What Book Bloggers Actually Do

Posted January 22, 2016 by Carlisa in Bookish Thoughts / 9 Comments

A few days ago, my sister-in-law posted this picture on my Facebook wall…and I thought it was hilarious:

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This is basically the life of a book blogger. We read books, we touch books, we review books, we research books, we do all these things. Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. BUT there’s a lot more to us, you know? We have depth, us book bloggers. We are complex creatures with different interests and hobbies and feelings and thoughts.

You know in those meme things, where it’s like “What I Think I’m Doing,” “What My Mom Thinks I’m Doing,” “What My Friends Think I’m Doing,” and then “What I’m Actually Doing”? Well, this post is here to explain what book bloggers actually do…because there’s more to it than the above picture.

Checking and Updating Goodreads

Goodreads, Goodreads, Goodreads. I love it. I’ve been using it since my freshman year of high school, but being a book blogger in the past year, my use of the app and website has just shot up. Probably cause I have more friends on Goodreads now, so there are always new updates on there. AND I LOVE THAT. I love going on there and seeing one of my friends starting a book that I loved or even not liking a book that I loved. Differing opinions are great, people. They’re what make the world go ’round.

Seriously, though. This is a big part of what we do. Goodreads is a platform where we can look for new books to read, to read reviews of books, to interact with authors and other readers, to do so. many. things. Ain’t it wonderful?

A few months ago, I was helping a coworker set up her first Goodreads account (I was giddy with excitement). When you first open your account, it automatically adds your Facebook friends, so I was among probably the 20 or 30 friends she automatically had. And we went to her timeline and I was instantly embarrassed BECAUSE HER ENTIRE NEWSFEED WAS ME. Every update. Oh gosh, I realized in that moment that I had a problem, and I think that I’ve stopped updating so much on the same book. But whatever, it’s me we’re talking about here.

Tweeting

Yes, I spend a good deal of time on Twitter. But it’s fun as a book blogger! 95% of my tweeting is interacting with other book bloggers, other avid readers, and amazing authors. It’s kind of the best. I’ve made some really good online friends on Twitter and I’ve talked with really wonderful authors.

I think that’s actually my favorite part of Twitter for me: the authors. In the beginning of my book blogging days, I would freak out if an author even favorited my tweets. With almost a year under my belt, though, I’ve had replies and retweets and even full conversations with authors…and it’s truly amazing. The bigger authors don’t often have enough time to answer ever tweet sent their way, but I’ve gotten some, like a got a (sarcastic) one-word reply from Neil Gaiman once and a retweet from Sarah Dessen. Ah, it’s just awesome. A lot of bloggers even make it into the Acknowledgments sections of books because of their support for the author (this is a blogger’s dream, people).

Finding The Perfect Gif

Finding the perfect gif for a blog post can be a stressful thing. Well, maybe “stressful” isn’t the right word…but I’ve spent a lot of time searching for that gif that I wanted for a review or discussion or random thought post. Giphy is my favorite website for this type of very serious, no-nonsense research. Some bloggers are more into gifs than others; it’s definitely a matter of preference. I definitely enjoy them in my posts occasionally, if the moment calls for it.

And because I think this moment calls for it:

we have a gif for that

Everyone: Carlisa, did you just search for “Gifs about gifs”?
Me: SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Writing Reviews

This is usually the reason that book bloggers start book blogging. We want to talk about the books that we loved or the books that we hated or even the books that we felt pretty apathetic towards. That’s for sure why I started book blogging. I didn’t even realize “book blogging” was an official thing until I had already written and reviewed a couple of books on here.

And, honestly, reviews are usually the least-viewed posts on our blogs. But, to me, it’s okay. Because the point of my blog is to read and review books, and then to have conversations about it. So even if I get a couple of views and, like, one comment…it’s still worth it to me.

Procrastinating Writing Reviews

………….Yeah. It’s a paradox, huh? We create a book blog to write reviews and talk about the books that we love, and then we often don’t want to write the reviews. I don’t know, sometimes it’s just hard. My biggest problem with this is that I’ll just start reading a new book right away and then will lose all motivation to write the review for the last one.

