Three Years of Blogging and All I Really Want to Say is Thank You.

Y’all guess what.

Come in real close so I can tell you because it’s a secret….

Well really it’s not so much of a secret because the title of this blog post kind of reveals what I’m about to tell you, but we’ll just disregard that for right now. Okay? Okay.

So come in real close y’all because I have something to tell you…something big…something fantastic…something worth celebrating….

The Never Ending Book Basket is officially 3 years old!!!

*insert confetti toss and simultaneous twirling here*

confetti

Can we all just take in the fact that I have somehow managed to keep this blog alive for over one thousand days?!?!?!

This is coming from a girl who somehow managed to kill a plant that’s not even supposed to need water. (Though in all actuality I think all plants need some kind of water, so that might’ve been where I went wrong with that one, but I digress…) You heard that right, I killed a cactus. A mother effing cactus that barely needs any maintenance, and yet I still managed to kill it, so the fact that I have kept this blog going for 3 years now is something I’m pretty damn proud of.

You heard that right, this book blog turned 3!!

So I guess this is really like a thing now. Like this whole book blogging thing is really going to stick. Like for reals y’all, and I for one can’t say enough how happy that makes me because I truly don’t know where I’d be without this blog and what its brought to my life.

What it looks like when I try to reorganize my TBR pile...

What it looks like when I try to reorganize my TBR pile…

Now once again I must admit that this blogiversary post is a bit delayed for the second year in a row since The Never Ending Book Basket’s actual blogiversary is November 7th. Last year I spent my blogiversary at the Indies Invade Philly book signing with two of my best friends, which was ahhhmazing in so many ways. This year I got to spend my blogiversary adulting at the car repair shop and writing a paper for my grad class, which was so not as much fun as Indies Invade Philly.

But if I’m being 100% honest, I’m actually kind of glad I was delayed in writing this post because its sentiment fits the time of year just right. You see the biggest thing I feel right now, as I write this third blogiversary post, is thankful.

I am so damn thankful.

I’m thankful for the unforgettable experiences and people and books this blog has brought to my life.

I’m thankful for my friends and family accepting and supporting my little blog in any way that they can, and for their understanding that my book obsession is literally never going away.

I’m thankful for what creating, running, and writing this blog has shown me about myself, my passions, and my dreams.

I’m thankful for the authentic and cherished relationships this blog has allowed me to create with other bloggers, fellow readers, and some of my all-time favorite authors, who are all literally some of the best people on the planet.

I’m oh so thankful that when my little blogging world was turned upside down this year, I found I had the best kind of support system a girl could ask for.

Like I said, I am thankful for it all. So. Damn. Thankful. 

When I started this blog I had no idea how it would literally change my life in so many amazing ways. I had no idea how it would bring some of the most phenomenal books into my life that I will literally never forget or stop feeling. I had no idea that it would allow me to cultivate the most amazing friendships with people all over this great big world. I had no idea that it would allow me to help and support authors in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. I had no idea that it would fulfill me as much as it has, but fulfill me it does.

What started as just a little idea, bloomed into something I never could have expected, and I am grateful every day that I have this blog and this amazingly wonderful community to be a part of.

Through all of life’s craziness, this blog, this community, and all the book love have grounded me. They have helped keep me sane-ish *heavy on that ish*, and have shown me that this community of readers, authors, and bloggers is where I want to be as long as humanly possible.

Don’t get me wrong, this blog and everything that goes along with it is work, but it’s the best kind of work a girl could ask for, and I wouldn’t trade a single second of it all. This little book blog of mine makes my heart happy on a daily basis, and I truly don’t know where I’d be without it.

So THANK YOU! giphy2

Thank you for supporting me and my crazy book loving self, thank you for supporting this blog in every way that y’all do, and thank you for letting me spread the book love in every way that I can.

You’ll never know how much it means to me. If I could give you all bookstore gift cards, hugs, and copious amounts of coffee as a thank you, I would because y’all are the best and you’ve made me the happiest book blogger on the planet with the support I’ve received.

So now while I can’t hug you all, or give you gift cards and coffee, I can give you my annual list of things I’ve learned in the last 3 years of book blogging, which is pretty much the same thing….right? Right.

