Nobody tagged me for this, but I saw it on The Nut Free Nerd and thought it looked fun! Holly adapted it from the The Booktuber Oldie Tag, which was created by Monica Kim.
1. How long have you been part of the book blogging community?
Krysta and I started blogging in May 2011, so nine years! …That really does make me feel old.
2. What was your biggest misconception before starting a book blog?
I didn’t actually read any book blogs before I started blogging, so I’m not sure I had any ideas about them at all.
I supposed I was surprised in general by things I just didn’t think about when I first started: how to interact with others, how to get followers, how much time blogging can take, etc.
3. How do you think book blogging has changed since you first started?
Krysta wrote an entire post in 2019 about how she believes book blogging has changed since we started, which you can read here.
I agree with all of her points. I do think there has been a sort of “professionalization” of book blogging. Even as book bloggers continued to be paid literally nothing, it seems the bar has been raised for how much work bloggers do and how put-together their online presence has to look. Blogs are a lot cleaner and more organized, and bloggers are expected to do more graphic design and photography and to be present on multiple platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads in addition to their actual blogs.
I also think the community is more dispersed, and there aren’t core “big bloggers” everyone knows like there were in 2012, Once in a while I ask on Twitter who people believe the “big bloggers” are now, and no one seems to know.
4. What is your favorite book blogging memory?
I thought about this for a while while drafting this post, and…I don’t really know. I imagine other people answer this question by talking about the cool ARCs they got or the relationship they built with an author or the time they met other bloggers at an event or something– but I’ve basically never done any of that stuff. I sometimes win ARCs in giveaways, but the only publisher mailing list I’ve been on is for Quirk Books; the big publishers don’t send me stuff! I’m pretty sure no authors know who I am, and the two bookish events I went to (once ALA and once BookCon), I didn’t meet up with anyone. People actually seemed to assume I was some sort of academic librarian rather than a blogger the one time I went to ALA, which was kind of funny and also confusing because I definitely am not.
This is all to say that I somewhat feel as if my nine years of blogging have looked largely the same (even though things in the community have changed). I mean, I write reviews and discussions posts and people comment on them and we talk, and that’s pretty much it? I can’t think of any major blogging event that stands out.
5. What are some books that you were introduced to because of book blogging?
Pretty much every YA book I read at this point? Six of Crows definitely comes to mind.
I tend to find middle grade and nonfiction books to read just by browsing what my library has because the book community doesn’t talk about those as much.
6. What is something that frustrates you about book blogging?
I don’t know if it’s “frustrating,” but I continue to be baffled by the unpredictability of what posts are popular or prompt discussion. I can write something I think is interesting and will engage people and get nothing, then throw together a post I think is less interesting and get a billion views.
7. What is your hope for the future of book blogging?
More bloggers! More blog lovers! Continued fun and community!
People keep heralding the end of blogging, and many bloggers do feel we are overlooked compared to booktubers, bookstagrammers, and maybe even booktokkers at this point. However, I think blogging will last, and I hope to see new bloggers start and new people start reading blogs.
20 thoughts on “The Book Blogger Oldie Tag”
Love your answers. I agree unpredictability can be frustrating.
Yes! It seems like we’d have some wisdom about what works after several years, but no. :p
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Wow. 9 years many Congratulations. I haven’t heard of many book bloggers sticking to it for so long. I would like to ask you a question. How do you come up with new ideas to blog about?
That’s a good question! It’s interesting because a lot of the same conversations seem to come up again and again. So people will be discussing things like “are book bloggers allowed to write negative reviews?” or “are ebooks real books?” and my reaction is sometimes, “Meh. I thought we all covered that in 2015.” So, on one hand, new people are always joining the community, so anything can seem like a new idea to them even if it isn’t to me!
But I think we also get ideas from news articles and conversations other people are having online and also our real-life experiences. Like Krysta just published a post today about real interactions she’s had with people who didn’t know things about the library.
