A Blogiversary Celebration

Four years ago, Jenny posted the first post here at Shelf Love. Three months later, I came on board, and we’ve had a great four years sharing our reading lives with all of you. Blogging has enriched our lives in more ways than we could have imagined in those early days, and we are grateful to our readers, both those who stop by regularly and comment and those who are more inclined to lurk or just pop in occasionally. It’s been a wonderful journey, and we look forward to many more years of sharing it with you.

In honor of our four years, we’ve done a bit of reupholstering, so if you’re on a feed reader, you might want to click through and check out our new look. And while you’re here, why not put your name in for our blogiversary giveaway? We’re giving away four books—one for each year we’ve been blogging. These are all books we both love and would like to see more people read.  I almost always write my reviews within a day or two of finishing a book, before my brain has moved on to a new space. [This giveaway is now closed. Winners are listed below.]

  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson. Atkinson is best known for her wonderful Jackson Brodie mysteries, but we think her other books are every bit as good. This, her debut novel, traces the history of four generations of women from the Lennox family, all filtered through the irresistible voice of the youngest Lennox daughter, Ruby. (See reviews by Jenny and Teresa.) Debbie Rodgers @ExUrbanis is the winner.
  • The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett. Dunnett is one of our favorite historical fiction authors, and although we both love King Hereafter best of all her books, we think that The Game of Kings, the first of the Lymond Chronicles, is the best entry point into her books. The series tells the story of the delightfully roguish 16th-century Scottish nobleman Francis Crawford of Lymond. Threegoodrats is the winner.
  • He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope. We both love Trollope and thought this stand-alone novel examining the state of marriage in the 19th century was brilliant. (See our review.) Katie is the winner.
  • Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. We’re both huge fans of Lamott’s funny and frank nonfiction about life and faith, parenting, and life in general. If you’ve never read Lamott, you can read some of her essays at Salon.com. Lindsey Sparks is the winner.

To enter, leave a comment by Friday, April 13, letting us know which of these books you’d like and asking us a question you’d like one or both of us to answer. As long as the question isn’t too impertinent ;), we’ll answer in the comments and/or in a later blog post. (Hat tip to Florinda for the question idea.) This Saturday or shortly thereafter, we’ll use random.org to select one winner for each book. The giveaway is open internationally, and we’ll notify all winners by e-mail, so make sure we have your address.

Thanks to all for a wonderful four years!

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88 Responses to A Blogiversary Celebration

  1. Lisa says:

    Happy blogiversary (had to double-check the spelling on that one). I love the new header photo, bookish AND historical, just wonderful. I also love the book choices – I’m hoping to see lots of names in for Trollope and Dunnett.

  2. Samantha says:

    I’m just dying to try Trollope! I’d love to read his book on 19th-century marriage – I feel like it would be a great counterpoint to the similar books I’m reading that come from a woman’s perspective. As for a question, I’ve been wondering: how much formal training you both have in literature? What do you think about the merits of analyzing classic literature with or without having had that training (I’m thinking, college-level English classes)? Is a reader likely to miss out on themes and symbols and such if he or she doesn’t have that background?

    • Teresa says:

      That’s a really good question! It’s actually something I’ve considered blogging about but never have. I have a bachelor’s in English, and it has been beneficial as far as my understanding of literature goes, but that’s mostly because I got lots of practice reading and analyzing literature, and I was required to delve into some different periods, which broadened my knowledge a bit. In my classes, we didn’t discuss much literary theory; we just read things and talked and wrote about them. I think it is possible to get that kind of experience (bachelor’s level) without formal study, but it might take longer. And depending on your goals, it would be helpful, maybe even essential, to seek out good critical writing to help you along. But there’s plenty of value just in reading for the pleasure of picking up what you can along the way. That’s mostly what I do now.

      • Samantha says:

        Dear Theresa, it’s very kind of you to follow my blog, and you’ll certainly be familiar with many of the books on my TBR list, as many come from your recommendations! I just wanted to let you know that in selecting a new name, the web address also changed. You can find me now at http://amusicalfeast.blogspot.com/

    • Jenny says:

      And I have quite a bit of formal training — a Ph.D. in French literature. I feel like it’s helpful, not so much in finding themes and symbols, because I think you can do that with not much background at all, but more in terms of having a sense of how literatures fit together, and what authors are imitating each other. When I read English Romantics, I know French and German Romantics to compare them to, which is fun. But if you don’t have that background, you can still bring your own mind and experience to the literature. Never in life would I say that you’re missing out because you don’t have a doctorate.

