Apr 19, 2010

the Meme-y Meme

I borrowed this meme from C.B. James. I'm sure most of you know what triggered it. I tend to steer clear of controversies around the blogosphere, so just a very few remarks here.

When I first started book blogging, I actually wanted my blog to be just about books. I wanted it to look austere and focused. I didn't plan on including anything personal. I thought some other blogs were way too cluttered-looking and felt that challenges would make my reading feel constricted. I even looked for other blogs that fit my idea of being strictly books. They were hard to find! Now I'm not so stuffy. I've come to enjoy the sense of community that all these other activities (memes, giveaways, interviews, contests, etc) bring into book blogging. So over the past nearly-three years I've really changed my mind a lot. More about that below!

Do you participate in memes?
Occasionally. I do Booking Through Thursday when I find the questions interesting, and sometimes pick up memes (like this one) from other bloggers. I like doing memes that have something to do with books or reading, since that's what this blog is all about, or that let readers know a little more about me. Sometimes I do more random ones just for fun!

Do you participate in Book Tours?  What about ARCS?
Never done a book tour. Don't plan to. I was thrilled to get my first ARCs, until I realized I wasn't falling in love with any of the books sent me, and then felt uncomfortable writing negatively about them (wanting to be honest). It's very rare now that I accept them. I just have way too many books already on my shelf waiting to be read, and don't like the sense of obligation they put upon me.

Do you encourage followers?  Do you follow?
No. Following seems redundant to me, when I already have all I can handle in my google reader. Can someone convince me otherwise? I just don't see the point, yet.

What do you think of giveaways and other contests?
They're fun! I like doing giveaways, just because it makes me happy to send people stuff, especially books to other readers who will appreciate them. I do giveaways of books (off my shelf) or handmade bookmarks a few times a month. I've entered some, too. Contests more complicated than a simple giveaway are too much trouble for me to pay attention to.

Do you read and/or conduct author interviews?

Do you enjoy challenges?
I'm beginning to! Last year I participated in a few for the first time. Surprised how much I liked crossing titles off a list, and seeing what other bloggers were reading for the same challenge. This year I've signed up for more, probably too many to finish. So far I've been doing challenges that just help me focus on paring down my TBR, but next year I think I'll do some that stretch my reading boundaries and get me out of my comfort zone. Isn't that why it's called a challenge, after all?

I've also tried hosting my own challenge, but that hasn't been very successful. Maybe I made it too complicated? Due to lack of interest, I'm probably not doing to do it again next year. But I don't mind. I'm still going to have fun in other people's challenges!

Do you like giving/getting awards?
I was tickled pink when I got my first blog award. They're a nice way to show recognition to other bloggers. Lately though, I have trouble deciding who to pass them on to. There are so many blogs I love reading, how can I possibly choose between them all? I think I might start adopting the policy of just thanking who gave it to me and saying: you all deserve this award!

What is your opinion of cat videos?

Some are dull. Some make me cry, I laugh so hard. I don't mind if people have them on their blog, as long as it's not overwhelming and becoming the-blog-about-what-my-cat-ate-for-breakfast (instead of the about book I couldn't put down!) If I'm too busy I just skip it and read the bookish stuff. Same goes for photos of your flowers, birds in your yard, pics of your vacation, whatever. It's lovely to have a bit of that!

In summary- I do some of these things, not all. If a blog is becoming too full of "extras" I might gradually loose interest just because I don't find enough about books, and that's what I originally came for. But it's all a matter of personal taste. There's many different kinds of readers, and thus many different kinds of blogs. Serious ones, tongue-in-cheek ones, everything in between. Some have very lengthy analysis of the books, others just an emotional response. Everything from heavy literature to picture books! I've even seen bloggers share their kid's opinion on books they read together (or in C.B.'s case, how Dakota thought they tasted!) and that's fun, too. That's what I love about book blogging. There's so much variety out there, you're bound to find something you like.

Happy reading, everyone!


bermudaonion said...

I'm learning to enjoy challenges too! Once I completed my first one, I was totally hooked.

Jenny said...

I'm surprised by how much I've enjoyed challenges! It took me ages to do my first one and now I'm signed up for something like six.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I loved James' memey meme he did yesterday...he just cracks me up. Way to combat the ugliness with some humor! When I first started, I was all about the book reviews as well, but then after awhile I felt like it got boring. Personally, I love the book blogs where once in awhile we get something different. So I do a movie thing on Monday, show a picture on Wednesday, post reviews Tues, Thurs and Fri, take Saturday off usually, then blab about my week on Sunday! I don't think there is any need for criticism about what others do..we are all unique, and after all, it is our blog, and we should do what we like!

Nymeth said...

"Meme-y Meme" is the best meme name ever :D

My philosophy is to blog and let blog. We're all very different, and there's a blog out there for every reader and a reader for every blog. And I like that.

farmlanebooks said...

I love reading challenges too! I am a big list creator and get a big sense of satisfaction from being able to cross titles off them. I get a bit stressed if I sign up to too many, as I hate not being able to complete them, but I love the few I have signed up to.

Jeane said...

Bermudaonion- yep, me too!

Jenny- Funny, that's exactly how many I'm doing right now, too.

Sandy Nawrot- My feelings exactly. It's your blog, do what you want. Whoever likes it will stop by and keeping coming over!

Nymeth- well, I kind of made up the name. I hope James doesn't mind!

Farmlane- I've been anxious a bit lately, looking at how slowly mine are getting completed. But then when my reading slowed down, I used a challenge criteria to find the next book, and suddenly things are in full swing again.

C.B. James said...

I don't know what I'll think if this memey-meme takes off. Will I be a hero or a villian? ;=)

nat @book, line, and sinker said...

i'm a bit of a bummer when it comes to some aspects of building blog community. i usually don't do me-mes and haven't joined any challenges in my time as a blogger. i prefer to just review books, talk about bookish things, and visit other blogs for friendship, book recommendations, and for a feeling of community.

Eva said...

I enjoyed this post! Remember when memes were surveys we only filled in once, rather than weekly events? It's funny how things change over time. :)

Jeane said...

James- the hero, I hope!

Nat- There are some things I've never really taken interest in, myself. Going to book conventions, for one thing. It sounds exciting, but I am content to just stay home for now.

Eva- Thanks! I don't remember being aware of memes before I saw them going around the blogs. Just not in the loop...

Melody said...

Great meme-y meme post! :)
I agree with Nymeth: "We're all very different, and there's a blog out there for every reader and a reader for every blog."

Janet said...

I enjoy your blog partly because you do seem to know exactly "who you are" -- mostly books, but sometimes a few extras to vary the landscape.

I enjoyed reading your answers.

Anonymous said...

This is a great meme-y meme...kind of a return to the meme's origins. :-D

I do very few blog tours (although I did do one yesterday) and I rarely accept an ARC. I want the freedom to read whatever I feel like, whenever I want to.

Jeane said...

Melody- Me too.

Janet- Thanks!

Softdrink- I like that freedom to read what I like when I like, too.

Anonymous said...

I love signing up for challenges. I always such high hopes, and then I end up not completing them. Oh, well.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I always thought I would be strictly books as well but have discovered the last six months that there isn't any reason that I need to be so. And it's been a lot more fun!