Why Should I Do It? A Book Geek Confesses!

One of the things that never cease to amaze me is that if you put an email somewhere for the world to see, someone is going to send you something that’s a little bit abusive. However in this case the person, who for the purpose of this blog be renamed ‘Delightful, from Bitter’, did bring up a question that people might genuinely be asking although not in the words “what on earth gives you the right to dictate to people what they should and shouldn’t read, what qualifications do you have to be a book reviewer” alongside some other bile. It is true though, why do I feel I should be doing this, what gives me the right?

Firstly of course is the fact that I review books for magazines as well as some other publications both straight and gay. So over the last couple of years I have been doing this a lot. Secondly I am also gay which in this particular instance of finding a ‘Great Gay Read’ helps, though I review straight books and I don’t think being gay affects my judgement of those. I know the publishing industry and have contacts within publishers which helps.

Thirdly and for me most importantly, I LOVE BOOKS! I read A LOT, new books, second hand books, fiction, non-fiction, any genre the works. I am a self confessed book geek whose house resembles a mixture of Waterstones and a library/second hand book shop. I always have one on the go and by them in bulk. I also do a book blog that has gone from strength to strength with good feedback from publishers and some of the top book bloggers in the UK. I am a member of three book groups. If I see someone clearly engrossed in a book on the tube I will endeavour to find out at whatever cost who that book is by and what it’s called.

Fourthly, no one else is doing this at the moment. Well not as far as I know and I have researched this. After my research on the amount of gay books out there it is no meant feet. I am not being paid by any publisher to think one way other the other. There aren’t that many resources out there for those of us who want to read gay fiction through the ages and so I thought I would try explore that.

Fifthly and finally, this is a project of love. I am not getting paid to do this, I am not getting paid for the time it takes to read the books, review the books, blog about the books interview any authors etc etc. If certain books are now out of print I will be buying those books myself from my own pocket. Yes I will be getting a piece out at the end of it for work but thats months and months and months away. I am simply doing it because I want to. Moving on…

So next question, do you have to have qualifications to be a book reviewer? The simple answer is no, though it does help if you can read and like books. Also if you are a reviewer of books for a living you’re not going to keep your job if you’re not good at it or people wont come back to your blog/site etc. No I haven’t written a book (yet) but then neither have most literary editors. Will my opinion be the correct one at all times? No, my opinion is only my opinion but I will review the books on here with a fair open (and often blunt) mind. Everyone has an opinion on things and they all differ but after anyone reads a book they review it whether to themselves or two others. I have also stated that I do want to hear from everyone out there in the land of the internet, your thoughts on books suggestions and the like. Hence why I added the email address on this blog that ‘Delightful, from Bitter’ contacted me via. Here it is again for those of you who want to get in touch greatgayreads@googlemail.com

On a plus side ‘Delightful, from Bitter’ has given me something to blog about. Plus the knowledge that without me having publicised the blog or even got it all finished with the look and feel I want people have found it are reading it and clearly reacting to it. Which really is all good with me.


~ by greatgayreads on January 7, 2009.

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