      • Samantha says:

        So then, English lit training is not essential, but certainly helpful, to give you a sense of how to analyze and the larger context of the history of literature and the connections between people, nationalities, and cultures? I’m much encouraged, then. I haven’t posted here before, but your blog was directly responsible in my recent book-reading epiphany. I write about it on my own new blog (http://literarynotpretentious.blogspot.com). I’m a music historian heading into a PhD program, and have just a few months ago begun reading literary fiction and classics for the first time. I wondered how much I was missing out on by not taking any English lit classes in undergrad – but it looks like my training in analysis and historical contexts will help even if it’s not specifically in English literature. Thanks to both of you for your always thoughtful and insightful posts. They really have made a difference to at least one reader.

  3. I don’t want to be entered but wanted to say happy blogiversary! Do I still get to ask a question? If so, here it is: do you confer before selection of your next book, during, or after, or all of the time?

    • Teresa says:

      The only time we formally confer about book selection is when we’re planning to read something together. We do e-mail back and forth about what we’re reading or planning to read, but not really for planning purposes–just as something we chat about.

  4. Jenny says:

    Happy blogiversary! Y’all are splendid, and it was so nice meeting both of you last year. Can I enter myself and not express a preference for a book? And let y’all choose for me if I win? I love the way y’all choose books for each other and sort of want to get in on that action. :p

    My question is this: When y’all started blogging, what sort of expectations did you have for it, and how did that compare with what really happened?

    • Teresa says:

      Ooh, that’s a challenge–which book would you like best? Jenny and I will have to put our heads together on that one!
      When we started, I just expected to mostly be communicating with Jenny and keeping a record for myself, which would have been enough for me. I thought it would be fun if we got a few other comments and maybe get to know a couple of other bloggers. And all that did happen, but times twenty. I never expected to make friends all over the world and even meet them in person. That’s been amazing!

    • Jenny says:

      I started the blog, 1) hoping to keep better track of my TBR list, and 2) hoping that someone out there — anyone — would want to talk about books as much as I did. Then, not very long after that, I remembered that I already knew someone who did, so I invited her to blog with me. :) The fact that the world is covered with people who read even more than I do has been a total revelation. And Teresa is the best co-bloggeuse ever.

    • Teresa says:

      Jenny and I conferred, and we decided that we’d choose the Dunnett for you. It’s satisfyingly plotty, and we think you’d like it a lot.

  5. Deckled Edges says:

    I’d love to read the Kate Atkinson book – it has been on my list for some time! My question is: How did you two first meet and how did you decide to collaborate on this blog?

    • Teresa says:

      We first met in college, when we shared an apartment with two mutual friends. Jenny started the blog, and when she told me about it and invited me to join her, I couldn’t resist. It looked like such a fun way to stay in touch with each other and keep track of my reading.

      • jennakathepickygirl says:

        This was my question too, so I’m glad it got answered. Congrats on the blogoversary, and I love the new look!

      • Jenny says:

        Thanks! And yes — it’s been 20 years now that we’ve been sharing book recommendations. :)

  6. softdrink says:

    Ooh, I love the new header! And happy blogiversary!!

  7. Donna says:

    Just started blogging myself…though I’m a very experienced reader. My question is: how often do you have to post per week in order to develop a well-read blog? Can you recommend a good book or website on developing a blog or is it all in just doing it? I’d be interested in the Trollope — loved “The Way We Live Now”

    • Jenny says:

      You know, Teresa and I only post book reviews and Sunday Salon posts (with the occasional giveaway, ha ha), and so if I were posting on my own, I would only be posting about eight times a month, since that’s roughly how many books I read. Having a co-bloggeuse has been fabulous for boosting our content, both in terms of frequency and in terms of variety, since we have an almost complete overlap of taste but almost no overlap in what we actually read.

      Not that that answers your question, Donna. I don’t know what makes a well-read blog! We have a small but fiercely beloved group of regular readers, and we wouldn’t (and probably couldn’t) change that. Teresa, do you have anything to add?

      • Teresa says:

        I don’t think there’s a definite number of posts to aim for. I think having interesting posts is more important than having lots of them. Don’t just post for the sake of posting. I’ve found that one of the best ways to find readers is to leave thoughtful comments on blogs I like. And participating in community events, like some of the readalongs and challenges people do, or the readathon coming up in a couple of weeks (http://24hourreadathon.com), is a good way to find readers.

