[Ad – review/previous collaboration. I was sent the pictured products for review purposes and all thoughts are my own. This post also contains affiliate links]
I’ve been blogging about books for nearly seven years now and I bleddy love it. As a lifelong bookworm, it’s such a fun platform to share what I love with a like-minded community.
I love books. I love fiction, non-fiction, books about books, bookish journals, stationery celebrating my favourites books and writers, nerdy bookish clothing. I love classics, thrillers, chick lit, young adult, character studies, children’s books. I pre-order new releases, buy secondhand, take part in book swaps and pop to the library regularly. I have more books than I have bookshelf space and my TBR pile is more than thirty books deep. At least this means I’m never short of content!
I’ve built great relationships with some really fantastic publishers over the years. It’s easy to assume that book bloggers are all about the freebies but it’s not (just) about that. Or, rather, it’s more specific than that. ARCs are a definite perk (advance review copies for the uninitiated). Being sent a copy of the latest release from Sarah Knight or Holly Bourne is obviously awesome but where I really get excited is when I receive a title with little to no prior knowledge and it completely blows me away.
I’ve come to expect certain things from the publishers I work particularly closely with and trust their judgement when a press release drops in my inbox. When I was offered the chance to review Jane Harper’s debut novel, The Dry, I was intrigued by its early critical acclaim and the fact that it had already been picked up by Reese Witherspoon’s production company. The Dry ended up being one of my books of the year, I was sent a signed proof of her follow-up, Force of Nature, and an ARC of her third novel, The Lost Man. Jane Harper has become one of my favourite contemporary writers and there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have read one of her books if I wasn’t a book blogger.
Pre-blogging, I was very much stuck in my comfort zone when it came to my reading habits. I was big on chick lit and the odd classic, and I was borderline snobbish when it came to young adult titles. These days I make a conscious effort to read a diverse range of books and, while I still tend to steer clear of some sub-genres (young adult fantasy and historical fiction), I know it can be detrimental to shut myself off to some areas completely (Caraval and Birdsong are wonderful exceptions to my ‘rule’).
I also adore the community. I follow dozens of fellow book bloggers and Bookstagrammers – and it’s because of them that I can’t control my TBR! They also push me to keep improving. It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap when blogging/using social media but I’ve found the book community to be so wonderfully supportive and encouraging (shout out to Hels for #averybookishpost).
And the absolute highlight for me? Sharing a book I love and encouraging others to pick up a copy. The following comments are all reactions to recent posts and each one makes me swell with pride:
“OK I actually think I am going to have to go out and buy these books as they look fantastic, I love any books like this as I think teaching children about feminism whatever gender they are is just so, so important.”
“This sounds like such an interesting story and I’ll definitely be adding it to my TBR, as it sounds right up my alley.”
“I’ve never read The Bell Jar so it’s not one that I know too much about, but from how you describe it, it’s definitely a book I want to read.”
Roxane Gay wrote in Bad Feminist: ‘Books are often far more than just books’. And it’s true. They provide an escape. They have the power to move you to tears and laugh out loud. They can make a reader feel less alone. They bring people together. They have the power to change attitudes and lives. And I can’t imagine my life without them.