I’m currently backlogged like five reviews that I need to write. One from the beginning of December (*sad face*). BUT ALAS, all is well. Because usually once I finally get myself to open the new post and start writing, the word just flow out of my fingers.

procrastination

Writing Discussion Posts

Discussion posts are probably the most interesting to write and definitely get the most interaction from readers. But they’re also really hard. They’re hard to come up with ideas for and, for me, they take a lot longer for me to write than a review. But I’ve noticed that basically every book blogger always is trying to write more discussions. I’m pretty sure there’s even a monthly challenge for discussion writing somewhere. They can be about basically anything, from eBooks vs. Physical books to deep posts about the state of the bookish community. Whatever you want to talk about. Whatever pops into your brain. Whatever moves your heart. Anything.

(Re-)Organizing our Shelves

This one actually doesn’t pertain to me all that much. Mostly because most of my books are 1,500 miles away from me and I don’t really have a legit bookshelf here at college. BUT I follow a lot of bloggers who re-arrange their shelves on a pretty regular basis.

And to be fair, there are so many different ways you could organize it. By color. By genre. By author. By size. By format. By title. By first letter on page 26. By

Listening to Musicals

I LOVE MUSICALS. And this is a huge generalization, but it seems like the majority of book bloggers enjoy them as well. My go-to’s are: Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and Hairspray. Like pretty basic ones, but I’m okay with it. It’s funny because I’m definitely an in-the-car-singer, and The biggest musical crave to hit our little community is definitely Hamilton, a musical about (whodathunk?) Alexander Hamilton. I haven’t listened to this one yet, but I’m definitely hoping to soon!

Who really knows why musicals seem to resonate so much with book bloggers? But does the why really matter when it’s something so wonderful?

Blog Hopping

With writing a blog, comes reading tons of blogs. I follow 200+ on Bloglovin’, which is maybe excessive…BUT I JUST LOVE EVERYONE, OKAY? I check my feed almost everyday, and although I don’t always read every post on there, I try to read as many as I can. And I’ve been trying to be better about commenting. But nobody’s perfect (*cue Hannah Montana dance moves*).

Going to Book Events

I LOVE BOOK EVENTS. I cannot believe that I missed out on them for so many years just for lack of knowing they existed in such abundance! Since starting to blog last year, I’ve gone to four author signings, which are my favorite things ever. And Marissa Meyer is coming on her Stars Above tour in a few weeks, and I am supremely excited.

But there are tons of bookish events and conferences that we bloggers love to go to if we can. For example, tons of bloggers on the East Coast just went to ALAMW in Boston where they met authors and publishers and got tons of ARCs. Book Expo America (the biggest book conference in the US) is in Chicago this summer, which is only three hours from my hometown in Indiana (as opposed to the usual BEA in New York City). I’m still trying to figure out if I can make this happen for me (let me know if you’re going!), but I really want to since it’d be much easier to get to this one than one in NYC.

Shipping Our Favorite Fictional Couples

*Sigh* Do I have to say anything else about this? Young Adult literature, especially, is known for its various romances and relationships. Personally, I’m not one for the full-this-is-a-romance-novel-and-nothing-else type books, but I love a good romance when it’s done well. And I love to ship them (aka hope/pray/wish that two characters will eventually get together).

My favorite ships:

CELAENA + CHAOL = Chaolaena (I’m in denial)

But also, CELAENA + SAM = Selaena? (I’m majorly in denial)

MAX + PAIGE = Maige? Pax? These aren’t working out too well for this couple.

CRESS + THORNE = Corne (lol)

ISLA + JOSH = Jisla (pronounced Ji-la)

CELIA + MARCO = Melia?

