I Love... Book Blogs
In honor of Valentines Day I thought I'd write about something I really love: a good book blog.
One of the main arguments against book blogs is the variable quality of their writing. Traditionally published reviews generally get a more thorough editing and a news-outlet's stamp of approval, while blogs can be more hit or miss, without any editors at all. This system can make for inconsistent quality, but to dismiss the entire idea because of a few typos (or cheerleader-y reviews) would be foolish. Honing in on good-quality blogs that hold themselves to high standards (like Clear Eyes, Full Shelves *ahem*) means getting the quality writing while taking advantage of all the benefits of a blog.
One of the reasons I prefer book reviews on blogs to those in newspapers/magazines/trade publications/etcetera is the community available online.
I can start a conversation about an online review, share my own feedback, or ask questions of the reviewer. Basically, blogs provide us with communities and the chance to interact with other readers. Book reviews transform from individual opinion pieces into ongoing conversations with multiple perspectives.
Another advantage blogs have over print reviews is a wider focus.
Most newspapers and magazines feature main-stream books. If you're interested in YA, Romance, Sci-Fi, or anything but straight literature you're out of luck. Blogs, on the other hand, often review a wide variety of books. There are reviews from every genre under the sun, with less of the literary snobbery you might find in-print. It's easy to discover not only new books but new types of books, broadening our reading horizons.
I've been shifting gears lately, less interested in YA and Romance novels. Good book blogs have been my salvation, giving me new reading recommendations and new communities to join.
Hooray for book blogs!
Do you prefer book blogs to in-print reviews? Why? And how awesome is Clear Eyes, Full Shelves? Or am I just biased? ;)