BJ and I started this blog in September (ish) so it’s been around 6 months that we have been posting about books. I thought I would take some time to reflect on what I have learned…and not learned.
It has been a very cool and interesting experience. For me, it was difficult to write book reviews since I don’t normally read reviews and really, who am I to tell people about books? When I was feeling self-conscious about it, BJ’s advice to me was to just be myself. I feel like I have been true to that and I have written reviews and posts that interest me. (Let’s be honest, I am not writing for the New York Times Review of Books so the pressure is off.) The process has made me think more about reading and for me, what makes a good reading experience. I was going to write, what makes a good book – but I think that’s different. I like to read for pleasure and to escape, and if a book doesn’t help me do that then it’s not a good read in my opinion. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good book. That has taken me a while to come to terms with.
I won’t lie, being able to review books prior them being released is still super cool. I get a thrill when I get an email that I have been approved for one. And I get a stupid grin on my face when I read the page in the book that says it’s a review copy. Maybe that will get old some day, but I doubt it. I do get that it’s a privilege to be able to do this and I take it seriously. I try to review books that I am approved for in the time allowed. There have been a few that have been archived before I have had a chance to get to them, but generally I have been pretty on top of it.
I have read books that I normally would not have. For me, that is the cool part of this. I have been exposed to books and authors that I never would have been before. I try to stick with reviewing books that I would normally pick out at the bookstore – I think it’s unfair to an author if I try to review a book that is outside of my ‘normal’. However, this has given me the opportunity to have a bit more of a risk-free approach to reading.
I have read more books since starting the blog than I would normally. The blog has been an ‘excuse’ to read. Not that I need one, really. But, like when I did the 50 book pledge a few years back, now I need to make choices – do I play Stardew Valley for an hour or do I read? It’s not a bad position to be in. (Mostly I choose reading….but I am addicted to Stardew, btw.)
On the downside of blogging – I was a bit obsessed with followers for a while. From what I have read from other bloggers, this is common. Getting followers takes work – and I give props to those of you who have managed to do it. What I realize is, we started this blog for fun and it’s not supposed to be a JOB. So I (mostly) have backed off on the obsession with followers.
The other downside is content. I guess this goes hand-in-hand with followers. I can only read so many books, and I like to try to get the reviews out around the release dates, which don’t always coincide with my blogging schedule. However, lives will not be lost if I don’t post on schedule and truthfully, it gives me something to think about.
Thanks for reading and following and liking and commenting! As much as I like doing the posts, it is really nice to know that people are reading and enjoying.