An Appreciation Post

This appreciation post is long, long overdue.

Recently I’ve been taken aback by the incredible amount of support this blog has received. When I started Nut Free Nerd years ago I never imagined that so many thoughtful people would be reading, sharing, and commenting on what I write. I’ve posted over one thousand times on this blog (!!!) but warm, fuzzy feeling I get from reading your comments and engaging with you all in this lovely bookish community never fades away.

I’d like to make a special shout out to some fellow bibliophiles in particular:

Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff: I’ve been following Michelle’s blog for what feels like eons and I always look forward to her entertaining, creative, and thought-provoking posts.

Shanti & Shar @ Virtually Read: These two bloggers never fail to make me laugh, smile, and think. Whether it’s on bookstagram, Twitter, or in the comments section of my blog, their thoughtful words always make me grateful to be part of such a wonderful bookish community.

Selah @ A Bibliophile’s Style: Selah is so sweet! I’ve had the pleasure of following her blog for years and I adore her kind, fun, witty personality. I always look forward to reading her delightful comments.

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books: Marie is one of the loveliest bookworms I’ve ever come across. She’s so engaged in the bookish community yet somehow always manages to find time to read and comment on my posts… she’s the greatest!

Maraia @ lettuce_read: Maraia’s comments on bookstagram posts always make me smile. Not only are her comments always funny and thoughtful, but they’re refreshingly genuine as well. I aspire to be as engaged in the bookish community as she is!

Dani @ Perspective of a Writer: I admire Dani for her positive outlook and dedication to spreading gratitude and appreciation throughout the bookish community. She consistently creates weekly appreciation posts in which she shares links to blogs she really enjoys. She included me in one of these posts once and it brightened my day so much.

To anyone who has ever shared my posts, nominated me for an award or tag, left a comment, or even simply read my posts: Thank you. Without you, I’d just here uploading posts into the internet void while mumbling about books to my dogs. (I mean, I already do that now, but at least there are people reading what I write!)

I cannot express how much I appreciate each and every one of you. Your support means the world to me. Thanks bunches ❤

Yours,

HOLLY

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People IRL Read This Blog?!?! | Discussion

Today I’m here to discuss a dilemma that nearly every blogger must confront at one point or another: the collision between “real life” and the blogging world.

In high school I was very secretive about my book blogging escapades. I never told anyone at school about it and no one ever randomly asked, “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to run a book blog by any chance, would you?” so I never had to actually say, “Why yes, I’ve run a book blog for years that no one knows about except people online and my parents. And my dogs.” I was perfectly content with the fact that no one else knew, happy to keep clacking away at my keyboard with my nerdy little secret tucked safely between the pages of whatever I happened to be reading that day.

And then I went to college.

Here’s the thing about college: it’s a lot more difficult to hide things from people when you basically live with them 24/7. It’s not like blogging is anything that I had to hide in a bad way– I’m proud of my blog and the hard work I put into it– but I’ve always had mixed feelings about telling people about it. Part of my hesitancy is that I don’t feel like many of the people I know personally would necessarily enjoy reading a blog dedicated to overly enthusiastic ramblings about books and bookish things. I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is a relatively niche subject area, or at least it seems to be when the majority of my college-age peers are more concerned with partying and watching Netflix than anything else. (Shout out to my nerdy friends, though– you’re all gems! <3)

I quickly realized that it would be nearly impossible to keep my blog a complete secret from my friends, especially if I wanted to keep updating it and replying to comments throughout the semester. Gradually I plucked up the courage to gradually mention it to more and more of my small circle of friends. I was taken aback by their genuine enthusiasm, interest, and support. People I knew IRL being interested in my quirky little blog about books? This was a feeling I had never felt before– to be honest, it was a huge relief. 

Then I started a bookstagram account last summer.

Here’s the thing about Instagram: it shows you what other people have recently “liked.” So when my close friends from college started “liking” my bookish photos, more and more people from school began to see my account pop up on their screens. Little by little I watched in simultaneous horror and bewilderment as people I had never intended to know about my blog suddenly began to know about my blog. (I had foolishly put a link to my actual book blog in my Instagram bio.) When I got back to campus in the fall and continued to post photos on my bookstagram, I was shocked to find that so many people actually enjoyed scrolling through my carefully posed pictures of books that I had taken in my front yard and stockpiled on my phone like some sort of weird preparation ritual for an illiterate apocalypse. It was strange to talk about my book blog to peers in person. Suddenly it was no longer a platform leading directly into the Internet void; rather, my voice was being heard by people I came into contact with every day. 

I don’t mean to make it sound like my book blog is some popular site visited by the majority of my college campus. In the grand scheme of things, relatively few people even know about my blog to begin with. What I do mean to emphasis is how my attitude towards people know about my blog has changed. In high school I likely would have cowered away from the mere thought of people from school reading Nut Free Nerd; now, I almost welcome it. I still get flutters of nervous butterflies whenever someone mentions it to me in person, but I’m getting there.

To those of you reading this who I actually do know in person: Thank you bunches!!! *hugs*

If you’re a blogger, how do you deal with the crossover between “real life” and the blogging world? Do you actively spread the word about your blog or do you sit back and wait for people to find out about it naturally? Any advice? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Why Commenting is Important | Winter 2017 Comment Challenge

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I’m excited to announce that I’ll be participating in the Winter 2017 Comment Challenge hosted by FLYLēF and A Kernel of Nonsense. I’ve participating in a few of their comment challenges in the past and I love how it fosters a strong sense of community between bloggers. I don’t know who my partner will be yet, but I can’t wait to find out! To learn more about how the Comment Challenge works, visit the sign-up page here.

