Dilemmas of a Book Blogger

This week’s writing prompt says, ‘Describe a time when you faced a dilemma and how did you deal with it?’ I started blogging a couple of years ago and now, out there is my book blog established with a niche audience. But when I introduce myself as a book blogger, I feel a certain dilemma on how I should define my writing or the nitty-gritties of blogging about books. So this post had to be about the dilemmas of a book blogger.

Dilemma 1: To Review or Not to Review

I receive many emails each day from new authors, indie authors, and publishers with review requests. I am very clear inside my head about the kind of books that I love to read yet I feel sad whenever I decline a review request. Most of the time, the request is from a newly self-published author and I genuinely support the independent authors but there is a limitation. Sometimes the thin line between a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ is simply about the time at hand.   

Dilemma 2: Should I finish the long list of ARCs or read the other book that I really want to read?

I think every book blogger has a mountain of ARCs awaiting them, either in paperback or digital format. Well, you would say a book blogger is one who loves to read but the dilemma is would you read what you love to or would you read to recommend someone on what to read? I try to balance between reading the books that I really want to read and the ones I receive for review.

Dilemma 3: Reflecting on my Reading Goals

Most of us begin the year with a reading resolution. I do that too and somewhere around the first quarter begin to regret not being able to reach the set targets. At the beginning of the year, there is a clear defined TBR but then new books based on recommendations and review copies just add up. The TBR goes for a toss and while looking at my reading goals, I am not sure if I could even get done with re-reading one classic.  

Well, I can weigh down this year’s low achievement on the pandemic but then that would just be an excuse. Have I become a slow reader during the pandemic year is the new dilemma that constantly struggle with.

Dilemma 4: Should I rather be Reading than Writing?

Am I writing more than reading? Yes, dilemma number 3 takes me to dilemma 4 because if I am not achieving my reading goals then I should concentrate on reading more than writing. This takes me to another dilemma…how often have I posted on my blog this year or submitted my writings to journals and magazines. Perhaps one should define the optimal level of reading and writing for a book blogger!

Dilemma 5: After posting every Book Review

While reading the book, I keep notes or highlight the best sections. In my head, there is a strong narrative stating how the book has worked or not worked. The problem arises once I begin drafting the review and by the end of it, I feel as if the tone has become either too strong and a bit mild. If I mellow down on the negative ends, I feel bad for the book that read better but was rated less by me previously.

Dilemma 6: Should I buy books online or visit the bookstore?

A book blogger hoards up books and that means buying, collecting, borrowing, and receiving ARCs. When I am online looking for books to buy, I am thrilled with the discount options but then I regret missing out on visiting the bookstores. The experience of physically holding a paperback, collecting them in a bag, and reaching the counter is simply divine. But then…you pay more! Dilemma, dilemma.

Dilemma 7: Tackling the ‘Did Not Finish’ Shelf

I guess you don’t need to be a book blogger to suffer from this dilemma. Any book lover would understand the difficulty in putting down a book. Earlier I was someone who once committed to a book ensured to read it cover to cover. I am a changed person now and deal with the dilemma of choosing to either continue with the drudgery of reading an uninteresting book or to shelf it.  

Dilemma 8: While Recommending a Book to Someone

There are good books and bad books but that is purely based on my liking. For a review, I turn into this impartial reviewer (or at least try to when I write) but recommending a book to a friend or a relative is loaded with emotions. And, at times I regret the way I summarise or pitch a book to someone as if I just made the book less appealing or over rated the book or gave away too much of the plot in my enthusiasm.

Dilemma 9: Promoting the post on Social Media

Hashtags confuse me…it is hard to learn how the world of hashtags work! I am always in a dilemma on how to frame an appealing tweet with proper hashtags and tag everyone to promote a review. Always wondering if there was a glitch with the way I composed the picture that now shows smaller or with some error when I share on social media.

Dilemma 10: Book or the Movie

The ultimate dilemma to deal with is – book or the movie. I do give in at times to the temptation and then regret the fact that I loved a movie so much that I missed out on an incredible book. I still hate myself for watching ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes. Even while watching ‘Mrs Dalloway’, I kept telling myself I can read Virginia Woolf. ‘To the Lighthouse’ was an uphill task but I should read her once more!


A dilemma that bugs me every time I am reading is to either use the highlighter or mark the important pages or write the best lines immediately on a piece of paper. This dilemma has made me buy a variety of highlighters and a couple of journals of varying sizes. Yet, it is dilemmatic when I am with a book and come across a brilliantly written line.

Now that I have finished writing the post on this prompt, I am in a dilemma if I should actually go ahead and publish it or should simply press the delete button.

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’ 

12 thoughts on “Dilemmas of a Book Blogger

  1. Hey Ninu, there are so many dilemmas when you pick a book. Well, that’s with every book lover I guess.
    For the part, whether to choose a book or movie, I feel both have a different impact. I read Twilight first and then saw the movie. I enjoyed watching it so much because I loved how the author described a particular scene and now it’s beautifully taking life in front of me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you could identify with these dilemmas. I have not read Twilight and probably watched one movie…forgot which one from the series. But yeah, it is always amazing to read a book and then see how a movie maker visualized it. Thank you so much, Geethica

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  2. Whoever thinks being a book blogger is easy should read this post! I am constantly swinging between should I read or should I write. And I tried making a TBR for quarter 1 and I quickly realized its not going to work because I’m a mood reader.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. An interesting post, Nina. I can appreciate all the dilemmas you face as a book blogger. With all the reading and book reviews that you do, I’m surprised that you have any time to work on your own writing projects. Thanks for also promoting the works of indie authors.

    Like

    • I am really glad you liked the post. Well, I try to accommodate as many books by indie authors as possible but sometimes its way too much to handle.
      Thank you so much for visiting!

      Like

  4. Hello Ninu,
    Thanks for visiting my site. I don’t consider myself a book blogger. I’m not certain I should consider myself at all, but your catalog of dilemnas rang oh, so familiar. I accessed your site merely to thank for for marking you approval on mine, but I’ll be sure to check in on your site now that I see the quality product you are creating. I too have a niche audience of about the size of yours (does that make us Nietzsches?).
    Very best,
    Don

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a great site and you create such detailed work! I came across your site when I was reading Dubliners by Joyce, so am happy that you visited my site and liked it. Thank you so much.

      Like

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