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Jun 22

Life, the Universe and Book Blogging

Books for everyone!

Meredith and I have only recently joined the thriving community of book bloggers and have to admit that we didn’t quite realise that it was quite so diverse, extensive or active.

I’ve probably entered into the book blogging community a little more actively than Meredith, who is keeping the home fires burning at Oh the Thinks you Can Think while I nurse our fledging book blog into existence.

Now that I have had time to have a little look around at the amazingly diverse world of book blogs, I am starting to get a feel for what kinds of sites most appeal to me and, based on this, what direction I would like this blog to take.

Deep, deep down, there is part of me that would love Reading Upside Down to be a serious literature/book review blog. I’d love for readers to regularly visit, drawn to the incredibly intellectual insights and commentary I offer on a wide array of titles, marvelling at my exhaustive knowledge of literature both classic and modern.

Unfortunately, the truth is that these aren’t the blogs that I enjoy visiting myself. In the past couple of months, I have been drawn to blogs that combine personality with well-written reviews by well-read readers of books, not dry analytic commentaries by professional “qualified” literary critics. Not that these serious critiques don’t have a place, it’s just that they aren’t the sites I have bookmarked in my full to overflowing reader.

The blogs I am drawn to are the clever, witty, amusing, knowledgeable and interesting network of (mostly) women that have offered me the opportunity to expand not only my knowledge of what books are out there, but also to enlarge my capacity to enjoy books and reading. I’ve laughed, I’ve sighed, and I’ve come away from posts with insightful thoughts and morsels of philosophical debate wandering through my mind for days after I’ve read the post that inspired them.

So, what kind of blog do I want Reading Upside Down to be? I guess the answer is I want it to be somewhere where people come to find out about great books, discuss books and reading and just hang-out with friends. I want it to be, as my new favourite book blogs are, a blog about books with wit and personality and a splash of fun.

Which book blogs inspire you? What are you looking for in a blog – do you prefer serious and academic, chatty, 100% reviews or a combination of reviews, chat, serious topics and fun?

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7 comments

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  1. Michelle

    Like you I’m drawn to a more community based blog than one that takes a more purist literary view of books. I fully admit that literary critique is mostly lost on me as I tend to like the more narrative approach. That is not to say, as you verbalized, that there is no place for such blogs just that it’s not for me. In looking at your list of links to the right it seems that we frequent the same blogs, I hope to see you around!

  2. Pam

    I was having this exact conversation with my husband, last night. I am, by nature, a serious literature fiend. To review the deeper books was my original intention in starting my blog. However, like you noted, the community is filled with bloggers of all types and I am enjoying taking the complete tour.

    Per your question, I think I am most “inspired” by literature reviews because those are the books I am most likely to pick up on my next book store or library outing but I certainly enjoy reading the chatty and hybrid reviews.

    This topic is near and dear to me as of late so keep discussing it!

  3. Wendy

    Thanks for stopping by my blog this weekend and leaving a couple of comments…and welcome to the wonderful world of book blogs!

    I loved this post. I agree with you 100% – although I like to think I could create a highly intellectual, literary-style blog with analytical reviews, those are NOT the blogs I read and enjoy. I like when you can see the personality of the blogger coming out in their posts; I like seeing them share part of their hearts and dreams from time to time; I like the chatty style of book review that encourages discussion.

    I am happy to have discovering your blog…I’m adding you to my feed reader 🙂

  4. Undine

    Like Wendy, I want to thank you for stopping by my blog this weekend!

    To answer your question, I much prefer combo-blogs. I read a lot of blogs, both concerning books and otherwise, and if a blog is completely books, I don’t like it as much. I prefer getting to know the person who is recommending books to me. I feel like there can be so much more of a conversation going on when you don’t have to rely solely on a person’s book reviews for insight, though those of course can be revealing as well. Plus, who wants to be serious and business-like all the time? A blog is a place where you should be able to do what you want, and if I had to limit myself to book reviews alone, I probably wouldn’t be blogging and reaching out to a community like this.

  5. Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog

    I think there’s a time and place for the dry, academic reviews, and sometimes I find them very interesting and useful….especially when they involve interviews with authors who are so huge that no book blogger would ever have access to them.

    But for the most part, I’m like you. I want to hear about books from other people whose interests are similar to mine and who bring a unique, personable voice to the table. And I think a lot of people want that—that’s why book blogging is becoming what it’s becoming and finding the readership it is finding.

    Welcome to the community!

  6. Violet

    I tend to gravitate towards chatty blogs. And I like a mix of everything, it keeps the blogs interesting.

  7. Rebecca

    I could not have said it better myself! You have nailed down exactly what I like in book blogs and what I try to make my own blog to be like. I enjoy your blog and think you are doing a great job with it! If you make it like the ones you enjoy visiting, it will attract readers like you and make blogging even more enjoyable.
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..TSS: Mini-Reviews =-.

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