Thursday, April 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday, Episode 1

The original Fausti's Book Quest began as just a tiny little corner of the internet where I kept my thoughts on books and life.  I had fistfuls of book lists to pore over and read and jumped right in.  A few months down the line, I realized that I was reading so many books that I was losing track of them.  I set up a free blog on blog-city. I didn't tell anyone it was there, it was just for me.  Then I started to read book blogs and engaged in discussions with other readers and learned more about the things I could do with a blog and it became my little online world.  I had all the websites that I loved and frequented and the book lists I'd been working on and a little community of book lovers who shared my passion on one neat little blog site, for my easy access.  Somewhere along the line, a fellow blogger stumbled across FBQ and suggested that I submit a post to a 'blog carnival' for New Jersey bloggers.  I did and what happened next was kind of amazing.

That Sunday, not only was my post on my epic failure in reading James Joyce's Ulysses (which I later managed to defeat, so score one for Fausti) included in the carnival, but The New York Times wrote an article (not very flattering) about blogs and they used this particular blog carnival as its reference.  Now, the reference to FBQ and my post on Ulysses was not at all unfavorable and I did manage to get a friend to find me a hard copy of the paper.  However, the online version of the story included a link which started an amazing surge of interest. I went from maybe a few hundred visitors over the months I'd been writing quietly on my little blog to tens of thousands of new visitors in a day. Seriously, the post got over 18,000 hits, many of those spreading the word about FBQ and remaining followers.  Not only did I wind up with lots of new followers, but the other bloggers, cartoonists and assorted websites that I linked to started to get more traffic which they tracked back to me.  It was all very exciting. 

I kept it up for years, through the death of my father and a couple of years later, the loss of my mom to breast cancer.  Losing my mom was the first time in my life that I couldn't find escape and solace in books.  She was the person who taught me to read and with whom I shared my love of books.  It was just too hard, my ability to concentrate dwindled away and I resorted to the visual to take me out of the moment. I watched dvds like they were going out of style.  Somewhere along the line, as I dealt with my grief and started on the road to being myself again, I stopped updating my blog.  I'd periodically check in and see that people who I considered my blog friends were still out there and writing, sometimes even in my honor.  However, I also changed email accounts and wound up missing the email from my blog host, telling me that I needed to pay up for another year, or my blog would be erased.  All those years, poof, just gone. Sadly, it all could have been avoided if I'd just ponied up the $50 or so it cost a year to keep it all going.  All I have left to show for all of that work is the back up I made of a couple of the early years.  I've been poring over the posts and comments and I'd like to pay tribute to what I built, once upon a time, here at my fresh start.  So, beginning today, I've got a new feature, Throwback Thursday.  Each week, I will post something from the original FBQ.  

Flashback - August 2004

Hi! Welcome to my reading odyssey. I guess you are wondering what you've gotten yourself into, running across my little 'blog like this.  Let me give you a little background.

I am a voracious reader, who, while looking for new and interesting things to read, stumbled upon some interesting information online. I found the Harvard Bookstore's list of "The 100 Best Books Ever Written," as well as lists of banned and challenged books from a variety of sources including the University of Pennsylvania and the American Library Association.  You would be surprised at how many titles overlap on the banned lists and the bests lists.  The best books list was a no-brainer.  I knew I wanted to check those out. I'm not sure if it was curiosity, my anti-censorship stance, or just the fact that I don't like being told what to do, that drew me to the banned and challenged lists.

My goal is to publish here my notes and thoughts as I work my way down my very long lists of books. 

1.  Everything written here is strictly my opinion, and if I'm wrong, well, let's just say it won't be the first time.  I don't have the expectation that everyone agrees with me and that's okay. But, I believe I have the right to my opinion and to express it, whether or not it is complimentary to any party.

2.  My notes on the individual books may be my thoughts or feelings and may include my perspective on the story. If you haven't read a book and wish to, especially if it is a mystery, you should probably skip over it, so I don't give away to much or taint your reading of the material.

No comments: