Maphead’s Book Blog turns 10 years old this month. It feels like only yesterday I decided to import my old Vox blog over to WordPress after growing increasing frustrated with Vox’s technical limitations, especially its inability to filter spam. Happy with the look of my new blog and its advanced features I quickly settled in and started blogging away with reckless abandon. And as they say, all the rest is history.
Almost immediately after creating my new blog I discovered an entire world of book bloggers. I was quick to learn as far as book bloggers go I was a bit of an outlier since I’m male, at the time over 40 and reader of mostly nonfiction. But it didn’t take me long to learn there were others out there who enjoyed nonfiction. Looking back, those early days of blogging were heady ones filled with promise. It felt like ever other day I was stumbling across a new book blog. Almost every new post I created elicited multiple comments from intelligent and engaging readers from around the world.
The blogosphere felt alive with book bloggers, many of my them hosting reading challenges encouraging us to read and review books about the Middle East, Europe or Africa, or books borrowed from the public, or just any books as long as they were nonfiction. Some hosted weekly Library Loot forums allowing bloggers to showcase the books they’d recently borrowed from the public library. A talented group of them banded together to create Nonfiction November, a month long celebration of nonfiction writing which I’m happy to say I played a small part.
Looking back on my decade of book blogging my blog for the most part feels the same today as it did 10 years ago. I’m only on my third template with the basic layout remaining fairly consistent. Feeling the blog needed a slight makeover a few years ago I upgraded to the Hemingway Rewritten template and added the new header picture of a pint of beer and an old book, namely Adam W. Miller’s An Introduction to the New Testament, published in 1946. (As luck would have it, it happens to be open to the chapter on my namesake, the Gospel of Mark.) Today, just like 10 years ago the overwhelming majority of the books I read and discuss I’ve borrowed from the public library. However, over the last few years I’ve been borrowing more ebooks through Overdrive to read on my Kindle. Honestly, I was slow to embrace this technological practice but when I did I fell in love with it passionately. Lastly, most the books I’ve read and blogged about over the years have been nonfiction. But starting three or four years ago I’ve found myself reading more fiction, especially stuff with an international focus.
As for what the future holds, I have no clue. Even though I came close to retiring from book blogging on several occasions, I’m won’t be shutting down Maphead’s Book Blog anytime soon. I’ve been wanting to start some kind of podcast and if I do, you’ll read all about on my blog. Who knows, I might even launch a spin-off blog with a literary bent, filled with feuilletons, op-ed pieces and the like. I guess only time will tell.