Part of my daily routine is reading book blogs. First I watch the news and read the paper, and then go for the book blogs, I do that every morning. The other day I visited The Romance Reader and realized that I haven’t been there in months, and I couldn’t believe that I had been neglecting the first book blog I ever read. So I started thinking about the good old days where sites like TRR where my only contact with the book world.
This post is not about why I became a book blogger but about the blogs that introduced me to some of my favorite books and made me fall in love with the community.
When I first discovered the genre I was clueless. I barely knew how to use Amazon and I didn’t know there was such a thing as blogs. So at first I got all my recs from Amazon and the “costumers who bought this item also bought” carrousel and a site called AllReaders.com that was very helpful because it had book synopsis, including details like setting, percentage of violence, and my personal favorite: sex and type of sex (the first time I read that a book had “male nudity” and “the big P” I was pleasantly surprised and bought it immediately, sigh, I was easy to please back in the day, and by “back in the day” I mean now). I was so clueless that I used that site to buy backlists, the first time I read a Nora Roberts book I went to Allreaders, clicked on her name and went through that whole list, same with Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux, Johanna Lindsey, Judith McNaught (yes, I went through a “J” phase) and a bunch of other authors that I latter found out where a big deal. I’m talking about this site as if it’s an obscure and unknown place and I’m sure I’m wrong, but I never see it mentioned so I wonder if I’m the only one who uses it.
Once I became more proficient in the art of “Googling”, I discovered that by typing Author + Title+ Review, I could be redirected to websites dedicated to discussing books in a much more interesting way than AllReaders, because there were actual opinions and recommendations. That’s when I discovered The Romance Reader, and what a difference that site made. Now the “Big P” wasn’t enough to keep me happy, this site introduced me to actual reviews that, in my mind, where more reliable than those in Amazon, because if you have your own site you must know what you’re talking about, right? Right? Yes, I was young and impressionable, and did I mention clueless?
Soon after, I found a site called All About Romance, this one also had reviews, but I never truly became a fan mostly because I couldn’t figure out how it worked, and even today I’m just an occasional visitor. Again, I didn’t know anything about the Romance community, so I didn’t have a clue as to how big these sites were. One thing I learned here, though, was that there was a lot of webmaster/reader interaction, and that the people behind those sites where regular people like me.
The last blog I discovered, and one I still regularly visit and its part of my daily routine, was Dear Author. I like that blog because of the reviews, but also because of the discussions. Due to its format, I noticed that it was a very dynamic place fit for great chat and debate. Lots of drama as well, and who doesn’t love good drama?
Now I know all about blogs and more recently (two or three years ago) I discovered blogs like Smexy Books, The Book Pushers and Fiction Vixen among others. Blogs that have their own unique style and content that make them interesting and worth following. These sites are particularly useful to find new books, something I’m grateful for since Allreaders covered backlists and old school authors and I need more.
Then I became a blogger and the rest you already know, including how I found awesome blogs and bloggers that I’ve come to admire and call friends, and that make reading books a whole new experience that has nothing to do with how it was when I read my first Romance.
And before you ask, I’ve been reading Romance for over 12 years, I know I make it sound as if I’m really old, but I’m not. I was just really, really clueless and I didn’t have anyone to guide me through it and tell me what to read first. I was lucky enough to discover old-school Romances first, I haven’t read them all, but I can tell the difference between now and then, and I appreciate and notice how far the genre has come.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Which was the first book blog/review site you ever read? Do you have a favorite blog you visit regularly? Is there a blog you used to read but no longer caters to your interests? If you’re a blogger, is there a blog that inspired you to create your blog? Are you familiar with any of the sites I mention? If you started reading Romance before there were blogs, how did you discover new books? Am I asking too many questions?
|I know this picture has nothing to do |
with the post but it was too funny not to use.