For some strange reason, when I first started blogging, I had it in my head that in order to be a book blogger, I could only review popular books or brand-new-2017 book releases.
There were several problems with this approach: 1) I felt like a lot of my enjoyment was taken out of reading, because if I couldn’t review a book on my blog because no one else cared about it, then that took away valuable time that could be used to read books I could use to produce more content. 2) I felt like I had to choose between brand new releases that sounded good and were relevant and older or less popular releases that sounded like something I would fall in love with. 3) I was focused too much on making my blog “relevant,” instead of making it something I would enjoy writing and being proud of.
But I LIKE reading older or less popular books! And I LIKE reading newer books! In fact, my very favorite author (insert casually self-promoted reviews here and heeere) is not well known at all, but her books are absolutely brilliant. And once I decided it was okay to review books that aren’t popular, or that were published one or two or ten years ago, blogging became a lot more fun! And so did reading, because I got more excited about sharing books I love, regardless of whether or not they were in the book blogging community’s “spotlight.”
But of course, reviewing older or lesser-known books as opposed to hyped ARCs and popular recent releases has its downfalls. It seems like a lot of people read reviews to decide whether or not they should read the book that everyone is talking about, which is usually the hottest new release. I definitely find myself gravitating towards those reviews, because I’m always curious as to whether or not the hyped books are good or not. And it’s exciting to be in the know, and read all the books everyone else is reading and gushing about. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find myself caught up in the buzz of hyped new releases, and reading other books is just less exciting. For me, that feeling comes for several reasons: 1) It’s fun to fangirl over the same books as everyone else! 2) There are always sooo many exciting new releases and only so many hours in a day, and sacrifices, usually the lesser-known books that no one else cares about, must be made.
But here’s the thing: Sometimes the blogging community feels like a bit of an echochamber, with everyone buzzing about the same books and the same authors. Would it be so bad to get really excited over books that are not new and hyped? Or books by not authors that are not well-known?
I, for one, think it’s fun to find out which books people just really love, whether it’s popular or not! And it’s always fun to stumble across a random book that you might otherwise never have heard of. I personally also think it’s fun to be different from the rest of the blogs once in a while. But it’s also fun to get excited with everyone else about the newest release!
So here’s my opinion: Read and review what you want, whether that is a random, wonderful book you love or a popular new release you fell head over heels for, and you’ll find your audience. Maybe your audience will appreciate the books you talk about! Or maybe sometimes they won’t and your stats will go down, which is definitely frustrating, but if you are having fun, that’s what’s most important.
What are your thoughts? Do you sometimes get the “echochamber” feeling? Do you prefer reading and reviewing older or newer releases? Do you prefer reading and reviewing popular or less popular books? Which reviews do you prefer reading?