Monday, January 31, 2011

Five years is a long time...

Photo: Five Years by Michael Ruiz

I debated whether to just let the day pass unnoticed, however it seemed I should at least acknowledge that today the blog is five years old! On January 31, 2006 I posted for the very first time here on my then new blog, In Spring it is the Dawn. I started very small, and unknown (that hasn't changed all that much). With frequent photos, very short thoughts on the books I was reading (I can't even call them reviews), and very very few comments. Over the years, my posts have gotten longer (not sure about better, although I like to think so), I found a little corner of the internet to call my own, and made some wonderful book friends.

However, life then interfered. Last year was not a good year for me personally and it became harder and harder to keep up with blogging. Between posting sporadically, and failing to comment on even my favourite blogs, I felt like I wasn't really a part of the book blogging world anymore. Several times last year I considered calling it a day. Yet, I could never quite bring myself to officially retire the blog. A good thing I suppose as, so far this year, things are definitely looking up.

I don't have a fancy giveaway to celebrate today, rather I just want to say a very big thank you to everyone who reads my blog. I'm sad at those blog friends that have faded away, no doubt having given up on me over the last year. But I truly treasure those of you who have stuck around despite everything. And I welcome anyone who is new to the blog. I hope you know that you all mean so much to me, and that your support is what encourages me to continue. I'm sure that when I first posted here five years ago, I never imagined I'd still be blogging after all this time. And even though the blog has had its ups and downs, I'm looking forward to sharing with you many more books, and bookish moments in the coming year(s).

Thank you, truly!


  1. I am so glad that you decided to stick around! Happy 5th blogiversary!

  2. Congrats on 5 years, Nat! I have enjoyed your blog very much over the years and am happy to hear the new year is looking up for you.

    You'll never fully know how much you have influenced your readers, but I hope you know that you have.

    Here's only one way you've influenced me: I participated in your haiku challenge last year by writing a haiku and it was accepted by this site which just put it in their latest issue this past Friday:

    Thank you!

  3. Congratulations on your 5 year blogiversary :) Even though I only "met" you recently, I want you to know that I really enjoy your blog posts and your comments on tweets.
    *raises glass* here's for another 5 years (and preferably more)!

  4. You have encouraged me to use English, you know? So I should really thank you for this. And for your posts, which I always look forward to, and for Hello Japan!, and JLit Book Group, and...

    Just keep writing, okay?;) Happy blogiversary, Nat!

  5. Congratulations on five years! I haven't been posting as much as I used to, but I'm always stopping by ;)

  6. Happy Birthday from a small bairn in the blogworld (not yet a year) congratulations on your deserved longevity & hope you will continue for many more (as where else am I gonna get my JapLit from lol). So all the best & have one of those fantastic looking cakes.
    Ps. Left a message earlier, doesn't appeared to have worked, so here I am again this time using openID

  7. I am so glad things are looking up this year, and thank heavens you didn't abandon the blog altogether. I think that blogging breaks are normal, and then we can come back stronger than ever.

  8. I'm so glad you didn't quit, Nat. Happy 5th anniversary, and here's to many more!

  9. Happy Blogiversary! Here's to many more to come! :)

  10. I only discovered your blog in the last few months. Thank you for hanging in there this past year. Wow, five years, quite an accomplishment.

  11. amazing and well done on five years all the best stu

  12. 5 years is a long time! I'm also glad that you didn't shut the blog down last year. I have learned so much from your posts and I'm looking forward to the Japanese Reading Group again this year! Congratulations on your longevity. :)

  13. 5 years is a very long time in the blog world - celebrate it! I'm glad you decided to stick around and that this year is starting out better for you.

  14. Congratulations for the 5th anniversary
    from Owl59!

    Although I am relatively new to your blog, I really treasure it.

    I like your blog because : it is on books, on Japanese culture, has many beautiful photos, is nicely designed. I like everything about your blog.

    Am happy that you decided to keep this blog. I like it as it is, but even if it
    will change, I will keep checking it.

  15. WOW, happy 5 year anniversary!! So glad to have met you in person in May and looking forward to many more wonderful posts (and pictures) on your blog!
    Stephanie @

  16. Congratulations of five years of excellent blogging! I'm fairly new to your blog, but have really enjoyed reading through your older entries.

  17. Five years is a long time in blogging land. Congratulations!

    As I said before, I really love your blog. It looks beautiful and the posts are interesting. Keep it going!

  18. Happy 5th Anniversary. Here's to many more years of blogging goodness. Cheers! :)

  19. Happy Blogoaversary Nat! I will not give up on you and don't you give up on us too! :D

    I know how you feel about calling a day. I feel that way sometimes. It's your blog, there is no pressure. As long as you are posting, I'll be reading.

  20. Happy five years, Nat! In spite of everything else going on for you personally, I'm glad you've stuck around in the blogging world. Glad things are starting to look up and I hope they continue to do so.

