Grand Opening | Asti’s Story

Grand Opening | Asti’s Story

Why I Joined Oh, the Books!

As a blogger, I know that I have the freedom to do what I want. I can make big drastic changes without needing others’ approval or support because what I do is a hobby and my own happiness comes first. That being said, I truly appreciate the love and support of my followers and always want them to understand why things are the way they are.  The big explanation for today? Why I joined Oh, the Books!

I started blogging with everything: time, energy, ideas, etc. I would write posts every single day (with what I considered to be quality content) and would make a point to not only reply to comments on my own blog but go around leaving meaningful comments on everyone else’s. What can I say? I’m a bit of a perfectionist. If I decide to do something, I like to go big or go home. When it came to blogging, I wanted to do it all.

Unfortunately, that meant when my circumstances changed – when I no longer was living at home, working part-time, and had hours upon hours of freedom – it suddenly became extremely hard to balance it all.

Danbos, Dice, Balance

credit : Nomadic Lass

I tried to come up with many solutions for the struggles I was facing. I told myself to post less because no one would mind (and no one did), but seeing these empty days with nothing on the blog after posting daily for months just felt wrong. I told myself to take hiatuses when needed, but I rarely ever got anything done on such breaks and always came back still struggling to keep up. I told myself to reach out for help from others, but I often just felt like I was being whiny and seeking pity and didn’t like leaving that impression.

I really just wanted what I had, but that was no longer possible with the circumstances of my life.

But then something happened… Kelley asked about starting a blog together.

Now, this is not something completely new. Kelley and I started talking shortly after I entered the blogosphere last March, and as soon as I knew I would be moving to the UK I had mentioned the possibility of co-blogging with her. I was trying to think ahead and prepare myself for my new life, and thought co-blogging might be the solution. At the time I think both of our blogs were going through growth spurts and we were unsure if we wanted to give that up to start on a new adventure. We didn’t do it.

The idea never completely left our minds though. We continued to talk and share our struggles with blogging, until finally I guess it just seemed like maybe it was the right time. The second Kelley brought it up, I said yes. Yes, yes, and yes. Please someone save me. (I can be a bit dramatic in situations like these.) And of course I agreed to letting Leanne join the crew.

Danbo, Camera, Gadgets, Together

credit : Nomadic Lass

The knowledge that it’s not just me anymore, that I have these two lovely girls who will help me out when I need it, makes the blogosphere seem like a more manageable place. I feel like my mind is in a better place, my expectations are in a better place, and I feel like I can finally be me again.

I feel like many of us can relate to these feelings, and while not everyone does decide to make that jump to co-blogging I do hope everyone still understands. I want to remain a positive presence in the world of blogging and feel good about what I do, and I feel like this will be the support I need to get back to that place once again.

But don’t worry… I still have my bookish features, I still have my bookish ramblings, and I definitely still have my bookish heart.



To celebrate Oh, the Books! Grand Opening I am giving away one of my favorite books! The only restriction for entering this giveaway is that The Book Depository must ship to your country. The winner gets to choose one book from my following favorites:

Asti's Favorite Books, A Monster Calls, Shadow and Bone, This Is All, The Book Thief, Wonder

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you think?

Have you ever felt like you were truly struggling to keep up with blogging? What was your plan of action to fix it? Hiatuses? New blog? Just keep going? I’ve tried all three, but I think this is the one that will actually work for me (or let’s hope ;) )!


Read 92 comments

  1. I’ve definitely had problems with blogging. Not always keeping up with it, but more having the motivation to blog and even read. I’m always thinking about quitting and promptly pushing the thought away because I LIKE blogging. Anyway, I went on hiatus for a while and changed the way I was doing things. I don’t force myself to participate in memes anymore and I’ve changed the way I look at review writing. I feel like taking a break helped me get back to what I like to do rather then what I felt like I should. (I really hate admitting that I felt the pressure. Bah.) But yeah, I think co-blogging is great. I really like it when people do it. I don’t think it’s for me, though. I’m too much of a control freak. Haha! I’m definitely looking forward to more from this new blog. Yay! :D

    • Haha I definitely agree being a control freak makes co-blogging hard! I think it really comes down to having the right people! All three of us check in with each other about almost everything, and we have no problems sharing any feedback or concerns. So even though it’s not just me in charge of this blog, I do still feel like I have a decent amount of control which calms the control-freak in me. I think the only thing that I’m still getting adjusted to is having post drafts, since I only ever write a post and schedule it write away, but that’s manageable.

      I do think the temptation to quit blogging can be so strong when life gets in the way! It’s like, no matter how much you love it it can just seem like too much sometimes. I’m glad you have found ways to make it work for you. I really think taking a step back always helps. :)

  2. I love how everything is formatted! I love that you all get your own colors (though I get confused with Kelley’s and Leanne’s), and the codes! I just noticed now that the color schemes change, and the about section at the sidebar changes too. That is just so cool. <3 My geeky heart rejoices.

    Anyway, I can't wait to see what you guys will post next! I'm definitely looking forward to it.

    • Haha yes, Kelley did put a lot of work into making it super obvious who each person is – and I had to take claim to purple since it’s my favorite color. It is a bit funny that you mention being confused by Kelley and Leanne’s colors though. Up until a week ago Kelley had more of a green color (like the Contact Us button in the sidebar) but ended up switching it because when our posts transferred over from our old blog they were that darker green color (I don’t know what it’s really called) and she fell in love and decided to use it. I think she was a little concerned people might get confused between the two, but hopefully it’s not too bad! :)

    • I really am a perfectionist. I try to hide it, but deep down inside I go “AHHHHHHHHHH!” And then I see bloggers like you, who are always so perfect in my mind, that I crumble. Of course, somehow I seem to skip over the part where you post once every week or so. I just think “SANA IS SO AMAZING AND I’M FAIL!”

      Wait, I guess I’m saying this is all really your fault? ;)

      And pssh. Fight and break up? As long as they just do what I tell them that won’t be a problem, duh! (See, I’m not evil at all!)

      • I’m a perfectionist, too. But never when it comes to posting every day because I’m too busy perfecting said posts for them to be posted every day. I mean, I only posted four times last month.

        However, if you think I’m perfect in your mind, KEEP THINKING THAT. Ha ha seriously, are you just saying this to make me uncomfortable? Does your evil powers get replenished this way? =P Y’know if you love someone, you generally overlook their flaws. Is that what’s happening to you?

        Okay, I’ll stop babbling now. =D

  3. I love how you guys are now a family! It makes me so excited. You have to do what’s good for you! And co-blogging is a wonderful choice especially since you won’t be the only one carrying the stress of a blog on your shoulder! You have Kelley and Leanne to support you and that is awesome! :D

    (“Someone save me” makes me think of the theme song to Smallville. LOLLL.)

  4. I love the colour scheme and how all your beloved features are here! :D
    When I have no time, I just let the blog rest for a day or two and during exams, I guess taking a hiatus is sufficient. I can’t see myself with a co-blogger due to my slighty complex personality xD
    I think co-blogging shows how well you ca work in a team and mix ideas from completely different personalities and bring them out. It’s a huge achievement to get to that level! :D

    • Haha yes, like the second we moved over here I was like… I’m still calling everything Bookish. Which is sort of funny because prior to my blog Kelley used to dislike the word Bookish, but I think she’s okay with it now – or she better be ;)

      Oh, don’t worry, I’m sure I have my own complex personality here. I think it just works out this way because all three of us are super supportive of each other and I think we’re really good at communicating online. You know how there’s some people you talk to online and you can’t tell the tone of whether they’re upset or anything? With us three, I think we sort of have a good feel on each other and when it looks like something is a problem we’re good at managing it… or we are so far. Dum dum dimmmm!

  5. I had no idea you and Kelley had been thinking about co-blogging so early! Wow, definitely been in the works for a while. This kinda makes me wonder about the co-blogger applications you had a while back, did that change any plans you had? Or how did they affect the eventual rise of OTB? *curious* haha

    I’m really glad that now you’re co-blogging with Kelley and Leanne we’re still going to see you around :) I think it definitely suits you and will work best with you juggling school as well! <3

    • It’s true! Kelley and I originally brought up the thought of co-blogging probably back in May or so of 2013. We both agreed that if we were to ever co-blog, there would be no one we would rather co-blog with than with each other. But then I think I got nominated for Best Breakout Blog and Kelley was dealing with her own growing popularity, and we just decided that attempting to keep our individual blogs was way more important to us at that time than attempting to start a group blog. The thought of starting over again was too intimidating.

      So though we originally started talking about it in May, we stopped shortly after. Once I moved here and started contemplating having a co-blogger again, I think Kelley had a hard time deciding what to do. On the one hand she was really scared of me getting a co-blogger because it just wouldn’t be the same (obviously) and she wasn’t sure who it could be that would make it actually work. But, on the other hand, her own blog had grown so much more over the past few months and she was at a good point with time and everything that I don’t think she really wanted to give it up. So yeah. I think me wanting to do the co-blogging thing during that time was me hoping Kelley would just save me right then and there, but the timing just didn’t seem right. I think I hand two or three applications for other people who were interested in joining me, but in my mind I just sort of gave up on it before it began.

      So I do think that moment made Kelley reconsider the possible thought of doing a co-blogging thing for real, but she just wasn’t ready at the time. I think what really pushed it so it would work as it did was the eventual introduction to Leanne. Once Leanne also threatened to leave the blogging world – or showed obvious signs of struggle – Kelley had no choice but to sacrifice herself to save us. Or at least, that’s how I see it in my mind :P I’m not sure if any of that really makes sense, but hopefully that answers your question…

  6. Well I for one, am very glad you joined in with Kelley and Leanne. I would have been very sad if you stopped blogging.

    I completely understand the struggle you were having to try and find balance with your life and blogging. It’s hard when things can change all the time. I went with just quitting blogging, for now. But I’m glad you didn’t! <3

  7. I’m glad you found a way to stick around and keep your sanity. I definitely missed you during your hiatus! And I agree with everyone else, the new site is just so amazing, I love the color coordination and how it’s formatted… everything!

    Lucky for me, my bloggy stumbles have been pretty minor thus far. I think the most time off I’ve ever taken was a week. I feel like once I get at least one post ahead, I’m okay again. I’m also happy as long as I’m posting a couple times a week, so I don’t have too much pressure on myself.

    And I didn’t know Kelley or Leanne before, so I’m looking forward to getting to know them and seeing what your new blog is all about!

    • One week? Go you! Every time I take a hiatus it’s usually for two weeks, if not more. And then when I do come back it feels like because my break was so long it takes me too long to get back in the swing of things. Luckily it doesn’t feel too bad this time around :)

      I do think it’s great that you don’t put too much pressure on myself. I definitely think that’s my biggest issue as a blogger. I constantly want to do more, more, more even when it’s not realistic. Making it so I’m in a group blog takes care of that because I feel like the blog has more, more, more – it’s just not all me, me, me.

      I do hope you get to know and love Kelley and Leanne like I do! They’re alright gals ;) And of course, I’m glad to see you around again!

  8. Pingback: Grand Opening | Welcome to Another Bookish Excursion at Oh, the Books! | Oh, the Books!

  9. I’m so glad that we finally decided to do this — and the bring Leanne into our fold! I know what you mean about not liking those empty days on your blog when you were so used to posting daily — it always bothered me on my blog, too. But now we have the perfect solution and I couldn’t be happier! Thank you for saying yes and agreeing to go on this journey with me and Leanne! (I’ve talked a lot about me rescuing both of you, but truly, you two have saved ME. <3)

  10. When I first found your blog, Asti, I was crazy impressed with the amount of time you put in and couldn’t really fathom how you managed it! I’m really glad that you’ve found a solution that will let you keep creating your awesome content but without stressing you out! This really sounds like the perfect solution for all three of you. I think when grad school picks up/baby thoughts become more likely, I’ll end up looking for a similar solution since my current reading pace just won’t be sustainable anymore.

    • Haha, looking back on my blog beginnings even I’m impressed at all I accomplished (though part of me just thinks I was crazy)! I definitely threw myself into it at the beginning, but it was too much to maintain after my big move!

      I hope you find a perfect solution for yourself once you find yourself struggling with blogging! Grad school and baby thoughts definitely sound like things that can suck up your brain power. I wish you luck with both :)

  11. I’ve definitely thought about coblogging because blogging is a huge time commitment, especially if you want to do more than just reviews and if you take the time to comment back on other people’s blogs. I completely understand why you three decided to join forces and I’m excited to see how your new adventure turns out :)

    • Ah yes, if I had to say the one thing that REALLY made it so I felt like I couldn’t do it all is commenting. I wanted to not only respond to all comments on my posts but also go comment on everyone else’s blogs, and if you post everyday and have a solid group of followers that can be extremely hard. At least this way I know I only have two day’s worth of comments to respond to on my own, and can devote the other days to spreading the love or catching up on other stuff!

  12. My only plan of action has been to do what I can, when I can do it. I admire plenty of other bloggers for their bookish thoughts, but I don’t have much time for that right now. I admire their tenacity to blog, but that is just not me (and in all honesty, it is too hard for me too keep up on all that blog reading!!) I can post 2-3 times a week, and that is what I do!
    I hope this plan works for you, because I have always loved reading your blog! I think working together with a team would be great, and hope that it is for you!!

    • I think you’re going about it the right way Alyssa! Stick to what you can do or WANT to do, and don’t worry about anything else! I think for me, I just always wanted more more more. It just felt wrong for me to go a day without a post or without responding to all my comments and I couldn’t stop worrying about it. It’s definitely not a good way to blog. I would have much rather preferred to be like you and just accept what I could do!

      I do think this team thing is the right solution for me in the end. I’ll still be posting just about the same amount as I did at A Bookish Heart these last couple of months, but I won’t have to feel bad about days when I’m not posting because someone else will be taking care of it!

  13. Ah, I get you there. I started my blog too when I had less work to do and was living at home, but then after moving out for school, I got waaaaay too busy. Interesting how life throws things at us like that, making us try to get better at balancing. It’s awesome that you have your co-bloggers and friends to help you balance and support you! :)

    I’m excited about all the bookish fun happening here! Best wishes, Asti!

    • Right? Why can’t life always make things easy? (I guess that would take away all the fun?)

      I definitely am lucky that I have the blogging friends I do. I’m thankful to not only Kelley and Leanne for letting me be apart of this journey, but all the wonderful bloggers in the blogosphere who have been so supportive since our Grand Opening started (including you)! Thanks Ana <3

  14. I think this co-blogging plan is the one that’s going to work for all three of us! I had a few very short-lived blogs before deciding to give a book blog a try, so I’ve gone through all of those stages above trying to extend their lives. None of them ever quite worked out like I’d hope they would, but I was also trying to overcome my struggles on them alone. As much as we might be badasses, we still need a little help now and then. ;) I think we all have pretty infectious levels of excitement about different areas of blogging, and so many of our interests and loves overlap. It’s going to be fantastic! Thanks again, so so much, for having me along with you and Kelley, Asti. ^_^ <3

  15. I’m so glad you guys found each other and decided to work together to continue to blog. I know that it would be so hard without my partner April. It makes it so we can both breathe knowing the other is there. I hope your team up works great for all of you! Looking forward to the content

    • Yes! I definitely think it helps. And even better, it helps when visiting other blogs and commenting. I just sat here thinking “April? Who’s April?”. I know of your blog but forgot you had a co-blogger because I’m always seeing you around. If it were just her, I might not even know your blog exists! So that’s always a nice bonus as well. More minions to spread the word ;)

      • Haha – yeah I’m a bit all over the place. It was April’s blog originally and she is fabulous, but now we’re totally partners. Its hard to find someone you completely click with and so we are very lucky! I hope the partnership with the 3 of you turns out just as great!

        • Ah yes! See that was why I was always hesitant then thinking about starting a co-blog before. I kept worrying I wouldn’t click with whoever I signed on, and that would just be awkward if I didn’t. (I guess I wasn’t brave enough to give it a go!) But I knew I was already great friends with these two so didn’t have to worry about that luckily!

