CHICAGO, IL (October 13, 2010) – Jen Karsbaek, an office assistant in the Evangelical Covenant Church Department of Christian Formation, has been recognized for having the best eclectic book blog as part of Book Appreciation Week activities.
There were 1,700 entrants in this year’s competition, which covers a spectrum of niche book blogs. Bloggers vote for the winners, first narrowing the field to 20 entrants in each category and then choosing among the finalists. Book bloggers primarily provide reviews and serve as an outlet for publishers and authors to get publicity in a crowded book market, but they may also include interviews or discussions.
Amy Riley, publisher of the popular book blog My Friend Amy, started Book Blog Appreciation Week in 2008 and included the awards as part of the online event. The initial contest attracted 300 entrants.
Although Karsbaek’s blog Devourer of Books offers reviews primarily fiction, she received an award in the Eclectic Book Blog category because other genres also are included.
Karsbaek always has been a “voracious” book reader, but has become even more so since starting the blog in 2008. She tries to read three print books and listen to one audio book each week. She’s read more than 160 books so far this year.
She says she started the blog because “people around me were sick of me always talking about what I was reading, so I thought maybe somebody on the Internet would be interested.”
She started Devourer of Books about the time the popularity of blogs began to increase exponentially. One reason for the growth is the decline in space given to book reviews in print media.
Publicists or authors provide many of her books. This month, she started an online business to help connect publishers with appropriate blogs covering specific genres.
Karsbaek also will help select winners of the INSPYS recognition, a new award honoring faith-driven literature that is judged by book bloggers. She is one of the historical fiction judges.