(It’s sooooo not the same thing, but let’s just go with it!)

What I’ve learned in the last 1,095 days of book blogging:

  • Amazon, you hit like a bitch. If you’ve followed this blog then you know that this year I was banned from reviewing on Amazon, and had all of my hundreds of previous reviews removed. *insert middle finger to Amazon here* It’s funny that in my 2nd blogiversary post last year, I wrote about being worried that that very thing would happen, and just a mere 3 months later it did. And you know what, it fucking sucked. Like a lot. But you know what happened too? I realized that being banned from Amazon wasn’t the absolute worst thing in the world. I also realized that there was no way being banned from Amazon was going to stop me on my book loving, book blogging brigade. Sure it changed the way I go about blogging in some minor ways, and it still pisses me off that I literally can’t post a review for anything on that damn website, but it in no way stopped me from being the kind of book blogger I want to be. It also led to my most viewed blog post ever, with that oh so catchy title that I’m kinda really proud of, which to this day gets viewed almost daily. Sure getting banned from Amazon was so not in the plan, but the support I received from this book community when that happened, and have since received since being banned, is something I will truly never forget. Ever. So fuck you Amazon, and goodnight.

    I *might* have a book buying problem...

    I *might* have a book buying problem…and the floor beneath all those books *might* be collapsing soon…

  • I *might* have a book buying problem. So in my three years of blogging I have come to the conclusion that I *might* have a slight problem with buying books…and when I say slight, I mean that I’m actually worried the floor in my room in going to collapse because I have soooooo many books. What can I say?! Books are my jam, and I will not apologize for that, nor will I apparently stop buying books no matter how many unread ones I have at home. No matter where I seem to go, I always seem to find some books that need to find their way to my home, and as much as my mother might hate that, I think she just accepts that my book buying isn’t stopping anytime soon. So I guess as much as I tell myself I won’t buy any more books until I read more of my literal TBR pile, the lie detector test has officially determined that to be a lie….and I’m kind of really okay with that because what in the world could be wrong with buying more books??? (Fun fact: there is nothing wrong with buying more books.)
  • Hanging out with fellow readers, bloggers, and authors is the best. THE ABSOLUTE BEST. This year I got the amazing chance to travel to 7 book signings, in 4 different states, all while hanging out with the best people. (And also while adding to my actual never ending book basket of course!) I will literally never get enough of meeting my favorite authors, fellow readers, and other bloggers who all share the same book love. Getting the chance to talk and interact with them makes my little heart happy, and this year has given me some of the most unforgettable memories that I will cherish forever. Whether it was hanging out with my favorite people who I don’t see near enough, whether it was running into familiar faces at book signings while we all made our way through all the craziness and lines, or whether it was meeting new friends online and in person, this year burst my heart with all that it gave me. Meeting people who not only get and accept, but love your crazy never gets old. I will literally never get enough of meeting and connecting with people from this community whether it be in person, online, or anywhere in between, and I look forward to another year of doing just that!
  • I still use all the words, and I still LOVE using all the words. Words are my jam. They make me happy, and I love them something fierce, which is probably why I like to use all of them. All the damn time. Yep, I am still wordy as fuck, and I am really okay with that. Sure my book reviews are typically over 1500 words at minimum, and let’s not even get started on the trees being killed by the length of my beta notes, but in my book, using all the words is okay. (Lord help me when I actually get to writing that book I always say I’m going to write. That book will probably be longer than the phone book!) And let’s be honest, being wordy is kind of my schtick at this point. So I’m going to keep being wordy, and I hope y’all are okay with that because I don’t think I’ll ever stop being wordy because where’s the fun in that?!
  • Books are literal magic, and they can give you it all, if you let them. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, books can bring us together if we let them, and that is something pretty damn amazing. I truly believe books can give us the most unforgettable feelings, tumblr_mwy0p7ssz81rc5z1po1_500moments, and experiences within their pages, all we have to do is give them a chance to wow us with their magic. Books have literally changed my life. They have let me live so many different lives, with so many different characters in so many different worlds, and it honestly doesn’t get better than that. They have made me full on ugly cry, laugh to the point of my cheeks hurting, practically made me stop breathing at times, and they have pushed me and my heart to their very limit. Whether it’s a romance novel that has me melting and swooning, or the most thrilling mystery that has me dying to know what will happen next, or an honest memoir that amazes me with its authenticity and realness, or a magical world that lets me believe in magic and possibilities and what could be…books have given me it all, and then some, and for that I can’t say thank you to the book gods enough.

