How to start a bookblog?


Reading about books: it’s almost as wonderful as reading books themselves. Flow’s Quirine explains why she loves book blogs so much — and even writes one herself.

There are only a few people in my life who love to read, so I’m rarely able to talk about the books I’m currently reading. Which is why I really like book blogs so much: it’s like you’re chatting to a friend about everything you want to read or have read. Because the good thing about books is that everyone interprets the stories differently: what I might think is great, someone else might not — and vice versa.

That’s why I always like to read some reviews after I have finished a book. Do others share my opinion or do they have a completely different view? Have they perhaps seen things in the story that I myself have overlooked or missed? What’s more, book blogs are very useful when it comes to discovering new favorites: other readers often come across books that you might not cross paths with. And, even better, they have also already ‘inspected’ the book for you, so you can easily judge if it is something for you.

An online reading diary

After reading book blogs for years, I decided to start one myself. By having my own book blog, I could combine my two biggest hobbies: reading and writing (the latter of which I wanted to improve a bit more). I also found it a shame that there weren’t that many Dutch-speaking bloggers who wrote about my favorite genre: literary fiction.

After finishing a book, I like to write down what I thought of it. It’s a nice way to organize my opinions and to look back at later: kind of like a reading diary. But I do find it difficult to stick to: after I have finished reading a book, I want to move on to the next. And with work and my studies also in the mix, writing a book review tends to get pushed down the list and after a while, they add up. But I suppose that, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter: I’m writing these reviews on my book blog mainly for myself and the fact that someone else will read it and hopefully benefit from it is an added bonus.

Tips & ideas

If you’d like to start writing a book blog, here are a few tips I found useful:

  • Before you start, think carefully about which genres you find most interesting and state them on your blog. It provides clarity for visitors, and enables other enthusiasts of your chosen genre(s) to find your blog easier.
  • Do not start a blog in the hope of receiving all kinds of free books, especially in your first week. I recommend posting regular reviews for half a year before contacting a publisher. And even then, do so in moderation: only request review copies of books that really interest you.
  • Have a page with an overview of all the reviews that you have written. Put this list in alphabetical order of author or title. This means that visitors who are looking for a specific book can find the right review quickly and easily.
  • Take your own photos to accompany your reviews (although that is more difficult with an e-book of course). A photo you took yourself is always more personal than a picture of the cover you found on Google.
  • Link your blog to social media: this makes it easier for people to follow you and stay up-to-date with all your latest reviews.
  • And finally: carefully check everything you post. Naturally, this applies to every type of blog, but a review full of spelling and grammatical errors is really unpleasant to read. *In another blog, Quirine talks about Bookstagram, and gives a number of tips on how to get the most beautiful picture of your books.

Text and photography Quirine Brouwer