Six Years of Blogging and New Bookshelves

WordPress has reminded me today that I have been blogging on this site for six years now. A small and modest achievement compared to bloggers like Steve at This Space, flowerville, and Stu from Winston’s Dad.

However, there also seems to be a trend of bloggers declaring that the blog and blogosphere are dead, abandoning their blogs and moving on to the latest and greatest forms of media like Instagram, podcasts, and YouTube. I was joking with a writer on Twitter who said the next thing we know there will be literary TikToks.

But especially now, in the area of lockdowns and pandemic, the quiet, kind and interesting corner of the Internet that consists of literary bloggers has been a source of friendship and solace for me. This also includes the wonderful connections I’ve made on Twitter via the bookish and artistic communities. Many of us are in lockdown with only a few family members or even alone—for me the only people I’ve seen are my husband and daughter. Going to work and having social interactions with colleagues and friends has also come to a hault. We are social beings and loss of daily human contact with a variety of people feels like something we took for granted. I am particularly grateful these days for my blog, my book friends and my Twitter friends. And so I carry on with these primitive and so-five-years-ago media platforms despite what the other cool kids have moved on to.

In other news, my Mother’s Day gifts were three new bookshelves for my bookroom. My poetry collection was getting out of control and as my daughter quipped in a Mother’s Day poem she composed for me, “I admire that you count books by the stack.”

It was exciting, albeit exhausting, to load and organize my new shelves and I’ve come up with some new categories with which I have that grouped my books together. I have collected so many books from Carcanet that they now have their own section:

Carcanet Press Collection

And I have been very interested in reading the diaries and notebooks of authors. I’ve been captivated, for instance, by Paul Valéry’s Notebooks which were published in English in 5 volumes. So now I have a section dedicated to such notebooks and diaries:

Diaries and Notebooks

I’ve also collected quite a few titles from Ugly Duckling Presse which publishes some of most aesthetically interesting books and chapbooks:

Ugly Duckling Presse Collection

I described in a post back in January that one if my reading goals for this year is to read a series of books about music so they have been given their own section:

Books about Music

The rest of the poetry books are categorized by country/region— English, American, Italian, Latin American, Russian, etc.

English, American, Italian, Latin American, etc.
More American poetry, Robert Kelly and Michael Hamburger
Russian and French Poets and Poetry Magazines

And finally, I have a shelf of books for my read now stack that used to be covering and stacked underneath the coffee table:

The Read Now Section

Now I’m wondering if maybe these “gifts” were a bit self-serving so that we can all see, and use, the coffee table again.


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52 responses to “Six Years of Blogging and New Bookshelves

  1. Congratulations!
    The bookish corner of the internet is a cozy and civilized salon. Let’s keep it that way, we get the best out of technology.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. rajkashana

    Congratulations! Yes, I have been hearing about death of blogs for a long time now. I think it’s a good filter. Only those who are really interested in writing continue to blog and they are getting plenty of readers. Those who immediately move to greener pastures are marketers, not bloggers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Liz

    One of the best things in life is the arrival of new bookshelves so that one can have hours of endless fun arranging and re-arranging one’s collection. Happy days! And congratulations on your blog-versary – may there be many more years to come. 👏🏻🏆🎉🎂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It was my seventh blogging anniversary last month. I too sometimes have misgivings about carrying on, but these moments pass, and the kind, book-reading people across the world show that talking about what interests us still matters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Simon. Sometimes I go through phases where I don’t blog for a couple of weeks. But I always come back to it because of the wonderful experiences with other literary people.


  5. Happy anniversary! Like you, I’m finding Book Twitter and the literary blogosphere a source of friendship and connectivity during the lockdown, particularly as online interactions remain out of reach of the virus. Lovely bookshelves, btw – it looks as if you had fun arranging everything! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Jacqui. I’ve found myself interacting more with the lovely people from book blogging and Twitter during lockdown. It’s been such a nice source of support. I hope you are doing well!


