One year and 3 days ago when I (Ana) thought about starting a blog, I had no idea what was in store for me. I had just read more than 10 books over the holiday’s period and all I wanted was to talk about them. It was right around the time that I started reading blogs and I thought hey, maybe I could get one of those.
I was a member of a forum for Lost fans. There was this chick that I knew for about one year but who wasn’t really my friend. Our online conversations ranged from the public theorising about the show to the private exchange of messages about …. books. Out of all the members of that small forum, we were the two that read the most. Towards the end of 2007 our reading grew exponentially to the point where we sent Amazon links to each other several times a day and talked about how we had to get them delivered to work and smuggled home so that our boyfriends would stop complaining. When I decided to start the blog, I sent her a message that said:
“I am thinking about starting a blog to talk about the books I read.”
“how awesome, what a great idea”
My reply was almost instantaneous, I didn’t even think about it:
“want to join me,” I asked. Equally fast came the reply “sure, dude.”
There you go. This is how all of this began. There was no plan behind it, no real idea of what blogging was all about. Next step, was to pick a name (“The Book Smugglers” duh – first choice) and then a template. For two people who hardly even knew each other, things ran quite smoothly and we agreed rather quickly. The inaugural post was easy to come up with as well – the idea was to write one review per week and to go from there.
But of course, two obsessive people such as Thea and I could never settle for “just one” review per week. The more we wrote, the more we wanted to write. The more we read, the more we wanted to read. We started leaving comments in other blogs and people actually started to come around. Very soon we had people leaving comments and it was a complete surprise when one of them asked us to read his book (Joel Sutherland we are looking at you, old chap). This is like offering bananas to a monkey.
The ideas started to pop in (Let’s do a Western week! A Gaiman week! Dungeons posts! Joint reviews!) and the amount of emails exchanged daily sometimes surpassed 100, easily. It is not pretty; sometimes they consist merely of “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” or “OMG OMG OMG! Lisa Kleypas has said yes to our interview request!” but it is FUN. Thea is essential to my life now as she is essential to this blog. We enable each other’s craziness.
Today, I can safely say that these two girls who started a light hobby as acquaintances have become really good friends and the blog….is one of the best thing in our lives. We are truly dedicated to it, we thrive in getting books, reading them, loving or hating them and talking about them – the love for books that brought us together and that remains strong. We love our blog, we love being book smugglers, we love being here. And we love that we are not alone.
To everyone who has ever come around, who has ever read and enjoyed our reviews; who has lurked or has left a comment; who has engaged in discussions or entered a contest; to you who is one of our 300+ daily visitors or one of our 300+ feed readers (lurkers, we love you too!);
To all of the great people at Harper Collins, Dorchester Publishing, Penguin, Random House, St. Martin’s Press or any of awesome smaller publishing houses that has ever supported us by sending us the most precious gift of them all – books;
To all the writers who said “yes” when we cheekily asked for an interview or that continuously support us by coming around and posting or asking us to review your work;
To all of our closer friends (you know who you are);
A big THANK YOU. You complete us.
And with that we declare Smugglivus finished! Until next year!
Ana and Thea, your friendly neighbourhood the Book Smugglers.
P.S. How do you like the new layout so far? Pretty aint’ it? We are still organising stuff so please bear with us for a few days!