One Year of Book Smuggling

One year and 3 days ago when I (Ana) thought about starting a blog, I had no idea what was in store for me. I had just read more than 10 books over the holiday’s period and all I wanted was to talk about them. It was right around the time that I started reading blogs and I thought hey, maybe I could get one of those.

I was a member of a forum for Lost fans. There was this chick that I knew for about one year but who wasn’t really my friend. Our online conversations ranged from the public theorising about the show to the private exchange of messages about …. books. Out of all the members of that small forum, we were the two that read the most. Towards the end of 2007 our reading grew exponentially to the point where we sent Amazon links to each other several times a day and talked about how we had to get them delivered to work and smuggled home so that our boyfriends would stop complaining. When I decided to start the blog, I sent her a message that said:

“I am thinking about starting a blog to talk about the books I read.”

She replied:

“how awesome, what a great idea”

My reply was almost instantaneous, I didn’t even think about it:

“want to join me,” I asked. Equally fast came the reply “sure, dude.”

There you go. This is how all of this began. There was no plan behind it, no real idea of what blogging was all about. Next step, was to pick a name (“The Book Smugglers” duh – first choice) and then a template. For two people who hardly even knew each other, things ran quite smoothly and we agreed rather quickly. The inaugural post was easy to come up with as well – the idea was to write one review per week and to go from there.

But of course, two obsessive people such as Thea and I could never settle for “just one” review per week. The more we wrote, the more we wanted to write. The more we read, the more we wanted to read. We started leaving comments in other blogs and people actually started to come around. Very soon we had people leaving comments and it was a complete surprise when one of them asked us to read his book (Joel Sutherland we are looking at you, old chap). This is like offering bananas to a monkey.

The ideas started to pop in (Let’s do a Western week! A Gaiman week! Dungeons posts! Joint reviews!) and the amount of emails exchanged daily sometimes surpassed 100, easily. It is not pretty; sometimes they consist merely of “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” or “OMG OMG OMG! Lisa Kleypas has said yes to our interview request!” but it is FUN. Thea is essential to my life now as she is essential to this blog. We enable each other’s craziness.

Today, I can safely say that these two girls who started a light hobby as acquaintances have become really good friends and the blog….is one of the best thing in our lives. We are truly dedicated to it, we thrive in getting books, reading them, loving or hating them and talking about them – the love for books that brought us together and that remains strong. We love our blog, we love being book smugglers, we love being here. And we love that we are not alone.


To everyone who has ever come around, who has ever read and enjoyed our reviews; who has lurked or has left a comment; who has engaged in discussions or entered a contest; to you who is one of our 300+ daily visitors or one of our 300+ feed readers (lurkers, we love you too!);

To all of the great people at Harper Collins, Dorchester Publishing, Penguin, Random House, St. Martin’s Press or any of awesome smaller publishing houses that has ever supported us by sending us the most precious gift of them all – books;

To all the writers who said “yes” when we cheekily asked for an interview or that continuously support us by coming around and posting or asking us to review your work;

To all of our closer friends (you know who you are);

A big THANK YOU. You complete us.

And with that we declare Smugglivus finished! Until next year!

Ana and Thea, your friendly neighbourhood the Book Smugglers.

P.S. How do you like the new layout so far? Pretty aint’ it? We are still organising stuff so please bear with us for a few days!


  • Brooke
    January 7, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Love the new site! The header rocks 😀

  • katiebabs
    January 7, 2009 at 9:51 am

    You complete me. The net would be a very boring place without the Smuggle ladies around.

  • Tiah
    January 7, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Congratulations the new site is great, just like your blog!

  • hagelrat
    January 7, 2009 at 10:12 am

    gorgeous. Very smart indeed.

  • Lori
    January 7, 2009 at 10:14 am

    The new site looks great!

    Your story sounds familiar! We all met on our site the same way – talking about books in another group, and then JenniferB decided to start a blog and asked a couple more folks to join. Ain’t our community grand?

  • Thea
    January 7, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Brooke–Thank you! Glad you like the header :mrgreen: It’s supposed to be Ana (the blonde) and I (the brunette). Hehe. The superstickskinny versions, of course.

    Katie–Aww, thanks dude. You rock. *hugs*

    Tiah–So glad you like the new blog 🙂

    hagelrat–Thank you!

