Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Sunday Salon: To Blog, or Not to Blog

Sunday Salon Logo
Yes, that is the question. I have to be 100% honest and admit that I have been toying the idea with hanging up my hat at Melissa's Bookshelf. Not because I don't still love to read and share my thoughts, but because I don't feel that I have really been an active member of the book blogging community for quite some time. I am horrible about commenting on other blogs. Absolutely pathetic. My own blog has been sadly neglected of late. I just don't have the time for reading that I used to and my reviews are few and far between these days.

But then I look at my blog and I think of all the time and effort I have put into it, and I simply can't imagine letting it go. I may not be as great about keeping up with it as I used to be, but I do still like having it as my point of reference for all the books I've read and reviewed. So I think what I have come to realize is this: Book blogging has become something that I do more for myself and less to be part of the community. Does that sound as bad as I think it does? I certainly hope not, because it is not meant to be a knock on the amazing group of book bloggers out there and all the hard work they do. I love the world of book blogging. I just haven't been particularly active in it lately. My job may involve running a bookstore, but unfortunately that doesn't mean that my life revolves around books. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Yesterday I happened to visit Trish's Reading Nook only to discover that it was now the Non-Fiction Five Challenge and that she was no longer devoting a blog 100% to her reading. As sad as I was to discover that, I could completely sympathize with her on the decision she made and why. Reading her post about the transition really got me thinking even more about why I have my blog and what I should do with it. I'm glad I'll be able to "stay in touch" with Trish via her personal blog that will happen to have bookish posts every now and then. She's a great blogger with thoughtful and insightful posts, and one of the first I came across when I looked to carve out my own niche in the book blogging community.

Sometimes I wonder if it is some of the blogging controversies that have popped up from time to time that have kind of deterred me from blogging as much, but I really don't think so. I rarely voiced my opinions on any of the issues that arose because frankly, I didn't want to get involved with it. Take that how you will.

This blog is about my love of reading and sharing it with anyone who cares to read about it. The books I love, the books I hate (which are rare), and those that fall somewhere between. Sadly, I don't have the time to devote to all of your blogs like I used to, and believe me, no one hates that more than I do. But no more beating myself up about it. If I only have one book read and reviewed in a month (ahem, April 2010), so be it. I've even decided that I am not going to bother with reading challenges anymore, because in all honesty, there is too good a chance that I WON'T complete them, and why give myself something else to feel guilty about?

Yes, I will still participate in some of the weekly memes when the spirit moves me. Goodness knows I love Teaser Tuesdays, hosted by Miz B and Should Be Reading! "Waiting on" Wednesday, Friday Finds, and The Sunday Salon are also some favorites of mine. So no, I don't intend to fall of the face of the book-blogging planet. I'll even be on Twitter (@Melsbookshelf) every now and then there's Melissa's Bookshelf on Facebook, so you can find me there, too. Somehow my blog is still growing in readership despite my spotty posting of late and for that, I can't thank my readers enough. Your comments, link-sharing, and so much more mean the world to me and I am so glad that you have found your way to my little ol' blog. And thank you alike to authors and publishers who have been so generous in sharing review copies of their books and inviting me to participate in Book Tours. I never dreamed that my blog would become what it has, so thank you for helping me to make that possible!

With that, happy Sunday and happy reading!


  1. Melissa,
    I know exactly what you mean about trying to decide whether to continue blogging or not. Keeping a blog as thoughtful, detailed, organized and informative as yours is is not an easy thing to do. If you ultimately decide not to continue, know that you've made a huge difference to many, many of us here in the blogosphere. If you do decide to continue blogging, we'll continue to learn from you whenever you get the chance to post and comment.

  2. You should definitely be blogging for yourself. Sometimes life has only a little room for blogging but it is YOUR blog to do as you want. I think we all feel this way at times and just have to do what is best. I neglected mine for a couple months b/c I wasn't reading and I just would not let myself feel guilty. I had stuff going on and that took precedence.
    I hope you stay!

  3. I feel your pain Melissa....I think book blogging for me in the last few months has become overwhelming....Theres been weeks where I feel the blog is taking over my life. I love doing it but I need to draw back a bit to not feel stressed out from it. I feel guilty as I recieve review books and then cant review them because I have to many...Your post really gives me something to ponder...

  4. I say keep it up at your own pace. Just because you don't have time to slavishly devote to it, doesn't mean you have to give it up entirely.

  5. I completely understand. I review books because I want to, it is a hobby, bit a paying job. Sometimes I lose sight of that until my life reminds me that I have other priorities. I visit a lot of blogs through book memes but I do not know many book bloggers. I have cut back a lot and notice I cut back more and more each week and guess what? I do not miss it. I am much more relaxed than a few weeks ago.


  6. Melissa - I think we have all been there at some point in time. Blogging is a hobby and should be fun. If you aren't having fun, then maybe it is time to take a step back. No one will fault you for doing so. Whatever you decide, we'll be here for you (or on Twitter)!

