BBAW: Community Part 2

Today’s daily writing for Book Blogger Appreciation Week is about finding our place in the blogging community.

The world of book blogging has grown enormously and sometimes it can be hard to find a place. Share your tips for finding and keeping community in book blogging despite the hectic demands made on your time and the overwhelming number of blogs out there.

Two years ago, Book Blogger Appreciation Week was well underway. I found that I felt that classics were underrepresented in discussions, giveaways, and book blogging in general. It seemed so many blogs focused on “blog tours” of modern books, promoting the authors and publishers that are currently in stores. As I pondered the concept, I wondered out loud on my blog if anyone would be interested in doing a similar type of “blog tour” for the dead authors.

What a reaction! Yes! People would love to participate! And so, The Classics Circuit came to be.

I love the concept behind the word “Circuit” in the name we eventually settled on. Here are a few of the definitions I think fit well for our purposes:

Definition of CIRCUIT

2 a : a course around a periphery b : a circuitous or indirect route

3 a : a regular tour (as by a traveling judge or preacher) around an assigned district or territory b : the route traveled

5 a : an association of similar groups : league b : a number or series of public outlets (as theaters, radio shows, or arenas) offering the same kind of presentation c : a number of similar social gatherings <the cocktail circuit>

Those definitions seem to fit The Classics Circuit for me. It’s a celebration of classics by following a (possibly circuitous) route, and we form a “league” of classics bloggers. How fun it has been to create these new connections by focusing on great old books!

By asking the question, I found that there were far more people in the blogosphere interested in classics than I’d have imagined. Besides, one can blog about classics as well as the other stuff – it’s not mutually exclusive. So, anyone can be a classics blogger: just choose a classic, read it, and post about it. There are classics in every genre too: classics were the first genre fiction, after all.

In the past two years, I’ve come to the conclusion that classics are not underrepresented on the web. Possibly, and maybe this isn’t really the case, but we may not be as vocal all the time since we’re in it for the literature, not the books, the money (hah!), the relationships with publishers, etc. I’m not sure others are in it for anything either, but it does still seem that classics bloggers are less likely to speak out in public forums, and so forth. It seems to me we just want to talk books, more than website branding or publisher relationships.

In the years I’ve been blogging, I’ve found that the blogosphere has really grown to a stage I’m struggling to keep up with. I can no longer read every blog post by every blogger that I love on a regular basis. I can no longer even read a little bit of everything. I’ve found my reading and blog reading has settled a little bit into certain categories, like classics, and I love how The Classics Circuit allows me to connect with new bloggers I may not have discovered before. It’s my community, and each tour has new friends and new blogs, as well as old favorites.

If you’re looking for your place, I’d suggest asking yourself what, exactly, you are looking for. If you don’t know, keep looking around for a while: see what types of blogs there are (BBAW is a perfect place to find new blogs!), and consider what you want to do. Do you want to read a little of everything? I did that for a while. Do you want to focus? Some bloggers do that too. Just be yourself. It may take a year or more to figure out what “yourself” means on your public blog. It takes some time to settle into blogging, at least it did for me. But as you blog for yourself first and foremost, you may be surprised at the number of people you find out there who are just like you.

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything that you do, Rebecca. I’ve enjoyed participating in the Classics Circuit so much, and I’ve discovered so many amazing books I might otherwise not have read anytime soon (or at all).

  2. “It seems to me we just want to talk books, more than website branding or publisher relationships.”

    You nailed it for me. I’m not as much into the branding or the relationships with publishers or even new authors. I prefer reading the “older” authors, maybe not always as classic as you, but still back a few years — most at least five, if not 10, so not the 100s of years always :).

    As for the struggling to keep up with everything, it’s a common theme I’m seeing this morning in these BBAW: Community 2 posts, and I know it’s true for me too. We have so many blogs and then Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous…the list goes on and on. It’s hard sometimes to…breathe…I’m still struggling to find the space to do that.

    1. unfinishedperson » I agree, I think there are plenty of bloggers out there who don’t care so much for the relationships with publishers. And yes, Twitter and all the other “social” medias keep us pretty busy!

  3. I am off to check out The Classics Circuit, and I am sure it will be one of the things that I love about book bloggers…they challenge me to read books that I normally would not have chosen!

  4. That’s true, it does take some time to figure out where you want to be. And it can change, too, even if you think you’ve found your place. As for the Classics Circuit, I LOVE the idea and am in the process of cutting drastically down on review commitments so that I can join in soon. Kudos to you for creating and sustaining it!

  5. Most of the blogs I read are fans of classics over new novels – and the reason I read them is because that’s what I’m interested in, and blog about, too! The audiences for these blogs will always be a bit smaller than those who blog about exclusively new books, but I think the comments and discussions are better 🙂 I think a lot of bloggers feel a bit of reservation about writing about books they love, rather than books that everyone else seems to be talking about – so well done you on taking this wonderful initiative!

  6. I love the Classics Circuit too! It makes me so happy that there are other people out there that love to celebrate the classics. It’s one of the main reasons book blogging appealed to me so much. I don’t know very many people in my “real” life that love reading old books. The book blogging world made me realize I wasn’t alone in that love.

  7. I love reading everyone’s posts for the Classics Circuit! I hope to participate someday, if I can manage to work myself into a classic lit mindset just as one of the tours begins. 🙂

  8. I love the Classics Circuit. I mentioned it today in my BBAW post, and I went and signed up for the Gothic Lit circuit. Thank you for creating an event that I enjoy so much! 🙂

  9. Excellent, excellent post.

    I love The Classics Circuit. It is by far my favorite event to participate in. I am so glad I wandered across it early on in my blogging “career” since it introduced me to a lot of “like-minded” bloggers. It is a great community event and I enjoy the focus and fun of it. I know how much work it must be, so THANK YOU for continually putting it on!

    (and if you ever need help, I would be more than happy to help!)

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