BBAW: Book Blog Readers Award Finalists!

September 15, 2008 at 10:25 am | Posted in Books | 21 Comments

Last week I announced the contest just for book blog readers.  It was a huge success!  I received over 50 emails in addition to those who participated in the comments.  It was a lot of fun getting all that email, but it was so hard to narrow down all the entries to just 10.  They were all so wonderful.  So, after reading and re-reading all of the entries many times over the weekend, I came up wih the list of 10 entries to send to Joshua Henkin.  Isn’t it so wonderful that he’s participating in this with us?

Joshua will pick the first place, second place and third place winners. In addition to selecting the winners, Joshua is sponsoring this contest by sending the first place winner a signed copy of the new paperback edition his novel Matrimony.  The Hatchette Book Group is also sponsoring this contest (see the original post for a list of these books).  The first place winner will receive a grab bag of 6 books.  The second place winner will receive a grab bag of 4 books, and the third place winner will receive a grab bag of 3 books.  Thank you so very much to Joshua and Hatchette Book Group for supporting book blogs and their readers!

Without further delay, here are the 10 finalists for the First Annual BBAS Book Blog Readers Award:


Reading a book blog
Makes me feel connected to
Those who love as I


I read book blogs because I don’t always have time to keep up with what’s new, and I can get lost for hours in bookstores, wandering from shelf to shelf.   Book blogs give me an opportunity to keep up without spending an inordinate amount of time reading the book blurbs in the stores.  Not only that, book blurbs don’t always give a good indication of what the book actually is.  A book review on a blog gives a more detailed description. I also enjoy the feeling of “an old friend” recommending a book that I get from my regularly read book blogs.  As I read them, I pick up on the blogger’s personality, and get a sense of community between the blogger and the regular readers and commenters on the site.  This way I generally know if THEY like the book, I probably will too.


I read book blogs because I can’t just judge a book by its cover. One browser window open to the blog, one window open to the local library’s inter-library loan site, I debate what’s worth a good Saturday curled up on the corner of the couch and what will keep me up until midnight and beyond just because I have to know. It’s true, I’m obsessed. I’m the fat kid, the books are my cake.

K Stephenson

I read book blogs because it thrills me to death to find out that no matter how obsessive I might be about buying, owning, reading, tracking, and discussing books … there’s somebody out there who’s worse. It also gives me a sense of relief to know that I can always find somebody who understands about books and the wonder that comes from this hobby/passion that we share.


I read book blogs because I want honest reviews of books I’m interested in and maybe books I’m not so interested in.  I trust the reviews from bloggers to be much more real and down-to-earth over some stuffy published review from someone I know nothing about.

Before blogs I read MAYBE 10 books a year, and now I can’t read them fast enough!  Book blogs have literally changed my life 😉

Laura from MN

I read book blogs because they saved me from reality television. Two years ago I was a 24-year-old struggling to survive cancer. My treatments left me sick enough that I couldn’t concentrate long enough to read a book. (Finally, I had endless hours to do nothing but read, and I couldn’t! Oh cruel irony!) Despondent, I would watch hours of ridiculous television until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I don’t remember how I stumbled across my first book blog but it was perfect: I could read about books in short, digestible chunks and still feel like I was up on the happenings of the book world. The reviews were always beautifully written and gave me enough information about the book to pique my interest. Now, thankfully, I am able to read books but still subscribe to about 60 book blogs. I have loved getting to know different book bloggers’ tastes (and how they align with my own). When certain bloggers recommend a book strongly, it immediately gets requested from my library. Book bloggers were my virtual friends throughout the toughest time in my life and I’m happy to be even a small part of this wonderful community.


I read book blogs because I love books. I am obsessed with books. I always have a book (or two) being read. I always want to talk about my books and what I am reading with others. I want to know what others think about the books I have read. I want to know what book I should read next. I want to be a part of a community of like-minded, book-minded people. Not everyone in my real-life understands my passion for reading. They don’t understand why I am trying to read 100 books in one year, or know who Edward and Bella are, or have never read a Jane Austen novel! I read book blogs because book bloggers are just like me.


My initial attraction to book blogs was, like so many others, finding more books that suited my tastes.  For any given genre, there are dozens of blogs that review new and old books and I found that my “to be read” pile could grow exponentially by keeping up with my favorite book blogs.