        There’s also a big event that a bunch of book bloggers do a couple of times at year called the Bloggiesta in which people share tips and resources and work on blogging projects. It was just a couple of weeks ago, but I bet you could find some good tips from looking throught the posts about it: http://sueysbooks.blogspot.com/search/label/bloggiesta

  8. Congratulations, you two! I won’t enter the draw but I will take it as a reminder to finally read The Game of Kings!

    • Jenny says:

      Oh, you definitely should. We are always trying to get people hooked on Dorothy Dunnett, and I think you’d love her. Another victim… er, happy reader! :)

      • caroline mcilwaine says:

        Just jumping in uninvited :> I have been hooked on Dorothy Dunnett for almost 30 years. I adore her books: they have the most engaging characters I have ever met on a page plus all the drama, suspense, romance, wit and poetry, and sheer reading delight that a lover of fine “don’t talk down to your readers” story-telling could ever ask for. I wish, wish, and oh so wish I’d had the chance to meet her. I’ve read my Lymond series to joyous shreds. And I am still discovering hidden gems.

      • Jenny says:

        As you can tell, Caroline, we are lovers of Dunnett, too! I think both of us love King Hereafter best of all her books, but it’s hard to choose, honestly. Such a wonderful author.

  9. Katie says:

    My question for you would be if you could wake up tomorrow morning anywhere in the world, where would it be? And what book would be resting on your lap?

    I would love to read the Trollope book. I’ve heard so many great things, I think I must be really missing out!


    • Jenny says:

      Teresa needs to answer this one, too, but if I could wake up tomorrow anywhere in the world, it would be in a luxurious apartment (my own, furnished by me) on a beautiful cruise ship, that would take me all around the world: Cairo, Constantinople, Cape Town, Toronto, Athens, Madrid, the fjords. And I could have all my books with me, but I would start with Dorothy Sayers.

    • Teresa says:

      I think I’d have to say London, but mostly because I’ve gone in April several times in the last six years and won’t be going this year. Seeing April come around makes me miss it. And the book would be the first in a long series, since I’d only tackle something like that if I think I’ll be there a while. And I’d want it to be London-based, since I like to read about the locations where I’m on vacation. So I guess I’d say Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope–I’ve been wanting to read the Palliser books for a long time.

  10. Mystica says:

    I’d like to be entered for The Game of Kings and my question was also how you two met and thats answered. A very happy blogiversary!

  11. JoV says:

    Happy blogaversary! I would like to enter for Kate Atkinson’s book. I read Travelling Mercies by Lamott and it’s awesome. Thanks.

  12. Congratulations! I really enjoy reading your posts and I love the range of material you cover – always something interesting to follow up and make my TBR even more menacing! [bibliolathas]

  13. gaskella says:

    Happy Blogiversary! Love the new look. I’d love either the Dunnett or Trollope. I was going to ask about your sub-title – Live mines and Duds. Who/how did you come up with that?

    • Jenny says:

      Oh, thank you — Teresa did the whole redesign. She’s the Great and Powerful Oz when it comes to bloggy stuff. The subtitle was my idea, but I snitched it from Annie Dillard. If you go to our “About Shelf Love” page, you can read the full quotation right at the top!

  14. I have been reading, rereading and re-re-reading these since they were first published. If I were on Desert Island Discs they would be my choice. Wonder if they’re on Kindle yet . . .

  15. Congratulations –it goes by fast doesn’t it? I’ll be blogging 4 years in June. (Love your new header)

    • Jenny says:

      It does go by fast. Four years sounds long, but it hasn’t felt long. And congratulations on four years, yourself!

  16. alenaslife says:

    Congrats on the anniversary. I would like to win a copy of TRAVELING MERCIES because it’s the Annie LaMott I’ve heard the best things about. I’ve read some of her other books, but I think this might be the one to really hook me.
    My question: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as bloggers?

    • Teresa says:

      I think my biggest challenge is finding the time to do all the things I’d like to do blog-wise. There’s never time to read as much as I’d like, visit and comment on other blogs as much as I’d like, write reviews to the level of quality that I’d like. I’ve rarely had more than brief passing phases of the burnout some bloggers get, and those only tend to happen when I commit to too many blogging-related things, so I commit to very little and that keeps the stress level down.

    • Jenny says:

      Same here, just a matter of time — time to read, time to comment. There are people whose blogs I read regularly, and they probably have no idea because I never comment. It’s dreadful.

  17. My question had to do with how you met etc, and it’s been covered. My stock question is to ask ‘flats or heels’? I find it tells a lot about a person.

