Blogging and the Bibliophile

For middle-school or high-school students who love to read books, the theme for a blog may be right under their noses.


One of the advantages of being a school student is that you will have to read different kinds of books. There will be other books that you read because you want to. Every time you read a book, you will form an opinion about the book. Sometimes other friends may ask you for your opinion about a book if they know that you have already read it. Those opinions can be the theme of a blog.

In other words, you could set up a book review blog.

Here are a few tips to make your book review blog a rewarding activity.

  1. No spoilers. Do not ever give away the ending of a story, or any plot twists. That would be a disservice to other readers and to the author.
  2. Kindness. Be kind in how you judge a book. It is very tough to be an author, and you want to share only constructive opinions. If a book did not resonate with you, then suggest the kind of readers that may find the book appealing.
  3. Intrigue. Leave some intrigue. Leave some unanswered questions. Make your readers wonder, and want to come back to read your next review.

Remember that if you can write your original thoughts about the books you read, very soon you may even find a following. Some day you may be able to meet and interview the authors of books you read and review on your blog.

Create your own rating system. If it is clever and catchy, bibliophiles
will start looking for your rating on a book, and that is powerful.

Your book reviews can also include a link to the book for readers of your blog to purchase it directly from your favorite book store.

A book review blog will help you develop powerful analytical skills that are very useful in the real world. Do consider creating your own book review blog.

This blog post is a warm-up before introducing school students to the Blog School by

Blogging to learn in public.

The third in our series on blogging strategies for middle-
and high-school students is about how to use blogging to think aloud while
learning something new.


Thinking up topics for a blog can sometimes be a challenge. It helps to come up
with a general theme for our blog.

A simple strategy is to set the tone of a learner and write the blog as if we
are thinking aloud. It helps to pick a topic about which we want to learn more, and start writing about it, one blog post after another.

This approach can accomplish a few valuable things besides providing a steady stream of topics for essays.

  • Learning in public through blogging helps us rekindle or develop our innate
    curiosity. The more questions we ask, the better the questions get because we
    learn how to start narrowing our focus on what we want to learn, and thus our
    questions become more focused. Somewhere along the way as we are growing up, we
    stop asking as many questions as we probably used to, when we were toddlers.
    Using a blog to revive that skill of asking a series of questions out of
    curiosity is a worthwhile exercise.
  • Learning in public allows us to stay vulnerable and less subject to
    criticism. Blogs published on the internet can attract cruel public scrutiny.
    Stating upfront that we are merely documenting our learning journey in a
    particular subject changes that perception that we are expert bloggers spewing
    out advice to the world through the blog. Most people want to help a student
    out. A blog can be an honest and authentic attempt at learning a new subject.
  • Learning in public allows us to find allies and mentors in our learning
    journey and present their thoughts as fresh blog posts. This could take the
    form of being able to reach out to experts in the field we are seeking to learn
    and interview them for our blog. We could even invite them as guest bloggers.

In general, learning in public using a blog makes for a powerful strategy to
show future employers and college admissions official how we learn and how we
think. It is a wonderful mechanism to share whatever little we are learning
with others who may know less than us and are not willing to be vulnerable and learn
in public. It is said that we learn a skill must better and faster if we try to
teach it to others.

Last but not the least, using our blog to learn in public, we believe, is a
form of selfless community service, and the joy derived from that very act of
blogging and sharing one’s learning journey becomes its own reward.

This blog post is a warm-up before introducing school students to the Blog School by

Photo credit: Dylan Gillis on Unsplash