An opinion piece, in lieu of a Sunday Salon installment today:
I was pondering the other day - yes, it happens - on book blogs, specifically why people read them and why people write them, what purpose they serve, that kind of thing. I began because it looked like a world of fun. Though I belonged to book groups online, I knew no one in real life who cared about books - at least not on the scale I do, though I believe that number is very small, judging from the number of people who can't quite "get" me and my lust. For books.
When I started up my blog there were nowhere near as many blogs as there are now that the internet rabbits have begun mating and the proliferation of blogs in general about one gazillion more than were around then. Of course, loads of those have folded, their owners moving on to other things, letting their blogs languish as lost links.
I wonder what percentage have actually stuck with it? Less than half, I'm sure. Maybe 30%? 40%? It takes a lot of discipline keeping a blog going, finding stuff to talk about and the time to sit down and actually write. And, despite what some say, the practice of writing daily - even on a mere BLOG - does help strengthen the writing muscle. Depends how you use it, of course. If you're all about LOLing and OMG! not so much. If you write in text-speak, likewise. But if you're semi-serious - I don't mean in tone, completely, but dedication - you can go a long way toward improving your writing. It's no different than keeping a journal, after all. It's just a journal the world can read.
So, why do we read book blogs? I read them partly for the recommendations and info about books I should avoid but also I enjoy the personalities of certain bloggers, how they come through in their writing. I also enjoy their off-topic posts, which is one way to "get to know" them. And their photos, too, especially when they come from real life things they do. Some may not care for the off-topic posts. I don't quite understand that, personally.To me, they round out the person behind the opinions. And I enjoy "knowing" the people.
How will book blogs morph from here and will they become more important, less important or stay the same as far as their usefulness and popularity? I really don't see them declining; I trust the opinions of bloggers I follow more than mystery reviewers at Amazon, often friends of the author, publishers posing as readers and even, occasionally, those paid for positive reviews. All these virtual cheaters don't have the "stick-to-it-iveness" to keep up a blog. At least that's my opinion. And that's why I trust the opinions of book bloggers much more.
We all know I'm prejudiced toward book blogging, for obvious reasons, but I honestly do think they are a great thing. For trustworthiness, entertainment and likeable personalities I don't think they'll drop in popularity.
Any other opinions? I'd love to hear them.