Monday, 30 May 2011

1st Blogoversary Celebration: Why I Love Book Blogging!

As part of celebrating my first blogoversary this week, I thought it would be fun to share my favourite things about the book blogosphere. I've seen my fair share of blogging controversy over the past year and blogging hasn't always been easy but this list is going to be long because there are so many positive things that I LOVE! My life and reading has certainly changed since I started Books Are A Girl's Best Friend. So in no particular order here are my favourite things
about book blogging:

 1) The friendly community

Book blogging wouldn't be what it is without the wonderful and special community of people who are different in many ways but have come together to talk about what they love best... books! It is great to have people to share books with whether its squealing over a new release, obsessing over a favourite book/character or giving and receiving recommendations. Best of all, everyone was so friendly and supportive right from the start. That's what makes book blogging so fun...

Buddies <3

2) Finding out about books I might not otherwise not have heard of

There are quite a lot of books (particularly US ones) that I've read and enjoyed that I might not have discovered had it not been for book blogging. Before I used to just pick books from my local library, second hand bookshop or sometimes from Amazon suggestions, which usually meant I never read genres out of my comfort zone. I was running out of YA historical fiction but now I know about more books in the genre than I could possibly read. Almost every day I see a book I haven't heard of before when I open up my dashboard and it's fun to learn about upcoming releases in posts like Waiting on Wednesdays. Watch out for a list of books I might otherwise not have heard of later in the week.

3) Comments

Comments are the life and soul of a blog- who doesn't love getting comments? I wake up to read any comments in the morning before I go to school and it's a lovely feeling. I appreciate and read every single one of them and I try to respond when I can. Thank you so much to anyone who leaves a comment!

4) Recommendations and growing my TBR pile

Since I started blogging, my TBR list has grown extremely long because of all the fabulous book recommendations I've received from other bloggers - not that I'm complaining or anything ;) - and learning about upcoming books that I think I'd enjoy is very exciting. I used to just pick what took my fancy at the library, the second hand bookshop or from Amazon suggestions but now I can get a much better idea if I'd like the book or not from the reviews I see. Thank you to everyone who has recommended me a book over the last year :)

5) Giving recommendations of books I love to other people

This is the essential thing about book blogging- we review and recommend! It's great being able to share about books I love with other people and it's very rewarding to hear that someone has read and enjoyed a book I reviewed/ recommended to them.

6) Reading outside of my comfort zone

Before blogging I almost never stepped out of my genre comfort zone for example I had never read a supernatural book. I've read about six over the past year because of recommendations and review books such as the first 2 books of the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead (yes, I will read the rest!) because of a recommendation from Jess from Jess Heart's Books, Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin and the Need series by Carrie Jones. This year I've joined the Read Outside Of Your Comfort Zone Challenge hosted by Danya at A Tapestry Of Words to help me.

7)  Writing regularly
I like to write but often I'm stuck for inspiration and blogging helps me to write often. Writing book reviews has really helped me to develop my writing over the past year in a fun way. If you look at some of my very early reviews then there is quite a big difference to my more recent ones. Thinking of fresh post ideas also helps develop creativity. I'd love to get a book published one day and book blogging helping my writing is an extra bonus!

8) Discovering bookish websites!

Before I started blogging I had no idea about websites like Goodreads and Netgalley. I only post a few of my reviews on Goodreads at the moment but it's so useful in keeping track of what I want to read, book releases and keeping a record of what I read. Being a UK blogger, Netgalley has enabled me to read some US ARCs like Bumped by Megan Mcafferty that I would never have had the chance to before.

9) Interacting with authors

I've had the wonderful opportunity to interview several authors and have them for guest posts over the past year and it's been great fun to hear their thoughts. Twitter also acts as a good way to talk to authors. I never imagined before that I'd have the opportunity to do this.

10) Finding out more about my future

I've always known that I want to go into a career to do with writing from quite young and this time last year I was set on being a journalist but book blogging has opened my eyes to the world of publishing. I've learnt quite a bit about it through publisher relations and posts from other bloggers such as The Story Siren's series of Q and A posts with publishing houses. I still don't know what I'll go into and I've still got a long time before I have to start making choices but I've find out more about a career that goes hand in hand with my love of reading.

11) Becoming more confident about reading

I'd never hidden the fact that I read but I used to be a bit embarrassed of reading at school if I wanted to read in the library for a bit but book blogging has helped me to become more confident about this and be proud of reading. It's because of this that I've joined my school book club and I'm so glad I did!

12) Becoming more tech-savvy

I'll never be a HTML wizard but whilst choosing a template, tweaking my blog design and other tech things I learnt how to do a lot of things which have come in handy. If you want to know some tech-tips then check out Small Review's tutorials! They're really helpful and informative- thank you Smalls.

13) Discovering awesome non book related things through chatting

It's brilliant when I discover a non book related thing through chatting on twitter or through the comments. One particular example is when I discovered a TV series called Lark Rise to Candleford through Danya from A Tapestry Of Words that I absolutely love- thank you! 

What are your favourite things about book blogging?


  1. aww great post! and great reasons! Many of these match why I love blogging, especially the community and how friendly everyone is. I have made some great friends and its really brought out confidence in me! Thank you for sharing your reasons with us and happy Blogoversary!

  2. What a lovely post and congrats on your blogoversary =] I agree with pretty much everything you've listed!

    The Cait Files

  3. Oh l so agree with all of this! What a great list of reasons =)
    Congrats btw =)

  4. Aw, such an amazing list. You totally hit the nail on the head for all the reasons that I enjoy blogging as well :)

  5. This was really a great list. I think all of these things would be on my list too! Happy Birthday!

  6. What an awesome list of reasons why you love book blogging - I think I'd have to agree with just about all of those too! My TBR list is *gigantic* now. And I'm so glad you love Lark Rise, such a wonderful show! Thanks in return for convincing me to watch Downton Abbey, I'm looking forward to the next season of that one :)

  7. YAY happy blogoversary!!! I agree with everything you said, blogging has made my reading life so much better :)

  8. Great post!

    I'm just starting out in the book blogging world but already I have a gigantic TBR pile (like 50+ on Amazon) just from reading several blogs (including yours truly). It's really opened my eyes to what is out there - like you I often just read what I knew but this past month I have read so many fantastic books and discovered some new favorite authors. Looking back I cannot even believe that I would find myself going... I can't find any new, interesting books/authors to read!

    Happy Blogoversary!

  9. Aw, you highlighted so many wonderful things about blogging. I have to agree with you. My favorite things all seem to stem from the community aspect of blogging: swapping recommendations, sharing comments--it's all so much fun.


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