    All the best!

  21. I still *heart* your blog after all these cheers! Cheers to year #5!

  22. Congratulations!

    I, too, went through an extremely difficult 2010 personally. I didn't blog very much at all and didn't read ANY books the latter half of the year.

    What's so nice is that this book community of ours is so strong that it almost feels as though time doesn't exist and we can just pick up where we left off.

    I've enjoyed your blog over the years and hope to read a Murakami or two in 2011.

    Here's to a better year for both of us!

  23. 5 years is a really long time! Congratulations! And I am very glad you decided to stay :) You're one of my favourite people in the blogging world.

  24. Hi Natalie :)

    I am very happ ou have a blog and are on your 5th year. ou where my first blogger and inspiration.

    I have been away from blogging however not from reading which I do every day.

    I am trying to spend 2 days a week dedicated to my blog and visiting my favorite blogs.

    Happy 5th anniversary :))

  25. Congratulations and happy blog anniversary!
    I really enjoy your blog - the Japanese insights and the books. I'm glad I discovered it.

  26. A belated congratulations! I think you have been on my blog roll for the entire five years!!! Here is to many more :)

  27. Belated happy blogiversary! Wow 5 years is very noteworthy, I'm glad you posted this!

  28. Belated happy birthday to your blog!!! Cheers to more!!!

  29. I'm sometimes amazed that it's been five years for so many of us (I, too, began in 2006, but not until May.) I didn't realize last year was so bumpy for you, but I am glad that you stuck it through. I love talking Japanese literature with you, admiring your photographs, being challenged by what you read/blog to expand my own horizons. I wish many blessings on you for 2011 and the years to come, and I'm glad to call you friend.

  30. Really? Five years?!?! I'm so glad you didn't call it quits, although I completely understand. There have been several times when I've considered doing the same, but something keeps me hanging on.

    Here's to many, many more years of blogging. I feel like I've known you forever and whenever I think of my trip to the San Juan Islands (and Port Sidney), I think of you.

  31. Very belated happy blogiversary wishes to you! 5 years is a long time, and it is understandable to have ups and downs. Glad you decided to stick it out though!

  32. Thank you so much everyone for all your kind comments! Whether you've been reading for a while or are relatively new to the blog, I'm so grateful to you for sticking around during the sporadic posting and absences. It's truly thanks to every one of you that I'm still blogging. :)

    Thanks Vasilly!

    Teresa - That's so fabulous! I remember that haiku. Congratulations! And thanks for sharing the news. :)

    Chinoiseries - Thanks! I'm so glad to have "met" you this year as well. *clinkglass* Here's to many more interesting book chats. :P

    litera - OK, I'll do my best. I'm so happy to have you participate in the various groups. And the English teacher in me is thrilled that you're posting in English too. ;)

    Thanks Chris and mariel!

    parrishlantern - Thank you for your kind wishes. You know there are other wonderful bloggers who talk about JLit but yes, I do think you'll be stuck with me for a bit longer. ;)
    PS. Thanks for taking the time to comment again. Sorry it didn't work properly the first time.

    Trisha - I'm still not back to blogging as much as I'd like to be, but I'm grateful for everyone's understanding. :)

    Thanks Ana, Melody, sbk, Stu!

    Kristen - Thank you! I'm so glad we got a chance to meet last year, which wouldn't have been possible without blogging. :)

    Thanks Florinda!

    sumit - Thank you so much for your support! :)

    Stephanie - Thank you! I was so glad to meet you too. It was too short but hopefully we'll get another chance. :)

    Thanks Ruth, and Mark David.

    Judith - Thanks! It took a while to get the blog to this point (layout, design, content, etc) but I'm pretty happy with it for now. Very glad to hear that others like it too. :P

    Thanks Violet!

    JoV - Thank you, it really means a lot!

    Trish - Thanks! So far things continue to look up, so I'm hopeful for a much better year. Congratulations again to you. I hope this is a fabulous year for you! :o)

    Thanks Andi! :P

    Michelle - I'm sorry you had a very difficult year last year, and I hope that 2011 will be a much better one for you. Like you, I'm so glad we can pick up where we left off.

    Iris - Aww. You made my day with that comment. :)

    Thanks Madeleine, Sam, Wendy, Teddy Rose, claire!

    Bellezza - Thank you! It was a pretty low time, but I didn't really talk about it on the blog. Things are much better this year so far. I, too, really enjoy discussing Japanese literature with you and look forward to doing so for a long time to come. :)

    Les - Yes, it's hard to believe, isn't it? Whenever I stop by Sidney, especially, I think of you too! One of these years we're going to have to actually synchronize our travels.

    Thanks Marg!

  33. Five year! Congratulations! I think your blog is amazing and really enjoy your posts. And although I'm not participating in the challenges as often as I'd like, I think what you are doing is wonderful especially in increasing your readers' interests and understanding of Japan. So yay!


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