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Monday, 22 March 2010

Honesty: What I'm feeling about book blogging

Last night I went to bed very tired and angsty. It had been three long days being online participating in the Book Bloggers Conference.

Did I enjoy it?
Did I learn a lot?
Did I network?
Did I make some new friends or enjoy discussing blog stuff with some old ones?
Yes is the answer to all those questions. In the words of Ron Weasley "That was bloody brilliant!"

Why then was I angsty? Because I was tired? No I don't think so.

Yesterday, a wonderful honest blogger who is nearly half my age wrote that he felt blogging was becoming a popularity contest. Add that to a whole weekend of discussion and reflection on blogging, my mind was set to thinking.

Yesterday, one of my favourite bloggers said she felt that since becoming a blogger buying books was an addiction and it scared her. Familiar anyone?

Well it is to me.

But the thing that has been eating away at me for a couple of weeks is that some people think it is ok to belittle new book bloggers.

Recently I have been offended by an innocent comment. I'm an adult. I should have a thicker skin. I have been a children's librarian for more than 2 years now. I have been reading YA since I was 19. I like to think I know a fair bit about children's literature. The issue for some more established bloggers is that because I have only been blogging since last August, I do not have the right to want to build professional relationships with publishers. Is this about free books? No, certainly not. If anything, I'm nearing a point where I no longer want to accept books for review. I'm not there yet but the day may come.

Why is it assumed that the only reason new people start blogging is to get free books?
And, even if they do, is it such a bad thing? Personally, as long as a book blogger writes good quality reviews then I couldn't care less what their motivation is for being a blogger.

Where is this competitive feeling in book blogging coming from?

I have spent three days sharing thoughts, opinions, knowledge and resources with many bloggers through the conference. We were there because we love blogging and want to improve and develop. It has certainly helped me get clarity. There was no sense that we were competing to get some mystery prize. We were in it together.

Where is this post going?
I'm not entirely sure. I feel like I'm not in control of my blogging. I spend so long commenting that I'm not doing the most important thing which is reading. I still haven't read most of the books I got for Christmas. I don't want to be a slave to consumerism. I don't want to buy books just for the sake of it.

I won't be participating in IMM that much anymore. Maybe once a month. Maybe not at all. IMM is a great way for new bloggers to get involved and get their site out there for other bloggers to find. I don't feel like that's why I'm doing it anymore. It used to be fun. Now it feels like it eats up all of Sunday. I want to read on Sundays. Most people will know the new books that I got for review because the other UK peeps have them too.

I am going to unfollow some blogs and tweeples. Probably not many but I want to feel like it is manageable and that my comments actually contribute and are not just "great review". Feel free to unfollow me if you've been thinking that Bookette posts a load of annoying nonsense and is so far up her own ****.

Blogging is great because it brings people together. For us bookish types, it is about sharing our passion and opinions about reading. There are many great bloggers out there who welcome every new blogger. I'm thinking of Chicklish and Jo @ Ink and Paper Fantasy Reviews and my own introduction to this world was shaped by the lovely Jenny @ Wondrous Reads. I want to make sure that newbies feel welcome and are able to ask any question of me even if *gasp* they want to know how to get their hands on ARCs. This is the type of person that I am and it is the type of person that I want to be.

Looking forward
Time for a few changes. I am The Bookette and I am putting my best foot forward. I am here to support newbie book bloggers and I am proud of it.


Elie said...

Hi Becky, wonderful post. I have not been around very long, but am noticing a trend of negative energy. Like you said people commenting about popularity and competition. I started blogging becuase I wanted to talk about the books I love. It is easy to get sidetracked. I love your blog and will be reading here for a long time.

Becky said...

Thanks Elie. I really appreciate your comment. I always think the best way to change something like this negative attitude is to first make people aware that it is there. Thanks for sticking by me!

The Book Bug said...

Great post. I sure hope it wasn't my comment that offended you! You sound like you need a hug. *Virtual hug.* And who would think your posts are a bunch of annoying nonsense? Certainly not me. I think you blog is great and can't think of why anyone would think otherwise.

Liz said...

Hey dude!

I agree - there is an awful feeling of competition going on and as an oldie blogger (as opposed to you being a young 'un, you whippersnapper), it's really begun to worry me as it seems a bit weird and incredibly childish - constant updates on what's come in but no solid thoughtful reviews <- this is not good for the publisher or author. And if you're a genuine reader brimfull of enthusiasm, it should worry you too. Yes, it's nice getting new books and buying new books, but don't let their stories go unread! That's a crime!

Blogging for most of us started / starts, because we love reading and need an extra outlet. My blog started as a way to keep track of the books I read - back in the day I was shyte! Updating maybe once a month, if that. But the bug bit me and now I can't stop!

And I agree - my google and RSS feed is brimful of other reviewers and bloggers, most of whom I don't even look at any more because I don't have time, what with real life, reading, writing and after work activities. So I agree with you, there will be things that will be deleted, to make my life simpler and easier to handle.

I am however incredibly glad to have you guys around - your enthusiasm is insanely catching and you always manage to get to some excellent books way before I do, and of course, then those get bought and shuffled to the top of the TBR pile!

But I do think, as much as we love reading the new stuff, we shouldn't disregard the older stuff, less well known authors. And I know I'm doing my damndest to read more of them!

Keep up the good job on here - you're one of my bootiecalls I never miss out on...but I lurk and never comment - stupid huh?

farmlanebooks said...

I'm sorry to hear that some people have been saying nasty things. There are always people with negative attitudes, most are just jealous so try to ignore them.

I look forward to hearing all about the conference - I hope you managed to get answers to a few of my questions!

Magemanda said...

Ha, I've just said on Twitter that us bloggers can be notoriously apathetic when it comes to commenting - even when we see a post we absolutely agree with - so here I am putting in my thoughts.

I concur absolutely with this blog post. I am a very new blogger in comparison to some of the giants. Most everyone has been extremely helpful and lovely, and very positive about my fledgeling blog (with support and books and things like that).

I must admit that I try to avoid posting which books I've received for review. I've done it a couple of times (usually because it's a quick post to get up and I'm between reviews, so don't have something particular I want to be posting as an alternative) but I always feel uncomfortable doing so. I feel like I'm shouting 'look at me!' when I do it, and I don't like the idea that there are bloggers out there who are thinking 'I wish I had been sent that book, I'm going to read it way faster than her'. I like it that people know which books I have been sent by the reviews I post.

