blogging · books · shanti · Shar

The THIRD BLOGOVERSARY aka what is this

Hi Virtually Readers! Life is crazy sometimes and we have been blogging for three years. That’s 16.8% of our lives. It’s almost unbelievable that three years ago two girls sat by a laptop and signed up for wordpress and started to write about books.  But, obviously, we’re very happy to be here. As you may notice, we have a new design! Isn’t it pretty? We’re still working through a few kinks, but Shar did this a few weeks ago and I supported her and offered somewhat helpful advice along the way.We are going to have a giveaway at some point during this year, but our lives are just a bit busy right now, so that won’t be for a while.



  • We’ve written 344 blog posts (not counting this one) in total
  • So far we’ve had 8107 views in 2017 and gotten 903 comments (thanks guys! comments are the best)
  • we have 393 wordpress followers (so close to 400!) and 14 email followers and 53 bloglovin’ followers

Thanks to everyone who has read, subscribed, commented, recommended books and generally been amazing. You guys are all wonderful

And now, on to the fun part of the post: questions! A few weeks ago, Shar put out an open call for questions, and we’ll be answering those today to celebrate. (and psst if you ask questions in the comments we’ll answer too!)


  1. Do you like mangoes???

Shanti: I think I know who asked this and the answer is YES OF COURSE especially the slightly underripe ones. But I hate mango juice, mango candy, dried mangoes and all other non-fresh forms of mango.

Shar: YES OF COURSE MAY I DO (yes, I know you asked this question)

2.How has what you read changed over three years changed?

Shar: For this, please see my post ‘How Blogging Has Changed The Way I Read’ for a full-blown analysis.

Shanti: I read less historical and sci-fi/dystopia than I used to, read WAY more audiobooks, more non-fiction and fiction aimed at older readers in general.

  1. Have your reading interests diverged?

Shar: I think Shanti likes fantasy more than I do, but she also reads more than I do, and I often read books she recommends me.

Shanti: We both read lots of contemporary, but Shar reads more sci-fi and dystopia than I do.

  1. What do you rate as your best post Shanti? Shar? Why?

Shar: This was relatively recent, but I was really proud of my ‘diversity’ post because I put a lot of effort into it and I felt like it was really interesting to research.

Shanti: I’m very proud of all my Bookish Planet posts, because it takes a lot of work to think of a setting that manifests in multiple books.

  1. What was the most interesting response you got?

Shar: Please refer to the last question.

Shanti: I loved all the responses to my setting posts (Setting in Stone: 1 and Wanted: Settings from Elsewhere). I was so happy yesterday to see that Eli had written a whole response post to Setting in Stone. Thanks, Eli!

  1. Why do you blog?

Shar: Originally, because some of our teachers said we should. Now, because the community is great, we enjoy writing posts, and it’s fun.

Shanti: Because I like to write and I like to think about what I read and I love sharing my opinions and hearing other peoples thoughts too.

  1. What is the meaning of life?

Shanti:….Dare I say it? Yes. Forty two.

I think if I keep reading books and living in the world I’ll start to discover the answer.

  1. Do you guys ever get competitive about reading?

Shar: Yes, we do. However, Shanti inevitably reads more than I do (she makes more time for it and reads faster), so there’s no point getting to stressed about it.

Shanti: Yes, though I’m mostly compettive with the library to see if I can read the book before it wants it back.

  1. What inspired you to make another blog?

Shanti: This is such a great question! I kept finding that I had all sorts of thoughts about media that weren’t YA books e.g. musicals and movies and YouTube; and other musings about the world, and I wanted a channel to talk about that without distracting from this book focused blog.

Shar: I really like reading lifestyle blogs and more personal posts, but I didn’t want to do that on Virtually Read, so there you are.

  1. What are you guys interested in studying when you get to university?

Shar: I want to study Biology (probably ecology), and maybe minor in computer science.

Shanti: I want to study English Literature and Anthropology (I think…I’m also interested in Media Studies and Linguistics and journalism so we’ll see, but I think those interested can be channeled into my degree programmes or my own time)

11.Will we ever see Shar on Twitter or Goodreads?

