To save all confusion, the bulk of this post was written by Julie because she's awesome at this sort of thing while Lanna sucks. Any Lanna commentary will be in purple.
(Seeing as this is our history and all, I thought I'd bust out our very first blog header. It's craptastic, I'm aware - I wasn't exactly good with photoshop back then... not that I'm good with it now, but I've improved from that)
[Bloggers[[heart]]Books] started sometime in Fall 2008. We used to know exactly when, but then some posts were deleted and the best date we got is October 15. The blog was founded by Lanna and a few other girls, open to anyone that wanted to write reviews. Lanna actually doesn't know who some of the people that wrote those first reviews are. (I'm fairly sure that those reviews from mystery people have been deleted.)
The blog was pretty much started as a way to get all of my book rambling off of my personal blog and then some blogger friends of mine joined in too, because we all loved to read. Somewhere along the line friends of those friends joined and then a few of our readers (I think the maximum number of people we had join the blog was about 10-14, although some never posted).
Back then, we had no clue about the whole book blogging community thing or that there were other book bloggers out there - it was just about gushing/ranting about books and sharing book recs with each other.
In February, Julie joined the group of bloggers that we don't have an exact number for. (Because I had known Julie from the IMDb forums and we would talk about books a lot on there, so I thought she'd be an awesome addition to the blog.)
After that...there wasn't really anything of much importance...
UNTIL November 29, 2009. Julie, who was supposed to be working on NaNoWriMo, somehow stumbled upon blogs (I've TRIED to remember how and have NO BLOODY IDEA.) She found contests and blogs and was entering and reading and just generally in love. Sucked the next day when she had to write 5,000 words. (I really don't remember how I stumbled across the rest of the book blogging world either, I do remember Kristi/The Story Siren being one of the first I found though.)
Not sure when exactly, but some time after that point, all of the contributers who... well, didn't contribute ever were removed from the blog except for a few that are good e-friends of mine (I think we were left with myself, Julie, Leah, Mari, Nia and Melody - the latter three left the blog some time later. And then there were three...). I attempted to revive the blog a few times and get people posting more, without much luck. Without Julie, it probably wouldn't have happened at all.
Things were quiet for several days...as the then three contributors were probably sleeping for the first time in a month. Then on December 4, THINGS began happening. There was more contest finds and an In My Mailbox and reviews and even a new meme, Historic Saturday. Julie tried compiling books released in the next month but eventually gave up on that.
By December 13, the blog had an official email, official twitter (later to become Julie's twitter), and a list of things we'd do in 2010. On January 11, 2010, the blog got all official with an ARC review policy and three days later, Julie joined the Debut Author Challenge.
For several months, Julie, Lanna, and Leah blogged (although, Leah just posted reviews every now and then and wasn't involved with much of the other stuff). Things grew more consistent and constant, a schedule formed. Discussions were posted and Historic Saturday became less consistent as Julie branched off to other book genres. The blog evolved.
Blog community interaction increased as posts were made about more subjects. Julie joined in on Author Appreciation Week and blogs were pimped and a post was written about why Julie and Lanna love blogging.
By summer, a steady system was made. Posts were made almost every day. Leah left the blog (which actually worked better for us, you'd think with more people it would be easier to run a blog but it wasn't - there were post scheduling conflicts and things that got annoying, Julie and I work better as a team). There was even a short feature started, What We Wish We Knew. The blog blossomed under all the attention given to it. Before Julie and Lanna knew it, the blog broke 500 followers in early September.
With school and WriMos and birthdays and holidays, October and November were quieter on the blog. But with one year under the belt and a calming down in life, the blog will continue on and will continue to grow.
The first post on the blog is an About Us page. It was actually written two years later than the date it says. Go figure.
The first review on the blog was from one of the original founders, Mari, for And Then There Were None. (Technically, it was not the first review though - it's just one of the old skool reviews that didn't get deleted by me. Some of the older reviews just either made me cringe or weren't suitable to still be on the blog because they had spoilers. I'm pretty sure the first review was one of mine and it was craptastic.)
On February 3, 2009, Julie wrote her first review for the blog and officially became a member. Her review was a fail.
On March 14, 2009, the blog got it's first (known and easily found) award. There was even a post for it. Not sure that happened again (the making a post thing, not the award thing, some lovely people have given us awards since).
The blog's first contest was opened on May 8 and ended May 20 or 21. Not sure WHY there was a contest, but there was. (The contest was pretty much my way of getting people to read books that I love, because I discovered that that is one of my favourite parts of the whole book blogging thing - the blog started out as just fun and was pretty much chaos, totally disorganised... but I did get a bunch of my online friends to read and love some of my favourite books that they wouldn't have found otherwise.)
The first author guest post was on December 15, 2009.
By January 19, 2010, the blog had reached 200 followers.
By the second week of September, the blog had 500 followers.
The blog continues to grow at a rate that astounds it's contributors...and somewhat frightens them. (I concur!)
There were so many other things that have happened during the blogging thing (something Julie said being quoted by Meg Cabot, finding my reviews quoted on author websites/press releases, Speak Loudly, a few other censorship things, finding out what BEA is and pining to go, getting addicted to Jackson Pearce's livestream chats, interviewing authors for the first time, having them follow our blog/twitter and even comment etc.), there's too much to even begin to mention everything. It's been awesome.
I have a short attention span and I get bored of things easily... I'm still not bored of book blogging, even if I go through the occassional reading funk, I don't get tired of the blogging aspect of it.