It’s our blogoversary! Shar and I have been writing about books for 4 years on this little site, and we’ve changed a lot over that time, and hopefully gotten better at writing. We’re going to sort of interview each other about it to celebrate, because writing posts together is fun. This is definitely something to celebrate, and we’re so glad to be here to do it!
Shanti: Shar, tell me about three of your favourite posts that you’ve written.
That’s a tough one! I was quite pleased with my ‘Is it worth reading if you don’t remember it?’ post from last month. One early one I quite liked is the story of how I broke 2 Kindles in 6 months. Also my diagnosis of Just-another-chapter syndrome. (It was really hard to think of posts from years other than this one. I really was quite happy with some posts from this year, even though I’ve put waayyy less time into blogging as a whole.
Shanti: What do you think has been the biggest impact of this blog on your life?
Quite a lot, actually! It’s been a constant from when we started it as 14 year olds living in a new place, with no idea what we were doing, to being somewhat lonely in India, to being 18 year olds living in a new place, still with very little idea what we’re doing but a lot more time management skills, haha. I think this blog really helped me have something to put my time into that was completely outside of the rest of my life, especially at school where literally everything revolves around school.
Shanti: what are some things in the next year that you’re looking forward to? (with regards to blogging) what are some things that might change?
Having more time to read (*hopefully*)–I think when I’m not living in a hall I will be ae bit more chill about making time to read. I think there’s going to be a shift with perhaps fewer posts of higher quality? Also, I think there will be fewer YA books reviewed, although I can guarantee that we’re not giving up on the genre, just adding other genres.
Shanti: If Virtually Read were a kid, what book would we be reading to it at bedtime?
Definitely Harry Potter–it’s important to be well versed in kid lit canon.I think HP can often spark an entire love of reading (It worked on our younger siblings for sure). We would have to make sure the kid had access to lots of things, from classics to Newbery Honours to nonfiction.
Shar: Shanti, what’s one post you thought didn’t get much attention but you wished it did?
Oh, this is hard. Just to pick at random…I was really pleased with this post about how Europe is described in American books , because I still think it’s so funny, and it’s one of those eternal tropes–there have been ‘european traveller’ books written for centuries, literally (I’d love to read some other ones, obviously!)
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since you started? Is there anything you wish you could change about our blogging journey?
I think I’ve learned that commitment counts for a lot, and that it’s important not to take Virtually Read too seriously. To be honest, I don’t think that any of the writing I’ve done for Virtually Read is my ‘best work’. I don’t edit things very heavily, I’m usually not to focused on writing well–just being clear and quick and having fun. From doing Virtually Read, I’ve learnt the importance of having different kinds of writing outlets, and using them. I’m so glad we started this blog as wide-eyed fourteen year olds four years ago. Bring on year five!
As for what I would change…maybe the focus on owning books? I’m trying to move away from that now as I realise how often I’m likely to move in the next decade? And not being as involved with the community as I could be? I don’t know…
Shar: Who are some bloggers who have shaped Virtually Read, past or present?
It would be impossible to do this without mentioning Paper Fury! Our styles are really different (and, I think, continuing to diverge), but her enthusiasm was, and continues to be inspirational. I also adore Marie, who is the model of what commitment to blogging looks like; Heather, who has sadly left the community, but was unafraid to talk about what *she* was interested in, not what everyone else was reading; and Ivy, who has such a unique tone on her blog, but it works so well!
To be honest, I’m not feeling all that ~engaged~ with the community right now, just because I have so many other things going on, and I’m trying to stick with the people I like and make my peace with that.
Shar: What do you think are the 4 books VR mentions the most?
Not quite sure for you, Shar. I’m actually gonna split this up by year. First year: The Lunar Chronicles. Second Year: Sabriel. Third Year:Illuminae, or maybe the Montmaray books? Fourth Year: Emma Mills maybe? I feel like we’ve done a huge variety of books this year, which is great.
Your turn, treasured reader! Thanks so much for being part of Virtually Read–we are so glad to have this blog and have your voice join its’ symphony. Tell us about how we’ve impacted your life–if we have!–What is a book we’ve recommended that you’ve liked? What is a post you’ve enjoyed in the last year? What would you like to see coming up?