    I’d love to read the Atkinson or the Lamott. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

    • Jenny says:

      Oh, flats, flats. Sensible shoes all the way. Though my dental hygienist just said, “I like your pilgrim shoes,” so I’m actually considering branching out. Leopard skin, anyone?

    • Teresa says:

      Flats for me, too. Almost always. I do have a few pairs of low heels, but I rarely wear them more than once a week or so.

  18. florinda3rs says:

    Happy Blogiversary, ladies–LOVE the new look! Congratulations on four years (and a couple of BBAW Awards!), and here’s to many more. I’m very glad I had the chance to meet Teresa last year, and hope to see her again in New York City in June :-).

    I’d love the Kate Atkinson book, since I haven’t managed to get around to it yet.

    My question for both of you: Is there a genre/category of book you refuse to read? What is it, and why?

    • Jenny says:

      Um, let’s see. I read really eclectically, so this is tough. There are categories I don’t read (how-to books about electricity or plumbing) but that’s not about refusing, that’s about not needing to. Ah! I know. I refuse, point-blank, to read those nasty political books, like “Liberals Are Ugly and Their Mothers Dress Them Funny” or “Republicans Hate Seal Pups” or whatever. No way am I reading that kind of poison. What about you, Teresa?

    • Teresa says:

      There’s not much that I’d refuse to read either. I would tend to avoid the political books of the type Jenny mentions, but I wouldn’t categorically refuse. (I have read Al Franken, for example, but I share his views so it didn’t *seem* as nasty.) There are some kinds of books I don’t read much–romance, self-help, erotica, anything self-published–but if I got a recommendation from the right person and I was in the right mood, I’d consider most anything. Although sometimes I wouldn’t consider it for long :)

  19. Four years, no kidding. Many happy returns!

    My question is: what are your best bloggish ideas that you have not yet used? I might like to borrow one or more of them.

    Omit me from the giveaway, please.

    • Teresa says:

      If I’ve had an idea, I’ve used it as quickly as I can, lest it evaporate. I just don’t get a lot of ideas, thus the tendency to just write reviews and a sometimes-weekly topical post. I’ve always got a topic or two swirling in my head, like something on the formal study of literature, as discussed with Samantha. But mostly I spit my ideas, sometimes half-formed, out into cyberspace as quickly as possible.

  20. Trish says:

    Given my short reading times as of late, no need to enter me but I’m glad to see Behind the Scenes at the Museum on your list of books! I have it on my shelf but know nothing about it and have wondered whether to keep it. Keep it I shall.

    Congratulations on four years! And I love the design. Simple and clean. The header is gorgeous. Here’s to many more!

  21. Stefanie says:

    Congratulations on four years! Love the new look too, the header photo is most excellent. Would love to be in the drawing for the Kate Atkinson book. And here is my question: After four years of blogging, what is it that makes you want to keep going?

    And I hope you do want to keep going! Here’s to many more years!

    • Teresa says:

      Thanks, Stefanie!
      I’d say two things keep me going (1) having a great blogging partner so I don’t have to get stressed about whether I’m posting enough and who I enjoy talking books with anyway and (2) all our regular readers who leave us lovely comments like this one!

    • Jenny says:

      Almost the same answer — 1) having Teresa to blog with, so there’s no pressure, and I’d share books with her anyway, and 2) needing to evangelize about the books I read. Honestly, people need to read the wonderful books I read. All of them.

  22. Happy blogiversary! Love the new look!

  23. Sara says:

    Congrats! Please enter me for any but the Lamott as it is already a well-worn favorite on my shelf. As for a question…… Do you work outside of the home, and if so (or even if not!) how do you find time to read so much? Most people know me as a constant reader, but I don’t cover 8 books in most months.

    • Teresa says:

      I do work outside the home (as does Jenny). My job is full-time but it’s one with regular hours and little need for work outside that time. I’m single with no kids, so there’s no one at home needing my attention. And I don’t have cable, so I rarely watch more than an hour of TV a night, if I watch that much. Reading is pretty much the main way I use my free time. I used to have more hobbies that I spread my energies over, but I’ve winnowed down to a handful of things that I’m passionate about, and reading is one of them. Even so, there are months when eight books would be a lot for me. It just depends on the books and what else is going on.

    • Jenny says:

      Much the same answer as Teresa. I do work full-time, but I don’t typically bring it home unless I’m drowning in grading. I’m married and I have two small kids, so I can’t participate in things like the readathon (and I’m jealous of Teresa there), but I spend every evening reading after the kids are in bed. And I’m a pretty fast reader, which helps.

