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Random Thoughts: It’s About the Books… Isn’t It?

Random-Thoughts-1As a blogger some days it’s hard to remember that it’s about the books.

Some days are spent creating and formatting posts for blog tours and weekly features. Some days are spent trying to write those reviews that still don’t come easy. Some days are spent thinking up new things to do on the blog… some new idea that hasn’t been done over and over across the book blogosphere.

Some days are spent trying to maintain a social presence, be responsive to emails, visit other blogs, keep up with the latest news.

Some days those books just don’t get any attention. And sometimes those days turn into a week… or more.

Trying to keep up with blog maintenance, trying not to be left out of the loop, trying not to be forgotten as a member of the community takes time away from reading.

In fact, it is very possible to be a book blogger without actually reading or reviewing any books. The reality of which blows the mind.

Because it is possible to spend time promoting books you want to read without actually reading them. You can even promote those you aren’t in the least bit interested in reading. It’s more than possible to be able to create book release posts without actually reading those releases. To participate in a book blast or book tour you do not have to actually read the book. And there is no reading required for putting together discussion posts.

Even most memes don’t require you to actually have read the books you’re talking about. Selective meme-ing will allow you to participate without reading a single word. While those teaser memes require you to actually crack open the book to find a teaser, they don’t require more than that if you don’t want to, or don’t have the time to, do more.

And while some will say reviews are a must, they aren’t. Not really. For most bloggers book reviews are the least trafficked posts. They’re the posts that get the least comment love. They’re the posts that often require the most effort and get the smallest reward. Perhaps to be taken seriously as a book blogger you have to review books. But it’s not a requirement. You can be just as effective a promotional vehicle with or without a review.

But if you feel reviews are required on the blog, you can always take on guest reviewers.

Yes, there are many, many ways to be a book blogger without actually being a reader. With enough skill and dedication it is possible to even be successful at it.

But… WAIT…. Why?

Why would anyone want to blog about books without actually reading them? Why would anyone want to be a part of a community that’s purportedly filled with book lovers if they rarely get the opportunity to read those books? And why would anyone promote books if they were looking for reasons not to read?

Yet being a blogger sometimes requires each of these things. Sometimes it requires all of them. So, why exactly do we do it?

As a book lover my heart breaks a little when I find myself too tired to read. When perusing my unread books on my shelves or on my eReaders I am terribly saddened by the fact that they await my attention.

As much as I do love blogging, I miss the days when I was just a reader. I miss being able to read a book that I loved and just let it sit for awhile before cracking open the next one. I miss being able to re-read books as often as I used to. I miss just being able to read.

And I often wonder if blogging and all that comes with it is worth the sacrifice of not being able to read as much as I’d like to.

With all the tours and promotional events I’m involved with, I often feel guilty because it means less time for reading and writing those reviews. And on those rare days when reading feels like work rather than pleasure I have to fight the urge to give it all up. Because, for me, being a blogger is not worth losing my passion for reading.

But, just as in life, it’s so very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. It’s easy to forget about the books amidst the deadlines, deluge of email and other demands that come with being a blogger. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy to be a part of the latest and greatest book tour or bookish event.

And, of course, it’s so easy to be distracted by the drama.

I see more posts, tweets, comments relating to drama than those just gushing about books. I don’t remember the last time I had a lengthy conversation about a book I loved, but I can pinpoint the exact time I talked with someone about bookish drama.

Yes, this also breaks my heart.

With everything that goes on in the blogosphere it’s way too easy to just be a blogger and forget that there’s supposed to be the word “book” in front of it. So it’s something that I try to remind myself on a daily basis when faced with opportunities to be part of tours, blasts, cover reveals, events and other distractions from reading that this community provides.

And while I realize that there is a tradeoff – there are only 24 hours in a day, after all – I ask myself just how fair, exactly, is the trade? Is the blog winning or are the books? How many hours are spent reading versus those spent composing posts, writing reviews, being social?

And when the balance shifts a little too heavily in favor of blogging I try with all my might to shift things back to books. After all, it’s supposed to be all about the books, isn’t it?

