I think I've mentioned previously that I come from a family of readers. I loved reading before I even knew what reading was. What I didn't mention is that reviewing books also runs in my family.
My mom is more internet savvy than most people her age (somewhere past middle age, but not quite collecting social security) she listens to podcasts, reads blogs, etc. In her early days of the internet, she met some women that all loved books. She's still friends with one of them (some 13 years later) and still participates in a lot of online book groups. One has seriously the best premise ever: it's a small group of 12 ladies. Each has a birthday in one of the 12 months of the year, so they all send books to each other on their birthdays. So, when it's your birthday, you can count on getting at least twelve new books.
But I digress. Because of my mom's involvement in a lot of online book groups, she was invited to join some reviewer groups by a few of the big name publishers. Shortly after she did that, there was a period when there would be a package arriving several times a week from this publisher or that publisher with ARCs. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous! The publishers merely asked that my mother read and reviewed the books in order to keep getting them. She got books for a few months before they started to dry up, but it was a really exciting time for her and for me!
I guess what I'm trying to get at is that while it was so exciting to get books from publishers-it wasn't why mom was part of an online community with fellow book lovers, and the same can be said for me. It's just the icing on the cake to get free books for review-but it's not my raison d'être for keeping a book blog. The main thing that keeps me passionate about blogging nearly every day is the book blogging community. I have only had a book blog for a couple months, but I'm so happy to have met the wonderful community of writers & readers-probably the nicest of all the communities I've had the pleasure to be in in my nearly 15 years on the internet.
Long story short? Book bloggers are generally pretty damn awesome. :pats you all on the back: