I thought I’d write a short post about what brought me to become a book blogger. This may serve as an introduction to others in the blogging community as well as an explanation to my friends who have asked me about all those FB posts… I came up with three reasons. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Spending too much money on books: I’ve always been a reader, probably because my parents have always read a lot. I remember going to the library every week growing up to get books. My dad would run over to the thriller/spy/mystery section and pick up several paperbacks to read on the bus to and from work. And I would pick out enough books to stay up to speed on the summer A’s baseball read-a-thon. I had to get my upper-deck tix for a mid-week game in the middle of August vs the White Sox! This love of reading has stayed with me all my life. To save money, I’d scour the Goodwill shelves and used book stores, and then when I switched to reading on a Kindle, I’d have to scroll through five daily-deal emails from BookBub and the like. But when January rolled around this year, I had a thought, where do people get those ARC books that I’ve seen in used book stores? How can I get those? I hopped on the Google, and found NetGalley and Edelweiss, two services that offer advanced copies of books in exchange for honest reviews. After some research, I decided to use NetGalley. I requested a few books and 83 posts later, I’m still here.
- Health: As many of us do, I gained some weight in my 30s. Five pounds a year doesn’t sound like much but over the course of 10-15 years, it definitely adds up. My joints were hurting after chasing my kids around all the time, my clothes weren’t fitting well, and I was ready to make some changes. After my birthday last August, I dropped beer and adjusted my diet. But I had hit a plateau around the new year. I decided to pair my book addiction with exercise, and dusted off my stationary bike and started reading and pedaling. I now do most of my reading in the garage after the kids go to sleep. I’m much happier with my health now and, I’m feeling better than I have in many, many years.
- A Hobby: I firmly believe that everyone needs a passion, something in their life that can be their own. I had coached high school baseball for 19 years, but decided to step away from the game in advance of the birth of our second child. I don’t spend nearly the number of hours on reading and writing than I did on the field or working on baseball-related things, but this new hobby definitely gives me a sense of accomplishment and community. People ask me, You don’t watch TV? I answer, No, binging a show doesn’t give me the same feeling of completion as reading a book and writing a review. I’ve been very lucky to have reviewed some very good books so far, ones that have garnered Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly stars, and other honors. I hope to continue on this path for as long time as I can.
Thank you to all who have supported me in my efforts in my new hobby, especially my wife who has always been there for me.