39 Responses to “Random Thoughts: It’s About the Books… Isn’t It?”

  1. I 100% agree with everything you said. I recently took a hiatus from my blog due to university commitments…and I found that I actually read more when I wasn’t blogging than when I was.

    It unnerved me.

    I didn’t realise how much time I actually spent participating in meme’s and writing reviews…so much in fact that reading was becoming a chore rather than something I love.
    I never expected it to be easy to maintain a blog, but I didn’t think it would take my passion away from me.

    I’m so glad I went on hiatus because I rediscovered my passion, I went back to consuming a book in one sitting. I fell in love with reading all over again, and yes, my bookshelf once again expanded.

    Thank you for such a great post!

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Wow, even school commitments don’t take the time that blogging does! But it is surprising just how much time and mental resources it takes to produce content on the blog.

      And it is sad if it makes reading a chore.

      But I’m so glad that the break helped you find your passion for reading again! I think sometimes stepping away can help renew that love of books!

  2. Hannah says:

    OK, THIS? THIS is an awesome post.

    Blogging frequently feels like my second job. It’s not uncommon for me to spend 25 hours a week blogging – reviewing, formatting posts, scheduling posts, answering emails … And let’s not forget that I actually also need to READ a book or two.

    I’m not sure when it happened, but I realized reading was suddenly becoming a chore. I was dying under a mountain of ARCs that needed attention and the books I bought around Christmas with gift cards from friends and family, who long since gave up trying to figure out what book I wanted and decided to just let me buy it myself, have been sitting untouched for months.

    I finally decided to bring a co-blogger into the fold who has been such a blessing. She happily accepts ARCs and other review copies, but I still feel this compulsive need to post daily so people don’t forget about me, linger on twitter for hours, and check in at other blogs & goodreads to keep up with all the publishing ins & outs.

    It’s effing exhausting! I find myself mechanically going through the motions of pimping a book, hosting a blog tour, and/or chatting with others about books.

    Things that used to thrill me and excite me are now mundane and ordinary. I miss the way I would get butterflies at the idea of emailing an author about an interview. The way I would turn on my “Review Playlist” and tap out why I adored a book. Or that amazing thrill at seeing a stuffed manilla envelope in my mailbox.

    When and why did this become routine?! And how can I go back?

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      You know things are tough when bookish gift cards go unused! Wow! And I can imagine that a co-blogger can be a huge help. Though I totally know what you mean about feeling the need to post daily anyway. You want your voice out there.

      I’ve stepped back so far from the social lately, just focusing on getting my posts up and doing other maintenance things that I can’t imagine that anyone remembers my name.

      And it is so sad when it becomes mechanical. When promoting a book becomes the thing to do on the day of the post and then promoting another book the next day because that’s all the time you have to allotted for it. I miss those days about being able to gush endlessly about just one book. Even if my non-bookish friends thought I was nuts.

      And hmmm… maybe at the 2-year mark? And I wish I had the answer. I miss that feeling of excitement that came with crafting a blog post rather than the feeling that either I or someone else has already done it a million and one times.

      Maybe branching out into something else? Coming up with something new to do on the blog? There seems to be a lot more tours and promos these days than there was a year or so ago. Makes it easier to fill the blog with content but makes me be less creative. And I never have time to post giveaways like I used to….

      If you ever find a way to recapture the magic let me know!

  3. Great post and nodding my head in agreement.

    All those reasons are why at the end of June , I am taking a long break from blogging. Its time and like you I do feel that this can be a job and reading is no longer fun. Granted this year I have found 2 books that I read and LOVED . Most of the books I read have been meh.

    yes its about the books , buts its also about the love of reading. I have seen a change each year as I have been blogging and its not for the best. With everything on the internet, things go viral and authors go crazy.

    So you find a life outside of the blog and carry on

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Oh I hope that the break allows you to get the time off you need and come back refreshed at some point. You will definitely be missed! But if it allows you to fall in love with reading again, it will so be worth it.

      I actually have another pending ramble about authors behind the books and how reading before blogging I could love the book just for the book but knowing there’s an actual person behind the book has the ability to change my experience with it. Or knowing that certain books will cause drama.

      And yes there is definitely life outside the blog though it’s also easy to forget about that too.

