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Friday, August 8, 2008

Will Blogs Save Books?

If you haven't read the annoyingly arrogant article by Lissa Warren about book bloggers in The Huffington Post, click here. Read some interesting responses from other bloggers here , here and here. (If you posted too, let me know, I'll link you up here)

Clearly newspapers are on the decline and a big part of the reason is that the world has changed and they can't get with it. These days Average Joe and Average Jane can put their opinions out there for anyone to read along with the big players who have traditionally dominated the field. The big players are suddenly in a much more crowded field and they don't like it much.

I, as a blogger, have no desire to make money off of my blog, it is a hobby which I enjoy and a way to interact with other people. Sometimes I have the time and energy to write full-on, college english-style essays, but other times I just want to put my opinions out there and to do that, I have to make my review brief. Blogging about books is pretty much a selfish thing; I took it up because I wanted a new hobby. I'd still do it even if no one read it (although that would be sad).

And honestly, I put a lot more stock in what other bloggers have to say about books than newspaper reviewers anyhow because I've built a relationship with the blogger. I know what types of books they enjoy, I know what they like to post about, and in most cases I at least know some details about their kids or pets or husband.

How many of Lissa Warren's "rules for blogging" have I broken in my posts? Pretty much every one, in pretty much every post. And you know what? I don't really care. And to answer her question, yes blogging will save books because book blogging will be around long after newspapers have all gone the way of the dinosaur. Not that books really needed saving in the first place.


Becca said...

I hadn't seen this article, so thanks for pointing it out. I HATE when newspapers write tips on how to blog, or write things that are demeaning to bloggers as if we're out here trying to BE newspapers. We just blog because we like to. If people don't read what we write, that's enough of a clue that we're doing something wrong. Duh! Maybe newspapers should get the same hint-o-meter.

As far as newspaper reviews: I enjoy reading them because they are often in-depth. However, I've been told by those in the biz that they are rarely able to publish anything negative unless it's really, really horrible. Why? Because newspapers need ad revenues. Bloggers don't. So I'll trust a blogger's opinion long before a newspaper.

Eva said...

I commented on Alisia's post about this, but I think this poor woman just missed the whole point of blogs!! I love the personal tidbits I know about other bloggers' lives-makes us feel like friends, you know?

Anyway, the main reason I blog is for myself. I love the community to death, and I'd be very sad if it disappeared, but blogging has really helped me record what I read and how I felt about it. Plus-yay for new hobbies! :)

Rhinoa said...

I know what you mean about trusting bloggers reviews after getting to kow them and the types of books they like. I am the same and there are a few people (you included) whose reviews I really enjoy and inspire me to read more, sometimes outside my usual reading zone too which is always good.

Trish said...

Ya, I don't think books are going anywhere anytime soon. Those of us who read will always read (maybe not as much, but we'll still be readers) and hopefully we can ensnare a few non-readers along the way. ;) I was really annoyed with the article and have made a few comments on posts here and there, but I'm not sure why it should matter--you're right Kim, we do this for US. And I love this community better than any I've found reading a newspaper (um...none).

Kim L said...

becca-Duh! Maybe newspapers should get the same hint-o-meter

So true! I think most print newspapers are out of touch with the real world.

eva-clearly that woman just doesn't read the great blogs we read. Ironically by annoying all the bloggers who read her article, she probably alienated her intended audience.

rhinoa-I agree. Your reviews always add so many great books to my pile

trish-yeah, what community is there for a newspaper? Yeah, not really the same thing so much!

Lucky said...

It sounds like Lissa just wanted to write a story a few minutes before her deadline. It meanders, it is vague and it itself is poorly written. How ironic to bash other writers, professional or amateur. Yet, there have always been Luddites to some degree. Cars were thought inferior to horses when they first started rolling down the streets. It makes sense that a writer, feeling a personal job-loss threat would try to work against the new medium of bloggers. Yet why work against something that is bringing audiences all over the world together, sharing thoughts and lives with one another?

Melody said...

One thing I love reading book blogs is because of the personal touch which is a lack from the other professional reviews. Don't get me wrong, they're still worth reading, but it's just that I'm feeling much closer to the bloggers from the way we also share a little of our personal life/thoughts in our posts.

Anonymous said...

I also do my blog to get my thoughts on paper. I don't think people need or should follow "rules" when they write blogs. They're out there for people to express themselves.

Alice Teh said...

I also blog about books whether people read them or not. And I must say it has benefited me lots and not to mention getting to know so many friends too. :)