Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Sunday Salon - Is there a "magic number"?

Good morning, saloners!  For my post this week, I'd like to pose a question.  How many books does it take to be a book blogger?  

I started Lakeside Musing seven months ago to share "thoughts on books and life from here by the lake".  Not sure exactly where I was going or what my focus would be,  I wrote posts about food and recipes, weather, travel, and the lake in addition to posts on books and reading (which I figured would, eventually, end up taking center stage).

In the past several months, I have settled into a somewhat comfortable blogging routine.  Late last winter, I rediscovered short stories and started participating in Short Story Monday.  I joined The Sunday Salon two months ago.  Booking Through Thursday is always fun and I seem to have fallen into the habit of posting a book review on Fridays.  Occasionally, I do a Library Loot post, play along with Teaser Tuesdays, or highlight my book club meeting.

This leads me to my question.  How many books does it take to be a book blogger?  Is there a magic number to strive for? In the best of times, I rarely read more than one book per week. Now, with all the usual demands on my time plus a new-found interest in blogging and reading blogs, I'm struggling to maintain that 'best of times' pace.  Is one book review and one short story review per week enough?  Will people notice/care if it's less than that?

I'm not a very fast reader to begin with.  My college-aged daughter says the problem is that I read everything closely.  "Don't you ever skim, Mom?",  she has asked more than once.  For that reason, really chunky books have become intimidating since I started blogging.  I'd also love to join in with some of the recent extended reading projects, but I'm afraid I won't get anything else read.

I suppose the answer is that since I'm blogging mainly for myself, I should not feel pressured to post anything at all.  But, it just seems to be part of my personality to keep striving to improve on this blogging hobby.  So, thanks for taking the time to read my ramble.  I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this.

Finally,  I'd like to share one of the highlights of my week.  Becky, from One Literature Nut..., has presented me with the Literary Blogger Award.  It is described as:
...an award which acknowledges bloggers who energize and inspire reading by going the extra mile! These amazing bloggers make reading fun, and enhance the delight of reading!
 Becky, who is much-deserving of this award herself, features wonderful reviews (like her most recent on The Inheritance of Loss) and other reading-related posts. Her blog is on my 'must read daily' list! 

I'd like to pass this award on to:
Jackie at Farm Lane Books
Claire at Kiss a  Cloud

They review so many wonderful books, and have lead me to several I may not have found on my own.  They've also caused some significant growth in both my tbr pile and list!  If you don't already know these bloggers, I urge you to stop by and say hello.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend and are able to carve out some time for reading!

22 comments:

  1. My average is three books a week plus a few short stories and poetry. Some read 50 books a month. But I don't let it affect my reading. I don't panic. I read at my pace. However, I don't skim. Somedays I don't read at all. In Feb I read 6 books. But I think one book a week is good enough. That means 52 books a year. That does sound good, doesn't it?

    So don't worry, read at your pace and your time, in a place of your choosing. Nothing is less when reading is involved.

    TSS: Lets talk about books and related suff

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  2. You know, I struggle with this same issue all the time. There are some weeks that I am lucky to read just one book; rarely will I read more than two in a week. I am a slow reader by choice -- I want to savor every word that the author thought was pertinent to the story.

    But here's the thing: I think memes give us a lot of thought-provoking questions that are related to books, which I find just as interesting to read as book reviews. Also, I have been giving some thought to writing very short "reviews" (more like thoughts) of books that I have read in the past (pre-blogging days). While I will grapple with the lack of formality of this kind of post, I also think it is a way to connect with readers in a different way.

    I am learning that blogging is a journey - and I am not sure that I will ever feel like I have "arrived" - but I am really enjoying the experience and sights along the way.

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  3. Those are two great comments and I must agree with them. I, myself usually only post one review per week. I'm just not that fast a reader. And I don't like skimming. When I skim, I immediately fear that I've missed something in the story, so I backtrack and end up reading the whole thing carefully anyway! So it doesn't suit me to skim. I participate in some weekly memes as well and personally I think, like Molly, that they add to the blogging. I consider any bookish post relevant and to me it doesn't matter how many books I review, but the quality of what's written. I'll never be able to keep up with some bloggers who read 5 books a week. That's not why I am a book blogger. I do it for enjoyment, friendship and to learn more about books!

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  4. Gautami - Thank you for your very sound advice! You are right - 52 books a year, of my own choosing, does sound good!

    Molly - I really enjoy the thoughts and discussions provoked by memes, too. They also add a little variety to a steady diet of reviews. I guess I wish I could read faster, but I enjoy my slow, thorough pace. It is a journey, and there may not even be a true arrival point in all this, but it sure is fun.

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  5. Just say no to skimming:) I have to read every word or else I feel like I missed something and didn't really read the book. I don't think you should put any pressure on yourself to read or post about a specific number of books. I view my blog as a reading journal, so it has to reflect my natural reading journey. You do a great job with your content and I have enjoyed the addition of Sunday Salon. I thought last week's sunday salon was very cool and hope you continue to post about what's up next by author's you like. All this to say I don't think there is a magic number. There is the quality of content which I think you achieve beautifully. Gorgeous new picture:)

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  6. I read several books a week but I have many responsibilities so I usually only post one review a week. I do feel the pressure to review more books and have been trying to pick up the pace by adding one more review a week. If I get it done, great. If not, oh well.