  4. Hey Ray Ray LOL! You are so in my head right now! I’ve been so busy I haven’t picked up a book in it feels like forever! I finally picked up THE BURNING SKY again last night and almost finished it. you have no idea how good it felt to read again. I still need to get better managing my time with reviews though. And you’re right I am thinking of bringing on a guest reviewer. I don’t know if I really want to though :/

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      *snort* Hey J-Dizzle. Oh that book has been on your sidebar forever! I’m so glad you got the chance to finally get some time to get lost in a book.

      I haven’t read anything for a couple of weeks, almost. I want more than anything else to finish Dance of the Red Death but I’ve just been exhausted, etc.

      I think you do a pretty great job of time management. I can’t imagine sitting down and banging out reviews all the time. It requires a level of focus and downtime a post does not.

      And you can always have a rotating list of guest reviewers that occasionally guest post without them being a “partner.” That was one of my initial ideas when I started blogging and had a couple of guest reviewers – Nic, Ana, etc. But that idea just kind of faded away.

      I thought about ditching my blog and becoming a guest reviewer at one point, too. But then realized it would be way more stressful than reviewing on my own blog. LOL.

      So happy you got the chance to read again, though!

  5. Angie F. says:

    I have noticed that you can be a book blogger without actually reading! There were a few blogs that I decided to unfollow a few months ago because they stopped reviewing, but were posting promos every single day! I don’t mind promos at all, but I want to read some original reviews, too!

    Perhaps I’m doing something wrong (or maybe right?) because I do spend way more time reading than blogging. I don’t review every book that I read, although I do review most. I won’t force myself to write one if I don’t have much to say. However, this month I’ve read 20 books, and didn’t review just two. One was a reread. Hopefully, I haven’t jinxed myself by saying this.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      It’s really too easy to be able to just stop reviewing. I’ve never found it easy to share my thoughts in review format, so taking the few or more hours to sit and write a review is tough. The ease of gushing about a book on a tour post or writing up some other promotional type of post is so much easier, too.

      And there are just so many more tours and promo opportunities out there, making it even easier for me to be “lazy” with my review writing.

      Though I don’t do blasts or post pre-written posts. But yeah it’s tough when you see the same things on all the blogs. I like blogs that have discussion posts or unique-ish features. Something that shows they have their own opinions/stamp on the posts versus just copy/pasting.

      I don’t think there is a right or wrong with blogging. My preference is to visit those blogs that offer up something different but I certainly don’t fault those blogs who choose to post promotional posts. It’s not easy coming up with “original” stuff these days.

      But if you do get more time to read, then that is definitely something right! 🙂 Reading those books is why we blog in the first place… right?

      And wow that’s awesome! Not only the amount of reads but the amount of reviews. I envy you a little bit!

  6. Kay Dawn says:

    Phenomenal site design!

  7. Great post, it is hard to find the balance. I’m a huge rereader but I haven’t reread a book in months and that makes me sad. I have read great arcs though and I’m probably reading more than I ever did because of my blog. Its staying up to date with the book community that is my biggest time consumer. Plus I want to make time to just read a book sometimes, no pressure to review or analyse, just enjoy .

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      I sneak in a re-read every once in awhile but when I do I feel horribly guilty. And that makes me sad, too.

      Keeping up with all that’s going on in the community is tough. Finding a balance is tricky. I still haven’t mastered it. I think when I first started out it was easier to do both. But the community has gotten bigger and I feel like I don’t know so many of the new blogs – ones that aren’t new anymore.

      I’m hoping that Armchair BEA will help me reconnect and give me some time to read, too.

      Finding time to read a non-review book just for fun is always a great thing.

  8. kindlemom1 says:

    I always love reading your posts because they are so well thought out and honestly they usually are stuff I have been contemplating already on my own and it is soooo nice to know that I am not the only one that sometimes has to stop and remember what it is all suppose to be about, why I started blogging in the first place, because I love books. Period. Yes the rest can be fun but it really is very time consuming and I am finding more often than not lately, I have to step back and remember that I can’t do it all and no one should expect me too. It is okay to say no to the tours and the memes and the promotion posts because if saying no means I can get that book I have been dying to read, read and maybe even reviewed, then it is worth it to me.
    It isn’t always easy to say no and I hate feeling like I am out of the loop but sometimes, just reading for fun and not because I “have to” is so much better and it makes me remember all over again why I do this in the first place.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Oh thanks so much! I try to stay on topic and have to back-track a bit when my thoughts lead me in different directions.