I think bloggers suffer from envy - usually this is of the good kind, like the lovely comments I've received about my bookshelves (people saying that they look great and that they wish they had half as many books). But every now and then you encounter envy of a competitive type and it can feel a little nasty then. Gentle competition and a little gibing between bloggers who are friends is just great, but sometimes it can feel a little destructive.

Like you, I'm not sure where I'm going with this comment but I do know that your blog post really struck a chord with me and I wanted to let you know.

Christina/Book Addict said...

Great post. I couldn't agree with you more. As a new blogger, some people have been so incredibly nice to me....you being one of them! I don't understand why someone would question your relationship with a publisher? You are a librarian for crying out loud!! When I first started blogging a few months ago, I was shocked that some people didn't really welcome me. I thought I had a lot to offer since I am certified as a reading specialist and have taught English/literacy for seven years to young adults. That didn't seem to matter- I think people thought it was for free books.
I don't know why there is angst and upset in the blogging world. It reminds me of being back in high school and dealing with an inner circle of mean girls. I'm just here to write/talk/read books and if I meet awesome people with my same interests along the way....then I'm a happy girl. There's always going to be haters and people who aren't happy. I think Elie is right. I don't think we should get sidetracked. I like to deal with the happy and positive bloggers personally. I like to met other new bloggers, too. Everyone has something valuable to contribute. WIth that said, I think you do a great job- you are one of the nicest people I've met through blogging. I'm glad I met you and I will be following your blog for as long as you keep it. Sorry for writing a novella, but your post really hit home some of the same issues I've noticed and/or been having.

Aarti said...

I'm a first-time visitor to your blog, but I find this post very interesting, so I thought I'd comment!

I have heard a lot about blogging being a popularity contest, but I don't really buy into that. I think with such a huge community of people, full of so many niches, there can't really be an "in" crowd. Maybe I feel this way because I am not in the cool crowd? Possibly, but I guess I don't really care if my blog is the most popular, as long as I am still getting enjoyment from it.

I think it's BECAUSE blogging is so huge now that it has become competitive. Everyone wants an audience and everyone wants the books- so they compete to get them.

From what I can tell, a lot of blogging goes in cycles. People start, are really excited, and try to build up an audience by visiting new sites and subscribing. Then they kind of reach their stride and don't visit as many blogs, but just try to post and keep up with people they know well. I don't necessarily think this is snobby- I think everyone has time constraints to deal with and so naturally tend to make time for people they know, not for people they have just recently met.

But after a while, I think blogging can burn you out. I know I am at the point where a big change will be coming into my life, and I won't have as much time for blogging. But do I leave completely? Or kind of try to continue at a slower rate? I worry about the slower rate because it seems people get offended if you don't write back immediately or respond to comments. I think that is ridiculous, but I also don't want to hurt feelings.

So really, yes, I think the blogging community is great, but it can also exert a lot of pressure on a person. I am sorry that you were made to feel bad :-( That is elitist. But also, if you did email someone asking for information and didn't get a response, I just hope you give that person the benefit of the doubt, instead of assuming she is being rude or snobby.


What a lovely post Becky. Very well said. I actually posted a question on my meme today asking what everyone's pet peeves are with blogging. My answers was pretty much your issue which is how competitive the blogging community has become. I for one am happy for bloggers and don't really find myself being jealous. I work hard for my blog and I'm proud of how I handle it. I also haven't been blogging for a long time, only for 9 months. I always love welcoming new bloggers and if they ever need helping promoting there blog I have no problem doing it. In my opinion if it wasn't for my followers, my blog wouldn't of taken off like it did. I LOVE when people comment on my reviews and posts, my main goal for blogging is meeting cool new people and promoting authors. So, excellent post, everything you said was very true!

La Femme Readers


Oh and don't worry about all the negativity, blogging is suppose to be fun. Ah I guess girls are catty even on the internet huh? lol - You have a great blog and an amazing voice so ignore the negativity :)

Becky said...

Holy cow! This post is obviously striking a chord with people.

Book Bug - Of course it wasn't your comment. I know you well enough to know when you're teasing and I totally loved that hug.

Liz - overwhelming isn't it? Trying to keep up. Writing seems like an impossible task whilst blogging.

Farmlanebooks - watch out tomorrow for the answers to your questions. I am typing them up!

Magemanda - You're right, book envy. I know there are times when I suffered this affliction. I never say mean things though I just exercise a little patience. If you need any help as a newbie, just ask!

Christina, thank you for being such a great friend. I love that I have met you through the online community. May our friendship grow and grow!

Aarti, hi! And welcome. Sorry you had to stop by on my little grouchy day. I'm normally the happy-go-lucky type. I actually didn't email anyone. I know if I did the people I would choose to ask for support would help me. My blog friends are lovely like that. I think perhaps my vague description has confused you but I didn't want to get into specifics. I agree blogging can burn you out and I guess that's what I'm trying to avoid.

Eleni - thanks for commenting. I agree getting lovely comments is the most enjoyable part of blogging. Better than free books any day of the week. Great to hear you share my love of the newbies.

lovely treez said...

Goodness, perhaps I wouldn't have started my book blog last week if I'd known all this! Only joking....I'm 45, I love books and always have done, I have enough books on my TBR pile to last to infinity and beyond but I still swap, mooch, charity shop browse, win more and more - I can't think of a less harmful addiction!

It has taken me quite a while (and lots of procrastination...) to eventually go live but I see it as a creative outlet for me and my family as my children are now becoming book addicts too - can't think how that happened!! I really don't mind if people don't comment, life is busy enough for folk.

I'm sorry that someone else's comments have made you feel less than worthy. I'm not the competitive type so hopefully lots of this will just pass me by as I muddle on in my literary haze - let's hope so!

Keep up the good work - for what it's worth, I, a complete novice, love your blog!

www.lovelytreez.com :-)

BrittLit said...

Great post. Blogging can seem overwhelming and take up valueable reading time. I'm glad you've decided to slow down before it gets too bad for you.

Kate said...

Becky, I am sorry to hear of all the negativity. Basically what you have said is exactly why I went into my blogging funk and deep into my personal bloggie hole. Blogging is meant to be fun.. regardless if you have been doing it for two days or two years. But the sad part is that some people do become competitive.

