19 Responses

  1. Pam (@iwriteinbooks)
    Pam (@iwriteinbooks) June 13, 2011 at 7:19 am |

    Wow this is an incredibly helpful post. While I don’t blog about classics, primarily, I have sort of an offbeat take on books and reading which doesn’t seem to be as buzzworthy as the next-best-thing blogs. Thanks for posting this!

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid June 16, 2011 at 9:13 am |

      Pam (@iwriteinbooks) » I’m glad this helped!

  2. Chrisbookarama
    Chrisbookarama June 13, 2011 at 7:26 am |

    That was a great post! (I’m not disappointed at all!)

    Every time I write a review of a classic book, I take a different approach because each one affects me differently. Thinking about audience and non-classics readers is interesting. I don’t know if I consider that or not.

    I love your answer to Why blog about the classics? I think we can get caught up in getting new books for review that we lose sight of why we do what we do. I hope people keep blogging about the classics because I love to talk about them!

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid June 16, 2011 at 9:24 am |

      Chrisbookarama, I’m glad it was a good post. I felt so rambly as I tried to pull thoughts together. Isn’t it great how we have so many options in writing about books? It makes blogging so fun.

  3. Amy
    Amy June 13, 2011 at 7:36 am |

    Great answers here to your questions. I don’t read many classics but enjoy reading posts on them. And I think most of your points are valid for whatever kind of books one blogs about!

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid June 16, 2011 at 9:25 am |

      Amy » oh definitely, it’s any books too. I was trying to think about classics but really, I felt what I had to say could be applicable to anyone.

  4. Charlie
    Charlie June 13, 2011 at 7:59 am |

    I’ve found the whole different depths to be very true. Twice now I’ve been inspired to write extra posts on certain books, where I had more to say than was appropriate to my review, and both of those times were for classics. There is often so much more to talk about and I think it helps that we’ve had years of academic research and regular reader research and ideas to give us new insight – of course with modern literature we’ve much less to go on.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid June 16, 2011 at 9:26 am |

      Charlie » I should write more extra posts. So many books demand it of me but I find I don’t have time. I do like how classics give the option of referencing academic research — but I never do approach it from that way! That’s the bonus of no longer being in school. I don’t have to approach it in that way anymore…

  5. Shelley
    Shelley June 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm |

    This post makes me think about my own blogging style–my reading choices are mostly classics, which I find easiest to write about, but my blog posts usually end up pretty “unliterary.” It’s just whatever randomness comes out of my head, and like you said, it has to be your own sincere voice. I just wonder sometimes if other classics bloggers might tend to turn there noses up at it.
    All in all, I’m just so excited when I find others who love classics! I also love the variety of styles within the classics blogging community. Because there are often so many layers in literature, the more viewpoints, the better. I love the readalongs for this very reason.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid June 16, 2011 at 9:27 am |

      Shelley » I studied English in school and I think my posts are rather un-literary too. I don’t think it really matters. I definitely don’t think classics bloggers stick up their noses at different styles. Some bloggers like one way, others the other. If someone doesn’t like my blogging, they don’t have to read it! there are options for all of us.

  6. Valerie
    Valerie June 13, 2011 at 5:14 pm |

    I agree that we shouldn’t try to adapt our blog based on analyzing search terms or whatever. The most common search term/hit on my blog is “Dominic Cooper” and all I did was mention the movie that he was in (“The Duchess”) that was loosely based on a book I read (Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire)!

    I read a variety of niche blogs, including yours (of course :-) ), and the ones I follow regularly interest me for different reasons. And non-niche book blogs interest me, too. It’s hard to explain excactly why certain blogs/bloggers I feel more connected to than others (even if I don’t always comment on all these blogs), but I suppose it is for the same reason that you connect to certain people in real life. For example I’ve met people who technically I should feel a connection to — because they love books or have similiar interests — but personality-wise, don’t “click”.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid June 16, 2011 at 9:30 am |

      Valerie » I do point out that sometimes it’s nice to know who is reading our blog — I like to look at stats personally because it shows me that 87% of my visitors are those not commenting! I like knowing that because it gives purpose to those posts that never get any comments…. But if people don’t care, it doesn’t matter either. I like knowing my audience is bigger than just those commenting.

      I think you’re right: personality is a huge aspect of which blogs we read/comment on. It isn’t just what people read.

  7. Eva
    Eva June 14, 2011 at 11:48 pm |

    >>But I do want to add that the wonderful thing about classic literature is that it has layers of enjoyment. Classics can be approached from any level and any depth. One may write a superficial blog post, summarizing plot and character, or one may split a book in to multiple posts, writing in depth about various issues and themes in the book. No matter at what level one writes about the classics, there is reward in reading and writing about them.

    I agree, but I don’t think that’s just classics! A lot of the modern lit I read can be discussed on lots of levels. :) For me, the fascinating thing about classics is the extra dimension of their interaction with our culture over time.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid June 16, 2011 at 9:36 am |

      Eva » Oh I agree too about the depth in lots of modern lit too. I think you make a great point: “interaction with our culture over time.” What a great thing to look at in more depth…

  8. Amy
    Amy June 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

    This is a fantastic post, Rebecca! the first part gave me some good points to consider regarding blogging in general and my blog. Even after blogging for a considerable amount of time i still get intimidated by other blogs and bloggers and sometimes feel my blog or posts inadequate although most of the time I know that’s silly and I’m doing what works for me. But it doesn’t hurt to hear read what other bloggers and individuals with more experience think.

    I also enjoyed the part of your post about blogging about classics. I’ve read many calssics but haven’t blogged about any…yet. When I do, I will definitely be thinking of some of the points you’ve made here.

    Thank you for such an insightful post!

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid June 16, 2011 at 9:39 am |

      Amy, I think you’ll find that there is no reason to be intimidated by book bloggers; we’re pretty nice! I do think blogging about any books, classics or not, one should write their own perspective and voice. I am glad this helps you!

    2. Jillian
      Jillian June 17, 2011 at 12:25 am |

      I hope you do start blogging about classics, Amy — when you’re comfortable. It’s so rewarding. :-)

  9. Jillian
    Jillian June 17, 2011 at 12:34 am |

    Rebecca, this is an awesome post.

    I really like the way you stress throughout that voice and personality and depth of reading/discussion can and should change with the author of the blog. I 100% support the casual classics online journals — as surely as I support the deep analysis of literature. I like to read both kinds of reviews (as well as the funny, sarcastic, quiet, etc).

    I’ve seen a close-reading wave going through the blogosphere, too. (A whole post devoted to the first sentence of a novel, taking it apart, seeing why it works.)

    I love that!!

    And I agree — blogging classics offers all kids of options. Literature should makes us think and contemplate at different levels, up to and including the casual, read for entertainment, comment that you liked it, and move on kind of journaling. Books are not about proving you can react well to stories or outthink the last blogger. They are about the experience — whatever experience. :-)

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid June 20, 2011 at 7:39 am |

      Jillian » “Books are not about proving you can react well to stories or outthink the last blogger” I completely agree. I think some miss that in the bloggosphere, unfortunately.

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