Hey guys. I’ve been sitting on this post for a while and…I think it’s time.
I’ve been blogging as BelleoftheLibrary and reviewing books and talking about books for 11 years now, as of yesterday. ELEVEN YEARS. This is the most committed relationship I’ve ever been in with anything (except books themselves).
I started this blog at 19 while I was in college. I was taking a digital literacy class where we had to blog as part of our homework and I was like, “This feels stupid, but I bet I could start my own book blog and have some fun with it.” And I was right. It has been an absolute blast.
I remember my excitement of receiving my first review copy in the mail and completely fangirling out because someone wanted my opinion on their book out there in the world. I remember excitedly checking my numbers day after day to see how much engagement I was getting (and being thrilled with Every. Single. Comment. anyone left).
I grew up on this blog. At times, it became my diary. Through books that touched my heart, I was able to talk about bigger issues of mental health/anxiety, red flags in dating, and general life struggles I think a lot of us feel but don’t always talk about. I posted about the thrills of being in love and the brokenness I felt when they ended. I mean, this blog has literally (and I do mean literally) captured those moments I had in every grown-up relationship I’ve ever been in. If I were to go back in the archives, I’d find updates I posted about how my life was going at that time, my struggles with online dating, and what caused some of my relationships to fall apart.
I started this when I was 19…and I’m now 30. What I started at 19 has changed significantly since then. Then, I was a diehard YA lover. I was a book fanatic who spent every spare moment reading. But over the years, I’ve started to find joy in other genres. Romance. Fantasy. Nonfiction. And it’s been a lot harder to get that all to translate over into this blog and find an audience for it. It’s also been harder for me to feel authentic as I comment on what a 16 year old in the book I just finished is doing. I’ve grown up, and so have my reading tastes (although YA still has my heart and I still make a bee line for that section in any library or bookstore I go into).
Over the past year, my life has changed significantly. I haven’t been reading as much because I’ve finally found my other half, the man who has my heart. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. We’ve been out to pick out rings already, you guys, and talking about when he’ll move in with me.
Much of my free time is now taken up with him and I’m not reading near as much as I used to. And that’s fine with me, but it makes it hard to maintain this blog.
On top of that, I’ve just felt like my priorities have changed a lot this year. I’m more confident in who I am and it’s making me question different parts of my life. Things I used to find passion in…it’s changing. I’m finding joy in new things (like running and true crime podcasts…who would have thought?). I’m finding fulfillment in different places than I have before, causing me to really take stock of what I enjoy.
When this blog started feeling more like an obligation than a joy, I decided it was time to cut it loose. I won’t delete it, so you’re always welcome to come take a look through my reviews and posts to see if you can find any gems in there, and I may come back later, but for now, I think it’s time to move on with my life.
This has been such a big part of my life and I’m so happy that I’ve been able to be a small part of some of your lives as well. I can’t say thank you enough. Thank you for wanting my opinions and giving me yours in response. Thank you for nominating me for blogger awards that made me feel so appreciated. Thank you for helping me feel less alone in some of my darker moments. Thank you for making me feel heard. I can’t imagine having spent the last eleven years talking to and interacting with some of the best people out there. I love you guys. ❤
Thank you, thank you, thank you.