      But it is great to know I’m not alone, too. I often wonder, is it just me?

      And it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget why I’m doing this. I mean, I want to promote books I love, but I want to read them more. And share my thoughts about them. And I miss talking about them in non-formal ways with other bloggers. I think I’m actually going to start more bookish rambles about them on my other blog. Maybe enough to spark discussion rather than just prompting “nice review” types of responses or none at all.

      And yes, no one can do it all. I’m sure your expectations for your blog are much more than your readers. Saying no is just fine.

      Saying no is hard especially if you want to be considered for something else in the future, but I agree that if you can get to that dying to read book it’s worth it. Even if the blog goes dark for a day in order for that to happen.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  9. Rachel. It’s like you have crawled into my mind this week, sat over my thoughts for a while and decided to pour out everything you saw in there right here into this post. I, too, have been working on balancing my life and prioritizing the things that I love. If you look at my blog, you will see that the number of posts per week are a little bit fewer. they are also focused on only what *I* want to post, when *I* want to post it. Fewer tours, promo posts, etc…

    Instead of spending endless hours on blogging, I am reading, writing and involving myself in one-on-one or group conversations about books. The refocus feels so good, less stressful and more for ME.

    It helps that I have a renewed desire and drive to be published. My WIP is my motivation and distraction from excessive blogging. It feels so, so good. I feel so much more weightless, stress free and able to do what I want (and/or need) to do. I didn’t want to “go away” – if anything I am more “in” the industry than ever before – I just wanted to refocus.

    Thank you so much for speaking your (*cough* my) mind.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      I love the new direction you went with your blog! Especially as it incorporates your writing.

      It’s so easy to get caught up in the marketing side of things, especially when you’ve already made a name for yourself and opportunities arise more frequently. I’m not saying I’m one of those, but I can imagine that would be the case.

      And that’s so awesome that your WIP has taken center stage. While I don’t plan on publishing mine, I am trying to finally finish it and get it into shape as if it were to be. But with blogging taking up so much time/energy I haven’t been able to do as much as I’d like with it.

      Fiktshun was originally supposed to be a writing blog with an occasional review. But I’m super excited for you and Jenna Does Books so that you’ll be able to still be a part of the bookish community and be able to do so from the perspective of a blogger and a writer.

      Best of luck and success to you! And thanks. 🙂

  10. I am happy to know that I am not the only one who struggles with balancing my reading and blogging. It seems that I am either reading or blogging, but I have a really hard time doing both at the same time.

    If I am reading I am really reading, I dedicate all my time to that book, putting all my blogging jobs aside. (I only blog if I have to while reading a book). But I do find times where those blog posts creep in as I am enjoying my book. When I read I seem to go on a reading rampage. Its all reading all the time. Everything get’s neglected, well except for my family.

    Then you have the flip side. When blogging takes over and it is time to write those reviews and write up those posts, that’s all I do. Reading get’s pushed to the side and I become strictly a blogger. I don’t know why, but when I am blogging I have a hard time finding the desire to read. I don’t know if it stems from the fact that I feel like I need to write a review about the book and I already see how far behind I am or if it is simply because I get caught up in all the blogging duties.

    It is this balance that I struggle with every day. I go weeks doing both in a fairly balanced manner, but it takes one day to blow me completely off track.

    I am glad that I still find joy in reading no matter what, I just wish I could balance out my reading and my blogging so I get both of my joys in equal shares!

    Rachel, if you figure out how to find this optimum balance you could totally market it and sell it! 🙂

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      You are definitely not the only one! I think I tried to post about finding balance awhile back. But I’m still not quite there. Especially as 2013 seems to be the year of promo posts.

      Like you when I read I focus on reading, but finding the time to actually do that has shrunk. I used to stay up all night reading but either I’m getting too old or too tired to be able to do that. Two years of all-nighters and I think I reached my limit.

