I’m delighted to host Andrea Johnson for her guestpost on “I blog to share the joy”. Andrea blogs at https://littleredreviewer.wordpress.com and is currently running a kickstarter for a print book of The Best of Little Red Reviewer. Book blogs are my favourite sort of blog, so I’m glad that Andrea has chosen to talk about the reasons behind her blog...
Why do I blog about books?
Well, because I love science fiction and fantasy stories, and I love talking about them!
And that’s a total cop out answer. I do love reading and talking about science fiction and fantasy, and I do love talking about them, but what I really love is how different stories have had an impact on me, how books have changed how I think about things, and how a book can be completely different when I go back to read it again. A love for books has helped me become the person I am, and helped me find other book lovers. I’ve gotten lost in books. And I’ve found myself in them.
When my husband and I got our first apartment, we had to merge our libraries. Between the two of us, we had four copies of the same very obscure science fiction book. I believe we had three copies of another slightly less obscure science fiction book.
My blog, The Little Red Reviewer, has been through quite the journey.
At first, writing reviews was just to help me remember what books I’d read, and what I enjoyed about those books. I read books off my bookshelf, books from the library, ratty paperbacks from used bookstores, books I borrowed from friends. Like everything in my life, I had no plans or goals for the blog. I wanted to write down some notes of books I’d read, and I wanted to write better quality reviews. Practice makes perfect, or something.
My reviews did get better. Even better than posting reviews and getting more confident in my writing was the connections I was able to make in the blogosphere. These connections were a wonderful surprise! I connected with a million bloggers, had bloggy BFFs, joined read alongs, started read alongs, chatted with publicists on twitter, chatted with authors on twitter (and then died of squeee), became a contributor at SFSignal, got connected with Apex Magazine, had one or two book reviews blurbed on books, and did a ton of other amazing things.
And all I was doing, all that time, was writing book reviews, trying to write better quality book reviews, and talking with people about books they liked hoping to get recommendations for books that I might like.
Blogging is a blast, it’s just as fun now as it was when I first started. I love having my own little corner of the internet where I way whatever I want to say, however I want to say it. I can paint the walls a different color if I want, I can change topics whenever I want, I can be as public or as private as I want. If I want to talk about nothing but Doctor Who for six months, I can. If I don’t ever want to talk about Star Wars again, I don’t have to.
Through blogging, I’ve found a friendly and supportive circle of friends and acquaintances. Sure, there’s some (ok a LOT of) drama in the blogosphere, but when it comes down to it, we’re all here for the same reason – we all love reading. Reading has brought joy into our lives, and we want to share that joy. We’re all on the same team.
If my blog helps you find your new favorite book, or maybe it’s a book that’s older than you are that you’ve never heard of, or maybe you’re reading your first ever science fiction book because of something you read on my site, then I’ve successfully infected you with joy and my work here is done.
The Little Red Reviewer is eight years old. I’ve posted over 400 reviews. If you’ve looked through my review index lately, you’ve seen it’s impossible to know where to start. What books were my favorite? What books had the largest impact on me? What reviews am I most proud of? That’s why I’m kickstarting The Best of Little Red Reviewer, a volume of my best work. This book will show you who I am as a reviewer, and it will show that online reviews have value outside the internet.
Thanks to Andrea for the guest post and I hope her kickstarter is a huge success. It is open right now and runs until
31st January. If you want to get a feel for her style of blogging why not check out all the interviews and guest posts she has done to help get the word out about this project. And if you like it, and why wouldn’t you?, then back it