Shar: I didn’t get either of those because I procrastinate and distract myself enough already. However, I often look up Goodreads reviews without an account, and stalk people (especially Shanti) on Twitter, so that reason doesn’t work. To answer your question: maybe. In the meantime, follow me on Instagram! *shameless self promo*

Shanti: I’ve been asking this forever too.

  1. What are books that one of you hates and the other loves?

Shar: I thought Behind The Scenes by Dahlia Adler was dumb, and I wasn’t a huge fan of Dramatically Ever After, and I didn’t like Shiver,

Shanti: I ended up quite liking The Circle series, which Shar was NOT into. I think most of these books are ones that Shar hasn’t liked. Maybe she’s more discerning. Or maybe I am and manage to mostly read books I like.  

  1. Which fruit is the best fruit?

Shanti: Honestly I like a lot of fruit. Raspberries are great though, and fejoas and guavas and apples.

Shar: My two absolute favourites are raspberries and green apples. However, I never get to eat raspberries because they’re not a thing here, whereas green apples are LIFE.

  1. Do you make smoothies with that fruit?

Shanti: Yes! Though You can’t get fresh raspberries here so we very very occasionally (okay like once in 10 years of living in India) buy frozen ones.

  1. What is your favorite post to write?

Shanti: I would say my favourite *type* of post to write is Bookish Planet ones. I specifically really enjoyed writing my ‘high school survival’ post.

Shar: If I’m feeling uninspired, I really like writing tag posts because they’re fun and easy. If I’m in a deep and thoughtful mood, then I like writing discussions.

15.Which is your favorite post to read on other people’s blogs?

Shanti: I actually really like reading monthly wrap ups, though I don’t do them myself. That would be something to think about.

Shar: Probably discussions.

  1. What would your dream reading nook look like?

Shanti: Lots of cushions, maybe some wool and needles so I can knit if I feel like it, lots of natural lamp, a few small shawls and blankets to cuddle up in, fresh fruit or cookies in a bowl, cold water to drink, a cat to snuggle, a bookshelf if I get bored with what I’m reading, maybe some art on the walls.

Shar: It has to be perfect in all seasons, so I want big windows that open fully but also warm curtains and a fire in winters. Snacks are important too.

  1. I was going to ask how to be as fabulous as you two, but they I realized that I was dismissing your individuality by unfairly lumping the two of you together. So my first question is: which one of you is more fabulous? Then I need to know how to be as fabulous as that one.

Shanti: Yes hello I have the right answer to your question which is I AM THE MORE FABULOUS ONE. You can become as fabulous as me by following my three step process (patent pending) 1. Read eclectically. Read a lot and think about it. 2. Wear clothes that don’t quite match each other but match YOU and wear them with confidence. 3. Talk to other people, listen to them, and don’t be afraid of their random thoughts or your own.

Shar: Well, you can’t be as fabulous as us, unfortunately. Nobody has reached that level. But start reading all the books we recommend. That will help. Also I’m clearly more fabulous. I can’t believe you had to ask.

So that’s it for today, Virtually Readers! Thank you so so much for being around and being amazing–we are very happy that people actually want to read our blog. Tell us your favourite thing about Virtually Read in the comments! What do you think of the new design? What are some things you’d like to see in the next year? And if you ask any questions, one or both of us will answer.

33 thoughts on “The THIRD BLOGOVERSARY aka what is this

  1. I finally have time to read your post!
    My boyfriend and I do get competitive about our reading (when we’re buddy reading), and I have to admit it can get pretty stressful! I’m glad you try not to get stressed, Shar. And lol, Shanti, I feel the same way.
    I like reading (and writing) monthly wrap-ups as well!
    Great post, guys! I love the new design. 🙂


    1. I’m glad you like it! (and that you read this, because how nice). I should get myself a bookish boyfriend, hahaha. Monthly wrap-ups are the best! Maybe we should write some 🙂


      1. I’m following you guys on Feedly now! I just haven’t had much time to comment on posts.
        Haha, if you want any kind of boyfriend, I definitely recommend a bookish one. 😉


  2. Happy blogoversary! I really love your redesign. It looks wonderful. 🙂 Very stylish and unique! It’s interesting to see what you two plan to study in college, and as a note to Shar, stalking people on certain social media sites is just a slippery slope to eventually joining. 😉 In terms of fruit, I like apples and cranberries, which is no the most important thing I’ve ever said, but it remains true all the same.