      Oh my gosh I am like you when focused on blogging it’s hard to read bc that review is in the back of my mind. I have to go into a book just for a book otherwise I can’t connect.

      And lol, if I could find that balance I’d be ecstatic. And of course I’d share it for free. 🙂 Ten tips on how to find book blogging balance. LOL. If it could only be done in ten steps or less. *sigh*

  11. Angie says:

    I need to read way more. I mean I should be reading right now but I am checking my bloglovin since I didn’t check it yesterday so now I am trying to read through all those posts. I even had to make myself read an hour tonight before going through them all. I try to remember that it is about reading!!!

    Angela’s Anxious Life

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Now that I’ve discovered Bloglovin’ it’s been even harder to focus on reading as I check out more blog posts than I have before. It is a distraction and sometimes an awesome one, but it does take away from reading.

      And it’s so sad, but true, that sometimes you have to make yourself read. I sometimes just have to force myself to turn off the TV, get off the computer, and turn my attention to a book. Where in the past that’s all I wanted to do.

  12. Damn! You know those moments where you meant to go to another tab on your page and end up clicking on one of those Icons you saved on your favorite bar while still on the page you currently on? Anyways . . . It’s happens but now I have to figure out what I had previously wrote and said. First off Sorry I haven’t visit your blog ;-( I love love your blog however life get busy, I’ve been traveling, and trying to make up times with my friend since I’ve been sick.

    But also I’ve been busy working on my own Blog at SassyCat’s Books Review, I am awe and frustrated at the same time, I’ve gotten so many viewers through my newbie blog, from cover reveals, books reviews, blogger times, Ramble, and I had my first blog tour ever for “Gone with the Wolf” By Kristin Miller I posted a great review about her book I was pratically blushing about it :).

    But then the frustrating part are trying to write decent reviews and read books. The last books either paper format or ebook was Gone with the wolf (Ebook), The Forgotten Ones (Ebook) and Oath Bound(Paperback). I’m taking a new approach with writing reviews by writing my own notes (FYI I do not have good hand writing anymore . . . darn you keyboard!)

    The way I look at things, I could care less if I get 1000 followers, I’m happier writing about the books, promoting books and reading them. I don’t frown when I see less numbers on my Twitter followers. Or I don’t get followers on my blog. All I want to offered is excatly what I do along with some of my book/blogger moments.

    So should blogging just be about books? Yes if that is the blogger’s purpose like mine own, but I know there are other bloggers in the blogosphere that are on other things, like sports, photography, news. . . So don’t try to do all differnt type of blogging just stick with one unless you have the time to do both.

    The authors/blogger deal plain and simple, they write the books while we bloggers read them, give honset reviews and help promote the book although most authors spend a little time in their busy schedule promoting thier books through interviews and tours.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Oh I do that all the time on one of my computers with Chrome. Thankfully this mac doesn’t have the favorites toolbar, just a dropdown for them. I just lost a huge comment the other week and just about screamed.

      And yes life gets busy especially when trying to maintain a blog. But congratulations on writing a blush-worthy review of GONE WITH THE WOLF. I have that on my “to read” pile as it looks awesome!

  13. CeCe says:

    Great post! It is so obvious when you point it out but so true – book bloggers don’t really need to read. I have only been blogging for a couple of months but I find that I read a lot more now. Sure I spend probably 3+ hours doing non-reading type blog activities but I find I WANT to read more now that I am a part of this community. I now have so many more books on my radar from my social interactions with other bloggers that I find I am gobbling books up as fast as I can.
    I do think it is funny though… I was recently contacted to be part of a book blitz for a bonus story for a series that already has a few books out. I have never heard of this series and at nowhere in the email was there an offer to read the series. Tt seems odd to me to promote a “bonus novella” for a series I have never read. I politely declined but I wonder how many other bloggers in my same posititon agreed.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Thanks! I actually read a lot more before I started blogging, but I’ve been an avid reader for years. Blogging affected that a bit as it took time away from reading. But 2012 was really bad as I read so many fewer books than I had in years.

      And I want to read more. There are at least 300 books I want to read each year but sadly I can’t even read half of those.

      But yay for getting new books on your radar! That is one of the very best parts of blogging.

