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What is a Blook?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2016
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The term book can have several definitions and is a combination of the words book and blog or the terms “looks like a book” and “book.” In the 1990s, librarian Mindell Dubansky is said to have coined the term for those things that appear to be books but aren’t. This could include fake books used on bookshelves or even other objects that are made in the shape of books. Actually there is extensive history of things made to look like books that really aren’t books. Today you can even find instructions online and in cake decorating books to make a blook cake for either first communions or graduation ceremonies.

The other use of blook is more recent and first occurred in the 2000s. This second definition refers to books that may be created from online blogs or based on blogs. Alternately some people write books that stay online but have chapters or are serialized stories. These blooks have become increasingly popular and some bloggers hope to find a way into offline publishing through successful blogs.

In 2006, Lulu.com announced a yearly Lulu Blooker Prize for people who had books printed and bound that were based on previous blogs, and they offer awards in the categories of fiction, comic books and non-fiction The first blook writer receiving this award was Julie Powell whose book Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen was based on her very popular blog on French cooking.

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Some variants of the blook are not that much different than books written by people who are columnists. Columnists may combine columns written over a period of time in an anthology or book. The blogger, who may be called a volunteer columnist (since many of them write for free), may do the same, combining blogs into an overall themed blook.

Another interesting type of blook is fiction released on a chapter basis. This is similar to the many of the writers in earlier times that wrote installments or sections of novels, which were eagerly anticipated by fans. Charles Dickens published many of his works in this manner and new installments were looked forward to with great expectation, much as we might today be anxious to see the next episode in a favorite TV series. The episodic fiction blook published online may be available to people who have become fans and are on a mailing list, and are usually sent daily digests or weekly installments to keep fans engaged while the novel unfolds. These, too, may become published books or more accurately, blooks.

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