SHAZI + KHALID = Khazi

Okay, I’m done.

ship1

Finally (And Definitely Most Importantly) Reading

Yes, it’s true. Book bloggers tend to read…a lot. I mean, it’s just what we do. We love to read, read, read. We become immersed in these stories, whether new releases or backlists. And the amount of reading can really vary depending on reading speeds and schoolwork and jobs and families and whatnot. Last year I read 110 books, which was a very significant increase from the 52 I read in 2014 (aka pre-blogging). I don’t know what it is, but blogging makes my reading skills infinitely more efficient.

But reading is why we do what we do. Our deep love of books and stories and words have moved us to create our blogs, to spend so much time and energy promoting books simply because we love them. It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?


Of course, I missed some things. We do way more than this, I assure you. Like Netflix binge-watching and just generally having a fierce love for people, books, movies, everything. But book blogging is basically the best ever, if you were to ask my opinion. And if you wanted to hear even more about this opinion, check out my discussion from earlier this week about why I started book blogging and why it’s still so wonderful.

Do you have things to add to this list? What do you do as a book blogger? Or if you’re not a book blogger, what do you do as a reader? Let me know in the comments!


  • I love this! A lot of people don’t realize how much goes into blogging. It’s not just reading a book every now and then, writing a well thought out post, and moving on with your life. Book blogging is SO time consuming (and fun!). And heck yes to the procrastinating writing reviews! I do that all the time, but I’ve now made a pact with myself so that I can’t start reading another book until I write a review for the book I last finished. It has made my life so much easier. I get it done quicker, so I don’t get behind on reviews and so I remember details more carefully!

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

  • this is so accurate! Since I also like to review movies and tv shows, I watch A LOT of both of those and keep up with premieres and release dates. It’s tough work to be a blogger, but it’s a lot of fun! Great post!

  • You’re so right! Great post!
    I am new in the blogosphere bt I read other’s blogs for two years now but only since I started my own blog I opened a bloglovin’ account and I am loving it so much! It changed my life for better when it comes to blog hopping. I wish I knew how good it was before, my life would be so much easier. 🙂
    Of all those things you mentioned I think that I still like Goodreads the most. I have friends there that are reviewers and they also read my reviews and I am a member of an awesome group called YA buddyreading corner and I am loving it!

  • I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH!! It so relatable, and I agree with ALL. I used to be very bad at using Goodreads, but that was only because I had no friends, and now when I see new updates on the homepage, and it makes me weirdly happy. I ADORE Goodreads now. And Twitter! I think I spend more time tweeting about books than reading them right now! (But ssh…it’s our little secret, okay?) AND CHAOLENA!! I AM IN SUCH DENIAL RIGHT NOW. I’m terrified of the rest of the series because CHAOL IS MY BABY AND I DON’T WANT HIM TO DIE, OKAY?? This is a lovely post! 🙂

  • Fun post 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  • Awesome post, and I’m sooooo bad at writing reviews after finishing a book. I also tend to start a new book and forget what I read in the other. I’m working on it. I also think we’re more critical of books turned movies/tv shows then anyone else.

  • This post is actually so accurate – I basically do all of these things!! But since I started blogging, I haven’t been reading as much..these days, I think I spend more time blog hopping daily than I do reading but I’m trying to balance the time equally. And omg!! I ship Shazi and Khalid too haha. They’re my favorite ship so I’m very happy to see that you included them.

    – Rachana @ Addicted to YA

  • I agree with so much of this post!! I know I’m currently bloghopping right now, to procrastinate from writing a review… xD I haven’t had the pleasure of going to a book event, but I see lots of pictures about them, and stalk the hashtags on Twitter continuously! xD

    Geraldine @ Corralling Books

  • I would add taking pictures/making graphics and using Instagram to your list. Almost every post has a graphic that we have to make by hand (most of the time). I think that a lot of people underestimate the time and effort put into making graphics and visuals. I also have been noticing a rising trend of Instagramming in the book blogosphere. So many bloggers have bookstagram accounts and I really think that it enhances the community.
    Other than that, you did a great job covering all of the bases. I loved how you showed both the positive side and negative side to reviewing books. I love writing reviews, when I can actually convince myself to sit down and write them. I am a procrastinator by nature, so it can be tough to keep up with all of the reviews.