  7. It can become like chasing your own tail-keep it real, keep it sane. We'll still check back and visit!

  8. Your blog should be for you first and the rest of us second. No matter how many posts or how frequent they are, I'll be here to read them.

  9. I feel the same way. I find it harder to blog, because of limited access to a computer. Also, I think I just am not as driven to do so. I don't want to give up on my blog completely, but I feel like it is more for me than other people. It has been that way from the start.

    So I just don't stress about it. I can still connect with other book bloggers on Twitter.

  10. I think that book blogging is something you have to do because you want to. It's not something you should ever be feeling guilty about not doing.

    I'd be sad to see your blog go, so I hope you'll keep it up every once in a while. But there's nothing wrong with a hiatus until you feel like taking it up again.

  11. Melissa, I can totally relate. I'm very non consistent in blogging. I had to tell myself that when I started my blog, it really was just for me. I had no idea there was a community out there. The more I learned about the community, the more I wanted people to "like" me. I've since then decided that my blog is meant for me as a record of all my books read and recipes tasted. I no longer care if I don't read a book for more than two weeks and there aren't any posts. I know that I've made a few good friends through book blogging, like you =), that I keep in touch with on Facebook. So don't worry about who's reading (or who isn't). Go back to the beginning and make it yours =)

  12. Yes. Me too. I mostly have a really hard time keeping up with other people's blogs (which is why I'm commenting two days late). I like to keep up with mine, but I think I will forever remain in obscurity because I'm not good at networking and commenting consistently at other blogs. Eh. I'm ok with it right now. Feel free to neglect commenting at my blog too :)

  13. Some times you just have to take a step back for a while, and take back a bit of time for yourself, and to find some enjoyment in other things. Over the time I have been blogging there have been several occasions where you can really see that blogging has become hard work, but in due course, the excitement, the need to share and the fun comes back. It is very cyclical.

    Some times I use memes as my only blogging for a week simply to keep in touch, but other weeks I struggle to fit everything I want to post in.

    Hopefully you can find your balance, and if you so desire it, that blogging is part of that balance.

  14. What a heartfelt post Melissa. I too feel guilty when I can't keep up with commenting and being 'in the know'. But something has to give and sometimes it's the blogging. You have to do what is best for you. Your blog is thoughtful and thought provoking ( and gosh darn it - really pretty) so I'll stop in when I have have time and you write when you have time!

  15. I can't thank all of you enough for your supportive, thoughtful comments! Don't worry, I don't see this blog going anywhere. I think that perhaps I just needed to put my thought in writing and just have others understand what's going on with me these days and why I might not be around as much as I would like to...

    Margot ~ Your support and kindness is always appreciated, thanks for being such a loyal reader of my blog!

    Bookmagic ~ Thanks so much for your kind words. It is good to hear from others who've "been there" even if it's a place we don't necessarily want to be.

    Tina ~ It is interesting what can trigger these thoughts, isn't it? Good luck as you figure out what works best for you with your blogging!

    Lenore ~ How right you are!

    Jennifer ~ I am definitely becoming more relaxed now that I have "officially" cut back on blogging. I am not worrying about self-imposed deadlines or others. I will blog for myself and simply be grateful that others choose to read it too!

    Michelle ~ Your support is much appreciated! I don't think I'll be taking a full-on break just yet but I have decided not to be afraid of that option down the road :-)

    Peaceful Reader ~ What a great way of putting it! Thanks for keeping up with me anyway~

    Ryan G ~ I always enjoy seeing your comments. Thank you for being such a faithful reader and for sharing your thoughts on my posts!

    Haiku Amy ~ Good for you! I have found my stress pretty much dissipating now and it is great!

    NotNessie ~ Not to worry, as I mentioned earlier, I just can't see my blog going away. I have put too much of myself into it to simply let it go. Thanks for your kind, supportive words!!

    Kristina ~ You are so right and I couldn't have put it any better than you did. I will see you on Facebook!! :-)

    melissa @ 1lbr ~ I have almost totally lost touch with all the other blogs--I actually think that is what I have felt the most guilty about in the end. I hope to make some time soon to dive back into my reader and visit the blogs I've missed so much.

    Marg ~ I couldn't agree more--blogging really is cyclical. I think I am close to finding my balance, and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me as I work through this.

    Luanne ~ Thank you so much for your unbelievably kind words. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment and share your support.

    Again, everyone, I can't tell you how much it has meant to me when I read all of your comments. Big hugs to you all!

  16. I agree completely that blogging should be fun. I also really enjoy your blog and hope you continue.

    I recently made the decision to discontinue my "personal" blog and combine that with my "book" blog because it was too time-consuming to keep up with both. Plus, my favorite book blogs are the ones that continue a lot about the blogger's personal life, as well as book reviews.

    There's always room for making your blog whatever suits you best--including decreased postings.


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