      I think it’s fairly common to be asked to promote books well into a series, or even a novella, that you aren’t familiar with. If the goal is for the word to get out, I don’t think it matters that much if a person’s read it so much as that word is out there.

      My choice is never to promote something I am not incredibly excited about reading or have read, but that’s not everyone’s choice. Some may want to be helpful to an author, some may want to be included in a tour/blitz to get traffic to their site, some may want content to fill a blank day. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong reason for doing. But that’s not my personal choice.

      So I’m sure there were people who did agree, not having read it. Perhaps those who weren’t even interested in reading it, too. If it helps out an author or blogger then yay!

      I’m just super choosy. Even with the tour stuff I do with Jaime at Rockstars. One of us has to be a huge fan of the book we tour. And even when one of us isn’t, we can’t dislike it. We’re both very selective promoters.

      You just have to do what’s right for you and what you feel comfortable with on your blog.

  14. Exactly for these reasons I reconsidered why I came into blogging, and what I want for my blog. For me that meant ditching almost all promotional posts and all but one meme. For me they take away from the real focus: books.

    The sad thing is that I barely see any reviews on blogs lately. I’m always looking for awesome new blogs, but almost all of them seem filled with the same old blog tours, all premade posts, nothing they wrote themselves. It’s a bit sad that blogging has come to this.

    Since I went back to only doing reviews and maybe some events I actually have to read for, blogging has been such a blast again. It immediately blew my blogging slump out of the water.

    I hope more people start to talk about books they love again, instead of talking about books they are supposed to love.

  15. bhwrn1 says:

    Your post is EXACTLY how I feel! I wish I had more time for the books and could take less time with other things. For me, I work full time, so I have to really split my time and it consumes me.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      I work full-time too so I know what you mean. Between work and blogging and life stuffs it’s all-consuming! I hope you find more time to read though!

  16. blackplume says:

    exactly my thoughts! Some of the reasons you mentioned were the same reasons why I’m hesitant in full time book blogging. Why I choose to post in my own terms and not for publicity. As much as I love to promote books, I also don’t want my blog to be just like that, a promotional outlet. That’s why I stop joining the only one Meme I used to post on my blog, and I only choose book tours that I really want to be part of. I know that my restrictions is the reason why I don’t attract much traffic like others. And in many times that I think about getting my own domain or transferring to bloggers just to attract more traffic, I always end up reasoning to myself that I am blogging for books and not for any other reasons.

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      I have many of those same feelings. I get so caught up in the fact that I want to be on a certain tour because I love it, then look in my sidebar and see all the tours and think, wait a minute, it’s all publicity and less “me” stuff. I miss my features sometimes. And lately I’ve avoided discussion posts because I read so many good ones on other blogs I don’t want to chime in about anything here.

      I still haven’t even started my Random Thoughts Lite posts.

      I stopped thinking about traffic altogether, so I know what you mean about being one of those blogs with less traffic than others. But at the end of the day I have to be happy.

      The one good thing about having your own domain – aside from any thoughts about traffic – is that it allows you to have more control over your posting. I left blogger for a few of my blogs and saw traffic drop completely, but I like self-hosted sites and the design and control options it gives me.

      Blogger drives me crazy with its crazy back-end coding.

      It is so hard to not get caught up in the stats, pageviews, etc. But it’s great to remind yourself that you’re blogging because of books and nothing else.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  17. Book Blogging is a passion for me, and I love to share books! I am not a drama mama so the gossip and such slips right past me. I love blogs that offer a balanced mix. My blog tends to be book review heavy, but not everyone can read like I do. Great post!

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      It’s wonderful to be able to just let it pass. I try to avoid it at all costs but sometimes I just can’t help but click the link to whatever craziness is going on, on Goodreads. Then spend the rest of the day wishing I didn’t.

      I am a fan of blogs with a balance of reviews, original content and promotional materials. I appreciate – and envy – those that are review-heavy. But I do tend to regularly visit those with a mix of posts as I only read reviews for books either I’m not planning on reading, books I’m on the fence about or books I’ve read already.

