Blog anniversary – thoughts & giveaway

Four years ago when I started this blog I thought I’d do a blog anniversary post every year. To my surprise however, I realized this is only my second such post. What happened to the other years, I have no idea. Most likely I was too caught up in something else and just forgot about it.
Photo source

Four years feels to me like a really long time. I have met some interesting people, made friends I regularly talk to, and discovered amazing books I would probably never have come to on my own. And I learned a lot – about sharing a reading experience, and about blogging, which brings me to my next idea. The other day I was reading a post on Lynn’s Book Blog, To comment or not to comment and I thought about it for a while because this is an idea I’ve had for a while but never actually put down in writing.

What is the etiquette of blogging?

Now internet has given us this amazing space to play in and we don’t even have to leave our homes. Our blogs have become our living rooms if you will, and strangers come by to see what’s new, what books we’ve added to that shelf and what bookish adventures got us all excited. Most people read, some even leave a comment. I’d like to think I was a good host – maybe not that fast in replying (life and time difference can get in the way) but definitely trying to answer every comment and being grateful to the people who took their time to leave one. And part of being a good host and blogger is to visit and leave a comment in return. Not every blogger I’ve visited has done the same, and for a while it bothered me. Don’t I deserve the same courtesy? Are the books I write about so uninteresting that people don’t have anything to say? I’d like to think not.
I know some people are shy, some think everything’s been already said so why leave another similar comment, and some just can’t be bothered. I know I read blogs I rarely comment on but if a blogger comes and leaves a comment on my blog I definitely try to return the favour. I don’t see it as an obligation. I see it as being polite. It’s all part of the blogging experience.

It is true that some blogs get 30-40, maybe even more comments a day, and to answer each one and visit every blogger would probably take hours. I don’t expect that to happen, as I’d rather have that blogger writing a new post rather than answer my comment. This I understand. But most of the blogs I’ve been to are not like that. Do I return to those blogs? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. And sometimes I leave a comment and sometimes I don’t. One thing I’ve learned, though, is that if you want people to come visit your corner of cyberspace, you have to be prepared to do the same and sometimes you might have to make the first step.

Giveaway - Letters from Thailand On a slightly different topic, I decided to celebrate my blog anniversary with a giveaway. Choosing a book for this purpose was not easy. If you’ve been a regular visitor you know I love horror but maybe that’s not something everybody enjoys so while I was at the bookstore perusing the shelves, I remembered a book I read years ago and loved. You can read my review of it here.

From the back cover:

When the original Thai version of Letters from Thailand appeared in Bangkok in 1969, it was promptly awarded the SEATO prize for Thai Literature. Thirteen years later, it was translated into English to reach a much wider readership. Today, the book is still considered one of Thailand’s most entertaining and enduring modern novels, and one of the few portrayals of the immigrant Chinese experience in urban Thailand.

About the giveaway:

– It runs from today, 15th January, until Monday, the 19th (midnight Bangkok time).
– Leave a comment with your name and email address.
– Recommend a book.
– The winner must respond to email within 24 hours. If not, I will choose a new winner.

A big thank you to all who have made a regular stop here and also to new visitors. Every comment is important and I appreciate your time and your ideas.

Good luck in the giveaway!

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25 Responses to Blog anniversary – thoughts & giveaway

  1. Brian Joseph says:

    Happy Anniversary Delia!

    I so enjoy coming to your corner of the internet as you always have something interesting to say in an original and thoughtful way.

    Thanks for your comments on commenting etiquette. I tend to very conscious of it myself. On the other hand I know a few bloggers who feel that they should only leave comments if they can add something meaningful. I have seen some of these folks leave return comments weeks later as they waited for the right blog.

    • Delia says:

      Thanks for the nice words, Brian. I really appreciate it.
      I guess everybody has their own standards. Some people prefer to keep it light and casual while others want to give a deeper, more meaningful context to their comments. Honestly, I’m OK with both. I know everybody who comments here has taken away from their time to do so and especially these days when there so many other things to do, it makes me be thankful for that. After all, time is something we never get back.

