Book Blogger Appreciation Week

14 September, 2011

I’m not fully participating in this year’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week only because I’ve had a more hectic summer than anticipated and will be flying out to Munich for Oktoberfest tonight. Yeah, life is tough when you are having fun, but it’s exhausting now that I’m in my mid-thirties and take a week to recover after a night out. However, it’s been lovely seeing everyone else’s posts on the book blogging community and the interview swaps popping up everywhere, so I’ve decided to sneak in a post.^^

The thing that surprised me the most about this blogging business is how much FUN it is. Writing posts is fun, making friends is fun and meeting up with like-minded bookish souls is fun.

Of course it’s sometimes difficult to combine working, reading and blogging with a social life so I made a decision early on that I’ll post when I feel like it and that I won’t feel bad if I don’t. It’s been pretty regular which has surprised me somewhat. But then I need to write down my thoughts about a book I’ve just finished almost immediately otherwise I tend to forget as I don’t take notes. One of my missions was to start taking notes in lovely little notebooks but that hasn’t happened yet (oops).

Likewise, I try to read and comment on my favourite blogs, but it’s pretty time consuming so I do it when I can, although not as much as I’d like to. Book bloggers are kind and generous and understand that sometimes life gets in the way. One of the pleasures about reading blogs is the diversity in content and style. I always come away wanting to polish my posts a little more. I don’t tend to participate much in blogging dramas as I have enough in my own life, but sometimes the web can inflate insecurities when there is absolutely no cause. I am always SO impressed at how much time, effort and passion goes into everyone’s blog and what makes them different is the best thing about them.

Since I started blogging, my TBR pile has grown catastrophically and the only reason I’m not imposing a book buying ban is that I know I’ll fall at the first bookshop. I have NO willpower. Sometimes it can get a little overwhelming with all the books I want to read and I get a little panicky when I look at my book corner which is slowly taking over my room. But it’s what I love. So I tell myself I’ll read more on a whim and see where my reading takes me. That’s one of the things I miss when I request and accept review copies. So maybe I’ll follow a more natural route next year. But it’s so difficult to resist new and shiny books that everyone’s talking about, isn’t it?

Lately I’ve been thinking more about the depth of the reviews I write. I often have to restrain myself from discussing the books in detail so that I can avoid spoilers. This often leaves me with a feeling that I’m only regurgitating the synopsis of the book rather than thrashing out the points I want to discuss. I enjoy reading reviews that do discuss books in depth, and will happily bookmark and come back to them once I finish reading a book. Yet, I don’t like reading spoilers. Maybe I can put a big spoiler warning and discuss to my heart’s content. So, where do you sit on this issue? Is it something that bothers you?

Happy BBAW everyone!

24 Responses to “Book Blogger Appreciation Week”

  1. Nymeth Says:

    I love your no guilt approach to blogging, Sakura! If there’s one thing this hectic year has taught me it’s to be a little less hard on myself and remember this whole thing is a hobby.

    I try to avoid spoilers, but sometimes it really is impossible to discuss a book in any amount of depth without them. When that happens I just add a spoilers warning, so people can make the decision of whether or not to keep reading.

    PS: You look so much younger!

    • sakura Says:

      Ha ha, thanks Ana! I can’t seem to act my age!

      Regarding spoilers, I think your posts strike a perfect balance because they are in depth enough to discuss issues yet keep enough from you to make you want to read the book. Which is what I’m aiming for! 🙂

  2. Rikki Says:

    I don’t mind spoilers either and in fact use them often in my reviews. If people don’t like them, oh well. I do what I feel like doing and post as often or as little as I feel like. Blogging should be FUN, that’s true!
    I noticed you are reading Maybe this time right now. I got it a few days ago in German and have read so much about it already. Looking forward to your review. I am quite a bit into short stories at the moment.

    • sakura Says:

      That’s a healthy attitude to blogging! I approve!

      I’m halfway through already and am enjoying. But I love reading short stories and it’s been a while since I’ve read any. Feels good:)

  3. Q:”But it’s so difficult to resist new and shiny books that everyone’s talking about, isn’t it?”

    A:Erm, YES!!!! But how much fun it is too to hunt down that book that you now just HAVE to have??? 😉

    Q:”Since I started blogging, my TBR pile has grown catastrophically and the only reason I’m not imposing a book buying ban is that I know I’ll fall at the first bookshop. I have NO willpower. Sometimes it can get a little overwhelming with all the books I want to read and I get a little panicky when I look at my book corner which is slowly taking over my room.”

    A: Amen, sista!