  16. I hear you, Asti. I’m a perfectionistt too. A lazy perfectionist but still ;) And I have to say this, I LOVE that purple is your color. I love purple and it just fits you perfectly. Same with Leanne being the “turquoise” one. But why don’t I remember seeing that book, This Is All on A Bookish Heart? Is it one of your newest favorites??

    • Haha, I was sort of worried about choosing purple because though it is my favorite color (I’m even wearing a purple hoodie right now >.>), it’s not a color I used at A Bookish Heart. I was wondering if I should have kept one of those instead. But no, I’m happy with my decision! :D

      I think I only mentioned This Is All at the very beginning of my blog. It’s a book I read in high school actually that I absolutely loved and it’s the only book I ever recommended and bought for a friend I knew in real life – who also fell in love with it. It’s a massive book, over 800 pages long, but it’s so beautiful and interesting and yeah. I would love to reread it again. I think I just don’t talk about it much anymore because no one else I know has read it and it’s older.

      • Half of my wardrobe is purple so I definitely love your new “online image” :) Purple is like the cool brother of black (color of evil, in my mind) Haha.

        Oh, I see. I’ve checked it out on Goodreads and it sounds a bit strange and different but in a good way. And 800+ pages? Woohoo!! Love me some long books. And the fact that it’s older shouldn’t stop you from talking about it here. *looks into her crystal ball* I’m seeing a Bookish Reunion post coming up very soo~n ;)

        • Haha, it’s funny you say that because in high school I was totally one of those evil goth kids who only wore black. Now that I’m adult, I still like my dark but feel like I have to be a little more approachable so purple it is! ;)

          Bookish Reunion post would definitely happen, but only if I could get my hands on a copy. My book amnesia is so bad that the only bits I can talk about that I remember are spoily bits about the end, haha. But you are correct… there is a Bookish Reunion post coming up, in a week or so actually! :P

  17. I love your closing note Asti, we would never doubt your bookish heart. :) The more you fall in love with blogging the more you want to put your soul into it. And once life tries to get in the way and you have to pull back, it hurts. I totally understand and I think you made a great decision. Can’t wait to see how this blog develops! :)

    • Ah yes, I’m sure you would understand because I know you yourself were having some troubles with blogging for a while there! Sometimes there’s just only so much you can do. I’m so happy everyone has been super understanding of this change. Before when I mentioned co-blogging everyone would be so hesitant and doubtful if they would like it, but those fears have seemed to disappear for this new blog (or at least, no one has been admitting to them :P)

  18. I have to say, I think I’m much more of a casual blogger than many others in the blogosphere- the attitude I have is that if I’m struggling to put up posts and things, I just won’t. And I don’t mind too much if there are gaps where I don’t post anything on the blog. But I think that’s just me haha.
    In any case, I really hope all the coblogging shenanigans go well!

    • But I think you’re super smart for having that kind of attitude! For me, it’s not just blogging, it’s how I am when it comes to all areas of my life. I always want to overachieve and do more and do better and I’m my own worst enemy 99% of the time. Sometimes I want nothing more than to be more causal like you!

  19. So I said it on both Leanne and Kelley’s posts, but there’s no harm in saying it again: I’m so glad you decided to team up and stay in the book blogging community, as losing the three of you would really suck!
    It sounds like a great solution for you – I’m worrying a little about the second half of this year, when I’ll be starting my Masters (also moving to another country!) and will have less time to blog. I guess I won’t be able to properly answer your question until then! I’m kind of just hoping I’ll be able to keep organised…

    • Oh, moving to another country and starting a Masters? That sounds awfully familiar, lol. I do hope you’re able to handle it all – and if not that you find a solution that works for you! My main advice is if you’re anything like me, try to cut yourself some slack! haha. I think I would’ve handled everything much better if I would have stopped worrying so much about what everyone else might think and just focused on other things.