  2. Lynn says:

    Hi Delia
    What a great post – and happy anniversary as well!
    I tend to comment a lot on the events I take part – for example RIP and OuAT – quite often as well you get new people taking part and I think it’s really nice to read their posts and open up a discussion. It does become quite intense though! I think the worst is when you get behind – I used to feel like I should scroll back through people’s blogs to check if I’d seen everything but these days I tend to think I’ll comment on the posts I’ve seen – if I’ve been on holiday and mixed a week or two – no, it’s impossible to get to grips with all that. I haven’t previously posted a note when I’m going on holiday but I’ve seen lots of other bloggers doing so and I think I’ll do the same myself in future – just so people are aware you’re not ignoring them. ‘Gone away, back soon, happy blogging, I won’t be around to comment, etc’
    Anyway, happy blogging to you.
    Lynn 😀

    • Delia says:

      Hi Lynn,
      I know it’s tough to keep up with blog posts and comments and I know some people don’t respond right away but they do come back later and that’s fine. If only we could have all the time in the world….
      I love RIP and OuAT and look forward to them every year.
      As for going away, I have seen bloggers do that, and it’s definitely a good idea especially when you have a very popular blog, like yours for example. 🙂
      Thanks for the nice words and happy blogging to you, too!

  3. Vishy says:

    Happy Blogiversary, Delia! This is really wonderful! Hope you have fun celebrating your blogiversary with cakes and a party 🙂

    It was interesting to read your thoughts on blogging etiquette. There are different kinds of commenters and it is fascinating to interact with all of them. For me, more than someone commenting on my blog, I love it when bloggers responds to my comments on their blog posts. And if they don’t, sometimes I understand (because they get a lot of comments and it is difficult to respond to every comment), but at other times I feel ignored. My favourite bloggers are the ones who respond to all comments on their blog and keep the conversation going. I have always loved the way you have nurtured your readers and kept the conversations going here at ‘Postcards from Asia’.

    Please include me for the giveaway. That book looks fascinating! I just read your review of the book and loved it.

    On a book recommendation – it has to be the most recent book I read – ‘The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman’ by Denis Thériault. It is such a beautiful poetic book.

    • Delia says:

      The party is right here, Vishy, the food is all virtual. I hope you enjoy the cake. 🙂
      It’s interesting you prefer bloggers to answer you on their blog, I’d rather they come and leave a comment here, but in the end I’m OK with both options. I like it when bloggers take the time to answer each comment; I guess we all like to feel special. 🙂
      Thanks for the kind words and for the recommendation, I know you liked that book a lot so you’ve made me really curious.
      I’ve put your name down for the giveaway.

  4. Congratulations! 4 years of blogging is a great accomplishment. The read-along of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell you co-hosted was the first blogging event I participated in. 🙂 While horror is not exactly my cup of tea, I always enjoy reading your posts (though I do not comment very frequently). I had two book recommendations for you, but I saw that you have already read them. So I will go with Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. I truly enjoyed reading it last year, and there’s a little horror mixed in.

    • Delia says:

      Hi TJ,
      Thank you so much for the nice words. I’m so glad you enjoyed your first reading event here and hope to have you along for many more in the future.
      “The Haunting of Hill House” is high on my TBR list, now it’s gone up a bit more. I really look forward to reading it.
      I’ve entered your name for the giveaway.

  5. Deb Atwood says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary! I always enjoy reading your posts. It’s so cool you stepped out of your normal reading zone to recommend Letters from Thailand (which sounds intriguing and so apropos as it coincided with your new homeland).

    So, following your thread of a South Asia novel featuring a Chinese immigrant, I suggest you check out Garden of Evening Mists by Eng. It’s a complex story of friendship, memory, and love, and like Letters from Thailand, examines the aftermath of war. The prose is stunning.

    • Delia says:

      Thanks, Deb, I’m always glad to see your comments.
      I love Letters from Thailand for several reasons and I’m happy to spread the word about it in the blogging community because it truly deserves more attention. The translator did an amazing job, which is not something I can say about all of the translated books I’ve come across. Plus, so many things happening in the story are still valid to this day – it’s pretty amazing.
      I wrote down your recommendation, actually I’m making a list of all the books mentioned in the comments so I know what to look for at the bookstore next time. Because you can never have too many books, right? 🙂
      I’ve added your name to the giveaway.

