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.