Mark is a blogger who, in his words, runs in an online book (or TV) club where everyone but him has read the book (or seen the show). He reviews things chapter by chapter, and episode by episode, and picks series or books that are generally pretty big in pop culture but that he hasn’t had any exposure to. It’s so much fun.
I found Mark when someone asked me if I heard of this guy reading Harry Potter for the first time online. Obviously, I was interested. He started this adventure by reading Twilight after it became the It Book of the week (year? decade? oof). After that, he moved on to Harry Potter, and then on to, well, a lot more. He now runs two main sites–Mark Reads and Mark Watches–along with videos, Mark Plays, and attending conferences and blogger events all over the country.
I love reading (and watching) with Mark. His background is so very different from my own and I love hearing his perspective. I, like Mark, also like to read the newest phenomenon to see what everyone is talking about. And hearing him talk about the same things I’m reading with an entirely new view helps me learn and grow.
I’m so impressed with him. He’s created his own blogging business and truly seems to make the most of it. And it works because he’s totally, completely, and sincerely himself. And he is an open, friendly, caring person who focuses on making his sites a safe space for all. No spoilers are allowed on anything Mark does, and neither are slurs or derogatory language of any kind. He also does the best he can to make his products and his events free or a very low price so everyone can come. I admire his reading and writing, but most of all I admire his spirit.
Last week, Mark came to New York on his tour. And I got to go! It was a blast. He read some terrible fan fiction and just hung out with his readers. Everyone who came was kind and enthusiastic, much like Mark himself. One of my goals this year is to plan an event, in the hopes of being able to actually host one in the future. I’d be lucky if it were anything like Mark’s.
And yes, I did forget to take pictures. But you can see a video of him reading the letter Regarding Twilight Sparkle at our event. (language–and topic?–nsfw)