I was going to call this thirteen reasons why I like reviewing books on my blog. I’d never really stopped to think about why I like it and what it is that makes it a good fit for me but once I did it became obvious I should call it thirteen reasons why I like book blogging. Because a lot of these reasons are about what I post on my blog but not all of them. There are a few other reasons come to mind but those are more tenuous and harder to explain without giving them an entry of thier own. Being that this isn’t just a blog about books if I wrote a list of “thirteen reasons why I blog” it would be somewhat different.
1. Free books. One of my friends said it’s like my hobby pays for itself now. She clearly doesn’t know me well enough because I still buy books and I buy loads of them but I do love getting free ones and it does help pay for my hobby.
2. It makes me read things I wouldn’t otherwise have chosen. I can think of at least two occasions when I’ve received a parcel of books and gone “yeah, I don’t read this stuf.” but then tried it and loved it.
3. Sometimes I get ARCs or Advanced Reader Copies which means I get books before they come out. This is particularly exciting when it’s a book I’m desperate to read (Model Misfit by Holly Smale for example I was desperate for and had a week or two before release. It’s safe to say my level of checking netgalley became somewhat obssessive once I’d submitted my request and was waiting for a response.).
4. One of the books I received to review was Fever by Mary Beth Keane. I loved it. Very possibly in my top books read in 2013. I then passed it onto a friend who loved it and raves about it. And then to another friend who also loved it and raves about it. That moment when you recommend a book to someone and they love it that much is really cool. Especially as Fever wasn’t an initially “me” book by the look of it.
5. The sound of post coming through the door with the extra loud thump which signifies a parcel is a cool one to wake up for especially when I’m not expecting any parcels (conversely it’s disapointing when the post makes the mother of all noises hitting the floor and it turns out the postman just really thumped it through)
6. I discovered one of my favourite new to my authors of last year – John Green – because of hearing so many other book bloggers and tweeters rave about his books, particularly The Fault In Our Stars. Before I started reviewing on my blog I’d never made much of an effort to find blogs specifically about books.
7. Sometimes I get to talk to authors on twitter, email or once even in person and ask questions about their books or their writing or whatever. That’s always very interesting. I particularly like to ask what the best and worst things are about being a writer.
8. It makes choosing presents easier. I bought The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt for my mum for Christmas last year. It’s a pretty hefty book and I’m not sure it’d have occurred to me to look at it for her because I’d not heard of Donna Tartt before and at I think 700+ pages the size can be off putting for some readers. But I must have heard more than ten different people rave about it and I knew through the bookish communities and blogs I follow that it had won a big award. So I picked it up and read the back on one of my many wanderings into Waterstones**. And I thought whilst I might like it I suspected my mum would. So she got it for Christmas.
9. I can rant about the books I didn’t like and rave about the ones I did as much as I want without putting off the non readers in my life.
10. I can always, always, answer the questions “what are you reading?” and “have you read any good books lately?” and if people want recs I can give them and then share my blog address.
11. I rarely lack material for my blog or anything to do when I’m at home.
12. Knowing I’m going to review a book means I think more about it and prolongs my enjoyment than it otherwise might. I make an effort to file away quotes and moments that would be worth mentioning in the review. One of my favourite ever quotes from a book never made it into the review though. I can’t remember the exact wording but the gist was “You’ve invited Colm Meaney to the wedding? I don’t know him.” “of course you do, you’ve watched Deep Space Nine, haven’t you?!” from Postcards from the Heart by Ella Griffin
13. It’s another example of the way one small thing can change things in your life completely and bring things you wouldn’t have considered not just into your life but as a relatively big part of your life (I first started reviewing books after answering a tweet from Waterstones in 2010 which simply said “let us know if you like Dorothy Koomson books.” I said yes and they offered me a copy of The Ice Cream Girls to review. The rest as they say is history…)