Book Tag | Secret Life of a Book Blogger

 

I came across this book tag while scouring google for book blogging tag ideas to spruce up the blog with. I’m crediting it to The Bibliophile Girl UK because that’s the blog I found it on, but it looks like its origins are lost to the ether. If you happen to be the blogger who created it, let me know in the comments below so I can credit you appropriately.

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I liked this tag because I so infrequently chat on my blog about the man behind all the book reviews – what my life is like and what my thoughts are on blogging in general. I want this year to be about letting you all get to know me a bit better, and about getting to know all of you better too.

Since we’re getting to know the real me, I figured I’d share an updated photo of me, snapped in the wild, when I was reading an ARC on my phone. Proof positive that you can’t keep me away from my books!
Let’s get started!


How Long Have You Been a Blogger?

I’ve been blogging since January of last year! I was a senior in college when I suddenly realized that I had gone way too long without opening a book for pleasure, rather than for school. I made Bookbastion.net as a motivational tool to get myself back into reading. I guess it worked out well, as I read 100 books during that first year of blogging! It’s been a really eye-opening experience for me. I’ve learned so much about blogging in the course of this last year – and realized pretty quickly that I’ve still only scratched the surface.

At What Point Do You Think You’ll Stop?

Short answer – never? I think this blog will inevitably evolve as my reading habits evolve, but I really like having a place to discuss books and reading with you all. I don’t have very many friends in my real life who like reading like we all do, so this has been a great outlet for me. Also, I’ve learned that I really like writing book reviews! They help me really sort out my feelings for a book – and they help me remember aspects of the book months down the line if/when I re-read one of my earlier reviews.

What is the best part?

Definitely the people that I’ve met in the blogging community! You’re some of the nicest, kindest folks I’ve ever met. So many of you were immediately welcoming to me when I first started my blog – making me feel right at home. Between here, and bookstagram I truly feel like I’ve made some great friends in the community that I count myself lucky to know.

Related image

What is the worst part?

Hmm… I’d have to say how time consuming blogging is as a hobby. Writing book reviews can sometimes be painful, because as you know I like to include GIFs in them. What might otherwise take me about a half hour to write suddenly becomes much longer as I’m searching for the perfect gifs to include.

Also, taking photos for my bookstagram. I stress about it, and reorganize props and books a million times before I take a photo. It takes me literally hours. I have to set aside a chunk of time on the weekends dedicated to photo sessions with my books because there’s no other way to do it. It’s a very time-intensive hobby.

How long does it take you to find/create photos to use?

Ages. It’s hard to quantify. Like I said above, with bookstagram I can spend hours taking photos of 5 or 6 books so that I have enough photos to get me through the week. Then I have to seek out GIFs to use in my reviews. Then, because I’m obsessive over my blog looking uniform, I photoshop a feature image together like the one I’ve used above. The one I made tonight probably took me 15 minutes or so, but it can take a lot longer depending on how much I want to nitpick.

Image result for perfectionist gif

Who’s your book crush?

The last book crushes I had were The Darkling, from Leigh Bardugo’s Siege and Storm series, and Achilles and Patroclus from The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. ❤

What’s your favorite book, who is your favorite author?

My new favorite from this year is Circe, by Madeline Miller. My older favorite is The Child Thief by Brom, which is a dark fantasy retelling of Peter Pan. Then of course my childhood favorite is Harry Potter.

Madeline Miller is probably my favorite author of all time. I just love the way she writes. It speaks to me on a deeply personal level. I think she’s magic.

Which author would you love to have on your blog?

Probably Madeline Miller on a personal achievement level. From an entrepreneurial standpoint, I’d have to say Sarah J Maas just because I’m no dolt – I recognize the level of traffic her name would bring here haha.

What do you wear when you write your blog?

I wish I had a scandalous answer to put here, but the reality is that I write my blog posts at various times throughout the day. I might be wearing jeans. I might be wearing sweatpants. I might be wearing shorts and a tee-shirt or a sweater. There’s really no telling.

How long does it take you to prepare a post?

Depends on what the post is. For book reviews, it probably takes me about an hour to refine my thoughts into something that sounds legible enough to post as a review. Then I go searching for GIFs, which can take between 15-30 minutes depending on how quickly I find GIFs that work.