    Congrats on reaching your third blogoversary. 🙂 It’s quite an accomplishment! I admire you both for your willingness to participate in the community so much, both on your blog, on the blogs of others (my own included), and social media. You say things that are personal, kind, and amusing, and it’s lovely to see you both around. You make me challenge some of my assumptions with your international perspectives, and you always manage to find delicious discussion topics to write about. I hope that you continue to write with the same excitement and enjoyment! And continue to eat mangoes. Because those are good, too.


    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad you like our discussions; it’s probably the type of post we put the most effort into. You’re such a nice bloggy friend to have ❤


  3. AHHHH HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY, GIRLS! I really love this new design, it’s so pretty and suits your blog so well ❤ Congratulations on three years of blogging, this is such an amazing accomplishment and I hope to read more and more blog posts from both of you. Your blog is one of my favorites to read ❤ Also, love love love your dream reading nook ❤


  4. Ahhh, amazing! Happy Blogoversary! I adore how colourful your blog design is. As someone who used to love black/white minimalism, I’ve grown to really love colourful things. ❤
    Wishing you another brilliant and wonderful year of blogging. All the best. ❤


    1. Thank you, CW!! I really like all your posts, of course. I tried to make this design more minimal without a sidebar but COLOUR IS THE BEST YAYAYAYAY!!


  5. Love the new design and getting to know more about you guys! I’ve been in touch with Shanti for a while now, but haven’t really talked to Shar (Hi Shar!) So glad you liked the setting post ^-^ was honestly a lot of fun to write. Haven’t had a chance to check out the other one yet, but I’ll get it this weekend. Congrats on the blogoversary!


    1. Hi Eli! I know Shanti knows you so it’s nice to finally *meet* you, haha. (BTW I”M WAY MORE AWESOME THAN SHANTI NOT THAT IT’S A COMPETITION BUT I”M WINNING)


  6. Your design is really cute! I like it! 😀

    Oh, Shar, I’m interested in biology too! I don’t know if I’ll last in school long enough to study it, lol, but I think biology is the coolest.

    Yes, snacks are very important. *nods*




    1. Biology is the most interesting of all the sciences and probably my favourite. I do have second thoughts about studying sometimes, though.
      I’m so glad you like the new design!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Aww, congrats on thre years!!! That is amazing and you should be proud of all you’ve accomplished. I LOVE YOUR NEW DESIGN OMG. 😍😍 And um how did you know it was me who asked that question??? There are other mango lovers out there smh. 😂


    1. Thank you May! You are just such a fabulous mango queen and I just suspected you (plus you used like 4x the number of exclamation points/question marks that normal people use) (don’t worry that’s a good thing)
      The design isn’t perfect but I don’t know how much more work I want to put into it, haha. Thanks for all your fabulousness! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Aila! I’m so glad you like the new design (and I can take all the credit because all Shanti did was offer advice that I mostly listened to) . Fun fact: we try to be amusing.


  8. FORTY-TWO. I am so happy that you answered that, Shanti. Clearly you are wise. I love the Bookish Planet posts! And Shar, I LOVE GREEN APPLES TOO.
    Congratulations on your blogoversary! This post was really fun, and the new design is beautiful. I hope you continue to blog for many years to come!


  9. CONGRATS ON THREE YEARS!! I love your blog so much ❤ You two always brighten my day with your posts, comments, tweets, bookstagram photos, etc. Here's to three more amazing years!! ❤


  10. HAPPY BLOGVERSARY!! ALL THE CAKE FOR YOU!! *flings confetti* I’m so so in awe of your gorgeous new design (COLOURFUL❤️💛💚💙) and I loved reading the questions and getting to know more about you! 🎉 Green apples are so fab. And also having reading-sibling-rivalry is honestly fantastic. I always left my sister in the dust. It was great motivation tbh.

    I hope to be reading your blog for at least 92 more years. 🎉🎉🎉 IT’S ONE OF MY FAVOURITES!!


  11. Dear Aunty Shanti,
    I totally follow steps1 and 3 of your fabulosity process rules. However rule two is tough. I often wear socks that do not match and sometimes unlatching shoes and my knickers never match my shirts… but what do I do if there are no clothes that match me. Is there. hope for me?
    distressed and un-fabuloous try-hard


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