      I’m actually on your site right now… have been since about 7 a.m. I clicked a link on Twitter which took me to your site about two hours ago as I wanted to check out the post on your blog today about Blogger Tips and Tricks. I still haven’t read it, but am keeping the tab open so that I can read it and won’t forget to revisit as soon as I’m done with all my blog stuff.

  18. It makes me sad when I hear bloggers stressing about deadlines. I never, ever promise a review by a certain time. Unless I have begged a copy, I don’t promise there will even be a review. I’ve never had a publisher come back to me saying, why haven’t you reviewed this book, it was out last month? I don’t really like seeing so many promo posts but if that’s what someone wants to do, it should make them happy. Stressing over promoting books and not getting to read them sounds like an awful place to be in.

  19. Lexxie says:

    I agree that sometimes, it’s really easy to get caught up in a kind of frenzy where I want to do too many things at the same time!
    I do participate in some blog-tours every now and then, but I try to always get the ones where I can write my own review, because I want my blog to be mine not the promoters’ – even if I love them, too!
    I was in a reading-slump this winter, but I don’t think it was because I was posting too much of other things on my blog, I just wanted to be outside and do other things than reading. I posted a lot less on my blog during that time, but that’s OK – it’s my hobby, and I only do it when I want to.
    I do feel good, though, when I read a book, then write a review the same day and am able to schedule it to be posted at a later date 🙂 Then I feel like I have the best of both worlds – both the reading part and the blogging part.
    Great, thought-provoking post!

  20. I totally agree. I had no idea this would be more work than a full time job when I started doing this 7 months ago. Wow, it’s been 7 months? That blew right by!

    I do love it, though. I just feel overwhelmed at times. I do have a tendency to sign up for more blog tours than I should, and my calendar looks like 4 people use it instead of just one.

    Another strange thing I’ve noticed… the faster I try to read, now that I’m trying to get through so much, the slower I am. Why is that? When I used to read just to read I believe I read much faster!

    Toni @ My Book Addiction

  21. Chelsea says:

    This is a really great post! The whole reason I started a book blog was because I love to read and I wanted a way to discuss the books I read and love with other people with the same passion. I also feel like I have to forego a book I really want to read because of books I have to read for a tour or the author and it makes reading feel like a chore which makes me super sad. I love blogging and wouldn’t give it up but I definitely feel like I need to make sure I am blogging around my passion too. Thanks for the awesome discussion! 🙂

  22. Such a great post. I’ve been on hiatus from my blog since early October because of everything you’ve said. Only for a while it did take my love of reading away. Months went by where I maybe read only one or two books for the entire month, when I usually average between eight and ten. I’ve only just recently begun reading fairly regularly again, without resorting to manga in between books because they’re such short and easy reads.

    I’m hoping to eventually start up my blog again someday, but right now I’m focusing on just rediscovering my love to read.

  23. Roberta R. says:

    Quote: “In fact, it is very possible to be a book blogger without actually reading or reviewing any books.”

    I was made aware of this post by the mention of it Trish made on her page. While I had of course noticed the increasing number of memes, cover reveals etc., your post – especially the above quote – was an eye-opener. Because yes, actually, reading books is not a basic requirement to be a book blogger – you made me see that. Talk about thought-provoking.

    I’ve only recently started my own blog, and I’ve been in a quiet zone to date, because 1) I don’t have a FB/Twitter/Google+/whatever account; 2) I’m not aggressive in trying to get followers at any cost; 3) it’s next to impossible, I believe, to get ARCs when you’re in Italy, and consequently, to post reviews of unreleased books; 4) I can’t afford buying lots of fresh ones as soon as they’re out. Nevertheless, I care for books. Especially for those that are worthy (IMHO of course), but somehow neglected because they don’t get all the hype of visibility and chain-letter promotion. They are the main reason why I set up a blog in the first place. I’m only involved in one meme, though – on the other hand – it’s not like I post many reviews for the reasons stated above. I don’t plan on joining book tours or cover reveals. I only plan on reading the more awesome (or good at least) books I can find, and yes, rereading them, because they’re keepers…because I want to live into their world a little more…because I want to savour them. I don’t plan on posting like a madwoman every single day, even if it means to never become a really successful blogger. And I hope to live up to my own expectations…

    P.S.: I’m following by email, though it’s not my favourite method…


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