Personally, I do not really visit half as many blogs as I use to because I do not feel a connection with them. Or just because like you, I want to be able to say more than "great review". I honestly think you will feel a lot better if you just do some inner reflection and focus just on your blog for a while. I have been doing that for about the last few months and it has helped so much. Also try not to think of all the other crap that is going on out there. You should focus on you, your blog, and maybe the friends you already have. Then once things get easier just slowly ease into things.

Also I see nothing wrong with wanting to have relationships with publishers. To be honest, after I had been blogging for a couple months, I sent out introductory emails to a bunch of publishers that I knew. The reason... not to get books, but more to let them know who I am. With so many bloggers out there, I think they really appreciated my taking the time just to say "hi".

I hate hearing that some are looking down on new bloggers. I mean we were all new bloggers at some point. And that is something that should be remembered. We are a family.. a community.. and we should let something this trivial get in our way of having fun.

If you EVER need anything, I am just an email away :)

Sorry for the uber long comment.

Becky said...

Lovely Trees - I'm so sorry if I gave a negative view of book blogging. It is the absolute best. I just felt that I need to be in charge of it rather than let is rail road me into submission. I shall stop by your blog.

BrittLit - Thanks for your comment. Reading is where its at! ;-)

Becky said...

Kate - I loved that uber long comment. I think you're right I need to get back to the heart of this blog and why I love to talk about reading. And actually spend some time doing just that. I love our community. Thanks so much for your offer of help. I think you may live to regret that LOL!

Allie said...

I just wanted to say that I feel you. I am relatively new to book blogging. I didn't get into it for free books, or publicity, or anything of the sort. I did it for me and my blog is a very personal place.

When I first started, I was really worried about getting lots of followers and comments. As time has gone on, I have come to realize that those things don't matter. My blog is unique, and special, and very much my own. I don't need any kind of recognition to keep doing what I love.

I have noticed many of the same things you have. There seem to be too many bloggers concerned with getting ARCS, winning contests, hosting memes, and discussing things that are not reading.

I got into this for reading and I will keep doing it for my love of reading.

Thank you for this wonderful post. It helps me see that I am not crazy.

Sasha said...

What an insightful post. I haven't really noticed much negativity throughout blogging but I've had my head in the clouds for a few days now. I guess the thing that bugs me is the fact that some people exploit blogging as a way to gain freebies. I'm not going to lie and say I don't like getting free books. But if I get some then great. If not, then oh well. Life goes on lol. I have felt the pressures of reading so much exhausting sometimes and I would rather review books stopped coming for a while especially as I have my school work to catch up on to.

The best thing about blogging is sharing the love of reading with so many other enthusiasts, not gaining free books.

I have to admit my comments are a not usually the longest or most interesting but I only comment on posts I read and really enjoy. This post has given me alot to think about. I think I'll stop blogging when I get tired of it.

And in true comment terms 'great post' lol x :)

Becky said...

Allie, personally my issue is with excluding new people or looking down on them because they are new. I just want this to be about reading as you do. I want people to feel they can ask me questions.

Sasha, I'm not sure someone can exploit blogging. From my experiences, publishers will happily send books out to review to those who write good reviews. I think it is as simple as that. I want The Bookette to be an open place and for commentators to feel they can ask me stuff and won't be judged.

Sasha said...

Well maybe exploit wasn't the right word to use. It's not my place to really make comments about the whole review book scenario but I was just stating my opinion about it all. I would never blog to recieve books.

Becky said...

Sasha - I understand what you're trying to say. Book blogging for most people is about sharing a love of reading. It is for me. It is pretty much what I do all day in the verbal sense. But again, I think if publishers are happy to send review copies to bloggers to review and people decide to do it for that reason, then we should welcome those people because they will hopefully learn to love all the other great things about blogging too.

Hope you didn't take my reply the wrong way. Honesty is what this post was all about and you are free to say what's on your mind. That is the great thing about blogging. :-)

Sasha said...

Oh yes, I definitely agree. This is a really wonderful post and I definitely didn't take it the wrong way :D

Allie said...

I think I should add to expand on what I was trying to say.

For me, I sometimes see too much emphasis on other things besides reading in some blogs, and that irks me. For instance, I came across a blog that hadn't reviewed a book in 2 weeks, but was filled with memes. I'm not saying that you have to be constantly reviewing, but I am here for book reviews. And the fact is, when I did locate a review, it was only a few sentences and they didn't tell me anything about the book. Obviously, I won't be returning.

I suppose I haven't seen any competition because no one seems to be competing with me with what I am reading (only classics), but from observing, I can definitely tell.

Becky said...

Allie - Great observations. I like to see at least one review a week. Reviews are the most important part of blogging. Having said that, you'll be lucky if you get much from me this week because of time. But then, I just unfollowed lots of blogs so maybe I will get some reading done.

brizmus said...

Really great post, Becky.
I also really don't understand why people assume new bloggers are only in it for the free books. It's a perk for sure, but I'm sure most new bloggers, like me (I've been at it about as long as you have), didn't even know it was a possible perk when they started.
It's not about that. It's about enjoying reading and wanting to share that with others. And THAT is what I assume most other new bloggers are about. And I will continue to assume that until some other new blogger proves me otherwise.
I have noticed that some other bloggers seem to think of it as a popularity contest, and that makes me sad. Frankly, if blogging became a competition to get free books, well, I think I would stop accepting free books and just do what I did beforehand - read books that I bought or received as gifts.
It's sad that some bloggers are that way.
I love new bloggers - more people wanting to talk about what I love most in life! But I don't love them so much that I am willing to sacrifice my reading time commenting on them, and I hope they feel the same way.
Anyhow, again, great post. I get the feeling I am starting to ramble, so I will stop now.
Just want to say that i love your blog and your reviews, and I won't be unfollowing you any time soon. :-)

brizmus said...

Mygod, my comment was long.
One more thing, though - I love your IMM posts, and I will be sad to see them stop.
Mine usually take me about a second to write. I take a picture of my books, put links to them on amazon, and then publish.
I don't think you need to go to all the trouble to put up the summary of each one on your post. :-)

StephTheBookworm said...

Becky, what an amazing, inspirational, and thoughtful post! You are compassionate and caring, and I am very happy to know you (through blogging). I also agree that it is best to be welcoming to new bloggers. Blogging is not a contest. It's for FUN and to share what we love. When I started blogging, I never thought anyone would read my blog, but I started it so that I could talk and ramble about my books and what I've been reading. That's what it should be about. It should be about us sharing our passion of books with one another and with ourselves. Bravo to you for sharing your thoughts on this subject!