  24. rebeccareid says:

    congrats on the anniversary! I’d love to be entered for the Trollope. My question is one of practical logistics: how often do you update your review archive listing, and which of you does it (or do both of you do it)?

    I’ve had the hardest time lately remembering to update mine (it’s been almost a year now…so now I’m just too busy to find that kind of time…it will be a lot of work..)

    • Teresa says:

      We’re each responsible for updating with our own posts. I try to update the list as soon as I write a post, or else I’ll never do it. Jenny saves them up and does a bunch at once, but I don’t know how often. Jenny?

    • Jenny says:

      I can see Teresa glaring at me from 3,000 miles away… I update my archive, like, quarterly. I do it all at once because I’m lazy, not because I have some kind of master plan. It’s horrible.

      • Teresa says:

        No glaring from me. I only update immediately because *I’m* lazy ;) I can’t bear the thought of having a bunch to do at once.

  25. Lisa says:

    I’m back with a question, but I don’t need to be entered in the giveaway: is there a book or author that you really want the other one to read, but haven’t managed to “sell” yet? (If I remember right, Jenny had been recommending Patrick O’Brian for a while)

    • Jenny says:

      I think both of us have a handful of books and authors we want the other one to try, but the problem is not that we don’t want to — each of us trusts the other’s taste implicitly at this point, and if Teresa says I’m going to like a book, I know I’ll like it. The problem is just getting around to it. So Teresa wanted to read the Morland Dynasty books before she read another long series, and I had to wait before she could meet Jack and Stephen! :) But given that neither of us steps in front of a bus, we’ll get there.

      • Teresa says:

        Jenny had tried to get me to read O’Brian years ago, and I balked at the nautical setting. But eventually I came around and then it was just a matter of making the time. Now I think it’s usually just as Jenny says–we trust each other’s suggestions implicitly but can’t make time for everything right away.

  26. I don’t want to be entered, just want to wish y’all a happy blogiversary! (Which also falls on my birthday!) My question for you is this—for you, is listening to an audiobook the same as reading a book? I saw that floating around Twitter recently and immediately thought “Absolutely not!”, but now I’m curious about other people’s answers to it.

    • Jenny says:

      Teresa should really answer this, too, since I haven’t listened to audiobooks in quite a while and she listens to them often. My opinion is that an audiobook is certainly “as good as” reading a book — you get all the content. If someone was blind, you’d never say they didn’t read, if they listened to all their books. Sometimes it can even be better. I listened to Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses trilogy, and the stylistic quirks that bother other people (punctuation, etc) didn’t trouble me because it was a recording. But there are some books that work better than others, and some narrators who read better than others, so it varies a lot.

    • Teresa says:

      Happy belated birthday!

      I tend to think audiobooks are the same and different from print. I really like the way you put it on your blog–that it’s “Reading by Ear.” For me, they’re the same in that I’m getting all the same material, so it “counts” as reading if you like to keep track of such thing. But audiobooks are filtered through someone else, the audiobook reader, so there’s an interpretive step there that might affect how I understand a character. And some books go over better for me in one format than another. Certain things that make me nuts in print don’t bother me in audio, but I can’t follow certain kinds of stories on audio.

  27. Jeanne says:

    I’ve been blogging about as long as you have, and although you two set me on the quest to find a good Kate Atkinson, I still haven’t read but one yet (and didn’t get hooked), so I’d like to be entered for the Atkinson.
    What question do you most often get asked when someone finds out you’re book bloggers, and what’s your standard answer?

    • Jenny says:

      Honestly, most people aren’t interested enough to ask me a lot of questions. If they do, it’s either “How do you have time to read so much?” or “What kind of thing do you read?” and my answers are “I don’t really watch TV” and “Everything; what are you enjoying lately?” Do people ask you interesting questions, Jeanne?

      • Jeanne says:

        Mostly they ask me “why”? I haven’t come up with a good all-purpose answer yet, which is why I asked you. The people who ask such a question usually strike me as the sort who aren’t going to understand my kind of liberal arts riff on, as Peter Lawler put it at BigThink.com recently, “finding out who we are when we’re not working for money.” Honestly, if they have a sense of humor, sometimes I reference a South Park episode where the kids do what they do on the internet for “all that imaginary internet money.”

