181 Following

Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Binary Storm (Liege-Killer)
Christopher Hinz
Progress: 39/436 pages
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus
Progress: 72/313 pages
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel RodrĂ­guez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger

I saw that YouKneeK tagged me, so here I am, finally jumping on the bandwagon.



How long have you been a blogger?


Since at least late 2007 or early 2008. I'd been applying for full-time librarian positions for about a year with no success, and blogging turned out to be a great outlet. I posted about my job search strategies, things I was doing to try to stay current in the profession, and anything fun I'd done lately (basically, anything that got my mind off my job search). I got quite a few wonderful and supportive comments and, exactly 100 posts later, I let everyone know that I'd finally been offered a job and would no longer be posting there. I did, however, branch off into book blogging (which has since become book, TV, movie, etc. blogging), and that blog's been going strong ever since.


At what point do you think you’ll stop?


If something ever happens that makes it more stressful and unpleasant than I'm able to deal with. This is pretty broad – it could be something external or internal. I have this blog that still exists but that I've long since abandoned because, in the space of a day, it went from visitors in the single digits to visitors in the hundreds. Like, real people, not bots. A post of mine had been tweeted and mentioned in a professional listserv. All the comments were good, and the attention probably would have died down in a few days, but I couldn't handle the pressure, so I basically ran away.


What’s the best thing?


If I boiled everything down to the most basic thing that keeps me blogging, year after year, it's that it makes me feel like I'm bringing a little bit of order to my world. Each thing I review is one more thing checked off of this giant imaginary list (that keeps growing and growing, but I don't think about that too much). Also, I don't know a lot of people IRL who read the same things I do, so blogging is usually my best outlet for all the things I enjoyed and the things I didn't.

My blogging didn't really become a social thing until I joined Booklikes. Up to that point, I was just throwing my thoughts out there and, if someone commented, I was amazed and wondered how someone had managed to find my dinky little blog among all the search results that must have come up. I've really enjoyed getting to know other people through Booklikes, and seeing what everyone is reading. Book blogging and reading others' blogs has expanded my reading tastes tremendously.


What’s the worst thing?  What do you do to make it ok?


The social aspects of blogging can be one of the best things about it, but it can also be the worst thing. I sometimes worry about attracting angry and possibly scary attention. Reading about reviewers who have been stalked or threatened is terrifying.

Then there's the stress of normal interaction. In-person social interaction can burn me out pretty quick. As it turns out, online interaction can get to be too much sometimes, too, even if it's all positive. Basically, I'm an enormous introvert. Online interaction is better in a lot of ways, but it's still interaction, and can be draining. I don't know how some of you with 30+ comments on a single post manage.

As far as the first thing goes, I haven't really dealt with scary stuff. I've gotten a few insulting comments over the years, and I've either blocked those people or ignored them. As far as the second thing goes, eh, I handle that on a case-by-case basis. Some days my threshold is higher than others.


How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?


I only ever use book covers (or DVD case images), so it doesn't take very long. I do a bit of resizing, maybe a bit of level and color correction, and that's it.


Who is your book crush?


I'll interpret this as “character whose fan club I'd join.” At the moment, the first answer I can think of is Breq from Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy. Seivarden and I can be in her fan club together.


What author would you like to have on your blog?


No one. My blog isn't that kind of blog – I post reviews and occasional ramblings, and that's it.


What do you wear when you write your blog posts?


Clothes? It's not like I change into something different just to write a blog post.


How long does it take you to prepare?


It depends. I usually take notes while reading or watching things. When I finish reading or watching the thing, I let it percolate for a few hours, days, or weeks. Ideally, I should write a review within the first week or two, but that doesn't always happen.

When I decide I'm ready to write my review, I start with three bulleted sections: things I liked, things I disliked, and things I want to mention but that don't fit in either of the first two categories. Then I start writing and can hopefully be done in an hour or three.


How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?


There are toxic elements, and good elements, as is the case with anything social. Over the years, I've found that I tend to prefer blogs and bloggers that feel less like author/book promo and more like readers having opinions about things.


What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?


It depends on what you want to accomplish. Personally, I want my blog to give me enjoyment and a feeling of satisfaction. I accomplish that with a simple blogging platform (Blogspot and Booklikes, although Booklikes has enough glitches that I worry about its future) and a workflow that lets me occasionally peek at my reading and reviewing numbers (I mostly rely on LibraryThing for this). Beyond that, I read other people's posts, comment, respond to comments, etc.




If you'd like to do this too, then go for it! I haven't been keeping track of the people who've done it, so I'm not sure who's left to tag.