Nina said...

I agree with you on IMB posts, I haven't done one in a while, just because I have too many books that I haven't read yet. And Sunday is a restday for me, a day that I can sleep out, read and make homework. :)
I started blogging because I wanted to tell my opinion about the books I read. Not to get free books, but I really think that most of the bloggers blog for their love of books.

Great post Becky!

Charlotte (The Book on the Hill) said...

What an interesting post and what equally interesting comments !

Most of the things I was about to write are already said...! If I speak only for myself, things are pretty obvious on why I created a blog : it was at first only to share reviews that I already wrote for work, which is completely different from other bloggers. I had (and still have) all these reviews on my computer, and I thought it would be cool to share them with readers.

I wasn’t at all prepared to have more and more readers on my blog, and I was even less prepared to the whole positive book blogging vibe : so many nice bloggers, and great and fun interaction ! I am more than happy to have started book blogging. The book blogosphere is awesome. I never felt underestimated because I was a newbie. I love every second of it.

Since I already read many books for work, I do not accept books for review from authors and editors. I wouldn’t have started a book blog if I wasn’t a professional reader, but if I had I think I wouldn’t have got into reviewing on request either. I understand the positive things about it (getting free books, having the feeling of helping a book to be promoted, interacting with authors, etc.) but honestly I couldn’t cope : I would feel pressured and not free of my blogging.

Book blogging is becoming bigger and bigger, and I think it’s almost normal that people start feeling competitive. It’s like with anything, really. But I say, the more the merrier. I do not want my blog to become a factory. Honestly I’m as much excited right now as I was when I had 5 followers. I have never felt jealous of popular blogs. I’m just happy to be enjoying myself and that people enjoy what I write, it seems enough for me. As soon as something you do starts to feel like a pressure, there’s something wrong somewhere. We love reading, and it shouldn’t become something we do because we have to.

You’re talking about IMM, that’s a meme I’ll never take part in. Honestly, I’ve never been fond of IMM, except the ones at the blogs I regularly read and enjoy (like yours Becky !). Every Saturday I feel like I’m being drowned under IMM posts. I usually don’t post anything on Saturdays because I know it’ll disappear amongst all the IMMs. I never really understood what the use was. I don’t really care about what people got, honestly. I want to read reviews, yes, but not necessarily what people get to read each week. I’m talking about IMM because you mention it, but also because I feel like this is the kind of thing that might impress new bloggers for example, the kind of posts that leads to the question : how can I get as many books as them ? and so on.

Anyway, I think book blogging is great. If some people want to use it as a way to get free books or become popular amongst the blogosphere, that’s their problem. It doesn’t affect me at all. I mean, I’m an actress, I know what competition is, and the blogosphere is not a place where I want to feel competitive ! :)

I guess your post does speak to everyone, and it’s great that you talked about all this.
I love your blog, I think you’re a great blogger and I can only assume throughout everything you write that you are a great person. :) I love reading your comments on my blog. So keep on rockin’ and bloggin’ !

I’m sorry for leaving such a long comment Becky...!

Lauren said...

At first when I read your post I didn't think I'd noticed people being unwelcoming to new bloggers. I mean, there are a lot of blogs newer than mine that I don't really comment on (not enough hours in the day) and I assume it's exactly the same for more established bloggers than me.

However, in recent weeks I have seen a few posts that criticise the way other people run their blogs. I don't get that. I run mine my way, other people run theirs however they see fit and it's frankly none of my business. Even if they see it as a popularity contest, or (like you said) want to know how to get free books. If I don't like how someone runs their blog I will simply unfollow.

So, I think there's a happy medium. If people don't have time to actively encourage many new bloggers, fine, but there's no need to be negative either.

I absolutely admire the fact that you seek to establish good relationships with publicists. I kind of envy that, because I am really useless at pitching the tone of my emails to be both friendly and professional, and I'm pretty sure I come across as miserable and dull. So if you ever want to share tips with us, that would be awesome.

Also, I've noticed you leave a lot of comments on other people's blogs, and I always admired that about you. However, the reading and reviewing *is* the most important part, and I get that you have to prioritise just like the rest of us.

Re: IMM and book addiction. I sometimes feel like I'm boasting when I post what books I got for review (although I don't get as many as a lot of bloggers). But I'm torn because I think that posting them up is part of generating interest in the book. And then I need to post what I bought so I don't look like I'm just some freeloader. Confusion!

Jo said...

Firstly, thank you SO much for mentioning me! I really appreciate you thinking I do well when it comes to new bloggers. I still consider myself a newbie (even though it's been a year now, woo!), and I still remember how intimidating I first found the book blogging community, simply because it was so huge, so I just try to help people out when I can. It's always nice to have someone helpful show you the ropes when there are so many well established and popular blogs out there.

I have to say, I haven't really noticed any competition in the blogosphere, but then I may be living in my own little blogging bubble. I have to say, I don't understand why there would be any competition - if you want a book, go buy/pre-order it. Simple. Getting free books is a really cool bonus, and I'm just extremely surprised at how many I get some weeks - it's also pretty handy right now for me because of lack of funds - but it's not why I blog. I have myself had to say "no review copies please" at one point, and I think I may have to do it again soon.

About IMM, I mainly do it as a community thing, to be taking part. I have to say I don't visit every blogger who posts for IMM, I just visit the people I generally visit regularly - for the same reason as you; too much time commenting! And I'm also following far too many people, that I miss people's posts, so I'm now a huge fan of iGoogle; I know when my regulars have new posts, and check them out if I'm so inclined. I now only really browse through my blogger dashboard reading list sporadically. And why so many? extra entries in contests. They're really starting to annoy me though. I've kind of decided against doing the follwers extra entries. Such a pain.

I think I may have rambled and digressed, I'm sorry. I'm sorry to hear you've been on the receiving end of nasty comments because of wanting to have relationships with publishers. I'm sorry, but that's a part of blogging; if you're receiving books from publishers, you're going to want to do a good job for them, I don't see why that's a problem. It's ridiculous - unless I've misunderstood.

I'm going to end now, but I have to say, it's clear why you blog; your enthusiam and passion for books shine through your every post. I'll definitely continue to stop by your blog, I think your's is one of the best out there, and sometimes I feel you put me to shame! :) Keep doing what you love, because we love it too!

Shy said...

Hi Becky!

Such a great post that surely makes me think. First off, I hope that none of the things I said yesterday caused you to feel this way. But if they did, I am really sorry.

