1. Book Blogging Is Accessible and Diverse
To start a book blog, one needs access to books and the Internet, and that’s basically it. There is close to no monetary commitment (especially if you have access to a library and aren’t even buying the books), and there are no special skills required beyond being decent at writing. In contrast, influencers on more visual platforms often invest in (expensive) quality equipment for filming or photography, and of course it’s helpful if you have a talent for performing on video and if you’re conventionally attractive. Book blogging, then, seems more open to the average person, meaning we get a wide variety of voices and bloggers from different backgrounds, and I love hearing what they all have to say.
2. I Love Reading the Comments
Comments on blogs do seem to have been decreasing recently, but overall I still think blogs are one of the best places to get a conversation going on in the comments. Readers often leave lengthy and thoughtful replies, which is much less common on other platforms. On BookTok, the likes and views might outstrip the kind of traffic one gets on a book blog, but it seems as if many people barely leave a comment beyond a couple words long. I love reading blogs because I can see not only what the original blogger thinks about a topic but also what a bunch of other people think about it.
3. Blogs Often Get to the Point Faster Than Videos
I don’t watch a lot of videos in general, and that’s because I find it infinitely faster to read something than to listen to a video about it. A booktube video might be 10 minutes or longer, and it’s difficult to skip over parts you’re not particularly interested in. (For example, I can skip reading the book summary on a blog post if I already know what the book is about and don’t need to read it, but that’s harder to do on a video.) I’m also a fairly quick reader, and I like knowing I can read several blog posts in the time it would take me to watch one booktube video.
4. There’s Less Stress to Focus on “Popular” Books
Every time a news article pops up about the miracles of BookTok for views and book promotion, users are quick to point out that making videos about certain titles is much for likely to rack up those views than focusing on books the algorithm doesn’t favor. Of course it’s true for book blogs, too, that posting about a Marissa Meyer book will get you more traffic than posting about a backlist title from 2011 no one remembers, but bloggers aren’t working with an algorithm or really trying to “get popular” in the sense that social media influencers might be; there’s just more room in blogging to post about what one likes and what one is currently reading, whatever that is, instead of posting about the same books again and again.
5. Blogs Provide Space for In-depth Content
One could post a very long Booktube video or long Instagram caption (and I have seen some very long videos addressing complex topics with a lot of research and nuance), but overall I find blogs one of the best spaces for readers to fully flesh out their ideas and post their thoughts about a particular topic. I love in-depth reviews and discussion posts that get me thinking about something I haven’t thought before, and book blogs are the perfect place for these things.
6. There’s Still Room for the Visual
People point out the value of Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, etc. for the visual potential, but blogs can be very visual, too! It’s straightforward enough to take the type of photo one might add to Instagram and add it to one’s blog post. And, honestly, I think that’s about as much “visual” content one needs to discuss a book. If I can see the cover, or any special additions like sprayed edges, that’s pretty much it. I don’t think watching a video about a book adds much value in the sense there’s . . . nothing much to look at besides the cover, unless it’s a graphic novel and there are inside illustrations to show, as well.