I have a problem. I am subscribed to too many great book blogs.
When I first started book blogging, I copied a blog roll from a group blog (Pulitzer Project or something). I started following those people. Then, any time anyone commented on my blog, I added their blog to my reader. Because I was participating in BTT and Weekly Geeks every week, I had lots of random new visitors. Now my Google Reader is out of control!
I am subscribed to 100 blogs individually, and then there is the Weekly Geeks feed, which adds another 140. (This is beside the family blogs, photography blogs, writing blogs, and cooking blogs to which I’m also subscribed.) I can’t read this many blogs on a weekly basis, let alone a daily basis! Most book bloggers post at least every other day. That’s too many book blogs to even just scan the headlines, let alone read and comment.
Before the crazy holiday season, I must do something. I hesitate to delete blogs because what if they have the review I’ve been waiting for tomorrow? But I’m going to do it.
How many book blogs do you have in your Google Reader? How often do you check them? How do you keep it low? I need ideas for more control!
I’ve also been thinking lately about my goals for my blog. The idea of blogging was to slow down my reading and think about it! But instead, I rush through my books in order to get to the next one. I rush to the computer so I can get my next post up. A few other bloggers commented on similar things just this weekend (tuesday in silhouette and So Many Books). So I guess such thoughts are in the air.
I’ve been noticing on my Google Analytics that while my number of hits has been going up, only 15-20% of the hits are “returning visitors”; the others randomly arrive via Google search or other sites. New readers are always good, but you regular visitors are the key, I think.
So, what’s the bottom line? I need to rethink my goals. Is it “number of hits” a day? Is it “raise number of returning visitors”? Is it “get more comments”? Of course, I want more people visiting and commenting on Rebecca Reads. But more than that, I also hope to encourage conversation.
Conversation is what I think blogging is about. For book blogging, I think the conversation should be about books. It is an interaction with people who share similar reading tastes or at least have insightful thoughts about books we share in common. We learn from each other: books don’t end when we close the cover.
And I’m going to slow down my reading. And blogging (maybe…). I intend try for more of a balance between fiction and nonfiction, and I’ll keep a bit of my children’s book reviews too. After all, reading to my son is a big part of my reading these days!
I really appreciate all those who do leave comments, and I love knowing that there are people out there (you!) also reading and sharing!
What are your goals in blogging? What do you think book blogging should be about? What is your ultimate goal in clicking “post” each day? How do you get new readers?
Most hated book by an admired author?
I went through a Toni Morrison stage in college. While I loved the other books I read, I didn’t like The Bluest Eye. (I can’t say I hated it, though.) I’ve only read one or two books by most authors, so I feel not well-read enough to answer this.
Aside from novels, what sort of books do you read the most?
Nonfiction, in general. I think I read more nonfiction than I do fiction these days (see note above about need for balance)! I like biographies over memoirs. I’ve been reading lots of history lately, but I have dozens of science general nonfiction books on my “to be read” list
If you could award the Best of the Booker, it would go to:
I’ve only read two of the Booker winners as of yet, Life of Pi and Life and Times of Michael K. I guess I liked Life of Pi better (i.e., I can see myself rereading it, while I can’t say the same of Coetzee’s novel).
Much like desserts, some books can feel like a guilty pleasure. Name one of your dessert books.
I really like Alexander McCall-Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. He’s my “I don’t want to think” reading. There’s a new one out, but I haven’t read it yet. I guess I’ve been thinking too much this year!
Finally, cheesecake or cream cake or chocolate mudcake?
I’m not sure what “chocolate mudcake” is. If it’s like Australian “pudding” or “brownies,” no, thank you, I’ll take the cheesecake. If it’s like American chocolate cake or brownies, I’ll take the chocolate. (I guess I like a sugar overload!)