Discussion posts/Asides that I’ve written for the blog have taken quite a bit longer. I often write from the heart first, getting all my thoughts out. Then I go back and edit, and spruce things up a bit so that my thoughts aren’t too unfocused or perhaps ranty if I’m in a mood when I write a post like one of these ones again:

{Aside} Rating On Goodreads Before You’ve Read It.
{Aside} Goodreads Drama – Why I’m Done Apologizing
{Review/Discussion} The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

How do you feel about the book blog community/culture?

For the most part, I love it. I’ve learned that I interact best with people in the community through WordPress, Goodreads and Facebook communities. I tend to avoid Twitter except to retweet and share friend’s blog posts. The community on booktwitter seems a lot more… brutal and unforgiving I guess? than other communities where larger discussions can be held. Otherwise, I have had many, many more positive experiences in the book blogging community than I have had negative ones.

What do you think one should do to have a successful blog?

I think you have to speak from your heart. Air those feelings and truthful opinions. Your perspective is an important one and people enjoy hearing honesty, rather than recycled opinion.

Also, engage with the people around you. If someone comments on your blog, make sure to thank them and strike up a conversation! This is the easiest way to make friends. Also, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I still struggle with this, because I’m painfully shy. If you ever think I seem distant or aloof, it’s only because I’m nervous about saying hello! I hate to be a bother, though I feel like I am slowly overcoming this and becoming more outgoing through my blog.

Follow other bloggers regularly, and treat everything as a learning moment. I learn from this community every single day. Also, connect your blog to social media. Join Facebook groups for bloggers and book reviewers. Make a twitter account to share your reviews, and your friend’s reviews. Jump on bookstagram if photography appeals to you. Be kind to one another. People might ask you questions, but remember that everyone was new once, and we’re all here to support each other in our hobby as readers.


That’s it!

Now I’m going to be brave and tag a few people – mostly you lucky ones who let me know that you wouldn’t mind being tagged in the future. If you’re not tagged, and you want to participate – feel free! Make sure to link me to your post below so that I don’t miss it!

Tagging: 

Catherine @thisisoneforthebooks
Rachel @Pacemorelibri
Sophie @Beware Of The Reader
Melanie @meltotheany
Emma @Emmareadstoomuch
Marie @Drizzle&Hurricanebooks

 

xoxo

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34 thoughts on “Book Tag | Secret Life of a Book Blogger

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  1. I’ve wondered about how long it takes to produce a blog piece. Even at an hour or two, it’s less than I thought. Still, that’s a chunk of anyone’s day! Author features would be nice. It’s always good to hear how great writers work. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Boy, you lookin’ fly in that candid! Diggin’ those boots👍👍

    And ohhhh, I so get the trying-to-perfect-things habit, I thought I was just slow, so glad that ain’t true😁

    Thanks, Ben, for the blogging tips. Imma go join some fb groups. I didn’t take blogging srsly until a few months ago. Now I’m looking to see how I can expand and be a lil different😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, it’s always awesome getting to know a bit about other bloggers. I keep meaning to try the bookstagram thing. But after 15 minutes with no pretty pictures, I get frustrated and give up. So it’s nice to know everyone isn’t getting the perfect picture in under 5 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful answers for this tag, it was great to get to know your blogging adventure a bit more 🙂
    Blogging really is a time-consuming hobby, I never thought it would take so much time to do everything haha. I admire you so much for doing bookstagram as well, I could never handle it haha. It is very rewarding, though, and it’s awesome to be able to chat about books with people from all around the world, that’s definitely my favorite part of blogging as well 🙂
    You’re so right with your advice on “not being shy” and not afraid to put ourselves out there. I had the hardest time doing that when I started book blogging, but when I really got to it, well… it made me so much happier and I got to meet amazing bloggers that are now real friends as well. There’s nothing like feeling part of the community this way 🙂
    Thank you so much for tagging me!! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ahh thank you for the tag!! ❤ also love your answer on the author interview question?? can't wait until you interview SJM and all the fangirls arrive and i'm in your comments being bitter like "i was here before he was famous…….okay well he was pretty famous but still"

    Like

  6. You know Bentley, there’s one thing I still have not been able to get with blogging. I have not been able to get a regular following like you have. My social media on IG is doing decently but on my blog itself, there’s very little engagement. I notice on yours, here, you consistently receive comments and shares on every post. What steps have you taken to consistently get comments and shares?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Matt! Building a following on blog has mostly been luck for me. I’m not sure where all these people came from, but I’m very grateful for them. One thing I try to do across all social media platforms is ask a lot of open-ended questions to my followers, and then engage them in conversation about something that pertains to whatever it is I’ve posted.

      Like

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