  20. I’m beyond happy that you stayed in the blogosphere Asti! You are seriously such a HUGE presence in the bb community now from all your awesomeness, your comments, your amazing features and of course YOUR GAMES that I would really, really have been sad if you hadn’t had the time to continue blogging! I’m so excited for what I’ve seen so far and what’s to come… THREE TIMES THE AWESOMENESS <3

    I'm currently in a bit of "thing" right now but I'm not sure what it is or what will fix it haha. I'm slowly coming out of it the more I get scheduled and I think that plays a large part in it. That and we are currently working on getting a new home/moving and the stress of all that is making me blah, haha. I'm pushing through though because I know ultimately with everything else aside I LOVEEEEEE blogging and this community!

    • Haha oh yes, all of my craziness is still around – including the GAMES! And if anything, those have just gotten crazier with the next one coming up! If you plan on joining it, I hope you’re ready for some madness. I think it’ll be even worst than the last game, and we know how confused everyone was during that one! haha.

      Aww I hope you get through your thing okay! Moving is definitely a time-consuming and brain-draining activity so it’s totally understandable if it interferes with your blogging. I do think you’re right that scheduling seems to help a lot. I used to schedule my posts at least a week in advance when I started blogging, so it never really felt overwhelming to me. Once I moved here though I could only do it like a day in advance and it would drive me crazy! I’m super excited for this new blog because as of right now I have the entire month of March scheduled (you know, since it’s only two days a week) and that feels amazing. Scheduling is definitely huge!

      • Of course I plan on joining up :) Your games is one of the BEST activities in the blogosphere, and despite the fact that it consumes practically every waking thought when I am playing I also have “met” so many awesome bloggers!!!

        Moving is brain draining, agreed! Although, my move is most liking not as tough as yours because I’m only moving to another city! I can only imagine the stress moving to a different CONTINENT!

        That’s so awesome that you are scheduled all through March :) Since I’ve been better at it, it’s so nice to come home and reply to comments and visit other peoples blogs instead of trying to get my blog post up!!

  21. I think it’s a great decision for all 3 of you. I have to admit I struggle with balancing everything. I want to go comment but I run out of time before I get to all the blogs I want to comment on. I think of new features all the time but then don’t have the time to work on them properly and they fade away. I’m trying to post less reviews now and I think that’s working better as it’s giving me more time to work on other posts that I’d rather do.
    So yes, I totally get why co-blogging would work. Especially when you are already friends beforehand. Good luck :)

    • Haha, if I were to post less reviews I would have no reviews! I really don’t read as much as some amazing gals like you ;) But I’m glad that it seems to be working for you. You’re right, it’s definitely hard sometimes to blog, write new features, reply to comments, AND comment on other blogs. It’s a lot of work!

      Thanks Trish :)

  22. I’m so late to comment on this post, sorry!! :((
    But I just want to say that I’m so glad you didn’t stop blogging Asti!! You’re such a huge inspiration to me, and it would make me sad (I WOULD CRY) if you left the blogosphere >< Like Trish, I think it was such a fantastic decision for all three of you to combine forces and superninja powers to come together and blog!! :D It's so awesome when friends do something together and deliver something amazing! :3
    HEEHEE. As people would say I IS EXCITE xD <33

    • No need to apologize Emily! We all have busy lives! Better late than never <3

      I'm so glad I didn't stop blogging if the result would have been making you cry! Noooooo! I shall blog forever and ever just to avoid that ;)

      I IS EXCITED TOO! Superninja powers GO!

  23. I’ve really enjoyed your blog previously and so I’m excited you have a new place to blog in circumstance that work much better for you now! I’d miss you if the book blogging community lost you altogether!

    And I’m really excited about Oh, the books! I’ve been crazy busy at work this week so it’s been so nice just tor browse through the different posts and get to know the new bloggers and I’m really excited. It seems like it’s going to be a really fun place :)

  24. I’m quite new to the blogging scene so I’ve not really had the ‘Ahhh I can’t keep up’ experience yet! T try to blog every day, but I know that Uni is getting busier though, and I’m getting less and less time during the day. It’s just a matter of time…

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  26. I love the idea for this new blog. I followed all three of you, and this new look is very neat. You guys are super fun! I am only a new blogger, over 3 months now, and I definitely understand how circumstances change and threaten to affect blogging. I am so glad there are so many passionate bloggers out there. It keeps it entertaining!

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