Who says books are dead?

A post on books might look a little out of place in a blog about retro games, but stick with me: it is (hopefully) relevant – honest!

When I first started up this blog almost 12 months ago, I didn’t really have a clear idea of the direction it would take. Obviously, I knew it was going to be about retro gaming, but beyond that I didn’t have any real focus and just decided to write about stuff that interested me, in the hope that it would also be of interest to others.

So I started with some fairly standard stuff – reviews of old games, opinion pieces on gaming and reviews of books about gaming.

It turns out this last category is by far the most popular.

Most of my posts get a fair number of reads, but most of the activity tends to occur within a few days of them being posted.

With book reviews, it’s different. Not only do people read them when they first come out, but they keep coming back to read them again and new people are constantly finding them via Google searches (other search engines are available!) My reviews of Bitmap Books’ excellent Visual Commpendiums for the Commodore 64 and the Amiga are easily the highest on the site and Andrew Fisher’s volume on the Commodore 64 also scores highly. Interestingly, my recent review of Speccy Nation has attracted relatively fewer reads which just proves what we already knew – that Commodore machines always were, and remain, far superior to anything ever produced by Clive Sinclair 😉

Maybe it’s just because (for some reason) these posts are ranked higher on Google that they are attracting more attention. Perhaps it’s because there’s relatively little information available beyond a few (sometimes unreliable) Amazon reviews. Or perhaps it’s because books on retro games tend to be pretty expensive so people want to read an honest review from a gamer before they decide to part with their hard earned cash.

Whatever the reason, as the blog owner it makes me happy to think my posts are useful and it also gives me some interesting thoughts on the way I might develop the blog. I’ll still carry on with game reviews and other stuff that interests me, but I’ll also make a conscious decision to focus on book reviews wherever possible.

Which brings me onto the point of this post (finally, I hear you cry!) If there are authors or publishers out there who would like to send me review copies of their retrogaming books (physical or digital), then do get in touch – I’d love to hear from you. Just make sure you’ve read the site’s review policy first, because I will give an honest opinion – and that includes saying it’s rubbish if I don’t like it!

For other readers, my current stock of retro books is starting to run a bit thin, so if there are titles out there that you would recommend, why not leave a comment on this post with the details?


7 thoughts on “Who says books are dead?

    • Hmm. Now that you mention it, I don’t. Seems slightly odd when you think how renowned the C64 was for its music and how many of its musicians became household names (within the gaming community at least. May there’s a gap in the market there!


  1. Pingback: The A-Z of Cool Computer Games by Jack Railton [book review] | RetroReactiv8

  2. Posts on retro gaming can get lost in the shuffle because so many people write about the subject. Sounds like you have discovered a niche that isn’t catered to with regards to gaming books. Have you had any luck with approaching companies for book review copies? From time to time I hear that blogs, which aren’t any bigger than mine, get free games from publishers. Sadly they don’t notice poor Otaku Judge haha.


  3. Sadly not. Like you, companies tend to overlook the mighty voice that is RetroReactiv8 so everything I’ve reviewed is bought and paid for by myself. The only exception was when Hewson Consultants sent me a free review copy of their (excellent) Hints and Tips for Video Game Pioneers audio CD.


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