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Oh to be a book blogger like the lovely girls from Compelling Reads

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Ink Stains


Oh to have time to be a book blogger….. *sigh*…… It’s something I would love to be able to do and something I might be able to do if I wasn’t a serial bookworm who barely draws a breath between books. I do dabble in book reviews on the likes of Goodreads from time to time and maybe someday I will get into actually blogging properly about books.

But recently here at Writing.ie we had the chance to meet with two lovely girls (that’s a bit Fr Ted’ish) who do just that – they are fabulous book bloggers at compellingreads.co.uk. Let’s meet them and hear about how they got into book blogging.


One of the most common questions I get asked as a book blogger is how did I get into blogging? For me I was lucky enough to be asked by a fellow blogger to help review for their blog, I was fairly new to blogging and Twitter at that point and so I found it an excellent starting point, it is certainly where my love of blogging blossomed. After months of hearing me talking about book blogging and constantly changing my mind over whether or not to start my own blog, my husband finally had enough.

I woke up one Sunday morning in January 2014 after a rare lie in (my husband had got up with the children) to find I had a website, Twitter account and email address. Luckily for me, my husband builds and designs websites and so a great deal of thought and detail had gone in to building me a blog of my own. I was bowled over by the work he had put in to surprise me with this incredible blog.
Then the enormity of it all hit me: How on earth would I manage this all by myself? I have a full time job as a nurse, although at the time I was on maternity leave, and had two small children. That was when I thought of Amy………. the rest we can say is history…..
Amy is the one who keeps the blog ticking over when my long working hours and the children’s busy social lives get in the way of blogging and reading. I honestly could not ask for a better blogging partner 🙂
compelling reads
Amy and Kelly from compellingreads.co.uk


As a huge bookworm I jumped at the chance of helping Kelly with her blog when she invited me at the beginning of 2014.  Little did I know just what I let myself in for…..

The most common question I get asked by anyone when I tell them I’m a blogger is when do you find the time to read?  I’ve always made time for reading, whether it was in the evenings or at weekends, but mostly I do my reading on my journey to and from work – it’s nice to sit on the train with a book, tune out the rest of the carriage and be immersed in my imagination for a little while.

There are huge positives to being a book blogger, the biggest being the opportunity of being one of the first people to read some amazing books – both from established authors and from debut authors that I may not necessarily have come across if I were just browsing a book store.  And then there are the invites to book launches and book events where we actually get to meet the authors of the amazing book we just read, get a photo, a book signed and even be ‘online friends’.

It’s been great to see just how enthusiastic publishers and authors are about book blogging and how much they appreciate it when we review their book. For me, reading the book is a highlight in itself but to then get a thank you from the author is an added bonus that always makes my day.

We’re getting emails all the time from authors, publishers and PR people offering us so many books that we can hardly keep up with what’s coming and that’s on top of the mystery books that arrive as well.  My ‘to be read’ pile is constantly growing and seems to grow larger rather than smaller, so this one of the ‘struggles’ of book blogging.  You have to bear in mind that for us blogging is a hobby – we both have full time jobs – mine in Customer Service 9 – 5, five days a week so I have to fit in all my reading around this.

When we first started the blog we had no idea just how many books we’d be offered so we would generally say yes to reading most books offered, but then things snowballed and now we have to be a bit more selective about just what to say yes to.  Even then some of the no’s still appear in the post (they’re lingering in the ‘to be read’ pile somewhere).  Our blog doesn’t cover a specific book genre so we’re lucky in that we can choose from such a range of books, I will generally choose books from authors I’ve liked before or a captivating blurb.

With so many books working out just what to read first can be a challenge.  If I’ve agreed to take part in a blog tour I will usually make that book my next read so I know it’s read and reviewed and scheduled on the blog for the day of the tour (I find it vital to keep a note of all the dates to avoid missing any deadlines, there’s nothing worse than having to speed read a book to have it read in time, I just can’t enjoy a book that way).  After the deadlines I’ll choose from my growing pile – I’ll usually have 2 or 3 books that I’m itching to read that will take precedence.

I’ve found the whole experience of blogging so far a wonderful experience, despite the ‘struggle’ of so many books, for me there is no better decision to mull over then what book I get to read next.  I’ve discovered so many fantastic stories and authors and I’m hoping to find many more as our blog grows.


I told you they were lovely girls! Now if you want to keep up with their blog or if you want to get in touch with them then here are the details you will need.

Website http://compellingreads.co.uk

Twitter @compellingreads

Email compellingreads@gmail.com

As for me…….well for the moment I am like a reader who has been interrupted by the Leaving Cert exams but, I will find my way back to non-school books very soon.

Emma 🙂

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