I might have mentioned before that I only found out about the book blogging community a few months into setting up my own blog. Before that I did look up book reviews on blogs once in a while but I’d just google the book titles to see what popped up. The only book blog I’ve regularly kept up with for more than three years now is Jugendbuchtipps.de, mostly because my local bookstore doesn’t keep a lot of German YA books on the shelves, so I need to know what I’m looking for if I want to place an order with them or order from The Book Depository. That blog however, only features book reviews, and it seems that visitors are mostly passive. A lot of people read the reviews but very few comment. Since the reviews are solid though, I didn’t really think to look for alternative blogs in the past.
Personally, I’ve come to read book blogs and engage with bloggers because I love interacting with people who share my love for books. Also, I’ve always loved to discuss anything and everything under the sun; the more passionate I am about a subject, the better. While I have many friends who are just as passionate about sports as I am, I don’t really have any friends who will talk about books with me late into the night. Neither do I have anyone to swap books, or even mere book recommendations, with. My sister has taken the easy route for years. She borrows the books I buy and rarely buys them herself. She and I occasionally talk books but we’ve not seen a lot of each other in recent years because we didn’t enrol in the same universities. We still read a lot of the same books though, so when we do have time during our vacations, we talk about the stories we’ve read—things we liked, things we disliked and ideas that intrigued us.
For me then, book blogging has come to encompass both blogging and reading other blogs. Yet I also know that there are non-bloggers out there who read book blogs. In fact, I remember from my Social Computing course in uni that only 10% of Internet users are content producers. Thus at 90%, the vast majority of people online are consumers. Unless you take into consideration prosumers who’re largely found on social networking sites but that’s another level of engagement on the net. Point is, a statistic like that makes me wonder how I can better engage readers, be they bloggers or non-bloggers.
Why do you read book blogs? What compels you to actively engage with a blog and interact with a blogger?