Bookie Mee is Five

autumn in Cambridge
autumn in Cambridge

Five years ago in October 2007 I wrote my first post. (In my archives you’d see there are some reviews before that, but those were backdated.) You can’t go five years blogging without some up and down times. When I moved to London 1.5 year ago reading and blogging completely took a backseat while I’m off doing other things. I said sort-of-a-goodbye beginning of the year, but then I kind of still stay. Now the anniversary date made me rethink again what I want to do with this space.

During my down time I thought the blog would probably go into oblivion in a short amount of time, but the opposite happened. This could’ve coupled with the fact that I moved to London from Sydney, but I constantly get offers for review books (of which some really interest me), I got invitations from various theatres, British Library, the TV Book Club, Faber & Faber. If not anything, they’re one of the reasons that keep me posting. I’ve got the confirmation that people are still reading. And that what I write matters to some.

That’s not to say that the rest doesn’t matter as much. The connection with fellow book bloggers means a lot to me, but it just got to the point that I thought I can’t keep up. It’s like everybody is having tea party and you feel like you have to visit them all otherwise you might hurt somebody, all the while organizing your own tea party that you want everybody to visit as well. Some people are very easy to connect with for some reason, and some people are not. You may comment on somebody’s blog for a year regularly before they even comment on yours once. It reminds me of high school – or maybe primary school. Except that I don’t remember trying so hard to make friends in school. It’s all very exhausting.

So after I stepped back a little from blogging – post less, comment less, understandably I get less comments in my posts. But then I also found out that I’m totally okay with it. All a blogger needs is some kind of confirmation that people read, and I think I get that by other means. I’m happy to continue doing what I’m doing now. Casual blogging.

Another thing I found in the past year or so is that I don’t quite enjoy reviewing books as much anymore. Some books I just want to read and I don’t have much to say about. Heck I don’t even feel like giving stars anymore. With no obligation to blog, I can read whatever books I feel like reading at the time, and not necessarily books I want to blog about (fellow book bloggers surely understand the tendency to pick books to read based on their blog-worthiness).

So what is the future of Bookie Mee?

Bookie Mee continues to live! In fact, I’ve got a lot of ideas in my head for future posts. I am thinking that while I don’t enjoy reviewing books much anymore, I still love talking about books or anything book related. And I have a bunch of materials for that that for some reason never see the light of day (a recent example that did). Book blogs are largely about book reviews and I thought I should’ve fit into the mold. But look at other book blogs talking about cooking, knitting, traveling, cats, all of which I don’t mind to see, and even enjoy. I don’t see why I can’t branch out doing other things while staying true to the book spirit this blog originally is for. So keep watching this space y’all!

I was thinking whether I should have a celebratory giveaway of some sort for Bookie Mee’s birthday, but I’ve decided it’s just gonna be a very quiet five this year. Thank you all who have read and are still reading, and those of you who just found your way here. This blog has given me so much more than I ever expected and I’m grateful. Couldn’t have done it without you readers.

(If you have a goodreads account, you can also find me there)

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20 thoughts on “Bookie Mee is Five”

  1. Happy blogiversary :) I think you’re right, sometimes the book blogger world does feel like being back at school, trying to please everyone or else they may just find you less interesting.. I’m still trying to find my own way through this tricky community. Some people are so easy to keep up with, others not so much. But I’ve let go of the idea that I need to comment on every single post. I’m sure fellow bloggers appreciate fewer comments that show that I’ve read their post and thought about it, then a repetition of “great review!”

    I really like your traveling blog posts. If you feel like including more cats/dogs/food into your blog, please do! :D

    1. Thanks Tze-wen! That is a great plan! I now only comment when I really have something to say :)

      I’ll keep most of my travel posts in the travel blog, but will post some that are book related here. Glad you like them ;)

      ps: Very odd, I also thought that you’re on my goodreads. I checked my friends list before accepting your request, and was baffled that I didn’t see you there! Well we’re connected now :D

  2. Congratulations on reaching five years! I understand all the points in your post. Blogging is a real balancing act and I often have problems finding the time to do everything I want to. I no longer review everything I read and that frees me up and stops me worrying about things not being blog worthy. I look forward to many more years of your casual blogging :-)

    1. Jackie, you’re right, the decision not to review everything we read is relieving! Thanks for for the nice comment. You have always been the supportive one :)

  3. Congratulations Dioni! 5 years is a wonderful achievement! I’m a big fan of casual blogging (as we’ve all got busy lives) and I think posts about other things going on in your life are interesting to read so I’m glad you are continuing your blog! I think we’ve all gone through phases of thinking about the points you have made but since we all seem to continue blogging, it must mean we are still having fun!

    1. Lol that’s right, we’re still having fun in spite of all the “down points”. I’m glad you stick around too Sakura. You’ve been a great blogging buddy :D

  4. Congrats on your fifth blogiversary! You started blogging the same year as I did. I still remember you wrote about your move from Sydney to London. Glad you’re keeping up with your blog. You’re right about diversifying the content. I feel the most important is that the content has to reflect you, your interests and passion. So for me, it’s slow blogging on books, movies, and nature. BTW, I love that photo here. What a beautiful fall you’re having. We here in Alberta, Canada, we’ve been having snow for two weeks already. Anyway, good to keep in touch. And, thanks for ‘befriending’ on Goodreads. But I seldom go there, let’s say, Ripple Effects is my main pond. You’re welcome to throw a pebble or two and make some ripples. :)

    1. Arti, thanks! Interesting to know we started in the same year. That was quite a while away wasn’t it?! Especially in the blogging world. I’m now totally into the slow blogging movement. I think it’s almost inevitable if you have blogged for years? There bounds to be some slow time. Our fall is not great most of the time, the photo above was an exceptionally beautiful day in Cambridge. Other days it just rains and fogs a whole lot in London (but no snow!). Wow it must be really cold in Canada. It’s not even officially winter yet! Anyway thanks for your thoughtful comment Arti :)

      ps: I just started to be a bit more active in goodreads, that’s why I started befriending fellow book bloggers. I realize some are not that active on goodreads, but that’s okay.

