I appreciate book blogs!

It’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week, which means that lots of people are doing a lot of appreciating, and I thought I’d join in. So, thank you so, so, so, so much all you book bloggers out there! I’ve been struck again and again by just how friendly the book blogging world, as I know it at least, has been. I hear things about how ugly the internet can be, how people leave nasty comments all the time and wars get waged and stalking goes on, and who knows what else, but it’s not something I see. I realize that this is because my blog is a small one, and the book blogging world is a fairly quiet place, and if that’s what is required to keep things peaceful, then that’s just fine. My experience has been that book bloggers are wonderfully smart, generous, passionate, clever, witty, and generally awesome people.

I’m sitting in my study right now staring at shelves and stacks of books almost all of which I bought because book bloggers have recommended them to me. Following book blogs is one of the best ways there is to learn about books and to find things to read. People frequently ask me to recommend them books or they wonder how I know about the books I do or they think I’m really knowledgeable about what’s out there. The truth is that I’m not actually all that good at keeping up with book news on my own; before blogging I used to read reviews now and then, but sort of haphazardly and with a narrow focus. But following blogs has introduced me not only to the most recently-published books but also to tons and tons of older books I hadn’t heard of before. Following blogs makes it easy to know what’s going on. When people ask me how to find things they would like to read, I tell them to follow blogs. If you find blogs you like, which of course you will, it’s only a matter of time before you start feeling overwhelmed at the number of new books you’re learning about.

I’ve loved how book blogging has allowed me to feel like I’m an active part of the book world without having to be a professional reviewer or to have a job in the publishing world or to be a writer myself. I don’t have a big place in the book world, but it’s thrilling to find that people do actually read what I write and that I convince people now and then to read something I loved.

So, many thanks to whoever it was who nominated me for a BBAW award, many thanks to those of you who listed me as a favorite blog in the BBAW meme going on today, many thanks to those of you who link to me and read me and leave comments, and many, many thanks to those of you who publish your thoughts about books on the internet!

16 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Books

16 responses to “I appreciate book blogs!

  1. It’s wonderful that your blogging experiences have been so positive! I too am lucky that I’ve only experienced kindness and generosity among the knitting blog community, including fellow reading addicts who have sent me books “just because.” I truly appreciate your reviews as well as the other book bloggers; my full to bursting cabinet testifies to all the great books that you’ve recommended.

  2. Dorothy, I can’t imagine what the “narrow focus” of the reviews you used to read might have been; one of my favorite things about your blog is the wide diversity of books represented, from genres that not everyone reads. That said, I completely share your appreciation for the kind, constructive vibe of the book-blogging world, and it’s made me better-informed as well!

  3. Now I feel so awful because, although I am technically not a book blog, I do read; yet, I have failed to write up any of my reading from the past year. So, will the guilt manifest itself as productive energy or will it just fester inside like a mite-ridden dust bunny under the fridge?

  4. Bravo, Dorothy! Very well said. You’re an extremely important part of the book blogging world for many of us! :) My week would not be complete without a visit here to see you!

  5. Congratulations on your nomination! You are a fab blogger and the little book blogging corner simply wouldn’t be the same without you.

  6. Let me just take a moment to say how much I appreciate your blog Dorothy and all the interesting books, authors and ideas you have introduced me to. Your blog is a regular stop for me and you will never be able to stop blogging now that you have started. I depend on you too much for the health of my TBR pile! :)

  7. Wonderful post, Dorothy! Can I borrow it? :) You touched on all the things that make book blogging such a wonderful thing.

  8. You inspire me to write a post as well in honor of the week, but you say it all so well, I couldn’t possibly improve on your thoughts! I greatly enjoy your writing and you’ve expanded my reading horizons so much (the book blog world in general as been good at that). I’ve learned so much from other readers–I’d be at a loss if I couldn’t drop by here daily!

  9. Pingback: bookgirl’s nightstand | Blog Archive | Awards, Giveaway & Mystery Night

  10. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Book bloggers are nice, nice people.

  11. Thank you for keeping an informative and friendly book blog yourself. I’ve learned a lot from reading your reviews and appreciated how you openly share your views and experience (and photo). About your question about my reading Turgenev in Hong Kong. It may be that HK used to be a British colony, so there was a lot of European (incl. Russia) influence, much more than N. American.

  12. You write brilliant reviews, Dorothy, because you clearly love reading and really engage with the authors. I get the sense that you are being changed by what you read and sharing how this feels, which is very rare. I particularly liked your reviews of Nabokov’s lectures, the biography of Coleridge and The Moonstone. I wish I had more time to spend with the books you describe.

  13. Debby — yes, it really is wonderful. How great that people have sent you books just because! I’m so glad you have found my reviews helpful — I do love it when I can make a good recommendation.

    Emily — well, thank you! I used to read the NYTimes book review and the New York Rev. of Books and … the New Yorker … see, narrow! Bloggers have helped me expand my reading horizons so much.

    Bikkuri — oh, don’t feel guilty! I think blogs should be for whatever people feel like writing about and shouldn’t involve guilt at all. If you don’t feel like writing book reviews, don’t!

    Litlove — well, thank you so very much for being such a faithful and kind reader of this blog, and thank you for doing such fabulous writing over at your place!

    Jodie — thank you! And many thanks for mentioning me in your list — that was very kind of you.

    Stefanie — oh, the pressure :) I won’t stop if you won’t stop — how’s that? I could send everything you wrote back to you. Thank you so much for the great introduction to blogging you gave me!

    Iliana — oh, help yourself! Thank you!

    Danielle — same deal with you as with Stefanie — if you don’t stop blogging, I won’t stop, and then we can both be happy :) You have introduced me to so many great books — I’m very grateful!

    Booklogged — aren’t they? I’m so glad I met them!

    Arti — thanks for the Turgenev explanation, and thanks for the compliment! I’m so glad people find my reviews useful, and I’m pleased to start being more open with my readers about myself.

    Joseph — why, thank you! What a wonderful compliment. I do hope reading changes me, and that writing about it changes me too. I’m so glad you enjoyed those reviews.

  14. Me too! Me too! Oh, and one of the BEST things to come out of the book blogging experience has been getting to be your “real life” friend. I’ve now almost gotten to the point that I forget this is how we met and that we probably never would have had it not been for the book blog community that introduced me to you.

  15. Emily — isn’t it so interesting the way we met, and how unlikely it was, really? My life is quite a bit different because of that meeting, actually, as not only are we friends, but I met a bunch of other people through you — and I’m very grateful for that!

  16. LK

    Brilliant! I love reading your blog. I really missed the book blog community the past months.

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