So there you have it folks. Three years of book blogging is officially in the books!

deo5r*wooooohooooo*

Here’s hoping that there are many more of these blogiversary posts to come in the future! I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to get enough of this book world or the book love it contains, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing more of it in the days to come.

I know this post is ridiculously long, and I know I probably lost most of y’all when the bulleted list started, but to quote one of my favorite movies even though I keep fumbling for the right words, all I really wanted to say was thank you.”

That’s all I really wanted to do with this post. I wanted to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart. A million times over.

Thank you for supporting this blog and for supporting me. Thank you for accepting my book loving crazy ass, and for allowing me to be a part of a world that makes me happy and fills my heart on a daily basis. Thank you for every word of encouragement, every like, every comment, and every kind and thoughtful word you’ve given me.

Thank you to the authors for creating the unforgettable books and characters and worlds we all love and need to get lost in, and thank you for letting me read and review your books because it truly means the world to me.

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for being the best group of coworkers a girl could ask for, and even though I’ve never met most of y’all, I think we’d all agree that this is the best *job* to have.

Thank you to my fellow readers for all the fantastic book recommendations, for being you and getting as excited as I do over books, and for loving books as passionately as you do. There is truly nothing better than that, or you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I truly can’t say it enough.

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Two Years of Blogging, Oh My, Oh My!

So I have managed to keep this blog alive for 730 days.

730 WHOLE DAYS PEOPLE!com

This is coming from the girl who can barely keep a plant alive for more than 72 hours. Seriously. One of my tiny humans gave me a plant once, and point blank told me it was really hard to kill….and what did I do? I killed the freaking plant in 2 1/2 days. (I’m telling you, that’s a talent, and clearly no one should ever give me a plant!)

But this post isn’t about killing plants, or the wonderful crazy tiny humans for that matter, this post is all about the fact that exactly 2 years ago today, I started The Never Ending Book Basket.

If I’m being 100% honest though, the actual anniversary for this blog was on Saturday, but I didn’t post about it. At all. Why you ask? (You probably didn’t ask yourself that question, but I’ll answer it for you anyways…) I was at the Indies Invade Philly book signing this past Saturday surrounded by hundreds of book lovers and some of my favorite authors ever. Not a bad way to spend my 2 year blogiversary, if I do say so myself.

I finally have business cards...and I LOVE them!!

I finally have business cards…and I LOVE them!!

So yeah, I’m a few days behind on this post. Whoops. But it literally took me 2 years to get business cards for this book blog, so I feel like being a few days behind on this post is all good.

As I sit here writing this post, I have to tell you that I’m still kind of shocked that it’s really been 2 years since I started this thing. It all started with one crazy idea on my way home from work, and it turned into something more than I could ever imagine. It changed my life. And I don’t say that lightly at all.

This blog has given me things, and books, and experiences, and people I will never forget.

It has given me friendships I know that I’ll cherish forever. It has allowed me to meet some of the best people on the planet, and given me so many memories to last a lifetime. It has also given me the opportunity to “meet” people from all over the world, who are all fabulous and clearly share a love of books and reading.

What happened when I tried to "organize" my books.

What happened when I tried to “organize” my books. I *think* I did it wrong…

This blog has given me the chance to push myself, discover what I’m truly passionate about, and has introduced me into a world and community that I want to be a part of for as long as I can be. It’s also clearly given me books. Lots, and lots, AND LOTS of books. So many amazing, unforgettable, life changing, consuming books that have stolen my heart and mind and body and soul more times than I could count. I have read and discovered so many new books and authors and genre’s through this blog and this community of book lovers, and I could honestly go on and on about how fucking awesome that is.

Starting The Never Ending Book Basket has given me so so much, and all I can say is THANK YOU!