  5. A happy, happy fifth blogging year to you, Di! You don’t know how much it means to me that you’re still around. I have also let go of so much of the stresses of blogging, since stepping back for so long. Not feeling obliged to blog about every book I read. Not feeling obliged to comment on everything. I’ve lost many readers and comments have been way down but I realise I don’t mind it, too. I find that the people who stuck are the people who hold the same interests as I. So I guess, more often than not, it’s not about leaving people out when it comes to book-blog-connecting, it’s more like flocking unintentionally to those who have the same reading tastes as you. Not in every case but most of the time that’s what I see. I comment on blogs that feature books I’m interested in, and not so much or ever on blogs that feature books I don’t really care about, not because I want to leave them out, but because I have nothing to say. I’m guessing it’s the same for others. Anyway, enough of the ramble. Just want to give you a big *hug* and keep us posted, friend, no matter how few and far between. It’s enough to know that you’re still out there, reading and adventuring.

    1. Claire, thanks for the big Claire bear hug ;D. It means a lot to me too that you’re still around. I guess it’s just like in real life, in that people tend to flock to those who share common things, and for us book bloggers that’s reading taste. But I think it’s a bit more than that too. I think people who stick or you stick with are the ones that you already have a bit more connection with, that you’ve probably known for quite a while, don’t you think? I have not made any new connection for a long time and I tend to just stick with the “oldies” (though maybe it’s just me). When I go around “out there” sometimes there are so many new blogs that I don’t know anymore. It feels like everybody knew everybody back in the days. Not anymore. Aahh I sound really old ;)

      1. That’s true, too. Connection in the past counts a lot! Although I also think it’s more that not many know we’re still around and still blogging. I very recently joined The Classics Club because I wanted to have a clear goal for reading the classics, and incidentally (very surprising to me) several wonderful new-to-me bloggers have visited whose blogs are really to my liking (again, same reading interests). Btw, have you heard anything from Mark David recently? xx

        1. I have not joined any book-blogger event thing for a long time! Definitely a great way to feel like we’re still in the loop. I’m sure I will again when I get my mojo back ;)

          About Mark David, he added me on facebook ages ago so we sometimes say some words here and there. But no he hasn’t been around in book blogging world!

  6. Just got back from holiday, so a bit late in commenting.
    Happy 5th anniversary Dioni. I think it’s very very hard to keep up with the momentum. I find these two years incredibly hard to read and post review. The funny thing is once I read, I wanted to review because I started the blog for myself anyway not for anyone. I record my thoughts about a book because I want to go back one day and find out what the book is all about and what I thought about it, it’s like a book reading journal if you like. Comments from other readers was not a primary reason I blog but it is such a big plus when readers like yourself and many others care to share their thoughts and views, it makes it richer and the exchanges were invaluable.

    I never thought I would reach a point where it feels impossible to write a review anymore, but I’m almost there. I thought Goodread was a great idea, except I don’t have time to add on any books on the virtual shelf since I also have Shelfari!! :D

    Glad that you had fun living in the UK. There is so much to see and to do here in Europe. Hope your life is enriched by it all. All the very best my friend. Even if you are not here, I know where to find you anyway. ;)

    1. Thanks Jo! Hope you enjoyed your holiday! Yes I know what you mean, it’s really nice to be able to come back after years to find out what you thought about a particular book. Just that I found I don’t always need to say 4-5 paragraphs about a book. Sometimes I just have two sentences to say, or maybe a virtual shrug. Or that sometimes I just want to read a book that is simply enjoyable, without me having to give it critique. I think not posting about every book I read is a good option for me, as some other people have stated above.

      So you use Shelfari! I remember back in the days there were a few book catalogue sites that came at around the same time and I signed up with all of them. But over the years I know people who use goodreads more than the other sites so I end up using it a lot more now, and my Shelfari is abandoned. As I remember it you can import your shelf from shelfari to goodreads, in case you’re thinking to join us goodreaders :D

  7. So glad you’re still blogging! Happy bloggiversary <3

    I have found that I can't let my blog stress me out or it is suddenly something that I don't want to do anymore. I have to be casual with it. I try to visit the blogs I love and comment and hope people will comment back. I'm glad to see that you seem to have found a similar philosophy. Blogging should be fun and it should be our space and it should be a wonderful way to make connections. Blogging should be whatever you want it to be.

    Here's to many more years!

    1. Thank you Lu, much appreciated :). Yes your philosophy sounds very similar to mine. Isn’t it kinda weird that we have to keep reminding ourselves to take the pressures off and just have fun?! I’m glad that you’re still blogging too, in your own time. Here’s to many more years ahead for us! :D

    1. Thanks Mel! I agree with you both. I don’t think any blogger could pass the first several months if they don’t do it for themselves most of all.

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