It's my co-blogger's birthday today! As in previous years, Natalie turns twenteen (not a typo), and celebrates it as all twenteen-somethings do - with a raging bash, Great Gatsby style.

(Or she's stuck at work, eagerly awaiting the weekend when an actual celebration can take place. Yay?)

I mean, sure, we can vote and drink (more on this later in the week, and also - don't do this at the same time). But we're also "adults" now, with jobs and Uni and errands and demands. So today, in honor of that one person who's made my blogging journey that much easier, I give you the post on the many perks of being and having a co-blogger.

As for us, however - Natalie and I have banded together in all our awkward, book-loving glory. And today we celebrate just what makes this togetherness so very awkward and loving.

There are two types of friends you will make in your reading life: the consummate booklovers who understand your bookish ups-and-downs... and the ones who shake their heads at you when you have them. No one kind is better than the other, but trust me when I say this: you need both if you intend to keep your sanity.

And no one will understand your bookish escapades better than a person who blogs about them alongside you.

As the ancient proverb says - four hands is better than two, and six is better than four. (What do you mean, no one actually says this? Ask Durga. She gets more things done by nine than you do all week.)

Where time and efficiency are concerned, co-bloggers are a many-armed deity in their own right. (But also a multi-headed one. This is important. You don't want to join heads with your co-blogger.) Not only is the blog manned by several people, but said people develop their own ideas and strategies. Also, you're not 100% responsible for anything. And as all grown, mature, twenteen-somethings: we evade full responsibility whenever we can. (Maturity!)

We have yet to challenge one another to an arm-wrestling contest. Even so, as people do, we each have our own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to blogging. (Except for punctuality. The utter lack of punctuality is mutual. And sad.)

On top of this, it is both the happiest and the saddest fact of life that no one's tastes will ever match yours one hundred percent. Some bloggers will be stronger at discussion posts. Some, at reviews. And when an opinion on a book diverges, you have an excellent opportunity for a pro-con piece right there. (Natalie gave The Darkest Part of the Forest 1 star. I gave it 5. Natalie, meanwhile, loves Killing Sarai. I really, really don't.)

And if you're in an antisocial bubble, and the mere thought of disagreeing with a co-blogger gives you anxiety - fear not. The fact that Natalie will read NA where I won't and that I will read sci-fi where she won't is one of the best things about sharing a blog. You get to divvy up the ARCs and the new releases quite nicely, so you have all your bases covered. And if your co-blogger is at all rational, it all ends well. If not, you have yourself a humorous anecdote! Speaking of...

Blogging isn't always fun, and blogging isn't always rainbows and unicorns - but a co-blogger can make it so. For each joint post we write here on the blog, the first to start it will leave a series of amusing, nonsensical quotes and anecdotes in the draft of the post for the other to laugh at before adding her own contribution to the post. (These quotes rarely have anything to do with the subject matter, and obviously get the boot before the post is published. But they are funny! We promise!)

Whatever your co-blogger and you choose to do and however you go about running your blog, a sprinkle of humor and a laid-back attitude is so much more effortlessly accomplished when it's done in tandem. Granted, you'd need to find someone with a similar sense of humor if you haven't already. But presumably you love the same books, so... that's a given? Hopefully?

Basically, don't blog with really bitter bores.

At some point, every blogger experiences one of the following symptoms: slacking, procrastination, wanderlust, writer's block, Real Life, emergency, a cat explosion, The Ennui.

So while we travel the world, lie and stare at the ceiling, go camping, go NaNoWriMo camping, attend an out-of-town wedding, devote a week to meditation, devote a week to reading, devote a week to writing, devote a week to eating, fix a broken computer, fix a broken psyche, and whatever else we choose to do - a co-blogger is there to pick up the slack.

(Except earlier this month, we have both had technical difficulties and neither of us could blog for a period of time. But, um, that never happens, usually. We're just speshul snowflakes of catastrophe.)

So you've written a post. And written it again. And added more paragraphs. And rearranged sentences. And sectioned it off. Then resectioned it. Now you're tired and you're done and you've read the entire piece so many times that you're ready to hit Publish and never see it again. At this point, it's beyond done. Right?

Wrong. So wrong. Writers will know this, and most bloggers will, too - typos are a thing that happens when you least expect it and comes back to haunt you for all eternity. It never goes away. Think of it as an allergy to words - the moment you begin to word, typos will come to (not)word with you.

And while you've seen your own text too many times to notice anymore, your co-blogger surely (and gladly!) will. Their eyes won't skip over sentences you've read too many times. They're the superheroes among beta readers, and they keep you from appearing illiterate. Believe me. I know things.

Let's face it - some rants and some excited squeals are not for the public eye. But a co-blogger is always up to date on your goings-on, and nearly always there and eager to listen (and very likely agree) when at 11PM you just have to detail everything wrong with this horrendous excuse for a book. Our readers are spared a rant, we still seem like perfectly nice, well-adjusted humans, and no one is any the wiser about our dark, dark, ranty souls.

Bookishly-inclined friends can also fulfill this role quite well. But no one is more involved in your day-to-day reading habits than a co-blogger is. (Case in point: Lexie worships The Raven Cycle. Natalie therefore picks up The Raven Cycle. Lexie then proceeds to shake and spaz and ask which page she's on and what she thinks of it every 15-30 seconds.) Did we say involved? We meant really involved.

I'll level with you here: half the time, the blog posts I complete in a timely fashion were completed not because I'm punctual or organized, but because I'd feel truly, truly bad letting my co-blogger down.

Because here's the thing about co-blogging that is both scary and surprisingly inspirational: your posting schedules are interdependent. For joint posts, such as our Top 10 features, this is a given. But even individually, the posts you promise to complete by a certain date will affect how your co-bloggers schedule their posts and when they make plans to write them.

Scary? Yes. But this is why you find someone understanding (or better yet - equally scatterbrained) to run a blog alongside you. Take my word for it - even if your blog is run entirely by disorganized dunces, you'll get an astonishing number of things done just so you don't let your partner down.

(Alternatively, if you're a really contrary human - just think of it as competition. That probably works wonders, too.)

And ultimately - if you ever need to take a step back from it all, a co-blogger ensures that the blog will be there when you return - and that at least one person will welcome you back with open arms. And, if they manage without you in the interim, they also ensure that you will forever be questioning if you're even relevant to the inner workings of the blog.

Hey. Can't have the good without a little of the bad.

Talk to me, lovelies! Do you fly solo, or do you share the load with someone, and why? Would you ever consider doing it the other way around? Who do you share your bookish escapades with outside of your blog?