Thank you to the people who support me and keep me going with this thing day in and day out. Thank you to the amazing authors who have so generously let me read and review their books, and who never bat an eye at the fact that my typical review is at least 1500 words long. Thank you to the people who support my page, or this blog, or just say hi every once and awhile. You’ll never know how much all of that means, because seriously, it means the absolute world to me. Thank you to the other bloggers and readers and people of this community that make it the fantastic thing that it is. I truly love spending time with you all, and you make it such an enjoyable place to be.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank. You. TheOfficeMichaelTacklingJim

I can’t say it enough. Truly.

If I could give you all hugs, I would.

Now last year when I celebrated 365 days of blogging I made a long list of the many things I’d learned through blogging, and I want to do the same thing this year. Only this is the new and improved version, and it’s a hell of a lot shorter because I’ve learned that sometimes less is more. Sometimes. So without further ado…

Things I’ve learned in 730 days of book blogging:

  • I am still wordy as fuck. Like it’s legit. I do not stop writing when I review. I just keep going and going until I’m pushing 2000 words. What can I say? When I love a book, I love it hard, and I just want to share that as much as I can, which leads to all the words. And then more words, and then so many more words. So I hope you like me wordy because that is not changing. Ever.
  • Meeting you’re favorite authors in person is THE BEST. The absolute best. This past year I went to a lot of book signings. Like 6. That may not seem like a lot, but I feel like it was. (I think my mother and my wallet would attest to that as well.) I went to signings in 5 different states, up and down the East Coast, with none of those signings actually taking place in the state I reside in, so that meant lots of time in the car. Traveling hours upon hours in the car was so very worth it to meet and hangout with some of the best and most talented authors around. Those ladies are amazing, and have given me memories and adventures and fun times that I will always remember. They’re also as sweet as can be, and meeting them all in person just made me love them all more and so very excited for the next time I can fangirl all over them. Yep. I fangirled. HARD. (And I LOVED every second of it!)
  • I buy books like I breathe in air. All the time, and wherever and whenever the occasion calls for it. My book buying EXPLODED this year. Literally. I have soooooo many books that I have yet to read, and I’m honestly shocked TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive has not been contacted on my behalf because of the number of books I have….but while some people may look at that book pile and think “Why the hell would you buy so many books?” my response is WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU NOT BUY SO MANY BOOKS? Besides, there are way worse things you can spend money on…like methamphetamines or Nickelback concert tickets, so clearly me spending my huge nonexistent salary from molding the minds of the tiny humans on books isn’t too bad. Right? Right. I’m glad we all came to that agreement.
  • Romance is my jam, and I won’t apologize for it. I am an avid reader. I read just about anything, and have LOVED books from many genres, but romance is where my heart lies. Pun intended. I LOVE a good love story, and I won’t apologize for that, and better yet, I don’t have to. Just because it’s a romance, doesn’t mean it won’t blow your mind with everything it’s got. Just because the two characters have sex, doesn’t mean it’s smut. Just because it can be flowery and sweet and make you melt and swoon, doesn’t mean it won’t give you reality or flaws or authenticity or complexity too. Just because it’s a love story, doesn’t mean it holds any less merit or literary amazingness. It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love books and reading, but I can’t tell you how many times people give me some wonky face or make a flippant or snarky comment when they ask me what I like to read and I reply romance. They don’t get it, and they don’t have to, but I’ve come to realize that people can think and believe what they want about romance books, but until they give it a chance, they’ll never know what they’re missing. So I’m still over here with my love stories, believing in happily ever afters and enjoying every emotionally murdering, swoonworthy, heart stopping moment that it takes to get to them.
  • Amazon’s review policies suck balls. And if anyone from Amazon is reading this right now, I love you with my entire heart (even though I say mean things about you) and please don’t ban me from writing reviews. Okay? Okay. But really Amazon, if I want to use the word asshole in my review, or fuck, or shit, or hell for goodness sakes, I should be able to. Sometimes you need to emphasize with an expletive. Oh, and please stop bouncing my reviews for no reason, or banning me from writing them. This is America and it’s a fucking book review, let’s take a god damned chill pill on the policing. Okay? Okay.

