This is a slightly self-indulgent post about a topic which has been on my mind for a while. I have tried very hard to make it non-whiny (as that’s not how I feel) and so I hope it doesn’t come across as such. Just wanted to get the feelings and thoughts out of my head in a semi-coherent manner and maybe discover that there are others who feel the same way.
I describe my blog as a book blog, I use it to talk about books after all. But sometimes I find myself wondering if that is the correct description. Yes, I blog about books, I use it as a platform to talk about books, and it has the word ‘books’ in its title, but any search of Twitter or Google for ‘Book blogger’ brings up almost nothing but reviews, or tips on how to review. That’s not my forte or the main reason for wanting to start my blog.
So the question is: What constitutes a book blog, and do I own one?
The Guardian, in 2012, wrote in defence of book bloggers, and in response to Peter Stothard who, the day before, claimed that they would become a detriment to Literature. The article and arguments for bloggers’ defence revolves solely around the idea that book bloggers review. These reviewers are incredibly talented, producing reviews which ‘can give readers a sense of trust … They are expressing opinions about books in particular, and literature in general, based on a particular life of reading, written in a critical but non-technical language’. I agree wholeheartedly, and I admire book reviewers greatly. The dedication and intelligence that goes in to maintaining those blogs are incredible, I love reading them, and they deserve all the recognition they receive.
So if book bloggers review, what about those of us who blog about books, therefore assuming that ‘Book blogger’ is an appropriate identity, but who do not review. Are we operating under a title that is not available to us? What identity can we assume?
This acknowledged, I completely agree with an idea that has been cropping up on my Twitter recently: if you want to blog, do! Don’t worry about the so-called ‘rules’ which also seem to have appeared lately, don’t be concerned that it may not fit a mould or a trend – your blog is yours and for the content that you want to produce.
It’s true – of course – but not knowing where I fit in blogging spheres can sometimes leave me feeling a tad confused and a little ‘outside’ and it would be nice to feel more confident in entering a blogging community without feeling like an imposter.
What do you think defines a book blogger? Am I thinking about this too hard? – I probably am. Is there anyone else who shares this feeling? Let me know.
Do any of you have book blogs – review-centric or other? Leave your URL in the comments below