Sunday, December 9, 2018

Book Blogger Hop No. 154: Searching for New Blogs vs. Sticking with "Regulars"

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

Do you tend to visit the same
blogs each week, but also
try to look for new blogs?

(Submitted  by Elizabeth  @ 

My Answer

Here's the short and sweet answer: I stay with my regular blogs.

Now here's the long answer, lol.

When I first started blogging, I wanted to meet new bloggers, of course! I was like a kid with a new toy! So I enthusiastically used to visit many blogs, followed most of them, and commented. To my disappointment and dismay, I soon discovered that many of these bloggers were not commenting back on my blog.....

I also discovered, pretty quickly, that book bloggers (and probably other kinds of bloggers as well) do tend to stay with their "regulars". At first, I was a bit annoyed. I used to think they were acting like high school cliques! Lol. Now, after eight -- yes, EIGHT -- years of blogging, I must admit that I can see why bloggers do this. Every single one of us leads busy lives. Many bloggers have kids, and have to juggle family and work responsibilities. So, time is limited. It's better to stick with people with whom you resonate. Besides, this way, good friendships are forged. 

This doesn't mean that one can't occasionally go on little blogging adventures to seek out new blogs. But, for me at least, this is indeed an occasional adventure nowadays. In fact, it has become a VERY occasional adventure.

I don't usually mention much of my personal life on my blog, and perhaps that might put off some people. Well, I'm doing so now! Here is the main reason I'm sticking to my regular blogs, and have fallen behind on commenting on even those, as well.

I have been working part-time as an ESOL teacher in Miami, Florida, for several years. I used to combine that with a full-time office job. Don't ask me how I was able to blog at all during the years I did Oh, and what does "ESOL" mean? It's an acronym for "English for Speakers of Other Languages". I teach this subject at a local high school, but in the evening program, since my students are all adults.

Back in May of this year, my regular Level 2 class, which met from 7:00 to 9:30 PM, Monday through Thursday, was closed by the night school principal, due to very low enrollment. I still had tutoring, though -- from 3:00 to 6:00 PM, on the same days. Still, this class closure was not a good thing, as I no longer have a full-time job. (Hence the tutoring, which I had asked the principal for, back in 2015). 

Well, a little miracle took place! Two weeks after closing my Level 2 class, the principal gave me another one -- a combined Levels 5 and 6 class!! I was ecstatic!! It turned out that another teacher had a family situation that made it impossible for him to keep teaching that class, so the principal gave it to me.

There was only one little problem, though....the previous teacher had been lending books to the students to use during class, but the students were not allowed to take these books home. How could they possibly study at home? So I began to make copies to hand out to them during class. They would now be able to take these home to study. However, since this was my first time handling this level, I had NO materials at all. So I began collecting books -- some from the school library, and a few that I bought on Amazon -- in order to make copies for my new students. 

You might be wondering why I didn't just ask the students to buy the books. Well, these students are very reluctant to buy ESOL books, as these tend to be quite expensive, and many of these students, being immigrants, work at menial jobs. And I don't like to lend out the books during class, either, because, in the past, some have disappeared. So I think that making copies works out the best. It does create a LOT more work for me, though! Frequently, I have had to make copies at home, on my own copier, because I haven't had the time to request them from the school office. You see, we are supposed to give the office staff original copies for them to duplicate. The principal doesn't want us to give the actual books to the office staff, to make copies from. This means that we teachers have to make our own original copies first. So I have to do that on my home copier (which is also a printer).

I've told you guys all this because all this extra work at home has taken me away from blogging VERY often since I got this class in May. Furthermore, I have also needed to make copies for my tutoring group, which now consists of two sessions -- the first, for grammar and conversation, the second, dedicated to preparation for the American citizenship exam.

So all of this extracurricular activity means that  I'm WAY behind on replying to comments left on my blog, as well as visiting the commenters' blogs, so as to comment back.... Heck, I'm even late in publishing this Book Blogger Hop post! I am very sorry about all this, but, obviously, work has to come first!