So I think that about caps it off. I’ve learned a lot, and probably have a million more things to learn, but I’m still here with my blog alive and kicking, and I feel like that must mean something. This past year has been a whirlwind, and I can’t believe it’s already November and that this blogiversary is happening.

I feel like it's only fitting to end with a picture of what my actual never ending book basket looks like.

I feel like it’s only fitting to end with a picture of what my actual never ending book basket looks like.

730 days of blogging down, and hopefully many more to go!

Starting this blog was one of the best decisions I ever made. It makes my life crazy and interesting and so very very fun, but most of all it fills my heart and my mind and my soul. Every. Day.

If you’ve ever visited this page, gone to the blog’s Facebook page, visited me on Goodreads, or just been there with me through this crazy wonderful ride. THANK YOU. I truly can’t say it enough. Y’all are the best.

So here’s hoping this is just the first of many continued blogiversary posts to come! Thanks for joining me on this crazy, book filled ride.

I hope you’re ready for more, because I know that I sure as hell am, and I can’t freaking wait.

365 Days of Blogging: How in the hell did that happen?

One year ago I hit publish on The Never Ending Book Basket. EEEEEKK!!

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I cannot believe my blog is celebrating its first year anniversary. Seriously. How in the hell did that happen?

Where It All Began: You see, I have this idea…

This all started when I had this crazy idea that I should start a book blog. Up until that point I don’t think I had actually ever been on a book blog, but somehow that idea popped into my head. Fast forward 365 amazing days later, and this blog is still going!

I set out to write this blog as a place to talk about my biggest passion: books.

I have to admit that when I started this thing, I really didn’t think anyone would read my reviews or posts. (And I’m really not joking at all when I say that.)

As much as I hate to say that, that’s the truth. I really thought the few people who would read it would be my friends who I basically begged into reading it, or my family who I would continually bombard with blog links. And to be honest, I was fine with the fact that there was a good chance only a few people might read my blog.

How my never ending book basket grew over the last 365 days...

How my never ending book basket grew over the last 365 days…

This blog started off as an idea to just spread the book love and talk about the many books I was reading. So many things have happened since then, and I couldn’t be more grateful for every single one, but when I started this blog, I didn’t realize a lot of things…

I didn’t realize that I would meet so many amazing people in this community. I didn’t even fathom that I would develop personal friendships and connections with so many authors and fellow readers. I didn’t know that by starting this blog I would find myself in one of the best, and I do mean the best, communities around.

It also never even occurred to me that staring this blog would lead to me beta reading. (If we’re being honest, I for some reason didn’t even realize people did that.) The fact that someone would want me to read their book and give them feedback still blows me away. It never entered my mind that starting this book blog would allow me the chance to read and experience so many phenomenal books because of this AMAZING community of authors, bloggers, and readers.

When I started this blog, I never realized the immense amount of joy it would bring me.

What I’ve Learned: And yeah, I actually learned shit!

I’ve come to learn a lot in this year of blogging. Some of the things I’ve learned revolve around the wonderful world of book reviewing and blogging, and some other things involve discovering wonderful things about my crazy ass self. But through it all I’ve really learned a lot, and I wouldn’t trade this year in for anything. It has just simply been the best.

Some of the many things I’ve learned in the last 365 days of book blogging:

