Last Sunday was my second-year blog anniversary! So, I decided to look back on my book blogging experience and share some thoughts about it. To be honest, when I first started blogging, I wasn’t 100% sure about what I was doing and had no real expectations. I had written content for websites before (just not about books) and had tried to start a travel blog some years previously (which was quite silly, seeing that unfortunately I don’t really travel that much), thus I knew my way around content management systems. But what was I going to write about?
At the time, I was watching loads of BookTube videos and had just started reading some book reviews. That made me want to discuss the books I was reading with other people. But, as my friends are not massive readers, I couldn’t really do that in real life on a regular basis. It was then that I decided to start this blog! Some months before I had read The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton and had some thoughts to share. So, my earliest post was a review of that book, when probably it would have been wiser to write an introductory post first.
Before writing that review, I came up with a kind of structure for the blog. I wrote an ‘about’ page and established a set of categories that I thought encompassed the types of posts I was planning to write – reviews, favourites and author spotlights. Soon I realised that I needed a new category which embodied features on a variety of subjects that didn’t fit in with the other ones. It was then born the ‘other bookish content’ category. After that, I also started doing book hauls and, more recently, have introduced a new category focusing on bookish places.
When I first started visiting book blogs, I read mostly reviews. Thus, I didn’t have a wide-ranging knowledge about the types of content being created by the community. I now know what weekly and monthly memes are, for example, although I have chosen not to take part in them. There’s no special reason why I don’t, besides not having the desire to do so and already being used to write about topics that cross my mind at any given moment. I’ve done a couple of tags, but they are not part of my usual content either. These are just my preferences. I am in no way criticising bloggers who do memes and tags. I really like to read them!
The best thing about maintaining this blog, so far, has been discussing books with fantastic people from all over the world. One of the reasons for that is having chosen to write the blog in English, instead of Portuguese (my first language). I made that decision, because I wanted to continue to practise the language and the majority of the books I was reading were written in English. If I sometimes butcher it, I whole-heartedly apologise. I try really hard not to!
So far, all of the books that I’ve mentioned and reviewed were either bought with my own money or were gifted to me by family and friends. I haven’t received any books from publishers yet, and neither have I asked for them. I have nothing against it, quite the opposite. I just don’t really read books in digital form, so having a NetGalley account is not an option, and I don’t think I have enough views that justify asking a publisher to ship me a physical copy to Portugal.
Having a massive number of followers was never my main purpose. But I’m glad that an increasing number of you have been willing to take the time to read, comment and like my posts. You are one of the reasons why A Bag Full of Stories is now two years old!