When I first started to blog, it was almost by accident. I love YA books, and I love writing, and I loved sharing my opinions on books. But books are not my only interest. It could have just as easily been technology or music or linguistics or politics or television or travel or movies or the college search or history that inspired me to start a blog, as I’m passionate and opinionated when it comes to those subjects as well. 

I’m very, very lucky that it was YA books. I didn’t know anything about any blogging communities when I started, and I was extremely fortunate that I accidentally chose this one. Why?

The number of blogs about children’s and young adult books is small enough that anyone can break in and be a part of this community. Anyone can find their place, make even a small name for themselves, if they have interesting things to say. It’s not like political bloggers, who number in the thousands; I doubt I’d ever have much of a following as a political blogger. Here, I can share my opinion on a particular book and know that someone is going to read it. Even though I don’t blog because of the audience, that rocks. 

This community is not too small, though, and I discover new blogs regularly. It’s big enough to be a real community of bloggers, not just a handful of people commenting on each other’s blogs. This is the perfect size. If I’d chosen technology, there would be too many blogs. If I’d decided to blog about the college search, something that’s occupied a lot of my time, there would be no community. 

The people in this particular community are supportive of each other, and interact with each other. I comment on other blogs. Other bloggers comment on my posts. I love all the comments, the links, the Cybils, and everything else that makes this a real community. I know some great people from book blogging! 

And then there’s the books. I didn’t really imagine that I could get free books to write about on my blog. I didn’t think that could actually happen, at least not in any significant numbers, but it did, and it rocks. The ARCs are especially awesome; without book blogging, I’d never get to read new books months before they come out! It’s exciting. 

The authors in the YA community are fantastic, too. Most of them keep blogs and have websites and are really in touch with their fans. They are connected to their audience. They’ll discuss their books and do interviews and guest blogs. They are amazing. I love that I get to talk to some of my favorite authors and ask questions about them and their books! Where else would I get to do that? Nowhere.

I should have posted this at Thanksgiving, but I suppose it’s a good end-of-the-year reflection as well. I am very thankful for this community of awesome people and the opportunities this blog has presented me with. Anyone reading this? You all rock.