About four months ago I stopped stalking other people's book blogs and decided to set up my own. Well, I didn't stop stalking other blogs, I still do that. But now I have my own too. I was a bit nervous venturing into to world of blogging. The internet doesn't have a reputation for bringing out the best in people. What if I got a load of abuse? What if people hated it? Or what if no one read it at all and I had to shut the whole thing down? As it turns out, setting up my blog was one of the best things I've done in a long time! I've had so much fun blogging and meeting fellow bookworms!
I don't claim to be any sort of book blogging expert by any stretch of the imagination, far from it. I'm still a blogging newbie and get kind of start struck seeing all these incredible blogs with thousands of followers, but I'm muddling my way along, picking things up as I go, and it turns out you pick up a lot when you're blogging books. Since I seem to have come down with a case of the warm and fuzzies at the moment, I'm greatful for all of them.
Book bloggers are lovely
You will never virtually meet - I've haven't been able to get to any bookish events and meet any bloggers in real life yet - a nicer bunch than book bloggers. Honestly, the people I've met through my blog, Twitter chats, Goodreads etc have been wonderful. The online bookish community is incredibly supportive and welcoming to new people and there are so many ways to get involved with chats and readalongs and just generally share your passion for reading. No matter how obscure your favourite book it, you'll find someone who loves it just as much as you do. Don't be afraid to reach to reach out!
You'll never be satisfied with your own blog
It's called blog envy, and we all get it. Beautiful photos of utterly gorgeous and pristine bookshelves, a font you really wish you'd used, a post you really wish you'd written, a layout that's miles better than yours. You will see it. It's taken me a while, but I've stopped chasing the elusive perfect blog rabbit. I've got my blog to a stage I'm happy with and am running with it. Maybe I'll redesign somewhere down the line, but the important thing to remember is; it's your blog. Don't try and make it anyone else's.
You don't have to be a vlogger
I'm camera shy, so being a booktuber is not for me. I keep my blog old school. We're not obsolete yet! There are a whole load of us out here who don't venture onto Youtube or in front of the camera, just as many who do. So whatever your preference, you can do either or both!
You'll never be free of your tbr
What was once a tbr book became two. Those two books became a tbr pile. That pile became a health and safety hazard so then I had a tbr bookshelf. Then two. The upshot is, I will never be free of books to be read. Be warned, we book bloggers are as fantastic for recommending great reads as I am terrible at resisting them! Just embrace it!
There aren't enough hours in the day
You always want to be doing more. Reading, writing, blogging, whatever's your bag, you'll wish there was more time to do it. Or you could get paid to do this for a living. Alas, if you could, there would be one hell of a queue!
There's nothing wrong with loving books/YA
None of my friends are big readers, and the term YA is practically cursing in my book group. One of the guys describes is as the reality tv of literature. We've now agreed to stop discussing the issue because we were butting heads every month and the others were getting sick of listening to us and I was about ready to commit murder. But blogging and meeting so many fellow YA readers has made me realise that there's nothing at all wrong with loving YA! It's a shame that books and reading have got such a bad rap, and that huge swaths of people who do read seem willing to dismiss a whole genre, but when you get online, you'll find out where everyone else who loves YA has been hiding all your life! It's so wonderful to be able to share your love of books with other readers and not get judgey stares and raised eyebrows. I'm tempted to make my book group picks when it's my turn all YA, but I might get kicked out, so maybe I'll just slip one or two in there...
We all want our own libraries
Yeah, self explanatory really. If we had our way, I think 90% of us would have our own libraries. And a fair few of them would resemble the one that Belle gets in Beauty and The Beast.
It's easier than you think
If you're kind of thinking about setting up your own book blog but don't know where to start or think it might not work out I have one piece of advice. Do it! Setting up a free blog is super easy, there's no pressure to post if you're feeling uncreative, no word counts or deadlines. I blog for fun while I'm working full-time (not while I'm at work obviously. I'd get fired!) and studying part-time along with having a social life which is constantly doubled booked because my organisational skills suck, but have racked up about 40-50 posts since I began, just for the love of doing it. Sometimes you might feel like you're shouting into the void, but if you love what you do, keep doing it! And with a little luck, someone else might like it too.