  6. Happy aniversary, Melissa. Absolutely with you in how comforting it is to have virtual friends in the book blogosphere. Always a joy but particularly now that seeing physical ones is so difficult. It’s been, and will continue to be, such a solace. And how lovely to spend a day sorting out new bookshelves!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Six years is an achievement so take a moment to celebrate what you’ve achieved Melissa. I’ve seen all those comments about blogging being on its death bed – the statistics for the numbers of blogs launched every week shows that this isn’t the case.
    You’ve reminded me it’s time I overhauled my book cases too

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Happy blogaversary! Six years is a great achievement and I really admire your poetry collection! I hope book blogs won’t disappear. I am that kind of a person who prefers to process information through reading, and if Youtube and Instagram will take over from book bloggers, I don’t know what I will do because all the Instagram photographs/comment discussions and YouTube speeches will not replace for me the written opinion of a book blogger 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Loading the coffee table sounds like a good ploy for gaining bookshelves – I’m making a note! What a great gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations! Such an achievement! I think I’m approaching 8 years and I don’t plan to move on – this may be an old-fashioned way to communicate, but it suits me too and I so agree with all you say about the loveliness of the online book community. Shelves are the perfect gift and reorganising books a wonderful pastime. Thank you for sharing your books – they look most appetising! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Vishy

    Happy Blogiversary, Melissa! Loved your post! Beautiful new bookshelves you have got! Loved spying on your bookshelves 😁 The Carcanet editions look so beautiful! Did I spot two different editions of the Collected Poems of W.H.Auden? So nice! So jealous 😊 The edition of Paul Valery’s diaries you have – it looks so gorgeous! ‘The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem’ – I want to read that! I have heard a lot about Alex Ross’ ‘The Rest is Noise’. Will look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. Have you read Nick Hornby’s ’31 Songs’?

    Have a wonderful year of reading! Will look forward to your reviews and posts! Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Vishy! I really like the Penguin book of prose poems as well as the Ross. Definitely recommend both! I haven’t read the Hornby but I will look into it. Thanks so much!!


  12. I think that the internet is big enough for us to have our own little niche, which we all value for so many different reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Great six years and wonderful tour of your shelves

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Rohan Maitzen

    Happy anniversary! Lovely shelves. 🙂

    I so agree about the ongoing rewards of being part of a book blogging community – or, as it sometimes seems, of a few overlapping book blogging communities! I think the whole ‘blogging is dead’ discourse comes from people who only ever paid much attention to the really high profile ones: it seems to me that most of the bloggers I ever read are still puttering away, though it’s true some of the discussion has shifted from the comments boxes to Twitter. Anyway, I always read your posts with pleasure and usually learn from them too! So I’m glad you’ve kept it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Rohan. I always read and learn from your posts as well. Now more than ever I am grateful for for blogs like yours and the community on Twitter. I hope you and your family are doing well and staying safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Happy Blogversary Melissa!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It is lovely to see all the photos of your bookshelves, and had made me feel a little less outlandish with all of mine, and my 2000+ books… long may you continue blogging, and I wish I had as much interaction from my followers as you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Happy Anniversary, Melissa. I thought we started roughly at the same time but it seems I’ve been at it much longer.
    I’m getting back to more regular blogging and hopefully also visiting and commenting.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Really glad you’re blogging, and love these book categories!!!


  19. Happy 6 years, Melissa! And I’m so glad there are still lots of book bloggers out there to keep me company! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thanks for including me Melissa, and well done on reaching the milestone. I think blogging has changed, and I liked the ‘marketers, not bloggers’ line, as it sums up the difference in what is sought in the form.

    Reading this post reminded me of one I wrote nearly 15 years counting the number of books I owned and listing the highest. I wouldn’t do such a thing today, which is a shame (and the details wouldn’t be much different). I tend to group my books by author rather than subject matter, so this is easier to compile:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your good wishes and kind words, Steve. You know that I admire your blog greatly and that you continue to write quality posts and engage on Twitter. Thank you for that and for being a goid friend.

      I will read this post with great interest. I have struggled with how to organize my books. Some are grouped by author and most by language. I start changing things around when I start losing books.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Daniel Fraser

    Congratulations Melissa! Here’s to the next six 🙂

    As someone whose library is mostly still packed away in banana boxes, a very jealousy-inducing post too.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What a lovely post Melissa! Congratulations on completing 6 years of blogging. And I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of your shelves.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Congratulations, Melissa. I, too, am appreciating the online community of readers as I miss the camaraderie of work. And I always enjoy looking at other people’s bookshelves!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Happy blog-anniversary, Melissa!
    I agree with you, this bookish community is a source of much joy and connection to many of us. What I like about blogging is the space and freedom it gives us, something I don’t find in other platforms (which tend to be more marketing-oriented, tbh).
    I love your shelves! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Patrick Coleman

    Just discovered your blog, coincidentally as I finished reading Michael Hamburger’s Truth of Poetry, and saw you have a whole shelf of his stuff! I must check out the MH Reader… thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading! The Hamburger reader is excellent. Have you also read String of Beginnings? Also excellent. I’m about half way through The Truth of Poetry right now.


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