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19 March 2010

It Is All About Me

I have been asked a lot of questions over the past few months and I have decided to finally answer them publicly. I am not an overly public person, I realise this sounds odd coming from a blogger, but I do value my privacy. Over the years this blog has been in existence one will not find many pictures of my family or myself. I am neither ashamed nor embarrassed by my family, rather I love them and I feel it my duty to protect their privacy.

Why do I not have a picture of myself up? Oddly, this is a question I receive often. Seriously? Out of all the things people could ask, this is the burning question? I am not certain why this is a big issue, however, it appears to bother people that my face is not visible (hint: it still is on many comment forms, on Ravelry, Skype and on FB). I used to have my picture on my About Me page and then decided it truly was not necessary. What I look like, my age, gender, nationality, race, none of those things, in my opinion should matter. Hence, I no longer have a picture of myself on my blog. For the record I am a 40 year old, happily married woman with 3 wonderful teen sons and a very pampered cat.

Why do I participate in so many memes? Fair question. I have seen arguments for and against memes. I participate for a few reasons, none of which is to use as filler for my blog. I participate mainly to discover other blogs that I would not otherwise have found. In doing so, I have made wonderful on-line friends. I also find some of the best books to read that I probably would not have ever tried if not for the memes.

How am I able to read and review so many novels in one week? This is an easy question to answer. I have a lot of time, I do not watch telly, I need little sleep, and last but not least, I am a rather fast reader.

Why do you read such a wide variety of books? I am surprised at how often I do get asked this question. The quick answer: there are so many wonderful genres out there how can I not? With that said, some genres simply do not interest me and even the books I review, some within the genre do not. However, that does not mean the books are not worth reviewing, I do not have that high of an opinion of myself. Just because I did not care for something does not mean my readers will not enjoy the book.

Why do I not write more about me? Several reasons, but mainly because my life is rather dull and I am a rather private person. Still skeptical? Let me share a little about myself. I speak several languages, I am well educated, I have 3 teenage sons, I have been married happily for almost 19 years and I am a SAHM. See? Dull. The most exciting thing to happen was when I had my second stroke when I was 37 years old (ironically I was in the best shape of my life and contemplating a triathlon). I discovered I have a rare form of migraines and so I live in chronic pain, suffer TIAs (disturbingly often) and have since had at least one other mini-stroke. Do I feel sorry for myself? I have tried, however, my friends and family do not allow me to wallow in self-pity, for which I thank them.
More fluff about myself? I am a coffee snob. It must be fairly traded, organically grown and I must grind the beans. I only drink French Press coffee and it must be exceedingly strong and black. I love food, especially cupcakes. I am an introvert. I prefer to be alone with my books or my family. I detest shopping, unless it is to a bookstore or thrift store. I am heat intolerant (thank you age and medications for my head). I have a black thumb, fake plants wilt when I am near. I am a cat person, cannot tolerate the drivel that is currently on telly, I lack all sense of fashion and I prefer comfort. I do not wear fingernail polish, have never had a manicure or a pedicure and I do not wear make-up.

Back to book reviewing, one of my favourite topics! Why do I review books? It is most definitely not for the lucrative paycheck (I do not get paid for reviews). I adore reading. I cannot recall a time in my life I did not read. I could read independently when I was 3 and I have never ceased. Being a book reviewer allows me to read books from authors I have never heard of and likely would not have if not for the fabulous publishers, publicists, authors, and others who contact me to review a novel for them.

To my readers: I adore everyone who takes the time to stop at my blog. If you read a review, please take a moment if you are able to leave a comment. I know the authors and publishers do enjoy receiving feedback of all kind.

What do I do with all the books I receive? If the books are ARCs, personally autographed to me, or books I know I will read time and again, I save them. All others I donate.

Finally there has been some talk about social media and whether or not it is necessary to have a public policy. Obviously I do not have one, as I see no need. If you leave a comment I try to reciprocate. If a commenter has their account set not no-reply, it makes it rather tricky for me to email back answering questions left for me. If a person emails me and is not a spammer, I will email back. If someone sends a tweet, I tweet back. If a message is left on my FB page it could go unread for weeks ( please do not sent me any "gifts" on FB, I do not even look at those), I do not often look at FB. Do I occasionally fail, yes! I am human after all.

If there is something I have not covered that I should have, send me an email or leave a comment and I will reply.



okbolover said...

I think this was a cool post. Got to know more about you :) it's true, pictures aren't really necessary I think. It's all about the books you read and your reviews. :)

Awesome post!

Natalie W said...

Wow! I can't believe people ask you those questions! I would never ask personal questions. I figure if you want to post pictures thats great if not, thats great too. Some people like their privacy and I respect that! I'm with you, I'm a sahm and there's just nothing exciting happening in my life to post about, LOL!

dArLyN said...

you are absolutely not a 'dull' person. in fact, i think you are quite interesting, that's why people bother to ask you all those questions.. i love to stop by and read anything you post. compared to me, i am a lot dull than you are. *LOL*

what i like most, opinions are what matters.totally agreed.

Jeanne C. said...

Wow! 2 1/2 years ago, when I was 36, my husband found me lying on the bathroom floor, unable to move my left side. They thought I'd had a stroke - turned out to be a complicated migraine! I never knew anyone else who had even heard of that happening! To this day, when people hear of my incident, they're like "is there really such a thing as that?" (no, I made it up.)
I'm glad I found your blog... and I'm glad you posted this! Thanks, have a great weekend!

Mighty M said...

Thanks for sharing a bit more about yourself....a lot I already knew but I did not know about your black thumb! I think mine is greenish purple, heading for black. :)

Emidy said...

Great post! I love learning more about people, but not too much. Privacy is essential, especially online where it's so easy to find out a lot about people.

I wonder why so many people have been asking for pictures of you? I must say, I find that a bit odd.

from Une Parole

CelticLady said...

I would have to agree with some of the others. Why is a picture necessary?? It is not at all, I do not have one on my blog either. Funny you should say about the coffee, hubby and I are coffee snobs, no Folgers for us.Has to be Starbucks or none at all;) I also like to use the French Press. I loved your post..a blog should be about what you want to share with the public not what they want you to share... from another introvert!!!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing so directly. Your post spoke to me, because much of what you say I can totally relate to.

I am also private, but I do post pictures. I don't enjoy the Facebook games or gifts...I only go there to publish blog posts (networked blogs).

I enjoy memes for the same reasons you mentioned. It's funny...I read someone remarking that she won't follow blogs that have "a lot" of memes...I'm not sure what THAT means. But I do enjoy visiting other blogs and commenting, and like you say...finding out about books, which is possible through memes.

Your life sounds wonderful to me. You are happy with your choices and that's all that matters.

I always enjoy visiting your blog.

kaye said...

I enjoyed finding out a little bit about you--it does make the blog more personal. I'm glad you play the meme's because it allows the reader to interact. I hardly ever comment on book reviews on any book blog, but I do scroll through my reader looking at them and reading the ones that catch my interest. I've found a lot of books that way too. I have a book review page that I don't promote, and it recieves few visitors. I keep it mainly as a record of what I read. I'm really amazed at how many books you manage to read too.

I do like your blog very much, and your style of reviewing.

Naomi said...

I always thought I was a cat person, too, until we adopted a puppy. Now I'm an equal-opportunity pet mom!

Amanda said...

I personally like personal content on blogs, but I can understand a person wanting to keep more private. I'm just a chatty sort of person. And I'm a picture-oriented person as well, which is why I like to see pictures of people in places. I like putting a face with a name, no matter what that face looks like. :D