Who says the internet has destroyed books? With the proliferation of book blogs, bookworms are more influential (and social) than ever before. I’m a complete nerd for book blogs, and have tried book blogging myself…without much success. My mistake was I just posted a bunch of lengthy reviews of books I’d read, which I now realize weren’t very interesting to my readers unless they happened to have read those books themselves. Popular book bloggers do a lot more with their content, and here are some things I’ve since learned from them:
- Blog about books everyone is reading now, or will be reading soon. More readers will take part in a conversation about a book they’re excited about, too.
- Blog about books everyone has already read. Posts about books that you loved in childhood (or despised in high school) will reach a wide audience. Certain books – The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Lord of the Flies, The Bell Jar – evoke the same memories and emotions for many people.
- Blog about obscure books that nobody has read, but that taught you something fascinating. If you read a book about a little-known island nation where the people eat only pie and ride domesticated bears, we’re interested!
- Share your life through the lens of what you read. Where were you while you were reading this book? How did the book inform your life at the time? Is it the perfect book for a broken heart? The worst possible book to read at the beach?
- Digress. If you are reviewing, say, Freedom, feel free to discuss marriage, the Midwest, Jonathan Franzen’s glasses, and anything else that the book brings to mind for you. Go off on tangents. Your readers might be more interested in what the book made you think about than the book itself.
- Develop your voice. My favorite book bloggers write with personality – some are wits, some are cranks, some are pedants, but each has a unique and compelling point of view.
- Have an opinion. Choose to review books you feel passionately about – whether you love or hate them. If you think the book is just meh, your post about it will be meh, too.
- Interact. Involve your readers with a reading challenge, a group read, a tournament. Reading is a solitary activity, but book blogging doesn’t have to be.
Oh, and one final rule for book blogging: no spoilers!
Do you blog about what you read? Do you have any favorite book blogs we should check out?