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!