Musing Mondays is a meme started over on Should Be Reading that presents a different literary-themed question every week.
This week’s question is: What attracts you to a book blog? What puts you off in a book blog? Do you share personal stuff on your book blog?
Nowadays, anyone can create a WordPress or Blogger account and start inundating the world with unsolicitated commentary, myself included. Much to my delight, book blogs abound, but as both a blogger and an avid reader of my fellow blogs, I know all too well the problem posed by the consistent deluge of new bloggers. Even many of those blogs that have been around for a few years and grown a sizable following are often not to my liking, despite being extraordiarily popular with readers and publishers alike. So what, in my opinion, makes for a good book blog?
I don’t want to sound like a literary snob, but to me, the main reason why I reach out to fellow bloggers is for reviews. I love reading what other people think about the books that I’m reading or those that are on my TBR list. It’s how I organize my reading schedule, find new authors, and reminisce about worlds and characters that I’m not yet ready to let go of. Unfortunately, while I think it’s great that so many people are choosing to channel their energy into blogs focused on the literary realm, so many bloggers seem to neglect thoughtful, incisive reviews in favor of cover reveals, author spotlights, and other posts that reign in viewership but do little to discuss the works themselves. Of those bloggers who do review, I often find myself crossing a blog off my potential follow list if the reviewer merely summarizes the work without discussing his or her personal reactions. Another pet peeve is when a reviewer peppers the review with gushing adjectives that make me feel as if I am reading a middle high school diary entry.
Another way in which bloggers tend to get my attention is if the blog is visually striking in a clean, organized way. I detest clicking on a link that leads to a website where fonts clash, colors abound, sidebars are littered with buttons, and I feel adrift in a chaotic cacophany of visuals. I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, and perhaps that applies to book blogs as well, but when I find a blog that seems to share my visual aesthetic, I am much more likely to return for future visits.
As far as my own blog goes, I try not to share too much personal information. I have mentioned random tidbits here and there, but for the most part I like to keep my anonymity, which seems like a good strategy amidst the recent blogger/author scandals.