Sunday, December 6, 2009
Sunday Salon: Blog Post Length
This is her perogative, of course, but it got me thinking. Why, if you prefer and naturally write longer reviews, would you then force yourself to write short ones because some other people prefer them that way? Who exactly is this book blog for? You, the blogger, or other people, the readers?
I think that's a question a lot of bloggers face as their blogs get more exposure. It's not just about readers who prefer certain lengths of reviews, but also about publishers or publicists or authors who want you to read their books, and write about them and post reviews.
I started my blog for the primary purpose of tracking my reading. I wanted to remember what I read, but not just as a way to keep count. I also really wanted to know, later on, my reactions to a book- why I liked or disliked it, and how my tastes evolved over time. I personally can't do that with a short review. I am the sort of person who reads books, takes note of pages with quotes she really likes, and then copies those quotes into her LibraryThing account. I enjoy reading short reviews, yes- they're quick and easy to get through. But at the same time, I really enjoy the long ones. I feel like through those, you can get more of a sense of the blogger, of her tastes and preferences, and have a discussion from there. I admit that sometimes I scan parts of the review, but I generally read enough to get a jist. I am not offended if people therefore skip my SUPER-long reviews (like my post on the Granta Chicago issue), or skim them. Do whatever works for you.
I didn't realize, when I started blogging, just how big the community is. Maybe if I had known when I started how much I'd be interacting with others, I'd make my reviews shorter. But I started the blog for the reason I describe above and I don't think I'm likely to change my method any time soon. So I apologize for those of you who like the short reviews, but mine are going to stay longish!
I am happy that my blog appeals to those who come and read it (truly, truly happy and grateful to you all), but even if it didn't, I think I'd continue in the same vein I write it now. I enjoy it that way and I don't want to change it just because other people may prefer me to write in a different way. I wouldn't change my personality because someone didn't like it, so why would I change my blog, which is in a way an extension of my personality?
Which brings me to my question- why did you start blogging? Has your reason to blog changed over time? Do you ever feel pressured to change your writing style or presentation?
Also, random question- when you post for the first time on a blog, do you introduce yourself? Or say how you found it? I usually never do (often because I troll a blog so long before actually commenting that I forget the author doesn't know me). And I just want to make sure that doesn't make me seem uber-creepy.
And lastly, I wanted all of you in blogosphere to know: My name is pronounced AAH-rah-thee. (Thee, like the first syllable of theory, not the Old English word). Usually not pronounced with three syllables, but that's technically how it is supposed to be said. And with a rolling R, if you want to be very traditional. And yes, yes- that is an H. It's there in the pronunciation but not in the spelling. Tricky, I know!