What I love about the blogging world is that it feels like a safe place for me. I can rave about books I love, fangirl over upcoming releases, rant about bookish pet peeves, and push books on people like no other, and no one judges. We all love books, we've all been there, and I feel like I have had a lot of great conversations and made friends with people I've never met in person.
Most of my "real life" friends know I'm a bookworm. Every birthday present since the age of five has involved books or gift cards for books or bookmarks. What my friends don't realize is just how much I read, and that I get review copies and ARCs from publishers. Sometimes I'm so excited about a book that I have an ARC of and I start recommending it to my friends and then they ask questions about how the whole blogging thing works and then comes the inevitable question:
Can I see your blog?
I don't know about you, but ironically my blog is my secret safe place. I feel like I can be completely honest about what I liked and didn't like and not be judged for it. With friends who know me in real life and who have a certain expectation or image of me, I'm a little nervous about them judging my reading tastes or my eloquence (and lack thereof) in my reviews. So many of my friends only read literature and classics and as much as I enjoy a good piece of classic or contemporary literature once in a while, I much prefer my books to be fun. I mostly read genre fiction because it's entertaining. I love being emotionally invested in characters and worlds, and I read books so that I can laugh and cry and think about all the what ifs. I feel like my more...literary...friends would judge my reading tastes and maybe even look down on me. I'm not ashamed that I mostly read genre fiction, but it still stings when someone tells you, "Oh yeah, you still read sci-fi and fantasy and all that, don't you?"
You, my readers, know who I am in the book sphere. Somehow I'm not as worried about what you bookworms and bloggers would think of me if you met me in real life as I am of real life friends discovering my blogger self. So far I've only met one blogger friend (Nikki from TWBI!) and it was so much fun. I felt like I could still be myself and the only difference was that I was freaking out in person instead of in all caps on twitter! I'm looking forward to going to an author signing or a conference at some point and getting to meet even more of you lovely people!