I am one of the newbies out there. My blog only started about four months ago and to be honest, I quickly fell in love with this community. The supports I received were great and it is lovely to know people that I can talk to about my passion in reading, which is something I cannot do in real life. I blogged because I love reading and it is one of the ways for me to improve my English. And I think reading blogs by English speakers like yourself do help a lot too.

With that being said, there is no way I'm going to un-follow you. I enjoy your blog so much and I am going to stick with it. Plus you're one very friendly person to get to know to =)

Thank you for this thoughtful post Becky!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I am so glad I stopped by today! :)

Your post is a good one and I agree with what you are saying here. I am saddened to hear that anyone is put down for anything to do with blogging or length of time blogging.

I have to say that the conference, I bet was such a good time and the fact that you quote Ron Weasley.... I will have a smile on my face the rest of the afternoon. :)

Enjoy your day!

LovesSam said...

Sometimes, I get that feeling. The feeling where I feel like i've been dumped into the ocean with no lifejacket, or the girl who shows upto school in her underwear. Because, yeah, blogging can be highly competetive at times. Blogs seem to be multiplying and multiplying so much, that I feel like I can't keep up with everyones posts.

This used to really bother me, I used to worry that people would hate my blog, that people wouldn't care about what i'd spent my time writing, wouldn't give two craps about my opinion. But you know what, **** them, because the people who make you feel bad about being a blogger and people that you don't even want to know. I'm quite a laid back person, but a few months ago I considered quitting, even though I was still at the starting line. But then I realised how much I actually love blogging, how fab it makes me feel when someone leaves a thoughtful comment on something I have posted. When someone appreciates what I have to say.

It really bleeps me off when other bloggers criticise and comment on how other people choose to run their own blogs. Like Lauren said, i've seen a few posts like this around the blogosphere. It did get me down and make me feel bad about being a blogger, made me feel bad that sometimes I get review books that other people may think I don't deserve. Well, those people don't know a thing about a community. I never feel jealous of other blogs because of their follower count or the books they receive, I am chuffed for them, because they probably worked hard to get where they are.

I know people get annoyed when new bloggers receive books for review, i've seen it in comments and posts. But really, who are they to say who receives books for reveiw and how many they receive, because obviously, its the publishers decision to send out the books. They have a reason for doing it, and really its no one elses business. That being said, I have never emailed a publisher and requested a book for review, thats just something that I don't feel comfortable with. If they want me to read a book, then my email address is on my blog.

I'm a crap commenter, this I know, because I prefer to spend my time reading and doing my own thing. I live in my own little blog bubble and the people who think they are better than you are not worth my time.

I know there is a lot of negativity sometimes and like I said, it does get people down. Just don't let it, hold your head up high and be proud of what you have accomplished, me proud that people care about what you have to say. The haters will always be haters. I love blogging even though I've had my ups and downs in the past. I have made some lifelong friends that I wouldn't have met otherwise. Crap, I met one of my good friends through blogging, yes, Jenny, I mean you. We socalise, we go book shopping together, we swap books. I think most people just need to relax and get off their high horses, because this is a fun hobby, not something to compete over or hold grudges over, its about sharing the love of all things books, with people who love it just as much as you do.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Awesome post.
Awesome comments.

My retorts:
1. "No right to build professional relationships...is this about free books?"
Dear you-who-shall-not-be-named:
How dare you say that to our darling Becky! Bugger off!
Get off your high horse.

2. On the flip side: I have come across people who have talked to me about becoming bloggers simply because they want free books. What I kindly advise them is: If you blog - do it because you love it. 'Cause honestly it's allot of work and not that many free books.

3. I haven't noticed the negativity or envy or ARC competition but then again I keep away from sharing my shelves. That way there's nothing to be envious of.

4. I think envy is a cultural thing thats running rampant these days. People would rather hate on others than work hard to get to the same place.

5. I like memes. But I don't let them hold me down. I do them when I feel like. If I miss a week or two - I don't sweat it.

6. Please don't drop me! I would be heartbroken ;)

7. When I first started out Story Siren said something really amazing to me that I have always remembered and reminded my self of. She said: "Just keep doing what you love. It will show."

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I loved the conference too. It was bloody brilliant!

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

Merlin's beard! This is more comments than I can shake a wand at.

Brizmus, I know you like my IMM because you find things that are a little different. What I say is, if I don't do it, I'll have more time to review and thus you'll get more details about said book than just the summary. So fingers crossed x

Steph, what a sweet comment! Thank you so much! I'm glad you were happy to hear my thoughts.

Nina, I think we're on the same page. Happy endings all the way!

Charlotte, thank you for your extraordinarily long comment.Your blog is unique in its origin I think. It feels very you and you know how much I adore Frecnh Friday. I'm not going anywhere!

Lauren, I totally understand about needing to post about books you bought as well as ones you got free. This is why I have to let IMM go. It is getting too crazy. I just want to enjoy my books and I have to read them to do that.

Jo, it is my pleasure to give you a shout out. Credit where it is due. Love everything you do to get people involved and please do not say I put you to shame. You are doing some seriously awesome stuff and I am learning from you.

Shy, my lovely, yesterday was normal twitter banter. It didn't upset me. That meanness was weeks ago. I just decided to offload it. Love twitter banter with you.

Stacy said...

I am a new book blogger and appreciate this post. I too found Jenny from wondrous READS, and she has been every so helpful. I knew there were tons of book bloggs, though I had no idea it was so competitive.

I am a childrens librarian too!

stacy at girlsinthestacks.com

Becky said...

Sheila, goodness you stopped by on one of my crazier days. Glad you are sharing my Ron - love. Isn't he just the best character?!

LovesSam, I think we must all go through this poop. It is time to create a Bookette bubble with steel armour so no one can pop it. You're right, we all do things differently. Our individuality is something to be celebrated not criticised. Mean people have got to go. X

Juju, I am not going to unfollow you LOL. Love everything whimsy. Thanks for being my friend. Love conferences. Love learning.

Becky said...

Stacy, I stopped by your blog. It looks very professional and sleek. Might want to open up your blogger profile so people can find you more easily. Good luck with blogging. Most days are not like today so keep at it!

Robby said...

You are wonderful. :]

Sasha said...

I just wanted to leave another comment even this is like my fourth. I thought my last comment made me seem really mean and I felt really bad afterwards. I'm really happy for book blogs when they get awesome books for review and I love participating in IMM because it makes us all feel like a community. I'm really really really sorry if I made anyone mad from my comment (I don't think I did) but if so I'm really really sorry. Book blogging is the way forward!! :DD

I Want To Read That said...

