Thursday, June 22, 2006

BOOKS: If This Site Were a Car, It'd Be an Old-School Volvo

At some point in the past day or so, the odometer on this site clicked past a magical milestone: 200,000 visits.

Well, technically, we probably passed that marker a while back, but I didn't start tracking visits till just over a year ago. Either way, exciting!

If this site were a car, I'd probably have to think about trading it in. On the other hand, if this site were a car, it would probably be an old-school Volvo, so at 200,000 clicks it'd just be hitting its stride. But I digress. And given that Blogger doesn't seem to be allowing some folks to comment these days, perhaps my Volvo analogy shouldn't be scrutinized too closely. Let's move along.

For a while now, I've been looking for an opportunity -- not that I should really need one -- to say a few things. I want to tell you all how flattered I am that you come here, and how enormously honoured I am every time I learn that someone has added me to their blogroll or otherwise linked to 50 Books. I want to tell you how much I appreciate everyone who takes a few seconds or minutes to post, whether it's a comment on a book or just a note telling me you've dropped by. I read every single comment you leave, and I wish I had enough time to respond personally to each one.

This site means a lot to me. It's the first time I've ever tried to order my thoughts around the books I read, and this is a (no doubt narcissistic) exercise I've come to really enjoy. Plus, I can finally remember the plots of books I've read a whole six months ago! Unprecedented!

Most importantly -- and unexpectedly -- I've found an amazing community of likeminded readers. When I started this blog almost a year and a half ago, thinking it would just be a list of the books I'd read, I hesitated over whether to allow comments. My first thought was, Who the heck's even going to find my site, much less post on it? And my second thought was, What if people do find my site, and they're crazy? My misgivings were unfounded. If any of you are crazy, you're the best kind of crazy.

I've been around this ol' internet for a long time, and my throat closes up when I think about how proud and moved I am that one of the nicest, smartest groups of people I've ever encountered online is a bunch of characters I met right here on my own site. As much as I love writing my posts for you to read, I love even more reading your funny, intelligent, thoughtful replies. There've been times -- especially during the long, dark, wet winter when I was confined to the house all day with young Master Sam and duelling head colds -- when you all saved me from me from certain insanity. You may not realize that you did, but you did.

I consider you all friends, lurkers and non-lurkers alike. May the Great Librarian give you all the books you've ever desired, and all the time in the world in which to read them.

16 comments:

doris day said...

aw shucks.... we love you too!

jagosaurus said...

Yeah! What doris day said!

I love you blog as much for your personality as for you literary prowess, and am honored to be on your blogroll.

roughmagic said...

You're the first site I read every day, and not just because you like a lot of the same books I do or because I adore your sense of humor. It's because you do seem to think of your posts and your readers' posts as an ongoing conversation among members of a warm community. I'm incredibly impressed that you respond to so many of the comments on your posts. It means a lot to know that there's a real -- and a really nice -- person on the other end of the DSL connection! Thank YOU, everyday, for your words and yourself. Sam's a lucky kid.

Em said...

You've restored my faith in grown-ups.
And the Volvo thing is right on the mark--there has never been a point in my life where my family has not owned a Volvo, (I think we hit four at our peak--but one didn't run, one had to be taken off the road since the floorboards were on the verge of disintigrating and the mechanic was shocked the engine block hadn't fallen out yet and then I wrote off one in the ditch after some ditz jumped a stop sign.)
But they do last forever, and everyone likes Volvos. Family car, first car, retirement car--it's a car for all generations to love.
So huzzah for 50 Books!

Anonymous said...

Just thought I would pass this along. Have your tried paperbackswap.com yet? Great concept, great books. As a fellow reader, I thought you might want to know about it, if you didn't already.

Love the blog!

Meepers said...

Ahhhhh... the sweetest book-nerd-loving post EVAH! I found this site via Tomato Nation/Damn Hell Ass Kings about a year ago or so - and I've never looked back. As a book-lover from way back when (First serious book: Moby Dick, age seven. Love at first read, never looked back) this blog is one of the few I read that is both amusing (good times with Young Master Sam) and thought-provoking/inspiring to me to keep on searching for the Next Great Book.

jam said...

The concept of heaven as giant, neverending library -- now that's something I can get behind. I mostly lurk, too, but it's always a good time at 50 books. I really appreciate a good book-nerd site where I don't somehow feel ashamed of all my varied reading tastes. I feel like I'm welcome despite the fact that I sprinkle the odd romance novel in with the Great Literature (and you'd be surprised, or maybe you wouldn't, at the number of sites where I'd NEVER mention that I pick up any genre fiction at all!). Anyway, it is a warm community here that you've created, and it's led me to some terrific reads that I might never have run across on my own. I like to search the archives for ideas whenever I'm headed to the library or the bookstore.

Mom Appeal said...

I have no idea how I found this site. I can't remember. But I visit every. single. day. Even though I don't have time to read much more than the cereal box anymore, I still love books just on account of because. I grew up in our small town library begging my mom to hurry up and pick one already. Then one day - she was bugging me to get a move on. I feel like I found my long lost sister here at 50 Books. Thank you!

Alice said...

Aw!

There are a lot of book related blogs out there, but this is the only one I read regularly. Not just because I think we share a lot of opinions about books, but because you're an excellent writer and have a super cute kid.

There are a number of books I've picked up at your recommendation (just finished Never Let Me Go, and my God, did I ever love it) and I've also taken a re-look at books I didn't love the first time around to see if I might get a new read on them.

And knowing that you like us all just makes it all the better!

rocketgirl said...

What roughmagic said :)

Most of my friends either don't have the time or just aren't interested in reading and analysing books the way I am so this blog and it's excellent comments section has been a great discovery. The humour and warmth that come with the thoughtful, intelligent reflections are an added bonus.

I learn something new every day through reading your posts. So, as roughmagic said, thank YOU!

Her Ladyship said...

Congrats! Your site always is a fun read - your writing voice is really vibrant and amusing. It makes me feel a bit guilty that I don't read anywhere near the amount of books that I used to, but I try and make use of it by keeping a running log of books you mention and using it to guide me when reserving books at the library. Thanks for the tips.

girlfiend said...

what a nice post. Thanks for writing.

Lazy cow said...

Lovely post. I enjoy your writing and the way you think.

Quillhill said...

I used to be a believer, but I sat in the library late into the night waiting for the Great Librarian to bring me the book that I wanted, but the Great Librarian never appeared. Someone told me it was because I had doubts. Well, now I'm sure the Great Librarian doesn't exist!

Julie said...

Thanks for writing, fellow nerd. I really, really enjoyed the Alice Munro story you linked.

Jennifer said...

Congratulations! Melina and I both love your blog. She tries to pick the keys off the keyboard while I read it - I guess it's the equivalent of chewing on the corner of a book. Anyway, I really enjoy your sense of humor and take your book recommendations to heart! Thanks for your efforts! (Ollalie)