Given all of the above, I am presently unable to go exploring for new blogs. Of course, if a blogger previously unknown to me visits and comments, I will do my utmost to reply here on my blog, and comment back on theirs. But I will probably not make it a habit to keep visiting them, unless they continue to comment on my blog. I simply don't have the time.....

The present trimester (night school goes by trimesters, not semesters, as day school does) will end on Dec. 20th. Then we will have two weeks off, and return on Jan. 7th. By then, I will have plenty of copies ready to hand out, since I now have materials that I can order new copies from. And I will start that process this coming week, so as to be ready to go on Jan. 7th! So, hopefully, this next year I will be better prepared, and not have to scramble around for materials! That will enable me to concentrate on blogging about my favorite subject once again! 

I sincerely apologize to all of those who have been leaving comments on my posts, to which I have not replied. Nor have I commented back on those blogs..... I'm working frantically to catch up!! Thanks to all of you guys!! Don't worry -- I will indeed reply and return comments!! I just ask for your patience and understanding. HUGS TO YOU ALL!!!!  <3  :)  

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment! 
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!! 


  1. Great post Maria. I can see why you are so busy. It is super that you got the opportunity to teach this class but the time that you need to put into it seems formidable.

    I am in a very similar position. I also would like to visit and explore various blogs, but lack of time keeps me confined to just a few. Something that has helped me is that I have downloaded Bloglovins' mobile app. This way if ever I have free time or waiting time, I can catch up with the blogs I follow on my phone.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Thanks for the compliment!! <3 <3

      I was VERY happy to get this opportunity, as I only work part-time, so losing the previous class would have been a hardship. Of course, there's my husband's income, but still. Additionally, I had been teaching the same level for years now, and you do get into a rut. However, getting this class was problematic, as I didn't have any materials ready. So I had to do some serious scrambling! The previous teacher NEVER gave out copies to the students. I could have done the same thing, but I feel I owe it to my students to give them something to study with at home, or at least take a look at, whenever they can.

      I don't think we're alone in having this problem. Many bloggers are in this same situation! That's why I no longer get upset if somebody doesn't comment back. People are just doing the very best they can!

      I didn't know that Bloglovin' had an app! That's a GREAT way to keep up with the blogs you follow! I'm going to check that out!!

      Thanks for the GREAT comment!! <3 :)

  2. You do a great job of keeping up.

    I think everyone understands that we love our books and our blogs, but people are busy with jobs and family.

    Another FABULOUS post and answer, Maria. THANKS.

    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Thanks, but I have indeed fallen behind, and I feel bad....look how late I'm replying to your comment! :(

      You know, I used to feel down if I didn't a reply or comment back from other bloggers. Now, after having been part of the blogosphere for several years, I understand that people are indeed busy with jobs and families. So I don't sweat it anymore, lol.

      Awwww.....THANKS TO YOU for being so sweet!! You're very welcome for the post!! <3 <3

      Thanks for the lovely comment!! HUGS!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  3. Interesting!
    I find it pretty hard to follow blogs in general, firstly because of time constraints (it's not just the leisure time you have, but also what portion of it you can use for reading blogs); secondly, because there's a ton of bloggers, often very prolific with many and very wordy posts; and thirdly, which actually can make the previous a moot point: they usually blog about books I haven't read yet! and it's one thing to read a couple blogger's spoiler-free thoughts, but anymore and you can end up forming an opinion without having read the book.
    So what I do is subscribe to A Lot of people, and then skimming to see what posts catch my eye, and if after a while I haven't visited a blog at all I stop following (also the reverse situation, of course).

    1. Hi, Reese!

      Oh, man, when I started blogging I got carried away!! I started following SO many blogs!! I soon found out that I couldn't keep up with ALL of them! Lol. So these days I just stick to a few blogs whose creators I really resonate with.

      "A ton of bloggers"! Yeah, that's right!! The blogosphere is just CRAMMED!! And there are a LOT of book bloggers!! So it's pretty impossible to seek out new blogs, if you're having a hard time keeping up with your regular ones.... I'm having that problem now, as you read in this post.