I think it's such a shame that there has to be competition and negativity. I don't really understand why it's the case and I think I have been lucky so far that I haven't experienced it first hand. I'm really sorry that you have.

You know I love The Bookette - I love your posts and your reviews are exceptional. It doesn't surprise me for one second that you get the amount of review books offered to you that you do. I don't think it matters how long you have blogged for - great reviews speak for themselves. I also think it's great that you want to establish professional relationships with publishers - you obviously love blogging and building that relationship is part of that. I would do it too if only I knew how lol :)

As for IMM - I have to be honest and say I'm going to really miss your posts. I love IMM - not because of who got what from where, or to see how many review copies people got (I honestly don't care) I just love looking at all the books. It's like being invited to look at all your bookshelves - and I have found so many gems from IMM that I wouldn't have found otherwise. But - I understand if you don't enjoy it anymore. I just hate to think you don't want to do it because you feel bad about the review copies. You really shouldn't - the publishers decide who they send them to and I think people need to remember that.

I love discovering new bloggers - the more the merrier as far as I am concerned. It also doesn't bother me what their motivations are for starting their blog - all I care about is what they post and whether that interests me. That determines if I visit/follow etc I am guilty of being a lurker though and don't comment that much - I wish I had the time to but I just don't.
I love that you support new bloggers in the way you do - you gave a shout out to a friend of mine the other week and she was so pleased about it. I think it made her day!

Okay I think I may have gone on for long enough:) Just, please don't let anyone make you feel bad - I know it's easier said than done but they are just not worth the time or effort:)

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I won't reply much because a lot of people have already expressed my exact thoughts. The funny thing was I was just planning a post reflecting on what blogging has become for me and how I'm not happy with what that is! I too plan to take a step back and into my love of reading - not just posting memes! I also feel like I've been letting my readers down because of lack of reviews. I know why they've been lacking - because I've been to busy commenting not reading!

Well said post. My feelings are right there with ya!

Ebony McKenna. said...

Hey Becky,
I love your blog!

Luisa at Chicklish said...

I'm not sure what I can add to your great post and these wonderful comments, except to say that I, too, love your site!

I enjoy reading IMM posts, but I don't take part in them myself. This is really because most books reach my "mailbox" (or doormat) and then go straight out to someone else's! It's always nice to read about books, though, whether I'm reading reviews or blurbs.

I love the mention of "blogging bubbles" and I think I definitely exist in one. Having said that, I absolutely love reading other people's book sites, and I enjoy all discussion of books - IMMs, short reviews that just say "I loved it", long and thoughtful reviews that are as entertaining as the books themselves, and everything in between.

Oops, I've rambled on a bit for someone who said they didn't know what to add. Anyway, I'd like to echo many of the sentiments above and especially to say: I love your blog!

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

What a great post and I really appreciate your honesty! I agree with most of what you've written, but I have to say that personally I haven't noticed any negativity in the community, but yes there is competitivness - I'm competitive too, who isn't, but it's actually what keeps me going! I wouldn't really read as much if it weren't for my blog.
I lovelovelove blogging about books and I wish I could make a career out of this, but it is indeed a lot of unpaid work and effort and if you're doing it for the free books, then it's really not worth it. I don't get many books for review and I'm not bothered at all since books are so cheap now (especially if you pre-order) and I have too many to read anyway.
I blog because I love books and I want to talk about the ones I've read and also the once I've received. I'm one of those people who LOVE IMM, it's one of my favourite things about blogging as I really love seeing what other people got! Sorry to hear you won't be participating in it so much anymore, but it's your personal choice, do whatever you feel is right.
Anyway, thanks for this honest and both thought- and well as debate-provoking post. I agree that there is a downside to book blogging, but I myself prefer to look on the good side of things in this case! I love the book blogosphere and bloggers, both newbies and oldies! :)

Sarah said...

Great post Becky, I'm still a very new blogger (less than 3 months old) but I've been very lucky in that I've not experienced any negativity. All the more experienced bloggers I've spoken to have been so friendly and helpful that I've really loved joining the blogging community.

I didn't start blogging to get free books - I've always had a book buying obsession & a TBR pile that was ridiculously big (although I have to confess that it has become even more out of hand since I started reading book blogs & getting so many great recommendations LOL).

I have started to recieve review books though & am really excited when I get an email from a publisher asking me to review a book for them. That isn't my main motivation though - I have a ton of my own books that I still want to read plus a massive wishlist of books that I hope to buy or borrow from the library eventually.

I love finding new to me blogs - old or new in terms of experience - that have great reviews. I've met some wonderful people through blogging & hope to meet many more over time.

I don't tend to feel in competition with other bloggers - I love it when I get new followers & enjoy getting comments but I don't feel the need to compete with anyone else. I'm happy that people enjoy reading my reviews but my main purpose for blogging was to keep track of what I'd been reading & hopefully meet some like minded people. I feel like I've achieved that :o)

I do find that I'm having less time for reading now though so I can understand what you're saying about not taking part in IMM so often. I'm happy at the moment but I'll probably take part in less memes as time goes by.

I'm sorry to hear you've encountered a negative attitude from some people but I love your blog - you do a fantastic job & I love the fact that you're so friendly and helpful to us newbies. Thanks for all the hard work you put in!

The Book Owl said...

Great post Becky! I have to agree that I sometimes feel blogging is simply about popularity. I feel that some people are only concerned with how many followers they have and how many books they receive. That irks me. I joined blogging, about the same time as you, because I wanted to be a part of a fun book community and to share my thoughts on books. Yeah, the idea of free books was very exciting, but I knew I would have to work for that. I don't feel any competition, in terms of book receiving.

There are many wonderful bloggers that have been welcoming, including you and Juju especially. I, however, feel that it's hard for us newer bloggers to form bonds with the older bloggers. I feel that they can be a bit clique-ish. Maybe it's my fault for not reaching out, but I often feel out of the loop - an outsider, if you will. I don't have any close blogging friends, and I wish that I could change that somehow. It feels like that at this point, all of the bloggers have close relationships that I can't become a part of. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I've got to admit, it's got me down. I'm really not sure what to do. Continue the outward path, or try to connect with bloggers in what will most likely seem a pathetic attempt for recognition?

By the way, I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment and reply to comments. I always remember you for that.

