Beginner’s Guide to Book Blogging Jargon

I started blogging six years ago. My blog has gone through a lot of changes since then. I started with very personal posts and poetry filled with drama and teenage angst. From there, I slowly started entering the book blogging community, and then I made the switch to Mixed Margins here on WordPress earlier this year.

But whenever I first started reading book blogs, I had no idea what anyone was talking about. There are so many abbreviations and jargon to keep up with. I was constantly googling everything!

I think I’ve got a handle on it now, though, but I realize that some of my readers might not know what the terms means whenever I use them now. So I wanted to make a beginner’s guide for everyone.  🙂

part of speech: noun
stands for: advanced reader copy
use in a sentence: I received this ARC from Penguin.
explanation: An ARC is a copy of a book sent to reviewers before the book is actually published. Typically reviewers receive the book for free in exchange for an honest review on their blog, Youtube channel, or Goodreads. This is a great way for publishers to generate interest in the book so it sells more when it is released. Sometimes ARCs are physical books, but they are often ebooks. NetGalley is one of the most popular sites where readers can request ARCs.


part of speech: noun
stands for: book + Instagram
use in a sentence: I’ve been seeing this book a lot on Bookstagram.
explanation: Bookstagram is a community of people on Instagram that post photos of books. That might not sound that exciting, but you should check it out sometime. There’s some serious talent on there. You can access it by searching the hashtag (#bookstagram), or similar hashtags. And if you want to post on Bookstagram, be sure to include the hashtag in your Instagram post.


part of speech: noun
stands for: book + YouTube
use in a sentence: This book has been everywhere on Booktube so I knew I had to have it.
explanation: Similar to Bookstagram, Booktube is a community of Youtubers on Youtube that post about books. It’s a bit like book blogging, but in a different medium (and there are often debates on which is better, but I enjoy both). People who post on Booktube are called Booktubers. Some of my favorites are Kristina Horner and jessethereader.


part of speech: verb, also noun
stands for: did not finish
use in a sentence: I DNFed that book on page 55. This book was a DNF for me.
explanation: We wouldn’t wish having to DNF a book on anyone. For book bloggers, it’s one of the worst experiences. But every now and then, there’s a book that you just can’t get through. It’s painfully slow or just really poorly written. That’s when you might choose to DNF rather than suffer through the torment.


part of speech: noun
stands for: Goodreads
use in a sentence: I review books on my blog and Gr.
explanation: Goodreads is the magical island of social media where people get together to talk about books and books and books. It allows you to build and organize shelves for your books, share what you’re reading with others, post reviews and ratings, follow and friend other reviewers, enter book giveaways, and so much more. If you love books and social media, it’s the place for you.


Gr Challenge/Goal
part of speech: noun
use in a sentence: I completed my Gr Challenge!  (actually true. 41/35 books complete!)
explanation: One big characteristic of Goodreads is the yearly challenge. It prompts every user to set a goal for how many books they wish to read that year. Users can keep track of how they’re doing and how their friends are doing, as it automatically totals the books you mark “read” that year. It’s a great way to keep yourself motivated to read and to stay up-to-date with your Goodreads shelves. (And I really like that you can set your own goal based on what is doable for you. This year, I set my goal at 35 books and have already completed it! You see a lot of book bloggers with goals of 100 or 200+ books, but that’s wayy too ambitious for me because full-time job + slow reader)


part of speech: noun, sometimes adjective
stands for: National Novel Writing Month
use in a sentence: For NaNoWriMo this year, I’m planning to write a cute romance that doesn’t work out in the end.  (actually true) 
explanation: NaNoWriMo is for aspiring writers and is basically the best time of the year. It takes place every November. Thousands of writers around the world attempt to write a novel (50,000 words) from start to finish over the course of the month. It’s also sometimes abbreviated as NaNo, and those that participate are called Wrimos. (Also, it’s usually pronounced with a hard I, but sometimes you’ll hear people pronounce it with an E sound instead.) (those people are wrong)


part of speech: noun
stands for: one true pair(ing)
use in a sentence: Cath and Levi are my ultimate OTP.
explanation: This was actually introduced to me by my sister and is more of a Tumblr thing than a book blogging thing, but you will sometimes see it in the blogosphere. Basically, it’s a couple that you strongly root for.


part of speech: noun
use in a sentence: I edited that picture on Picmonkey.
explanation: Pickmonkey is like a cheaper, more user-friendly, watered-down version of Photoshop. It’s a website that you can use to edit photos or design graphics. I usually use Adobe Lightroom to edit photos, but I’ll use Pickmonkey if I want to add text or extra effects. (Because Photoshop is hard.) There are a couple of different websites/programs like this that bloggers use, but I think Picmonkey is the most popular.


part of speech: noun
use in a sentence: I gave this 4.5 stars.
explanation: Pretty self-explanatory, as star ratings are used in a lot of things (restaurants, movies, hotels, etc.), but when book bloggers use star ratings, it’s usually out of 5. This stems from Goodreads, which always prompts you to give a rating out of 5 stars. A lot of people like half stars (including me), but this is not available in Goodreads (to our dismay). You can decide what these ratings mean to you, and some people rate much more harshly than others. For me, every book starts out with 3 stars, which is average for me. A little better bumps it to 4, a little worse bumps it down to 2. If I absolutely hated it, I give it 1 star. If it blew me away and I can’t stop thinking about it and want to perpetually reread it forever and ever and it ripped out my soul and gave me new life again, it’s 5 stars. If I DNFed, no stars.


part of speech: verb, sometimes noun
stands for: relationship
use in a sentence: ship those two so hard. They’re my favorite ship.
explanation: Readers and book bloggers love to root for relationships, even (maybe especially) if they’re not actually a couple in the story. I totally shipped Albus and Scorpius throughout all of Cursed Child. An otherwise average story can be a lot better for me if there are characters that I ship


part of speech: noun
stands for: to be read
use in a sentence: My tbr is out of control. 
explanation: Ah, the tbr. Our greatest desire…but also cause of great fear and anxiety. Your tbr is your list of books you want to read. It can be a physical shelf of books, or more commonly, a shelf of Goodreads of books you’ve marked “want to read.” It’s easy for one’s TBR shelf to get out of control, (mine has been in the 80s for about a year now) but that’s just because we’re so ambitious.


part of speech: noun, sometimes adjective
stands for: Top Ten Tuesday
use in a sentence: My TTT can be found here! For today’s TTT linkup, we’re talking about…
explanation: This is a weekly linkup hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that a lot of book bloggers participate in. Every Tuesday, they have a new book-related prompt for a top 10 list.  Once you make your post, add it to the linkup so others can find your list, and you can go through the links and comments on other bloggers’ lists. It’s a great way to explore the community and build connections.


currently listening to // Hard Feelings by Lorde


Did you have to Google any of these terms when you started?
Do you use any other terms that aren’t on this list?


  1. Kyra Morris
    August 31, 2017

    This is such a great post! <3

    The other day I was speaking to a girl who isn't a book blogger/book internet person and I said "Unfortunately I had to DNF the book" and only after having received her blank stare did I realise that she probably didn't know what that meant! XD

    1. Emily @ Mixed Margins
      September 1, 2017

      Thanks, Kyra!

      I feel like I say DNF and TBR and ARC all the time without even thinking about it. XD My poor family.


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