I am still in the middle of my 5th year of blogging. I don’t think I am stopping anytime soon.
Sometimes, I am surprised by some of the things I blog about. Yes, while a musical theatre blog, it still has some bookish topics found on there.
Congratulations on five years!
December is when I started my blog. It sure has changed a lot since December 2015
Awesome post! I love middle grade books and would like to see more of them blogged about. I’m hoping to read Tristan Strong Punches A Hole In The Sky before summer is over.
Ooh, I haven’t read Tristan Strong yet, but it looks like a good one!
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9 years, wow, congratulations on sticking around for so long, that’s so amazing!! I so agree with you about professionalization, I feel like book bloggers are putting much higher standards on their own blogs, their own content strategy, branding and promotion. I think the level of dedication is astonishing, really.<3
Yes! I know underappreciation of bloggers has been a big discussion recently, but I don’t think I’ve really seen mentioned the oddity that bloggers arguably used to get more acknowledgement from publishers years ago when we were doing a bit “less.” Now we’re doing everything and many people take their blogs very seriously, and we get overlooked for other platforms. (Where people are also doing lots of work, of course. It just seems frustrating that the bar has been raised but the appreciation has decreased.)
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Oh YES that is such an interesting thing to point out, as well. I feel like publishers have now turned their attention and most of their opportunities to other platforms, while maybe it wasn’t like that (or not as much, as least) before. I completely agree with you on that feeling that the bar has been raised SO HIGH (or maybe it’s just me feeling that) and the appreciation has, not, ahah.
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Woaah such long time ago when you started this blog👍. I enjoy reading your answers because I’m a new book blogger and don’t really know how book blogger used to be like. I also hope more people read blogs. Because reading is as much fun as watching videos🤗. Thanks for writing this!
Oh myyyy, nine years?! You old farts, you! xD I’m so amazed that both of you have blogged for so long and continue to churn out fabulous content. I love to think I’ll still be blogging in four years, but will it still be original? Ugh. I dunno. Topics are hard lol.
The unpredictability of posts gets me every time. Especially when I spend forever making a post I’m sure is relevant and will get attention … and no one reads it. And it’s like … well, okay then. It’s hard to predict what will work and what won’t haha.
Here’s to another nine years for both of you!
I really enjoyed reading your responses to the questions! Haha book blogs give out a ton of great book recs, and Six of Crows was definitely one of them for me. Hm that’s interesting — a post a blogger thinks is interesting that doesn’t garner as many views as a post they don’t think is interesting but receives a lot more. Congratulations on a 9 year blog journey so far!!!!! Fingers crossed that blogs never go out, they’re too beautiful and fun. Thank you for doing this wonderful tag 😄
I just started so I have a long way to go. I congratulate you on maintaining your blog for nine years! I guess if you are passionate about your blog and enjoy blogging, it will sure lead to longevity. I hope to keep up my enthusiasm.
Hi Briana, I’m catching up on blog hopping after a couple months off. Neat post. I enjoy reading the reflections of bloggers who have been around a long time. This is the first time I’ve seen this tag; I might have to give it a go. But the thing that stood out to me right at the end – BOOKTOKKERS, haha, are those a thing?! I am starting to feel ‘old’. I don’t know what the kids use TikTok for (I understand it’s little videos…). I did have a non-blogging friend send me a book review for one of her favourite books which she saw in someone’s Instagram story… But blogging is where I’m happy to be and like you, I’m always glad to come across new voices and blogs to read.
I first heard of Booktok when someone wrote a blog post about why they like it, but I still don’t understand! Maybe because the only ones I’ve really seen are the ones people complain about on Twitter so I’m thinking…Booktok is people saying mean things? Or making weird faces while mean things fly by on a text overlay??? (I know there must be completely normal people on Booktok, but that’s my main exposure!)
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Congratulations on your tag and remain safe.