Shweta said...

Hey Becky , reached late as usual and at the risk of sounding repetitive I am gonna say that most of my thoughts have been echoed by these wonderful commenters above.

I discovered your blog nearly at the same time as I started blogging and I can say that you have been a wonderful blogger buddy. I love reading your posts and especially your reviews and I am in the awe of your commenting capabilities. And I don't understand the negativity these bloggers show.Publishers and authors sends out books , you read and review them. That's it.If I had got a chance to do it I would gladly have done ,jumping and dancing all the way. They are books after all and we love reading. LOL

I love seeing your IMMs because I feel that way my desire for new books get satisfied in a way. But if that's affecting you and your blogging then do what needs to be done.Remember that you blog because you love it. Be happy and spread the love of books.(I can be preachy when I want to LOL)

Paper Cut Reviewer said...

Hi Becky! I was @ the Book Bloggers and Publishers online conference too and I also had a great time. I found the Conference very informative and I made alot of new blogger friends:) Actually you helped me out on how to make my blog more organized and I really appreciate your suggestions. I just wanted to say that this is a very honest inspiring post because being a very new blogger myself I want nothing more then just to read, review and support my fellow blogger(new and old). I don't care if I have 7 or 700 followers as long as people enjoy my blog and find my reviews helpful then I will be completely satisfied. Maybe we should design a button as a pledge to support this idea! Kind of spread the word. What do you think?

Steph@ Paper Cut Reviews

Book Monster said...

I want to post a long meaningful agreement to this post, but I just can't come up with a word. Your blog is yours. It's like a house, or even a library *that you would own*. You choose how to decorate it, not someone else. I think when a situation like this happens, it's time to take a break and just live life and then when you feel in control, return. That's what I do.

Dwayne said...

Very insightful - I have the same thoughts too, although I may not be as qualified to do so as I'm totally new to book blogging - I think book-blogging is for YOURSELF more than it is for others. I think, Becky, if you're no longer happy (or satisfied, or...words fail me) then I think what you're planning to do is well justified.

emilyborges said...

The reason I follow blogs that review and talk about books is honesty (as I hope to get an honest review this way) and inspiration (I found some brilliant books following blogs' recommendations).
Your post (as your blog) is very effective both ways.
I have been following some blogs for years and I must admit that the quality hasn't necessarily improved, giveaways & challenges sometimes it gets a bit too overwhelming for me. I guess there is a match for everybody out there, it's just a matter of keep looking (Em, in awe of the web).

Rhiana said...

Hi Becky, Sarah's post is pretty much identical to the one I would have wrote, so I won't go over it again. I just wanted to say that as a new blogger you were very welcoming to me and I really appreciated it. I was writing reviews long before I found blogging, so to me everything else is just a bonus with reviews being most important. Chin up and I love The Bookette!

Becky said...

My goodness, I feel really awful that I don't have the time to reply to all the comments that were left after I went to bed last night. So I'll just say thank you one and all for stopping by. All your supportive messages are appreciated. Oh and I have to just to say to the adorable Sasha - stop worrying - no one took your comment the wrong way and we all love you.

I'm off to do interesting things with glass now. Maybe I'll show you where I go on a Tuesday night some time!

cynthial11 said...

This is such a wonderful post, I'm glad I got to read it. I am very new at the whole blogging thing and I don't consider myself a book blogger I blog mostly about books but it's because I love to read, I also blog about lots of other things that I love and whatever else I want to write about and share with others.

Lynsey Newton said...

Thank you for such an honest and interesting post! I've actually just tweeted this link, encouraging all book bloggers to read it. Having read through ALL the comments, I’m going to give you my take on it. I'm quite new too blogging (under 3 months old) and I have to say that I have not experienced any negativity first hand. I understand the competitiveness although I always feel happy for people when they win contests or receive books for review. I sometimes think "wow, they're lucky as I'm DYING to read that" but I don't dwell on it.

I've started doing IMM because I thought it made me part of the blogging community. Again, it never even crossed my mind that it might be seen as bragging. I like seeing what others are reading as it lets me know what they might be reviewing soon, if their tastes are similar to mine, recommendations etc.

I try not to read reviews of books that I want to read and review BEFORE I’ve had a chance to do so myself. This is simply so I am not influenced by anyone’s musings. I do like reading them afterwards though to see how someone’s take was different or similar to mine.

It’s nice to have followers but it’s not a popularity contest. It’s nice to get review copies (ARC’s) but if I like the book, I buy a finished copy of it anyway. I just like reviewing it early and making recommendations. What really makes me happy is sharing my thoughts about books that I love and getting comments – especially when you’ve helped someone to make up their mind about buying the book. I like promoting authors and books, especially if they’re not as well known.

In conclusion, I love being part of the book blogging community – making new friends and sharing thoughts about books we love.
I’m so sorry that you’ve come across some negative thoughts and that someone felt it necessary to criticise another person’s blog. Blogging is reflective of the individual. The look and feel of the blog, the style of writing – it would be boring if we were all the same :P
I’m really glad I found this blog/you and look forward to reading your reviews :)

S.F. Robertson said...

Kudos for saying what many of us have been thinking Becky!

I'm relatively new to the book blogging side of things as my blog started as a writers blog. Now, it functions as a bit of both. But I'll be honest, I've seen a huge surge in my readership and I feel like it may just be that I'm friends with the right bloggers. Again, popularity...

I'm not disparaging any of my wonderful blogger friends by any means beacuse they are all wonderful, but they are also big time compared to me. Blogging longer and, I feel, stronger than me.

I don't do many memes and I write what I feel. I am honest and I devote all the time I can to the blog. I know the bloggers love me for my blog as do the authors, but the rest seems.. I don't know... Too convenient.

I guess I just don't understand this phenonemna of following the "right" blogs as opposed to the blogs you as a reader love. I feel like it's high school all over again.

Chris said...

Hello! First time visitor here. No matter how long you blog, everyone has those moments when we step and re-evaluate what we are doing and why we are doing it. Then we read a great book and we're back in business. It's best not to focus on what everyone else is doing and just do your own thing.

choco ( In Which a Girl Reads) said...

Got to this post a bit late, but I just wanted to say that I adore you and your blog!

Very honest post and you said what needed to be said. I'm with you on the IMM--I've stopped doing it this last few weeks because it really does take me the whole Sunday to respond to the IMMs in my feed, and I feel like my comments, "ooh, that looks good" are a bit vapid. So I'm choosing not to participate for the time being.