  6. Caroline says:

    Four years already. Wow. I guess we started at the same time.
    I never do blogiversary posts or maybe once.
    Blog etiquette is an interesting thing. I must say I have a HUGE problem with bloggers who don’t reply to my comments. I tend not to comment on their blogs anymore. I have also noticed that some bloggers only reply to some while they leave out others. That’s even worse. If I don’t respond it’s because it’s like a closing comment – like the last one you just left on my blog or because for a reason I’ve not seen it.
    What book would I recommend? Something Was There – it’s a VIrago book and conatins the winners of the Asham Award of 2011 or so. Very, very unusual ghost stories. I’ll have to review it some day.
    Yes, please, enter me in the giveaway.

    • Delia says:

      Hi Caroline,
      Happy blog anniversary to you, too!
      Ah, yes, responding to some comments while ignoring others is something that bothers me as well. It’s one thing when bloggers don’t respond to any comments on their blogs, but to be singled out is not a good feeling. I do tend to choose blogs where I know I’ll get a response – I don’t like to be ignored. And there are so many blogs I enjoy visiting just for the writing, even though I rarely comment because the genres they prefer don’t necessarily appeal to me. I know what you mean about not responding to some comments – like the last one I left on your blog – that’s alright, I’m fine with it because the conversation just came to a natural end. I do that too sometimes.
      Thanks for the recommendation, I really love the name of this collection.
      I’ve entered your name for the giveaway.

  7. Priya says:

    Congrats on the blog turning four, Delia! I love your musings on comments. I always visit people who comment on my blog, but I won’t always comment right away, I sometimes wait around till there’s a post I have something relevant to add to and that may take a week or two! For the longest time, it didn’t occur to me how important it was to reply to comments, but like Vishy says, I love the bloggers who respond and keep conversations going. One of my favourite parts of reading blogs is reading all the interesting comments on the posts.

    Enter me to the giveaway too. The book sounds fascinating! I know that you liked Dracula, so my recommendation for you is The Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker. I love your blog for the horror reviews, so I’d be interested in reading what you make of this.

    Happy blogging!

    • Delia says:

      Hi Priya,
      Thank you for the nice words.
      I’m really enjoying reading all these comments about comments. 🙂
      Waiting for the right post to comment on is fine, and I guess it takes a while to get used to that, especially when you’ve just left a comment on a blog for the first time and are not familiar with the “replying policy” of that particular blogger. I know some bloggers don’t reply to comments on their blog but will visit people who left a comment and leave one in return. But I do agree that it is important to reply and I always appreciate bloggers who do that.

      I’ve always wanted to read more of Bram Stoker’s work so thanks for the recommendation. I think by the time next RIP comes around I will have my books lined up. 🙂
      I’ve entered you for the giveaway.

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  9. Jade says:

    Happy blog anniversary!
    I’ll recommend Amnesia by Peter Carey. Its about a female fictional version of Julian Assange and the Labour (Australian lefty) journalist who needs to write her biography to make her look innocent and avoid being extradited to America on terrorism charges. It covers a bit of real Australian history, especially the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975, and is set in my hometown, Melbourne.
    My review is at https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/book-review-amnesia-by-peter-carey/

  10. Delia says:

    I know exactly what you mean, so I decided that if I’m ever going to run a giveaway it’s going to be open internationally. So you’re in!

    • Jade says:

      Thanks Delia! I’ve been trying to come up with a good horror novel for you but I haven’t read any new ones for a while so you’ve probably already read all of my favs 🙂

  11. Athira says:

    Happy blogiversary!!! I also just had mine over the holidays and completely forgot about it. I think this is just the wrong season for a blogiversary. But oh well.

    • Delia says:

      Thank you, Athira, and happy blog anniversary to you, too!
      That is true, December equals holidays for most people and everything else is secondary.

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