QGR Retrospective: The First Year

I have been blogging at Jehara since 2007; however, my endeavors with QGR have been my first serious effort at officially entering the book blogosphere. The book niche was one of the first I discovered after I started blogging. I loved it. I learned so much from other book bloggers. People write about books they read! People actually track their reading stats! There are reading challenges!!!! Yeah, I ate that right up and promptly adopted those bookish habits that appealed to me.

But because I wrote about a variety of things I didn’t feel right including myself in that very specific niche. And finally it dawned on me that I very much wanted to be a part of it. Hence, the idea for QGR was born. I am so blessed to have these amazing ladies willing and ready to take this journey along with me.

One of my favorite things about QGR is access to the book blogging community. I love community events and it has been such a privilege to have taken part this year:

The Readathon-We hosted mini-challenges during both readathons this year and had amazing participation. The readathon is my hands-down FAVORITE blogging community event. I have been participating since 2008; however, it felt different and even more fun to be participating under the QGR name. (Perhaps, I felt more validated as a bonafide book blogger? Hmmm)

Armchair BEA and BBAW-This was my first time participating in these events, although I have been aware of them since their inception. I had such a blast!! I loved the daily prompts and reading everyone else’s thoughtful responses. And participating in the interview swaps was so much fun. I loved getting to learn more about bloggers in a personal way.

Being interviewed by Michelle was awesome. Her thoughtful questions made me look at our group blogging venture in a new light. I think sometimes I may take for granted that I am surrounded by awesome people and very little drama. I just expect that things will work out swimmingly, and they pretty much do. As a result of that interview, I am even more grateful for the seamless and joyful setup we have going on over here.

Not only did I learn from the questions she posed, but I learned a lot from Michelle’s response to my questions. I was hugely inspired by her ability to listen to audiobooks while crunching numbers all day. And I was inspired by her precise organization of her books via Google docs. I was so inspired that I tentatively busted out the books at work. I was surprised at how much I loved it. It makes my work day go by that much faster and when I am on boring, mindless projects, it makes the work that much less dull. I can’t listen all the time, but there are plenty of days where audiobooks have saved my workday sanity. Thanks, Michelle!

Some of my favorite posts from 2011:

Our Harry Potter book v movie series leading up to the last HP movie ever.

Sneak peeks at my fellow quirky girls’ shelves

A double review with Izzy

Izzy’s love letter to Darcy (which combined with Molly’s continued encouragement of reading classics, even just one a year, finally got me to actually read P&P)

Margot’s breakdown of the Pulitzer winners (which inspired me to read A Visit from the Goon Squad)

Our ode to House of Night.

Looking back, it seems that the posts that are most memorable to me are the ventures that were undertaken by all or some of us together, the posts that directly affected my reading experience, and the posts that took me out of my comfort zone.

2011 was fantastic, full of enjoyment, and loads of fun. I am so grateful to share this corner of the interwebs with my fellow quirky girls. I look forward to more adventures together in the years to come.

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4 Responses to QGR Retrospective: The First Year

  1. Bumbles says:

    Oh – exactly! I now feel valid in the book blogging community because of you & QGR instead of some interloper. Thank you for creating a space where things do always go swimmingly :0)

  2. Margot says:

    Wow, what an amazing year it’s been, especially when I look at all the items you outlined here. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this experiment of ours.

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