With all of the controversy in the book blogging/publishing world lately (learn more here, here and here), I wanted to take a break from all of the negativity and remember why I joined this fabulous community in the first place. So without further ado, I present to you the top 10 reasons I love book blogging.
1. Learning about new books that I otherwise might not have ever heard about. Simple as that. Before book blogging, I was limited to the books I saw on display at Barnes and Noble and the books in the YA section of my library. I didn’t know when new books were coming out; I didn’t know about the many different genres of books. Book blogging has opened my eyes to an entire world of books I never even knew about. My mind is more open than ever as I try different kinds of books, and enjoy them! In My Mailbox, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and Waiting On Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine are two of my favorite features to learn about new books; I always have to have my Goodreads account open as I browse knowing I’ll find new titles to add to my to be read list.
2. Spreading the word about books I love. As book bloggers, this is what we do. We read a book and we share our thoughts with our readers. We post our reviews to other sites like Goodreads and Amazon. We tell our friends and family. It makes me SO happy when my friends (and even my Twitter followers!) ask me for book recommendations because they know I’ll be able to recommend something they’ll enjoy.
3. Chatting about books with all of my fellow book lovers. Not many of my “real life” friends are as avid readers as I am. Or they don’t read the same types of books I enjoy. Through this incredible community, I’ve found amazing friends that I know I can squeal over our favorite books with or have a detailed discussion about what we thought worked and what didn’t work in a book. When I review a book, I look forward to the comments my readers leave me, because I like hearing what they thought about a book. And of course, it makes my day when my book review convinces someone to give that specific book a try.
4. Turning online friendships into real life friendships. I started book blogging after finding and being inspired by Meg’s blog Write Meg! We began emailing back and forth and before I knew it, we knew all about each other’s personal lives, and we continued to share our thoughts on books and writing. When we met for the first time last November, we hit it off right away, and our friendship has continued from there. And with plans to soon meet up with Jamie, Steph, Melissa and other local Philly area book bloggers (let me know if you are one! Jamie and I are putting together a meet up) I know I’ll only strengthen these friendships.
5. Inspiration. Quite simply, book blogging inspires me. This community inspires and encouraged me to read more and write more to fulfill my dream of becoming an author.
6. Reviewing makes me a better writer. I know there’s been a lot of talk about how aspiring authors shouldn’t review books, but in my personal experience, writing reviews has made me a better writer. When I look at a book critically, I’m able to break it down by different elements of writing (plot, pacing, characterization, setting, dialogue, etc.) and think about what worked really well and what maybe could have been done better. I’m able to look at a piece of dialogue or a description and think, “Wow! That technique really worked” and take a mental note to remember to use that technique in my own writing.
7. The opportunity to interview and chat with authors. Prior to book blogging, authors were like celebrities to me. They wrote a book, I read it, loved it, and that was that. But now, through my blog, I have the ability to interview authors and learn more about them as a person and a writer. So much fun! And through Twitter and Facebook, we all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with an author directly.
8. Attending book signings and bookish events. After beginning to book blog, I naturally began to research book signings and different events that I’d want to attend. I’ve still only been to a few (one being a Jennifer Weiner book signing, sigh, so fabulous!) but I plan on attending many more this spring, including the ultimate bookish events BEA and Book Blogger Con. Attending events like these gives me the opportunity to meet some of my favorite book bloggers in person and network with others in the industry.
9. Discovering amazing bookish resources. Through the book blogging community, I learned about websites like Goodreads, NetGalley and a host of other book review, agent, writing and publishing blogs that have taught me so much about this complex and ever-changing industry. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in amazing online events like WriteOnCon and Twitter chats like #yalitchat and #kidlitchat. My Google Reader is always filled with gems that I know make me a stronger reader and writer.
10. It’s fun. It really is. Believe me, I wouldn’t put as much energy into my blog as I do if it didn’t bring me joy and make me happy. Sincerely, book blogging makes me a better person. You all make me a better person. And books most definitely make me a better person.
Let’s get rid of all of the negativity! Why do you love book blogging? Share your reasons below or feel free to write your own post and leave a link. I’ll be sure to collect them all here and add them to this post.