Why Book Reviews? My Blog Story
Hi! I’m Monica. I’m the blogger here at TheReadathon. I wanted to take a few minutes and write out a little of my history and my blog story for you so you can get to know me a little better. You’ll see why I started book blogging in April of 2009. So, why book reviews, and why is this so important to me? This is my blog story.
When I was way too young to read chapter books, I would beg my mom to let me read them. She did; because she’s awesome like that. When we’d go fishing as kids, all my siblings would get out their poles and fish, and I’d read; because I’m a nerd like that. My family loved to get together and cheer for the local NBA team or the fan favorite during the Super Bowl, and they enjoyed it; I’d read the whole time because I didn’t care about any of that stuff. I’ve loved books as long as I can remember. I cannot recall a time in my life when reading wasn’t a huge part of it. Well, I guess I can, but I’ll get there in a minute.
During the summer I’d sit under the tree in my front yard and read for hours on end (hence my tree logo…). I love being taken away to another time or place, I love getting caught up in a story, I love seeing the world through different lenses, and I love learning new things. In school when we had to read a book as a class, I would get so frustrated because I just wanted to read the whole book. I didn’t want to read one chapter a week or whatever the assignment would be. So, I’d usually read the whole book and then go back with the class and read it again. I’d read whenever I had a spare second. High school and college were a bit more difficult because of the heavy coursework, but I still managed to find the time to read.
Me Not Reading?
I attended college to get my degree in elementary education. When I had one year left before graduation, my husband and I got married. We graduated the same day, which was fun. Right after graduating, I got a job teaching first grade, and he went on to get a masters degree. I taught for two years and then had my first baby. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I didn’t want to go back the next year. I couldn’t leave my baby, so I decided to stay home. Even though it was a difficult choice, I loved it! Two years later we had another baby boy, and even though two kids was kind of hard for me, I still loved being home with them.
Having two little boys running around at home was the one time in my life that I really didn’t read. Every time I’d pick up a book, they’d see that my attention was elsewhere, and get into trouble. I always read to them, of course, but reading for me was almost non-existent. So, I stopped reading for awhile. Then one day I realized that this situation wasn’t helping any of us. They were just going to have to deal with it. It was good for them to see me read, and it was good for me to read. So I’d keep a book out and read a few pages at a time. Little by little they got better at allowing me to read.
Now we have two daughters as well, and we have a great system going! All four of my children love to read, and they read way more than I do; I love it! Oftentimes it’s me telling them to put the books down! Even though my sons are 16 and 14, they still enjoy sitting down and listening when I read at night.
My Blog Story
I’m very conservative with what I allow my children to watch and read, so my goal has always been to read books before they do so I know what’s in them. I did well for awhile, but there is no way I can keep up with the amount of time they spend reading now. In April of 2009 when I looked around for a website that had content ratings for books, I couldn’t find one. I wanted a place where I could go to look at the content of the books my kids wanted to read–before they read them. I wanted to know if there was profanity or violence or “intimacy” in the book before I handed it to them, and I couldn’t find that place. That is why I started my blog!
I also saw too many children in my neighborhood reading books that I knew were not age appropriate for them, and I knew their moms did not know the content of that book; but I did. Consequently, I figured there were probably other moms just like me who didn’t have time to preview all the books their kids read, and there needed to be a place where they could go to preview a book (or see the content rating of the book) without reading it.
It wasn’t just for my kids, though. I’d want to know for me too. I hate getting into a book and then finding that it is riddled with profanity or that it has “intimacy” scenes that are way too detailed and graphic. So that is why I review all sorts of books for all ages. I want my blog to be a place where every reader (or her parents) may come and find content info. on the books she would like to read.
So What Makes My Book Reviews Different?
On all my reviews you will see a content rating and an age recommendation. I tell you what kind of content is in the book and why I rated it the way I did. The age recommendation is also important because some books may be clean, but that doesn’t mean younger readers should read them. They might have heavier topics or themes.
For more information about my ratings, see “My Content Rating System.”
I’d Love To Review A Book For You!
If you’d like me to review a specific book for you (you know the one your child is begging to read because “Everyone else is reading it!”), just fill out the form below (It’s also on my “Contact Us” page.) I’ll then add that book to my To Be Read pile and review it as soon as I can. First priority will be given to those who subscribe to my newsletter. Thanks for taking to the time to read my blog story! If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me. I’m always open to improving!
This post was originally published on 8/6/16; updated on 2/26/18.
4 thoughts on “Why Book Reviews: My Blog Story”
I hate not knowing what is in the books my kids are reading so I am really glad you are doing this! Maybe now that my little man is headed to first grade I will start reading more too!
Thanks for your comment Trisha!! When my baby went to first grade I definitely took advantage of the little bit of extra time each day to read! I hope you enjoy your alone time!
This is amazing!! Your children are so lucky to have you and we are lucky that you review these books!! Thank you for your example and sharing such cute pics!! 😉
Hi Tami! Thank you very much for your kind words! You are so sweet!