Book blogger survey conclusions

Hey hey hey! I’m alive!

But I totally just failed my 4-post-a-month goal. F-you, May.

I just started summer classes like 3 weeks ago (with literally no break between the end of spring semester), and the workload took some adjusting to. Then I took a brief little trip. So no blog action except for the 17 drafts I keep working on without actually posting. But I’m back with something cool!

So remember that time when I conducted a book blogger survey for one of my grad school classes? A HUGE thank-you to those who participated; I’m really proud of how my project and paper turned out, and I literally could not have done it without you!

I stated on the survey post that I would not be using the data for anything other than my project and that my professor, TA, and I would be the only ones looking at it. But I did get a lot of interest from people wanting to know what I found, so I decided to write up an overview of my observations from the survey without using any specific response information. I came up with a list of conclusions I made from the data and am happy to share them with you! I’ll go ahead and list my conclusions and then do a bit of musing about what these responses implicate.

Survey conclusions:

People start book blogging because:

  • They want to be part of a community/interact with others who like books
  • They want to share their love of books
  • They want to share their opinions on books
  • They saw or knew others doing it

People connect with other bloggers primarily by:

  • Reading and commenting on each other’s posts
  • Interacting on social media – especially Twitter

People’s favorite things about book blogging are:

  • The community
  • Discussion
  • Finding new books

People’s least favorite things about blogging are:

  • How time-consuming it is
  • Pressure: to blog with consistency and originality, to read the right books, and to read a lot of books

Blogging changed reading habits by:

  • Making people think more critically about what they read
  • Making people read different genres out of their comfort zone
  • Making people read more in general

The most popular types of posts are:

  • Reviews
  • Discussion posts
  • Tags

People decide to review a book based on:

  • How much they feel they have to say about it
    • Most people don’t review every book they read

Bloggers read and review lots of:

  • YA
  • Fantasy/sci-fi
  • Contemporary fiction

Bloggers read but don’t often review:

  • Classics
  • Nonfiction
  • Romance

Things that are very important to book bloggers are:

  • Personal expression
  • Interacting with other bloggers

Things that are somewhat important to book bloggers are:

  • Discovering new books
  • Intellectual stimulation

Things that are not very important to book bloggers are:

  • Receiving ARCS
  • Professional opportunities/resume building

Other conclusions:

  • Bloggers are more likely to comment when they agree with a post than when they disagree
  • Bloggers see positive comments often, respectful disagreements once in a while, and hateful comments rarely
  • Book bloggers rarely blog about controversial topics
  • They post positive reviews more often than negative reviews
  • They generally do not feel they have to blog in a certain way or read certain books to fit in with the community
  • They occasionally get tired of seeing the same books being blogged about
  • They sometimes decide what to read based off of what’s being blogged about

My reflections

So this survey doesn’t exactly have a great sample size (50 respondents), and the vast majority of the respondents are my followers who mostly blog on WordPress and mostly have similar reading tastes as me. So one must take these survey results with that information in mind – the results aren’t quite representative of the enormous number and diversity of book bloggers on the internet.

However, as you will probably agree, many of the results are unsurprising and confirm notions that I have expressed and have seen others express in posts regarding book blogging and book bloggers. We are generally a friendly and supportive bunch, but perhaps to a fault – we don’t post as many negative reviews and we certainly stay away from controversial topics. We comment when we agree more often than when we disagree. This is something I’ve blogged about before and I think we could use a good helping of respectful disagreements to make us a more, well, interesting and engaging community. However, I’d much rather be a friendly and supportive community (albeit overly polite) than one with lots of hate and/or drama and/or trolling, which I’ve never seen (though that doesn’t mean it never happens).

I’m also not surprised to see people reading things like children’s lit and nonfiction and classics but not posting about them. I myself get tired of seeing the same books over and over again on my feed, and I love it when I see classics or children’s lit or nonfiction pop up. However, it seems people have also started to read outside of their comfort zones and read more critically because of book blogging. So there’s always a pro to balance out the con.

Overall, I got a sense that blogging can be a stressful activity; keeping up with posting and reading and commenting is time-consuming, as we all know. But the benefits far outweigh the stresses that come with it. We started because we love books and want to share that love with others (my essay was actually all about reading as a social activity through the lens of book blogging). Whatever annoyances we feel from the pressure or the community are small compared to how much we love it. I know that’s how I feel.

So what do you think? Anything surprising, or was it pretty much as expected? What other things have you noticed that I might not have pointed out?

Thanks for reading, and thanks again if you were a survey participant!

Alice in Wonderland curtsey

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25 thoughts on “Book blogger survey conclusions

  1. Rachael says:

    I thought it was surprising that the people who did your survey read romance but often didn’t review it. I see a bunch of bloggers who regularly review romance books and from what I understand, romance is the genre that sells the most books overall. (I could be wrong about that, though. The last stats I’ve seen came out in the early 2000’s.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vijayalakshmi Harish says:

    What a wonderful survey! I’m sorry I missed participating.
    Most of the results are what I would expect, as I experience a lot of this myself. One thing that did surprise me though is that ‘Discovering new books’, wasn’t in the ‘very important’ category as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. majoringinliterature says:

    This is such an interesting topic to research! Your reflections are really great – I do agree that while book blogging can be time-consuming, most book bloggers still find that the pros outweigh the cons. It’s nice to see that as a community what we care about are interaction and personal expression.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Mundane Teenage Life says:

    I didn’t know about this survey or I definitely wouldn’t taken part. I’ve been considering opening accounts across multiple social platforms for the blog for quite some time, but was slightly hesitant. I think it’d be lovely to connect with others so I might just open a Twitter account. Excellent Survey summary!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. grace kim says:

    Life gets the better of us, but I’m so glad that you’re back! This survey gives such excellent insight as to the reasons people blog. Some of the answers were unexpected but important to note. Although blogging is time consuming, the pro’s definitely outweigh the cons!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jane the Raincity Librarian says:

    I tend to follow book blogs for professional development rather than for personal interest, so I look more for children’s lit book blogs that assess books from a literacy perspective and provide ideas for using them in programs or in the classroom. So, I tend to pretty much only review kids book reviews! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emily | Rose Read says:

      Nice! Yes, that totally makes sense! I wonder once I’m a *real* librarian how my blogging habits will change – I expect I’ll have 2 separate worlds, one professional, and this one that I’ve been on for a long time.

      Like

  7. Ravenclaw Book Club says:

    I get genuinely annoyed when everyone I follow is reading the same book 😅 But I think that’s mostly because I don’t read new books very often. I usually stick to books I can find second-hand copies of, and those tend to be a few years old.
    I’m happy the survey went so well! The results in general seem interesting. x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. @hell4heather says:

    Hi Rose, you have a beautiful website and I love your very well thought out reviews! Now following! Good luck with the summer course. I was just wondering, would you like any author interviews to keep your site alive while you’re up to your neck in other work? Happy to do one for you. You can contact me anytime at hell4heather@gmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

  9. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    ooh I really liked hearing your findings!! I agree that a lot of this is unsurprising, but it was still interesting to read about. Though I love how genuinely warm the WP community is, I do wish there was a bit more debate (I *loved* your post about that when you did it), but it doesn’t surprise me that there is so little of it, because in my experience book bloggers tend to avoid commenting on posts they disagree with. Personally, I think one of the only things we can do to improve that is to speak about more “out there” topics and try and encourage people to respond even if (/especially if) they disagree (not that I have so much success when I try this, but maybe it would be a start 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

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