      I do like to read reviews of books I haven't gotten to yet, though. BUT, only as long as the reviews don't contain spoilers! Lol.

      I think that skimming blogs to see which posts you might want to read is an excellent idea. I don't really have the time for that, though. So again, I simply stick to my regulars! Lol.

      Thanks for the WONDERFUL comment!! <3 <3 :) :)

  4. That is so nice of you to do for your students, even though I get it takes a lot of your free time and it's probably stressful.
    As for your question, there are few blogs I stick to, but I'm always searching for new ones.
    The thing is, many bloggers I used to read just stopped blogging, and since I was in a blogging slump myself for the longest time, some bloggers I was good with stopped being so close to me, and sometimes I feel like I'm pushing myself onto them, if you know what I mean, so I like to find new blogs too.

    1. Hi, Irena!

      Thanks for the compliment!! <3 <3

      Yes, I do feel that it's important for my students to have copies to work with during class, as well as take home to study. The previous teacher NEVER gave out copies, but just lent the students the books during the class.

      The reason I'm having such a hard time is that, before I got this class, I didn't have ANY materials for advanced levels. So I had to do some SERIOUS scrambling around!! Now I'm in a much better position: I have a collection of copies that I can make copies from! So I will be MUCH more prepared in the next term!! :) :)

      I've noticed that there are bloggers who have stopped blogging. One of them is Jill @ Breaking The Spine. She used to host the meme "Waiting On Wednesday". Well, she published her last post for that meme on August 24, 2016. And she didn't explain anything, either. She simply stopped blogging. I still wonder WHAT happened.... I hope she's doing okay....

      Now I participate in a similar meme -- "Can't Wait Wednesday". it has the same purpose Jill's meme did -- to present upcoming books bloggers are eagerly anticipating. It's hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings.

      Sometimes, bloggers who used to come by, and stopped, end up returning. That's GREAT!!! :) :)

      Thanks for the WONDERFUL comment!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  5. You do seem pretty busy! I’m glad my blog is one of your regulars, then. I didn’t find this question one I could discuss at length on The Great Raven. I follow quite a few, but will sometimes follow another that is on a subject that interests me. Unfortunately so many people are on Wordpress these days that they are hard or impossible to follow, except by email and I often simply delete them when I don’t have time to read.

    1. Hi, Sue!

      Oh, yes, DEFINITELY!! :(

      Your blog is indeed one of my "regulars"!! I just need to catch up on commenting back, and that includes commenting back on "The Great Raven". This term has been SO STRESSFUL for me, with all of this extra work!!

      I don't think I follow any Wordpress blogs. Maybe I do; I need to double- check. I have commented on Wordpress blogs in the past, though, and the only problem I've had so far is that my very first comment is always moderated. After that, comments just go right in, unless, of course, the blogger in question has comment moderation. However, I do know that the GFC widget, which is SO convenient, is not allowed on Wordpress blogs. This is Google's doing. They are only willing to provide this widget for blogs that use Blogger as a blogging platform. So, yeah, that kind of sucks.... I don't like to follow through my email address, though, because my inbox is already crowded with SPAM and other emails I don't have the time to read. So, in the case of Wordpress blogs, I prefer to follow with Bloglovin'.

      Of course, I do prefer to read blogs that have posts about the types of genres I'm interested in. In fiction, I prefer to read paranormal romance, science fiction, urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and historical romance. AND, most of these are also in the Young Adult Fiction category, which I ADORE!! In nonfiction, which I don't do much of on this blog, I prefer to read psychology (academic & self-help), theology, art, and philosophy. I also enjoy reading some esoteric stuff, as well as -- yes, I admit it! -- books on conspiracy theories.

      I do have a second blog, which is dedicated to classics, literary fiction, and nonfiction, but it's inactive at present, due to lack of time.....

      I will be visiting your blog pretty soon, for SURE!! I know I need to comment back! I will have to do it gradually, but I WILL do it, ow worries!! <3 <3

      Thanks for always leaving such INTERESTING comments on my blog posts!! HUGS!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


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