20 Years of Sonderbooks!

Twenty years ago I began writing Sonderbooks.

It started as a sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly ezine — an email newsletter. I think before the end of 2001, I’d figured out how to make it a website. I posted the back issues on the web and still posted them in “issues.” Here’s Sonderbooks #1.

I like the tagline I used then: “Discover new books. Discuss old books. Order more books.”

In 2007, I took a web design class while I was getting my degree in Library Science and decided it was time to revamp my website. A friend even made a new logo for me!

My last “issue” was Sonderbooks #107, dated June 30, 2006 — the last one I posted while living in Germany. I didn’t post a lot that year when I moved back to America, went to library school, looked for a job, and was on the other side of the world from my husband, who was planning to divorce me. But when I started back up, the website had a new look, I added a blog, and I’ve continued on for twenty years — longer than my marriage lasted before he left!

Once I started writing Sonderbooks, I knew this was just the right outlet for me. I got to write, I got to write about books, and I got to use a little bit of my computer skills. Besides, once I’d started working in a library, I couldn’t keep track of all the books I read, and writing Sonderbooks was a way to keep track. I have even made friends, starting back in 2001 and continuing through the present, by discovering a mutual love of books through Sonderbooks.

Since I didn’t date my first few issues except August 2001, I think that means I need to celebrate all month! I’d like to do twenty posts about my favorite books from each year of reading.

But I’m also hoping to rethink the look of the site again and (finally) make it more mobile friendly. I’ll probably choose a wordpress theme for my blogs, so may have to give up the way the look matches the pages. I need to fix the search box, which stopped working when I switched hosts a few years ago. I want to add a Teen Nonfiction category. And I’m going to think through if I want to change the format out of tables — which don’t show up as well on mobile devices. I might even do like I did in 2006 and just start new pages, with links to go back to the old. But one thing I need to figure out is how I want it to end up.

So stay tuned!

And to readers, old and new, thank you for letting me share good books with you! Writing Sonderbooks continues to bring me great joy!

Watch for more 20th Anniversary posts this month!

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