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Here are a few reasons why I think commenting is so important:

  • It creates meaningful discussion. Discussion is one of the best parts of blogging, in my opinion. Sharing thoughts about books and bookish topics with other enthusiastic, passionate is one of the things that makes blogging worthwhile.
  • It builds bonds between bloggers, readers, and everyone in the bookish community. Communication is key in every aspect of life, including blogging. Commenting allows bloggers and readers to easily connect through quick thoughts or long conversations.
  • It breathes life into a blog. An active comments section is often the sign of an exciting, healthy blog. The more people are commenting and sharing their thoughts on what you have to write, the more inspired you’ll be to further discuss topics in the future.

These three reasons are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recognizing the value in commenting. Though life gets busy sometimes and it’s not always easy to find the time, I always try to set aside a few minutes on a regular basis to jot some quick notes in as many comments sections as I can. Think of the amazing discussions we could have if we all start commenting a little more often!

Why do you think commenting is important? Do you make it a priority to comment on blogs or do you prefer to communicate in other ways, like through social media? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

I’m back? (A general life update)

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Hello, my lovely bookish friends! Since I was home for my October break this past weekend, I thought I would write a longer update post while I have some extra time. I have a crazy number of updates to talk about in this post, so let’s get right to it!

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At the end of August I started my first year of college at Wheaton College in Norton, MA (woo hoo!). Over the summer I suspected that I would be incredibly busy once the school year started, so I basically scheduled posts in advance for the entire month of September. Long story short, the posts you’ve been seeing over the past weeks were written in the summer months as I drank iced tea, soaked up the sunshine, and fantasized about what college would be like. This is why I haven’t been commenting much on other blogs or responding to the comments on my own, for which I’m really sorry! My plan was that I would have plenty of time over the month of September to schedule posts in advance for October, and that my blogging schedule would stay pretty much the same as it was.

Boy, was I wrong! It turns out that free time in college is sort of a myth, because a) there’s always homework you could be doing, and b) chances are that when you’re not doing homework you’re hanging out with friends. Also, I have very little time to read for pleasure because of all the homework I have to do, so the number of books I have to review is slowly dwindling. Since beginning college I’ve read a grand total of two books, both of which were assigned reading for my Introduction to Literature class (if you’re wondering, they were Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe). I really miss reading for pleasure on a daily basis, and I’m still trying to work on fitting it into my schedule. If you have any tips on how to find time to read in college, they would be greatly appreciated!

I’m not really sure what my future blogging schedule will look like. My reserve of scheduled posts has run dry, so now I will truly be blogging whenever I have free time. This might translate into a longer weekly update post, a few short posts a week, or maybe another massive apologetic post the next time I’m on some sort of mini-break from school (Thanksgiving?). I really hate not being able to maintain the nearly daily posting schedule that I’ve kept up for so long, but it just isn’t feasible for me in college at this point. Hopefully I’ll find a way to post more often!

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I’M IN COLLEGE. I have to remind myself of this regularly because it still doesn’t feel like it sometimes. How am I this old? *insert teenage life crisis here*

IMG_1990First and foremost, I love Wheaton. (Also, important distinction: I go to the one in Norton, Massachusetts, not the one in Illinois.) Everything about it is fantastic: the people, the professors, the campus, etc. No college is perfect, of course, but I can honestly say that I can’t imagine myself going to college anywhere but here. If you’re ever in the area or are looking into colleges to attend in the future, definitely check this one out!

Remember when I made this post about my class schedule for the first semester? Yeah, that changed. Before classes even started I decided to switch out my Logic class for Introduction to Literature, which was coincidentally at the exact same time on the exact same days. I’m so happy I made this switch because I’ve met a lot of great people in the class and my professor is awesome. It was a bit of a hassle to get all the books for the class at the last-minute, but it was completely worth it!

Because I’m taking two 200 level classes (Spanish 220 and Intro to Lit 201) I have A LOT of homework. In fact, I should definitely be doing homework instead of writing this post, but everyone deserves a break every once in a while, right? At first it was a little overwhelming, but now that I’ve settled in more I’ve learned to just buckle down and do it. Most of it is actually really interesting, especially for my Lit and Spanish classes.

Now, I’m sure you’re all asking a very important question: What does my dorm room look like? Here’s a quick picture of my side of the room:IMG_1940

I actually really like my dorm room and residence hall. The people on my floor are all super nice and friendly, and it’s a great feeling to know that if I ever needed anything I have people who I can go to for help. The best part of it is that two of my best friends live only two doors down the hall from me, which means that we can basically hang out all the time.

I live in a wellness dorm, otherwise known as a substance free residence hall. Essentially this means that there are more severe consequences for having drugs and alcohol in the residence hall itself. If anyone has any questions or is wondering whether or not such a living situation would be a good fit for them, feel free to leave a comment letting me know!

Overall, college has been a great experience so far. There have been many ups and downs as well as some crazy stories to tell, but it’s all part of the college experience. I’m so grateful to have made such an amazing group of friends and I can’t wait to see what Wheaton has in store for us in the future!

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Is there anything else you would like an update on? Let me know in the comments section below!

Like I said, I’ll try to post more often in the near future. Hopefully I’ll be able to find time to blog more regularly!

As always, have a lovely day!

Yours,

HOLLY