I'm also with you on the commenting. I've been really bad lately commenting and I feel terrible about it. The only thing is, I feel pressured to comment on every new post and then I just stop commenting, period. But your post is inspiring. I think from now on I'll just comment on the blogs and posts that interest me and that I love. Which includes yours :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

BookOwl: *hugs* You can hang out with me anytime.

Ya know what I do when I feel out of the loop?
I bounce in and chime in anyway :)

Lea (YA Book Queen) said...

Fantastic post, Becky, and very honest. I've got to agree on the commenting area, I'm really trying to step up my game a little because I've been horrible lately (which is why I'm a few days late on your post!! Sorry! I finally just added your link to my favorites list so it's easier for me to get my butt over here).

I think anyone that says blogging is just about free books hasn't ever tried to run a successful blog before. If people come and leave comments discussing a book with you, then wow, that's the best feeling in the world and the biggest reason why I blog. Even if it's only one person, or twenty, I love reading the comments. Sharing our thoughts on books is the reason I came to the blogging world. I love posting a review, and seeing what everyone else thought about the book...it's like being a book club! I always look forward to every comment, whether they're positive or negative.

Becky, don't let anyone bring you down, because you are an amazing blogger and I respect your reviews and thoughts more than I probably can say (and so do the publishers, obviously). I absolutely adore your blog, and your honesty! Looking forward to whatever post you've got coming next :D

Becky said...

So I am finally braving coming back to this post which has been the most popular in the history of The Bookette. I think that shows how passionate we all are about blogging and reading. For many of you I know my thoughts were things that you had been pondering yourselves. Things that you wanted to say. I had no idea other people felt as I did so I'm really glad that I took a risk and put myself out there.

Now I'm going to reply to those comments.

Robby - The feeling is entirely mutual and by the way, you are inspiring.

Sammee - we kind of chatted about this on Wednesday. I think I clarified how I see the competition issue. Love your blog and if you're still checking, I am still following LOL

Jill - We are so on the same page.

Ebony - Thank you, thank you. I love your blog too and can't wait to meet you.

Luisa - What can I say? You are just the best at being bubble-fied and I really admire you. I want to be more like you. I'm going to try (hope that didn't sound stalkerish)

Bookalicious - If you enjoy the competitive nature of things, then good for you. I prefer to love all equally.

Sarah - I'm glad your introduction to blogging has been a positive and welcoming one. This is what I hope everyone will experience.

McKenzie - Hope you got my email. I know it can be hard if you feel like these relationships bewteen bloggers are already established. From your post I can see that you are going for a proactive approach to changing things and I sincerely admire you. My inbox is always open to hearing form you!

Shweta - I love it when you stop by. You always make me feel like I'm good at this even when the chips are down. Thanks for the regular ego boosts.

Steph - I'm really pleased my comments were helpful and the conference has inspired me to always look to improve. If you have any more questions, just drop me an email.

Maura - I think you're right, I put so much of myself into my blog. I must enjoy blogging otherwise what is the point?

Becky said...

Dwayne - I'm so pleased to have found your blog. I love your reviews and hope you enjoy yur journey into book blogging.

Emily - I agree the blogosphere can sometimes feel like a world on your shoulders. The only way to hold it up is to be yourself and have integrity. Thank you for your comment. I'm glad you stopped by.

Rhiana - It is good to hear your intro into UK blogging has been positive like Sarah's. May it long continue to be a joy to you.

S F Robertson - Wow, interesting comment. I have heard that writer blogs are even getting competitive. I think I need to be free on my blog and I urge you to be the same. I'm glad you understand where I'm coming from and hope that you can find your own path in this forest of voices.

Chris - Great advice. After only a couple of days doing things my way I am feeling better and I agree getting lost in a great book will certainly help. Almost True by Keren David anyone?

Choco - I love your blog. Your posts inspire me to think more about the wider implications of content in YA. I'm glad we are moving forward in a way that works for us.

Lea - I know that things can get overwhelming. Never feel like you have to comment. I know that the number of posts can feel like a tidal wave and that you have no life-jacket. Just know that when you stop by I will read your thoughts and be glad to have you as my bloggy friend.

And that's all of them.
Thanks all!

boofsbookshelf.com said...

Becky, only just seen this post.

Firstly, your blog is great and you do a fabulous job - keep it up.

Secondly, I am a new blogger too and so I can empathise with a lot of what you have said but I haven't actually received any negative comments yet. I don't know if that is because of the different audiences our blogs attract maybe? It shouldn't make any differnce though and it's not acceptable either way.

Thirdly, you and I don't always read the same books. Actually, proably only a few of the books we have read we have in common but I still love reading your blog. I have a select number of YA blogs that I like to vitis (yours is among them - also Jenny, Jo and Carly are some of the others) because I enjoy reading their reviews and I have picked up some of the books recommended on your blogs because I respect your opinions and like reading what you have to say. I fon't read much fatasty either but I do look at Amanda and Carolyns blogs too as it's good to be open minded and expand your experiences.

With regards to getting free books, I do know what you mean. At first it was a perk that I never expected to get. I couldn't believe that people wanted to give me free books! The stress of trying to review them all in a timely fashion is starting to get to me though and, like you, I may have to cut down soon.

Finally, your blog is your own. The peoples blogs that I like the best are the ones that I can tell are as passionate about books as I am. Do this for YOU! You're doing great!

Boof (The Book Whisperer) x

Becky said...

Boof, thanks. Your comment made me smile. I am feeling so much better now that I've made some changes. As you say, I have to do this my way. Thanks for stopping by!

Jamie said...

Thank you for this AWESOME post! I've noticed some of the same things that you have noticed through out the book blogging community and it saddens me. I even admit to contributing to some of it (unintentionally of course). I am even working on my "State of the Blog" address and I will be linking to your post.

I too will be cutting down on the number of blogs that I follow (right now I'm at 279!) because I have a hard time keeping up and when I feel like my hobby has turned into a job, it's time for something(s) to change.

So thanks again for posting this. Have an AWESOME day!

P.S. I follow your blog and will continue to follow your blog! :)

Jennifer (Crazy-for-Books) said...

I'm so glad to have found your blog and this post. I've been having the same angsty feelings lately and it's been a bit frustrating to me! I'm so glad that others are feeling the same way! I'm not sure how I missed your blog, but I am now following you and looking forward to your future posts!

Happy Reading!