Over time, my “to be read” pile reached the ceiling (picture the Leaning Tower of Pisa here) and I had enough books to last a year.  Yet I still found myself returning to my favorite book blogs again and again.  Now, in addition to still finding books to add to my ever-growing library (900+ books), I enjoy the in-depth author interviews and publishing news.  Thanks to book blogs, I have developed a finer understanding of the process of both writing and publishing a book — something that has (unexpectedly) greatly enhanced my reading experience.

So great is my admiration for my favorite blog authors that I’ve given much consideration to starting my own, although I know I’d fall far short of the great book blogs out there in cyberspace.  Perhaps someday I’ll gather both the courage and the knowledge to stick my toe in the waters.


“I read book blogs because…” it’s incredible to be able to be introduced to wonderful, consuming books that I would have otherwise not had the pleasure of stumbling across. I always take delight in finding those hidden gems that just make my afternoon and then being able to share them with my friends and family! Each visit to a different book blog is so wonderful because you have the opportunity to be privileged to all of the differing opinions and points of views that each blog harbors, and if you are lucky, you may just find that special blog where you and the contributors share the same tastes – and you just know that every recommended read is going to be for you!


I read book blogs because…where else would I find even more books to add to my ever growing, rarely shrinking ‘to be read’ list. Book Blogs also give me a wide range of genre to find books in that I otherwise would not have come across I’m sure in my own searches. It is through the wonderful book blogs out there that I discovered some great new authors that have fast become favorites and great books like The Thirteenth Tale and The Questory of Root Karbunkulus that I know I would never have found at my local library.


“I read book blogs because…” I see reading as a way to experience a trip to the unknown.  People and places and stories that you as the reader can participate in, but would otherwise never experience.  I read book blogs because I enjoy reading about another’s journey into a story.  I get a lot of great ideas for reads and I love reading other people’s perspectives whether they are similar, or opposite of mine.


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  1. Congrats All!!!

  2. I’m so excited this was a success!

  3. Wow, such wonderful answers! I love all my readers, bloggers or not, and this just reminds me of WHY I blog. Thanks lovely readers!

  4. I hear them all loud and clear. There is nothing better than finding a good book blog! Congrats to all!

  5. Congrats to the finalists!

  6. Wow, what awesome answers! Great contest!!

  7. I’m a non-blogger, too, and really enjoyed reading these responses!! I came over from My Friend Amy and could identify the most with Heather and Natasha. Book blogs are so much fun. 🙂

  8. I’m a non-blogger too, these were awesome entries and realated alot with each of them Over at My Friend Amy she said to list one that I could relate with the most and I’m gonna go with Stephanie and would like to be entered in the drawing Thanks, photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

  9. How uplifting – to read all the reasons people read our blogs 🙂 It’s not just my mom reading after all!

    I clicked over from My Friend Amy to say … I connected most with Michele’s essay.

  10. Congrats to all!
    I really enjoyed reading their thoughts. 🙂

  11. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. Kindergarten is getting better, but we still have grumpy mornings. I think I have a future Starbucks customer in this gal!

  12. Hello! I am here “sent” from My Friend Amy’s blog. And I am totally on board with what Michelle writes about reading.

  13. I’m a non-blogger and I am here from My Friend Amy’s site. I definitely relate the most to Kimberly’s thoughts. I have always felt that reviews are padded and paid for with a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ bargain. I much prefer the honest reviews I find from book bloggers.

  14. What wonderful answers! Congrats everyone!

  15. Congrats to all the finalist!

  16. Congrats go to all the finalist. My Friend Amy (and yours too) sent me over to check out these entries. I relate most to Michele. I too have a neverending pile of “to be read” and I now appreciate all aspects that go into writing a book.

  17. I came over here from My Friend Amy’s Blog and I have to say that I relate most to Heather. I wish I had the time to spend browsing through a book store but I don’t so it’s great to know exactly what I want when I visit the bookstore.

  18. Best wishes for the finalists. I’m a non-blogger, and I relate most to Stephanie. My Friend Amy sent me over to your site.

  19. Congratulations to all the finalists & good luck!!

  20. I’m also coming from My Friend Amy’s Blog (although I’m not so sure my opinion counts, it is kind of tainted, lol). I most identify with…myself!! Thank you again for being part of the wonderful BBAW!!

  21. […] was open to all of our wonderful book blogs readers who do not write for a blog themselves.  On Monday, over 50 entries were narrowed down to 10 finalists.  From that list, Joshua selected the first, […]

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