From-the-Editors-Desk

A Beautiful Friendship
January 6, 2013

This issue is BiblioBuffet’s final one. We are closing our doors. The reason is that after seven years I have decided to move on. There were many personal challenges for me in 2012 that caused me to do some serious re-consideration of my life’s choices, and as much as I love BiblioBuffet I want to try some new things and go back to some old things I miss. I want my weekends and my weeknights back. Plus, I simply can’t give more to BiblioBuffet than I already do, and the truth is that if the site is to gain more readers and move ahead it’s going to take advertising, promotion, marketing, mobile versions and continual updates to accommodate the new technology—all things that I simply cannot provide. It’s a painful choice, but it is the right choice for me, and also for the contributors.

While BiblioBuffet premiered on January 6, 2006, it actually had its beginnings far earlier. I had been the books editor for a local weekly newspaper for nearly three years. Unfortunately, the paper lost one of its primary editors and could not sustain itself. It went out of business in July 2005, though it had been on its deathbed for months beforehand. During that time friends persuaded me to stay with the paper until the end—and I did—but at the same time to consider a book review website. I fiercely resisted the latter suggestion until a dear friend “nagging” pushed me into it. During the last months of 2005, while the site was still being built, Nicki Leone lost her long-time managerial position at an independent bookstore when the owners decided to close it. We only knew each other vaguely through a book discussion forum, but I had always liked her posts and asked her to join me. She said yes immediately.

While I acknowledge my own role in the creation and formation of BiblioBuffet, I credit Nicki, in the managing editor’s position she took on several years ago, with the transformation of BiblioBuffet into a paragon of writing excellence. She is a natural and amazing content editor with skills that have proven to be of the highest quality. Throughout seven years of working together to create the words you read, we never had a disagreement. We were amazingly in sync about books and about how to present them to our readership. Our professional relationship morphed into a very personal one that continues to bring joy into my life.

Each year, Nicki and I have bought Christmas gifts for each other. For several years, they were gift certificates to Powell’s Books. Last year I deviated, choosing a historical Australian cookbook that contributor Gillian Polack had worked on for her. This year, continuing my theme of supporting her cooking passion—figuring she had enough books to last her until about the twentieth-fourth century—I went with a gift certificate to MySpiceSage, a fantastic spice site where she could satisfy her worldwide tastes. To my delight, she wrote that she now had enough saffron to feel she “had enough saffron.” I laughed.

What has also been satisfying has been the opportunity to work with the writers that BiblioBuffet has published. Every one of them worked hard to be the best they could be. And I am proud of all of them, several of whom have gone on to write for larger and better known publications. They all contributed so much to the site too, and for them as well I am very grateful.

But there are a couple who have become close friends: Gillian Polack and Laine Farley. It is with them that future writing possibilities exist. Nicki and Gillian and I are talking about writing a blog or website together. Laine and I are considering a bookmarks site or blog that we would propose to two of our favorite fellow bookmark collectors. We all still have things to say. So we will see what the future brings.

I also want to say I am indebted and thankful for you, the readers and supporters and fans of BiblioBuffet. You were always on my shoulders as I wrote. I tried to think of what would interest you, and I hope that for the most part I succeeded. Readers are why writers write. I thank you with all my heart and soul for being part of BiblioBuffet.

It’s very hard to say “good-bye.” It tears my heart out. Seven years is not to be forgotten, and it won’t be. Not by me, not by Nicki, not by Gillian, Laine, Lev, Carl, Elizabeth, Katherine, or any of our other columnists. But when the time is right to move elsewhere then it’s best to allow it to happen. That’s what is happening for me.

And finally because Casablanca is my all-time favorite movie and because the seven years we have been around will last forever in our memories, and we hope in yours, I leave you with this thought that even though it is the end for BiblioBuffet I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Lauren Roberts
Editor in Chief

 

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