Sunday, January 2, 2011

Some thoughts On Blogging and the New Year

I did not make any resolutions for my blog this year.  I allowed myself to participate in 3 challenges because they will help me get books off of my shelves.  I will continue to accept books for review but will be choosier, and  I will continue to buy books for my shelves at school.  I especially buy books that students can't get from our school library because they don't have it or there is a large demand (readership) at the school.  Why this addiction?  I have always loved to read, and for years I worked with kids who had reading problems or were reluctant readers.  Sometimes it was the buzz generated by other students about a book or a series that got that students interested in reading, which in turn caused them to become an avid reader.  

 I follow several blogs and usually read their goals for the year.  However this blog : Books, Movies, and Chinese Food  really touched on something with me.

Deborah expressed concern about losing readers because of the way she blogs.  I thought about how similar we were as readers and bloggers.  Often many blogs will have an astronomical number of followers because they only read and review one genre or age group.   They often have such large numbers  because they constantly do giveaways.  This is where I get on my high horse.   In my opinion the worst type of blogger is the one that offers a giveaway with extra chances to win the book for  blogging about the giveaway, becoming a follower, following on facebook and twitter, just to increase their numbers.  I have been guilty in participating with blogs I was unfamiliar with.  However, if it was a blog I was not interested in visiting again and again, then I would let the giveaway go.  No need to sign up for a very slim chance, to win a book on a site you would not normally follow.

Here is where Deborah and I are alike, we both read secular and Christian books.  This may turn some readers off.  There are plenty of blogs out there that cater to a reader's taste.

I read and review everything from kid's picture books  to adult books.  Why so many ages and genres?
I have grandkids and need to keep up to date on what is out there for them.  I'm a middle school teacher. This means I have kids at all different levels that borrow my books so I keep track of middle grade and young adult books to recommend.  I try to read everything I put on my shelves so that I know if I need to give a parent a heads up about content that may be a little more mature for their child.  My students have brothers, sister and parents that are often readers and I want to hit all ages.  I read adult books now because I have fellow teachers making recommendations to me and asking for recommendations.  I run a reading challenge at my school where I give away books.  The way to draw parents and teachers in is to offer adult books.  The way to entice students is to let them see teachers, principals, secretaries, custodians and lunchroom staff participating.  Do I worry about the number of readers I have?  NO!!!
Is it desirable to have a large following? Yes.  But I started this blog to be a source for students and parents to find books to read.  Have I succeeded?  I think so.  Students don't sign up as a follower but they often come in and say, "Hey you know that book you had on your site?  Can I check it out?"  That is worth it to me.  Do I need to pare down what I buy?  Yes.  It is an addiction.  My students recognize it.  One asked me before break if they had something like AA for people like me with book addictions.  I had to laugh.  Then I looked at my shelves at home where I had over 300 books that need to be read and brought in to school.

I am going to try real hard this year to continue to read and review books that I enjoy.  However, I have a finished book that I am going to work real hard at getting published this year.  My sister is asking me to hurry up and finish my ghost story and my historical fiction books so she can read them.    That means I need to find a way to balance my teaching, reading and reviewing and writing.  That is my only goal for this new year.  No resolutions, no promises except to do my best at whatever I put my hand to


  1. Great post! I too try to read and review a little bit of everything. And I also review secular and Christian books. I know not every 'follower' will be interested in every post. But I'm okay with that. I am not going to change what I read to suit other people's tastes.

  2. I think it is a slippery slope when you start to blog for "the numbers" rather than your own enjoyment and interests. I think it can get "captivating" in the early days when you are amazed that anyone is reading what you write ... but it can be difficult to be all things to all readers. I like your attitude and I kind of decided to do the same thing this year -- especially in terms of challenges (fewer) and review copies (less unless I'm truly really interested in them).

    Best of luck with your goals ... and best of luck with finishing your book(s)!