Today I’m pleased to welcome Abbie to the blog to talk about her love of book blogging. I hope you’re still enjoying the series and finding some great new blogs to follow.
Abbie loves to read! Reading and books have always been a huge part of her life and it’s a passion she gets from her mum. her mum used to always read to her as a child, favourite books being The Chronicles of Narnia, The Secret Garden and Finn Family Moomintroll. She still has her childhood Mr Men and Paddington Bear books (they belong to Addie though as she got her Bs and Ds mixed up when writing her name in them!). It would be a huge treat to go with her mum to their local library and pick out books. She also has a thing for notebooks, and used to love spending time in WH Smiths!
She reads every day and feels bereft if she does not have a new book to read once she has finished her current one. She adores her Kindle for this and now has a stack of to be read books on there. She loves to discover new authors. She is pretty easy going when it comes to genres. As long as it is well written and either keeps her on the edge of her seat, speaks to her emotionally or makes her laugh, she is happy.
Welcome to the blog, thanks for stepping away from yours for a few minutes to answer some questions about book blogging.
We’ll start with the easy questions and then see where we go from there!
How long have you been book blogging and what prompted you to start?
I started blogging in May 2016 so I’m a newbie! I have always loved reading and had just started reviewing on Netgalley and Goodreads and the hubby suggested starting up a blog. I was a bit dubious I would be able to achieve it as I’m, let’s say, technically challenged! I only started using Twitter just before I started the blog! I liked the idea and thought ‘Why the hell not? May as well give it a go and see what happens.’ I originally started it as I thought it would be good to keep a record of all the books I read and what I thought of them (I’m terrible for trying to buy books on my Kindle to discover I already have it and have read it) and also hopefully share my love of the books I read and maybe encourage others to pick up and read some great books. I never for one minute thought that anybody would read my reviews and I have been amazed by the response.
Tell us a little bit about your blog, what will blog readers find there?
Bloomin’ Brilliant Books features reviews (pretty obviously really!) and a regular feature called Author Influences in which authors talk about the books that they love to read and the books that have had an impact on their lives/writing. I was intrigued as to what the authors themselves read and it evolved from there. I also take part in blog tours which can feature reviews, author guest posts and excerpts. This year I have embarked on a somewhat crazy challenge with Jen from Jen Med’s Book Reviews and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Reads to read a book set in every county in the UK. In total that’s 144 books! Due to the fact we are all busy we haven’t set a timescale. I have some ideas about future features for the blog but haven’t yet set the time aside to get them organised.
What’s your favourite part about book blogging?
My favourite parts are discovering new authors, I have been totally blown away by some of the debut novels I have read. The interaction with other bloggers, authors, publishers etc, and the support has been brilliant too. I also love the process of putting down my thoughts on books, although sometimes I tend to lack a bit of confidence in this especially when it comes to sharing with the rest of the world so to speak.
What has been your highlight since you’ve started?
I think it had to be the first time I saw one of my reviews quoted in an actual book, and it still gives me a huge buzz now. That and being embraced by my fellow book bloggers, authors and publishers.
If you could carry on blogging but could stop doing one thing (that’s maybe a necessary part of the process now) what would it be?
It would have to be the technical side. I live in fear of something going wrong with my blog and losing everything! I only recently dared to upgrade the blog to the newest version of WordPress and did it with my eyes half-closed and my fingers crossed as I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily it worked and I was able to breathe a big sigh of relief.
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting a book blog?
As tempting as it is don’t say yes to every review request that comes along! You will get very busy and your TBR pile quickly becomes ginormous!
Don’t be afraid to make contact with other bloggers. They are a lovely bunch and always happy to advise and help out.
Don’t get hung up on stats. Yes it’s nice to get high numbers of views but try not to concern yourself too much with it.
It’s YOUR blog so do it your way!
It will become all-consuming. Remember you don’t get paid for it so don’t get stressed. It is to be enjoyed.
How much time does it take up?
A lot!!!!! It takes up far more time than I ever imagined.
What are your reading habits like?
I like to read in bed. I often have trouble sleeping so it whiles away the hours when I can’t sleep. I have quite eclectic tastes and like to mix up genres hopping from crime, to literary fiction then to historical fiction. I have not been able to do this as much due to meeting blog tour dates, etc.
What state is your TBR (To Be Read) pile in?
Err pretty bloomin’ big! I haven’t read a book I have bought for ages and feel guilty that they are languishing on a shelf. I’m desperately trying to make a dent in it and am trying very hard to stay away from Netgalley and say no to get it into a more manageable state!
What do you drink while reading?
I love to drink Chai Lattes when reading and am also partial to a Mocha.
Where’s your favourite place to read?
Definitely in bed. It’s lovely being all cosy with a book.
What book would you recommend, that gets little attention, that you haven’t really seen talked about? And why, what is it about this book that you love?
We’ve Come To Take You Home by Susan Gandar. It’s wonderfully written and evoked a lot of emotion within me. It is only recently that I’m seeing this book getting the attention it deserves. Set in two time zones, one of which being during World War One, Susan has perfectly captured the time. It’s a really wonderful book.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these. It’s been a pleasure having you.
You can find Abbie on her Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Margot Kinberg says
Some very useful pieces of advice here, for which thanks. And I like that idea of ‘author influences’ – an interesting way to get to know an author. Thanks for sharing, both.
Sharon Clayton says
Your reading habits and TBR pile sounds exactly like mine, Abbie. I agree that staying away from NetGalley is a must if one needs to make their pile smaller. Also, I agree not to worry about stats. That hounded me many years ago when I started, but I really don’t pay attention any more and read my books for me.
A great book talk and I will see you in blogger land! 🙂