    I agree with Gautami, a book a week equals 52 a year.Blogging is supposed to be fun. Don't worry and do what feels right to you.

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  7. I agree with all these comments.
    I don't think there is a magic number and I believe in going at your own pace. I do not review all the books I read and so not feel pressured to post a certain number of review in a week or a month. Improve you blog in ways that are right for you.

    Congratulations on the award!

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  8. I know several book bloggers who only post a review on a weekly basis. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It's better than cramming to fit things in, you know?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  9. I usually can only read one book per week and, therefore, it coems to one review a week. Depending on what's happening in my life, I might do two but that's rare.

    I don't think there are any rules to this. I think it's about what's doing the best for you.

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  10. Hi JoAnn! Congratulations on the award and thanks so much for thinking of me. :D

    I agree with everyone. I don't really notice how many books a blogger reads, and sometimes when I do it doesn't detract at all from my reading a blog. For as long as the blogger's style and personality and the books he/she reads interest me, I will keep coming back, whether they post a review five times a week or just once a month.

    Like with your blog, I will keep coming back. So don't feel stressed about the numbers, just read at your own pace and enjoy! :)

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  11. I think if you talk about books, you're a book blogger. A number is just a number. I'd rather read one heart-felt review no matter how long or short than a dozen reviews whipped out just to have more posts.

    Lezlie

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  12. I agree with what everyone has said so far. I don't think there is a minimum number. Just read at your own pace and don't worry about it. You post quality content, and that's what keeps people coming back.

    Congrats on your award! It was thanks to it that I discovered you, actually, so I'm glad Becky passed it on to you :)

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  13. Another vote for no skimming! Women live with enough guilt so read at your own pace and write about those books whenever you can. Now I'm off to check out the blogs that you mentioned! See ya...

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  14. Thank you so much for the award!

    I agree with the other comments. It doesn't matter how many books you read. It is quality, not quantity. I would much rather see you write one great review a week, than 10 bad ones.

    Keep up the good work and don't worry about how many books everyone else is reading - it probably means you're having more fun in the real world!

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  15. I think you get to be a blogger the moment you publish anything on your own blog. As long as you are true to your own reading experience and not writing just to satisfy others, you are on the right track. But I do have to admit feeling relieved when the number of comments on my blog finally exceeded the number of post! :)

    Congrats on the award!

    Happy reading!

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  16. First of all, thanks for the kind words about my blog! You're very nice. :)

    This is a really good question about book review quantity. I used to only review books every week or two, because work was just too demanding. Once the school year started to wind down, I had more three-day weekends, and now that I'm actually on summer break, those reviews have picked up. I think once a week is great. In the end, we all just appreciate your thoughtful reviews and posts!

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  17. Lisa - Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. I whole-heartedly agree with all you've said...and was probably just letting my blogging insecurities get the better of me today.

    BookPsmith - I won't start skimming any time soon! My reading style has served me just fine this far, so no changes are planned. Thank you so much for your continued comments. Reading and responding to comments is really my favorite part of blogging.

    Vasilly - Good advice for sure! I'm happy to get one review out per week and know I can never keep up with the more prolific bloggers out there. So, I should just cut out the worrying and enjoy the blogging.

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  18. Gavin - That's another thing I've been wondering about - whether people review every book they read. There have been a few books that I just don't have much to say about and haven't posted a review on. Thanks for mentioning it.

    Amanda - That's what I'm thinking, too. Thanks.

    Yvonne - I suppose every blogger needs to figure out what's best for them, and it looks like I'm falling into the one review per week pattern. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Claire - You are so sweet! That will be my new motto - stress less and enjoy!

    Lezlie - Good point! I think even if I read more books per week, I wouldn't be able to to write a meaningful post on each of them anyway.

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  19. Nymeth - Thank you! I think I can safely say it's unanimous - read, enjoy, and stop worrying.

    Darlene - Don't worry, I won't start skimming. Hope you enjoy the blogs I mentioned - they're all great!

    Jackie - Sound advice for sure! Looks like I don't need to feel so pressured to get more reviews up. Thank you...and I really enjoy your blog!

    Frances - I like how you put that - being true to my own reading experience! That just sounds so right. Thanks for commenting!

    Becky - I'm sure the number of reviews will increase or decrease depending on other demands for my time, but I suppose my real focus should stay on quality rather than quantity anyway. Thank you again for the award and the encouraging comments!

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  20. I never skim, although my mom does; I think it takes the joy out of my reading. :D

    I also don't think there's a magic number for books/stories being reviewed. But if you wanted, you could always do posts about your favourites to bulk up your content. :) It's not necessary, but an idea!

    Even though I usually read more than one book a week, I don't always post more than one review. There are so many other book-ish topics for me to talk about: reading lists, memes (not weekly ones but surveys), random stuff I think of...so in the end, I guess I'd say don't worry!

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  21. As long as you are loving to read still then I don't think that it matters how many books you are reading. Your posts convey your passion for books and often it should be more about the impressions books have made than about the books themselves so a post can be about a book you read ten years ago and loved and not about the one you haven't managed to finish reading yet.

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  22. Eva - I enjoy reading too much to skim, so I won't be going that route. I'll just keep on as I am...and cut out the worry. Thanks!

    Paperback Reader - That's a good point...and there are definitely books I read ten years ago and still feel very strongly about! Thanks for the comment.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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