Tuesday 11 October 2016

Once More Unto The Bookstore (or, how I accidentally ended up with a book blog)

I've always loved books. I started with my mother's Enid Blyton collection and some great big books of fairy tales from the 1920s/30s, which I originally believed had belonged to my father but now I think they were probably my grandmother's. (You can read more about the books which influenced me as a writer here.)

I devoured every book I could find, some quite unsuitable for my age; I read Shirley Conran and Jackie Collins while I was still at school. On one occasion I remember borrowing a book from the school library and taking it back the next day, and the teacher refusing to believe I could have possibly read it so quickly. I felt quite offended!

Of course the thing about reading a good book is that I immediately want to tell everyone about it - how great it was and why they really should read it themselves right now. Although the drawback to that is I'd end up having to loan out my own precious copy and, as you know, I've never been great at sharing. The other drawback is that most of the people I know in real life don't read the kind of books I like. So here I am, reading all these great books and having no one to tell ...

During the summer one of my Twitter friends, Terry Tyler, told me about her idea to encourage people who would not normally write a book review to post one on Amazon. You didn't need your own book blog, or be any kind of professional or regular reviewer, to take part. To help spread the word, the reviews were hashtagged on Twitter as #August Reviews and promoted by other book bloggers, including Rosie Amber. And I gave Terry a whole load of reasons why I couldn't take part:

(1) I'm a writer.
(2) I know too many other writers. 
(3) I could never give another writer a one star review (which I might be likely to do, as I'm far too honest for my own good).
(4) I've never been able to get on with Goodreads.
(5) I love reading books and having to write a review afterwards would be too much like doing homework.

Ironically, last month I needed to teach myself Wordpress for another project. I had to set up a new blog and blog about something. What could I blog about? Books, obviously!

September turned into October and I went through my Kindle to dig out all the spooky books I could find, intending to read them in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Mainly because I have a really bad habit of downloading cheap and free books, and then not reading them. (Any author reading this, and thinking of running a free promotion, bear that in mind - people are more like to read your book if they've paid for it!) 

As I read each book I wrote a review - and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. When the Wordpress project came to an end I was loathe to let my new blog go. So I moved it over to Blogger and carried on for a bit, just to see if I could.

If you want to check out the new blog, it's called Once More Unto The Bookstore. I'm only reviewing books I've enjoyed and that I've bought myself, because I'm a writer not a book blogger. If you're interested to know what I'm reading, I'd love to see you over there. And if not, this blog will still carry on as usual with me talking about myself.

Some things never change.

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Images Copyright: Shutterstock (girl reading) and Fotolia (book)