  4. Kinna Says:

    I’ve been checking out of blogging anytime I feel overwhelmed by life and it took a while to not fret over whether I would lose readers. But book bloggers are generous as you rightly said. I do wish book bloggers would get over the spoiler thing. We don’t fuss over the classics, we accept spoilers in classics because somehow people have elevated the classics above other books. The idea is it’s the journey of reading a classic that matters, not necessarily the plot. I wish we would extend this consideration to contemporary novels. In truth, it makes absolutely no difference to one’s reading experience if we know how the story ends. A good example is historical fiction like Wolf Hall. So I urge us to relax on the spoiler thing. Just my two cents. All the best.

    • sakura Says:

      Thanks for your two cents, Kinna:) The only problem is with mysteries! I used to be unable to resist and always looked at the last pages of Agatha Christie’s novels and always regretted it. But yes, I’ve always wondered about the whole classics/contemporary issue too. I guess it ultimately comes down to who you are writing your posts for and a balance between you and the readers. Hmm.

  5. Erin Says:

    I struggle with review copies, too — I love getting them, but then I feel bound to reading them, which drastically cuts into my random reading time. I’m planning to cut back on them as soon as I’ve finished my current batch.

    As for spoilers, I think they’re totally fine as long as you warn! I’ve written posts with a synopsis and my general feelings at the top, then a spoiler warning, and then all the other stuff so that people who want to avoid spoilers still feel like they get to read about the book and don’t have to skim down and risk seeing a spoiler as they look for the point where the regular post resumes. Just a thought!

  6. I am envious you are going to Munich. Enjoy your trip!

  7. Leeswammes Says:

    I like the build-up of your post, with the different themes!

    I hate, hate, hate spoilers, and I have the same problem as you: I sometimes want to discuss things but can’t Some people put the spoiler text in white (so it doesn’t show on your white background) and when they highlight the text, they can then see it. That’s one idea, if not ideal.

    Have fun in Munich!

    • sakura Says:

      That’s a very clever idea about putting the spoiler text in white. I may have to experiment with that to see if it’ll work for me. Thanks Judith!

  8. I try to avoid giving spoilers but if I feel I can’t say what I want to any other way I’ll put a big clear spoiler warning before the relevant section. There’s nothing worse than bursting to discuss a book and realising that everything you say would be a spoiler! I suppose that where readalongs are good.

    • sakura Says:

      I never seem to be able to time myself correctly with readalongs and always miss them;P But yeah, there’s always so many things I want to discuss which I need to keep back, but I really don’t want to spoil things for others (as I wouldn’t like that myself!)

  9. gaskella Says:

    I’m so glad you find blogging so much fun – me too! You’re so generous with your time and comments on other blogs – I really appreciate your visits Sakura.
    On spoilers – as long as you warn, they’re fine I think, but often I’ll just skim the top and bottom of a post if it’s a book I’m planning to read soon, aiming to return to it later.

    • sakura Says:

      Likewise Annabel. Your posts always show how much fun you have blogging too:) I also tend to skim posts of books I’m planning to read and then come back later to read them properly. But yeah, warnings are good.

  10. Some of my reviews are in -depth and others are rather cursory, depending on the time I have available and my state of mind.

    Perhaps not so oddly, I’m interested in reading the reviews other bloggers have written, according to the same criteria; that is – I love an in-depth review if I have the time to read but often can spare only enough precious minutes to digest brief, to-the-point thoughts.

    Really & truly: too many books, too little time.

    • sakura Says:

      Agree! I actually enjoy both long reviews and one sentence ones too. It makes a nice change when you mix lengths, although I tend to follow the same format for most of my reviews.

  11. amymckie Says:

    Fantastic points here, we’re quite similar 🙂 Although you are MUCH better than I at taking time off. I just find it so hard to do still. I’ll learn one of these days!

    Like you I often want to discuss in so much more detail but hate reading spoilers! Like, haaaate them! I definitely think a warning would work though!

  12. sakura Says:

    Ha ha, I think I’m just lazy;) Yes, looks like warnings are the way to go when it comes to spoilers!

  13. Simon T Says:

    Well, I don’t like blogs which just give a synopsis, and I like your blog – ergo, you must do more than that! I think I like blogs best where they discuss their reaction to a book, as you do, rather than something very spoilerific. Sometimes one has to give away the odd plot snippet to make a point properly, but I think it’s a line that can be trodden.

    • sakura Says:

      I like the way you think:) Yeah, I love reading reactions to books too, even if they are different to my own. That’s what makes reading blogs so much fun.

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