Friday, December 29, 2017

It's Time to Say...Farewell

As many of you may have guessed from the inactivity over the past few months, I have decided to stop blogging.

First and foremost: I am sorry. I cannot say enough how immensely happy this blog has made me. In the five years since I began blogging, I've grown so much as a person and have learned so much from each and every one of you. All of the comments, views, real-life meet-ups, and online discussions have meant the world to me. I found a community that I couldn't find in high school and one very different from the one I discovered in college and for that, I will always be grateful. This blog and the people I have met through it have shaped me in indescribable ways.

But, I always blogged just for fun; for me. And, this past year, blogging has gotten really tough. One of the best aspects of blogging, for me, has been the community of bloggers I've gotten to know, alongside the authors and readers and simply being so on top of the latest YA news. Recently, though, I've noticed a shift to BookTube, away from simple reviews and other blog content, and I've felt out-of-the-loop. Whether that's because I've been devoting more time to my life and college instead of this online community, or whether it's because it simply takes more effort, now, to get to know BookTubers alongside bloggers and maybe even make an entrance into that world in order to feel the same way I felt about the online book community before...I don't know. But despite creating this blog and its content just for myself, I have to admit that I have my reservations about the shift in this online community to BookTube and it has made blogging become a chore for me.

And I don't want this to be a chore.

I used to love blogging. I used to devour books with the intent of writing reviews and inciting conversations with others. Now, I tend to see a lot of promoted content on BookTube and the book blogging community has dwindled, for sure. I feel like I'm simply posting content but not interacting with that content the way I want to be, and I'm not sure how to change that, short of trying to integrate this blog into BookTube, and I don't want to do that. I don't have the resources to do that. I don't have the time or money to get video equipment and learn to use it and film myself and hold up my e-ARCs because I don't have physical copies of books to flash on the internet...that's not for me.

I also have to admit that this niche I created for myself--YA Blogging--is no longer applicable for me. I've been disappointed by YA over the years. I think though the quantity has increased, the quality has not. There are a few quality YA releases every year, don't get me wrong, but I don't love the majority of the books that readers are swooning over. And that makes me feel distant from the community, too. It isn't just a shift to BookTube, it's a shift in who I am, as well! I want to read more Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, Biographies...everything! And that's OK. And I can still blog about that, I know I can, but like I said, for me this blog isn't simply about posting and getting views, it's about the interactions; the community. And I love the community I've created in this space, but I don't think continuing this blog is the best way to interact with that community, anymore.

So, starting 2018, I will not be posting on this space anymore. I aim to be more active on Goodreads, commenting on reviews and hopefully re-kindling discussions on that platform. I will still be reading all of your blogs, faithfully, even if I don't comment and I just want to say that I am so, so sorry if I'm letting anyone down. I really have felt a lot happier and less stressed by taking time away from this blog, though, and I think at this stage in my life, when change is the only constant, I need to focus on that instead of this. I hate doing things half-heartedly and if I'm continuing with this blog, I want to give it my 100%. And I can't do that right now.

To my fellow bloggers, readers who followed me from Goodreads, and online friends: I can never thank you enough. Thank you for your endless support, your book mail that cheered me up when nothing else could, the e-mails theorizing about every detail of our favorite series, and most importantly, for sharing your lives and a part of your hearts with me every time you recommended a book you LOVED. Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone in the books you gifted me, and for making me the person I am today. I love you.

To all the authors who have reached out to me over the past five years, gracing me with your presence through an e-mail or a package, or even the authors who I've been lucky enough to interview and get to know: thank you for writing. Thank you for being open-minded and accepting of my reviews, when they gave your book 5 Stars but especially when they didn't. I've curated some wonderful author friendships through this platform and thank you for allowing me to pursue my passion and celebrate books, daily, with you.

To all the publishers who have taken a leap of faith and sent me an ARC or finished copy of a book: thank you! I still remember the high of getting my first physical ARC and the thrill of book mail will never get old. Thank you for sticking with me these past five years, switching addresses from my home address to my college address and back, for the e-mails and support and for showing me that professional relationships can be wonderful, too.

Though this is goodbye for Ivy Book Bindings, I still plan to be an active member of the online book community and I hope to keep in touch with everyone, either through their blogs or through social media or, best of all, through Goodreads. I cannot thank each and every one of you personally, but you know who you are and all that you have meant to me.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so, so much for these past five and a half years. You have given me some of the happiest moments of my life and I can never thank you enough for that.