    Lori–That’s funny, I love how the inner bibliophiles in all of us has brought us together. And yes, the blogging community totally rules!

    Thanks so much everyone for the kind words. We’re so excited to be at our new blog!

  • Maureen
    January 7, 2009 at 10:55 am

    I like your new site! Congratulations on your year of great blogging.

  • Sweet
    January 7, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Congrats on the new site. It really looks great.
    From time to time I toy with the idea of starting my own blog, (sigh) maybe one day.

  • Marg
    January 7, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Happy blogiversary ladies!

    You have certainly made a big impression in blogland in a short time. Well done!

    Love the new look.

  • SciFiGuy [Doug Knipe]
    January 7, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Congrats on the anniversary and the new look.

  • Maya M.
    January 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Cool header! I expect no less of you than to be able to wear high heels, wield flashlights, and smuggle simultaneously.

  • KMont
    January 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Oh, hai! U has ur new diggs. 😀

    Great post, ladies. This is definitely my most favorite blog. Yalls hard work is an inspiration and I love everything about this place.

    Looking forward to all you both will bring in 2009!

  • Kris
    January 7, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Big congrats to you, Thea and Ana. For your anniversary (and blog awesomeness), the new site (loving that header), the end of Smugglivus (a bit sad to see it come to an end), and the nomination (you all deserve it!).

  • Wendy
    January 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I love the new layout, guys! It rocks, especially the header!

    Happy anniversary!

  • MeganS.
    January 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Congratulations! 🙂

    And I love the new layout. The colors and fonts are so gorgeous and clean!

  • Leslie
    January 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Congrats on your one year anniversary. The two of you are such a perfect fit. Love reading your posts.

    The new header looks great!

  • Kristen
    January 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Congratulations on your one year anniversary and the new site! I love all the shades of blue.

    This is one of the most fun blogs I read and I hope you two continue to review for many more years!

  • Karin
    January 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Congratulations on your first anniversary! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my visits to your site and look forward to another year full of great reviews from you both.

    I love the new layout. Very nice.

  • Nicole
    January 7, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Amazing accomplishment!! I’m a new blogger and your post inspired me. Congrats.

  • Anna
    January 7, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Congrats on 1 Year! Your new layout looks amazing!! I love it. 🙂

  • Meljean
    January 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Congratulations on the anniversary! And the site looks fantastic.

  • Patty
    January 7, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Congratulations, Thea and Ana! Your blog is the best. Thank you for turning me on to Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Loretta Chase, Joanna Bourne, and C.L. Wilson.

  • Cate
    January 7, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    The new site looks fantatic. Congratulations on your success and thank you for promoting the wonderful world of books.

  • Tracy
    January 7, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Your wonderful, heartfelt post brought a tear to my eye. That was just so sweet. I love the way you all got together so quickly and look at the amazing blog you have. You both are incredible reviewers as well as interviewers. *gushing over* oh, and happy anniversary!

    I LOVE the new header – very chic.

  • katayoun
    January 8, 2009 at 12:13 am

    congratulations!!! triple fold, the anniversary, the nomination and the cool new look!

  • The Discriminating Fangirl
    January 8, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Happy blogiversary! And I LOVE the new site! The header is gorgeous!

  • Brie
    January 8, 2009 at 10:50 am

    The new site is lovely. Congrats on your blogiversary!

  • Kati
    January 8, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Oooh! So pretty! And I’m SO freakin’ late! I’m so sorry, ladies. Happy blogiversary and also, gorgeous new template.

    Y’all do it better than almost anyone else. I love coming here and reading your thoughts. Even if we disagree about The Windflower, Ana!

    Big congrats and pink cosmos for you both!

  • Nalini Singh
    January 8, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Congratulations on the anniversary! The new site looks fabulous 🙂

  • Pam P
    January 9, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    New look is great. Congrats on your anniversary and thanks for the insightful, detailed reviews.

  • The Book Smugglers » Blog Archive » Three Years of Book Smuggling…
    January 7, 2011 at 12:02 am

    […] reviews, guest posts, and other musings later. When we celebrated our first blogoversary in 2009, we talked about how The Book Smugglers began, and on our second birthday we took a retrospective look at the […]

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