      • Teresa says:

        My experience has mostly been like Jenny’s. People are more likely to talk about the reading, rather than the blogging. I have had people ask if I want to parlay this into a career, which makes some sense because I work in publishing. But I usually just tell people that the kind of blogging I like to do isn’t likely to earn enough to pay a mortgage, so I’m keeping my day job.
        I’m going to have to look for that Lawler piece. I get exasperated sometimes at the assumption that we’re supposed to be passionate about our jobs or that we can and should try to turn our passions into paying work. I tend to think of my day job, which I like very much, as something that earns me enough money to do the things I enjoy–and have a house to do them in.

      • Jenny says:

        Ha ha! Let’s be those bloggers who get a book deal that then gets turned into a movie, like Julie and Julia! Christina Hendricks can play me, but she’d have to be a brunette. :)

  28. janegs says:

    Nice new look for one of the first book blogs that I found and loved enough to start blogging myself. Congratulations on your 4 years of blogging.

    Q: if you had not been partners in blogging, would you have continued? I know I go through phases when I don’t feel like blogging, but thankfully those periods have been relatively brief.

    I own, have read, and really enjoyed Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies–I still consider her Bird by Bird to be the best book on wriitng I’ve read yet.

    Should I be lucky enough to win your giveaway, I would choose The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett. Sounds like a great adventure series.

    • Teresa says:

      Oh, that’s a hard question. I think I would have, but I also think I might have been more likely to engage in some behaviors that would lead to burnout, just so I could make sure to have several posts up each week. So I might have written something for the sake of writing, which I rarely do now. The question would be whether I’d learn to get over that.

    • Jenny says:

      I’m actually not sure whether I’d have kept it up. When my time gets squeezed, it means that my time is mostly limited to posting reviews, and I’m not as involved in the blogging community as I wish I were. If I didn’t have a partner, when I get sick or go on vacation, the blog would, too. I doubt that, without Teresa, I’d have many readers!

  29. I’d love to win any of the books, but especially the Trollope. My question is: How do you coordinate blogging together? Do you create a schedule? Discuss when you’ll post? Review each others’ posts? I saw how you handle the archiving, but I’m curious about the other stuff too!

    • Teresa says:

      We hardly do any coordinating at all, unless it’s a post we’re writing together. We mostly just make sure not to post on the same day, so when either of us writes a post, we schedule it to post on the next available day. If there’s a specific reason that one of us needs to post something on a particular day, we’ll give the other a heads up and maybe reschedule a post if there’s one already slated for that day. We don’t review or edit each other’s posts, although we have agreed that if we see a typo, we’ll correct it. And if one of us is planning to be away for a while, we’ll let the other know.

  30. Oh, I’ve just barely made it (in my time zone anyway). Love the new look! I’ve never read anything by Dorothy Dunnett, so I’m interested in that one.

    My question is : how long does it take you to write a blog post? They are all very well-written, but when I try to write something half as good it takes me so long that I’ve already read three more books by the time I post it and I fall hopelessly behind. Now I just get to a point where I just make myself post it and move on. Hopefully my writing will eventually get better with practice….

    • Teresa says:

      Jenny should answer this too.

      I almost always write my reviews within a day or two of finishing a book, before my brain has moved on to a new space. I think it usually takes me an hour or two to write a post, depending on how much I let myself get distracted by Twitter and such as I’m writing and also how many points I want to make in my review. I have no idea if that’s a lot of time or not, but I know that I could edit and tweak indefinitely, so I’ve learned to just hit post and move on. (Years of magazine editing, where you’re committed to firm deadlines, helps with that.) Inevitably, I do notice something I’d like to fix after I post a review, and if it’s a trivial thing like a misspelling, I will fix that. It does take practice, I think.

    • Jenny says:

      Unlike Teresa, I often let reviews pile up until I have let my thoughts on the book percolate a bit (or until I have found time to write the review!) Once I sit down to write it, usually with some notes or even an outline at hand, it takes me about an hour, sometimes a little more or less, depending on the prep work I put into it. I often will write posts approaching a thousand words on books that I found really complex or fascinating, so those obviously take a little longer; posts under 500 words are quicker to turn out. Once I’m done, I look it over for typos, and then schedule it and don’t look back. :)

      • Oh, I won! Thank you :) I didn’t see an email, but I emptied my trash before seeing this so maybe that’s why. I’m ldyndiuk at yahoo if you still need the address. Thanks again!

  31. Kristen M. says:

    I’m so behind on my blog commenting but I did want to say happy blogiversary to two wonderful readers! It was great to meet Teresa in March and I hope to meet Jenny someday! Here’s to another year of fantastic reads!

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