  • This community of readers, authors, & bloggers is the best, and I couldn’t feel more welcomed in it.
  • When I write a book review, it will likely never be less than 1000 words. #wordyforlife
  • The number of Kindle books I can devour in one weekend is somewhat alarming, but this is clearly a positive.
  • Any type of caffeine will expedite and greatly aid in the writing and creating a blog posts and reviews.thinking-yes
  • When I love a book: I LOVE A BOOK HARD.
  • There is no greater feeling in the world then sharing a book you love with someone else.
  • Independently or self-published authors (or those authors who started off as independently published authors) set the standard for connecting with readers. Hands down.
  • The generosity of this community is one of its greatest assets.
  • That bloody Facebook algorithm sucks something fierce. My blog’s Facebook page will likely only ever reach less than 10% of its total audience, but it is what it is, and I can’t change that. So I’m going to keep posting my little heart out! Eat that, Facebook.
  • Nothing will rile a group of females up more so than a film adaptation of their favorite romance novel, or waiting for the release date of their next must read.
  • Goodreads serves a wonderful purpose if used appropriately and respectfully, and unfortunately it rarely is, but I’ve got hope that one day it’ll get its act together.
  • Release day is like Christmas Day. And lucky for us there’s a release day every day of the year!
  • The number of pictures of half naked man candy that so wonderfully permeate book blog’s Facebook pages makes my news feed look like and extended version of Magic Mike. And I like it. A lot.
  • My never-ending book basket has literally grown in size since I started this blog. At this point that thing is like a bad episode of hoarders. The amount of unread Kindle books I now own is almost just as bad. (Like it’s really bad.)
  • I own more unread books than I could possibly read in 6 months’ time, but I fucking love that. My to be read list is a mile long, and I still keep buying books like I need them to breathe, but that’s me and that’s just how it’s going to be.
  • A good book is well worth a sleepless night. Always.

And I could go and on, but now it’s time for what’s really important. Now comes the most important portion of this blog post:

IT’S THANK YOU TIME!!

There are so many people I have to thank immensely for helping me this past year and for encouraging me all along the way.  I hope you all know how eternally thankful and grateful I am to each and every one of you.

I heart you all something fierce, and if I could, I would give you all the chocolate in the world, all the book boyfriends you’ve fallen in love with, just enough glitter to make you all the more fabulous & sparkly, and all the wine and booze you so rightfully deserve for putting up with my crazy ass.

To my friends Brittany, Amy, Taylor, Meredith, Cindy, Domo, Michelle, Aubrey: You’re the ones who encouraged me from the very beginning. (You know, when it only took 5 phone calls and countless texts with each of you to convince me that this was a good idea.) You ladies are the ones that keep me going, and you all listen to me go on and on about this blog day in and day out. You tolerate my ridiculousness and you accept my crazy text messages asking you your opinions about all blog related things, and I couldn’t love you all more for it.

Thank you to my family and especially my mother who now actually enjoys telling people about the accomplishments that my blog sometimes makes. (Now can you please stop complaining about how many books I buy?)tumblr_mkfu9a6KTH1qz4rggo1_1280

To all the authors who have welcomed me with open arms and made me realize why it is I do this, THANK YOU!! You are all the bees mother fucking knees!! Meredith Wild, Author M. Mabie, Kathryn Andrews, Elizabeth Hayley, Alison Bliss, and so many more. (I could honestly go on and on…) I can’t thank you enough for everything. Seriously. I don’t have the right amount of words to tell you how thankful I am for your friendships and guidance, and everything else. You are all simply the best, and it has been fabulous getting to know every single one of you. Oh, and thanks for those awesome effing book you all write superbly too because they’ve given me some amazingly awesome reading experiences that I will NEVER forget.

Thank you to all the people I’ve met this year. The fellow bloggers, readers, book addicts that have it just as bad as I do. You are all wonderful people, and it has been fantastic getting to know you. And I sincerely look forward to knowing more of you as this blog continues.

To the groups that run all those fabulous blog tours, cover reveals, release day blitzes, review tours, and everything else in between, thank you for being so flipping awesome. Special shout out to Wendy and Claire from Bare Naked Words because those two are the best, and are as nice as can be!

To the street teams that keep me sane: Team Wild, The Mo Stash, Pure Bliss, and all the rest. You’ve all been so welcoming of me and my little blog, and you all make me laugh and smile every day. And all those half naked men pictures are also equally nice.

And last but certainly not least, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read any one of the posts that I’ve done on here. It means the world to me that someone would take the time to read my words, and I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am to each and every one of you.

You are all the best. And I wish I could give you a hug. And that might be creepy and crazy and a tad bit weird, but do you honestly expect anything less from me at this point?

Thank you all for 365 days of fun, books, crazy, and everything else in between. It’s been one helluva ride, and I for one look forward to doing many more of these anniversary posts in the future.

Oh, and did I mention I really heart you all something fierce?

Because I do.

Like a lot. ❤

youre-awesome