Book reviews are the buses of publishing that can take a book elsewhere. The preferred destination: discovered, bought, read and enjoyed is clear, although there’s no guarantee any book (however good) will succeed.
‘Bussing it’, as in catching a bus and staying on wherever it goes has its fans, such as teenagers with free travel cards, OAPs and even rock chick Chrissie Hynde. It’s about the journey, and the opportunity to discover unexpected places along the way that may be more interesting than the final destination.
Independent book blogs are bussing-it-trips compared to the straightforward journeys on offer via the book review pages in the mainstream media.
Book blogs, through their willingness to read widely and without prejudice towards self-published works, offer a chance for other voices to be heard and new, perhaps more unusual books to be discovered. As Haruki Murakami says, ‘If you only read the books that everyone is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking’.