. I've met various authors and illustrators and blogging librarians, parents, teachers, and more. And that's the part that really matters, of course. My blog has enabled me to become part of a community. A community of wonderful people who value children's and young adult books, and who share my conviction that it is essential to get these books into the hands of young readers.
Anniversaries can make bloggers introspective (see Jennie's recent post at Biblio File on her 10 year blog birthday). I've been feeling a bit of burnout of late, particularly in regards to writing book reviews. I've been asking myself questions about who I'm blogging for, and how much time I should be putting into it.
But then I thought of a message that I received recently from a friend who lives on the East Coast. She wanted to let me know that her son had been placed in an advanced reading class at school, and that she felt like I had played a part in that success. This message made my day. Not that I can take much of the credit -- that goes to the parents who have been reading to him, taking him to the library, and so on. But I do feel like I played a tiny part, by buying this child books from the time that he was born, and by talking, talking, talking, whenever anyone would listen, about how important I think it is for kids to grow up with positive associations for books.
In the bigger picture, that's why I'm here, still blogging after 9 years. For whatever reason -- some combination of my upbringing and my introvert nature and the cumulative sum of all the books that I've read over my lifetime -- books are very, very important to me. More than that, it's fundamentally important to me that as many children as possible grow with at least the chance to fall in love with books. Blogging is a way that I can support that goal, at least indirectly.
In the coming year, I may look for ways that I can support my "growing bookworms" goal with fewer book reviews, and more tips and discussions about raising readers. But whatever changes in the mix of content may occur, I think it's safe to say that a year from now you'll find me here, talking about the love of children's books, for my 10th blogging anniversary. Thanks for reading!