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A Reader of Fictions: Finding New Blogs to Love

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Finding New Blogs to Love

When I have my Google Reader at manageable levels and stay on top of things, I really don't have all that many posts to read daily. As such, I could use some new blogs to possibly follow. In looking around, I started doing some thinking about what makes me follow a book blog, and so that's what I'm talking about today. Here's what I do when I'm checking out a new blog:

1. Look at the Design
I sort of hate myself for this one, since I know that my design is crappy and out of the box, but there you go. At some unidentified future date, I should have a pretty, simple design that is all my own, but, until then, this is what you get. This isn't a deciding factor for me by any means, because, obviously, I know that quality content isn't determined by a rocking background. Still, I do look, and admire pretty designs. Also, the design can often clue you in a little on the person's personality if it's custom, though not always. Most especially, you can usually tell if the blogger primarily reads paranormal.

In discussion with Blythe, there are some reasons I would definitely not follow based on design: use of Captcha, written in all caps or a ridiculous font, or unreadable because of colors/background.

2. Giveaways
Long ago, I used to follow some blogs for their giveaways. I don't do that anymore at all, but I do still often consider the bloggers' giveaways when looking at their blog. Basically, I want to see if they're obnoxious about them. Do they promote their giveaway on every single post, whether it's related to the giveaway or not? If so, nope. Do they require people to follow their blog to enter all of their giveaways? I can see requiring a follow for certain ones, like follower appreciation giveaways, but to do that all the time seems desperate.

3. Overlapping Taste in Books?
Though I read a really wide range of books, I don't generally follow book bloggers who almost never read books I'm interested in. I have nothing against people who only read romance novels, but I like reading blogs to find other books for me to read, and that's not going to happen with a romance-only blog. I'll generally check out the blogger's reviews for some of my favorites and see if we have pretty compatible taste.

4. Look at the Comments
Does this blogger ever respond to the comments on their blog? When I find a new blog I think I like, I will try to leave a few thoughtful comments, and I will check back to see if the blogger responds to at least one of them. I have a few blogs I lurk on but never comment on, but I prefer to interact, so, if I'm on the fence, not returning comments, either on their post, on my blog, or on Twitter, will generally tilt me to the no side. People comment on your blog, in theory, because they want to have a dialog with you, not to throw praise at you like a fangirl might throw her underwear at a rock star, okay? Bloggers that don't respond to comments one way or another come off as standoffish to me, and the best thing about blogging is the friendliness of most of the community.


5. Find a Negative Review
Listen, I know negative reviews cause a lot of controversy, but I'm going to be honest: I love them. Now, obviously, I really wish we could all love every book we read, but it's just not possible. I can't tell you how many blogs I've unfollowed because I noticed that their most common rating was five star. Sure, their scale might be different than mine, but that's just not helpful to me as a reader. I need to know that your reviews are honest, and negative reviews are where that comes out better than anywhere. So, if you would like to, link one of your most scathing reviews in the comments, and I will come check you out.

Follower count and whether or not the blogger receives books from publishers do not factor into my decision at all. Just FYI, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with doing things differently than I happen to like. We're all different, and I appreciate that diversity. Honestly, there are even bloggers I'm close to who don't necessarily fit my 'requirements,' but I thought this could be an interesting discussion.

What do you look for in a book blog? Want to share a negative review? Other thoughts?



Blogger Blythe Harris said...

Well this conversation feels familiar! ;)

Your 1st Point: Okay, okay, I'm like this too. Obviously an awful blog design won't keep me from visiting a blog - it's content, of course - but does blog design matter? Yes. But I won't not follow a blog because I dislike their design. Their font, on the other hand... Also, before I actually became more social in the community in my first 5 months of blogging, I had the worst blog design in the history of ever. It had sparkly colors and the background was a bookcase and my tagline was awful and my blog name was 'The Lazy Reader' and i had a stuffed armchair in my header for NO reason - no one inside it, just an empty armchair that looked like it came from Blue's Clues, and everything was written in a Harry Potter font. And I thought it was brilliant. I was like, "Why does no one love me and my awesome design." Then I switched to a simple design then I switched to my current one. Okay. Moving on.

Point 2: Not really an issue for me, either. Obviously, if I'm dying to win something, I'll follow the blog, but I usually come back for more to see if I like the blog's content. If I don't I just unfollow.

Point 3: This is a big one for me, because obviously I don't spend my time reading blogs dedicated to smut reviews with half naked people covers all up in my face (as far as you know...). If you read YA, I like your reviews, and we at least agree SOMETIMES, boom. Followed.

Point 4: I really suck at this. This reminds me I should probably respond to like all my comments right now. And I usually take like a day or two or three or four or however long I forget to comment back on other blogs. It's an awful habit I need to get rid of and quick. Though I like to think when I do comment on blogs they're insightful and thoughtful comments, so there's that. I hope.

Point 5: Something tells me I know how this point came into play... You already know my thoughts on this one. THREE STARS?! YOU MONSTER!

February 19, 2013 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh man, the font, yes! Or if it's unreadable. Or Captcha. Those all factor into it for sure. BAHAHAHA, your description of your first design just made me die of laughter. I have now resurrected, but seriously that was dangerous. I've had this since the beginning, and I could try to get something else until my official one is done, but I'm used to it, and don't see going through the hassle just for a relatively brief time. At least this is easily readable (for me anyway).

Yup. I'm not opposed to smut, but I'm probably never going to have anything to say about your reviews. So I'd just be scrolling scrolling scrolling through. There's no point to it.

Well, if I was going to unfollow for that, I check some of the older posts too. I know people go through busy times. I try to be fair about it, because I know there are times when I've failed at responding to comments.


February 19, 2013 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Dina @ DinaRuns said...

Design is so important. If reading your blog is difficult because there flashing elements and dark font on a dark background, I probably am not going to read it. I would also take this a step further and comment about blogger versus wordpress. Blogger blogs are often super annoying to comment on and I have to sign into my google account or enter a captcha. Please don't make me have to jump through hoops to write you a comment.

Since you asked, I'll share my most recent negative review of Nobody But Us http://allthestacks.com/nobody-but-us-by-kristin-halbrook-a-review/

February 19, 2013 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ha, so true. Flashing is unfortunate. Thankfully, my browser blocks ads, so that's not a big issue for me.

Oh, I'm switching to Wordpress in the future, but I'm not really bothered by Blogger/Wordpress. I'm fine with both commenting systems. Google just stays as my default so blogger really isn't any more work for me. Some of the wordpress ones will not remember who I am and I have to type all of that in every time, and that can be frustrating.

I also hated that book, so I'm looking forward to it!

February 19, 2013 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Bibliosaurus Text said...

I am far more likely to follow a blog that reviews books I would actually read (aka, not erotica, not inspirational, not romance), and is willing to give a negative and honest review. If you're a cheerleader for every single book you review, that's SO not useful to me. We have a million choices, and I look to my blogger friends to help whittle those choices down to something more manageable. That's one of the reasons why I usually read your reviews, whereas on others I'll skip past them unless it's a book I know I'm interested in.

February 19, 2013 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Finding a negative book review on this site is not all that hard. O_O This especially has not been a great month for my reading. The cheerleaders may serve a purpose for other readers, but that doesn't help me. I know I'm particular and I don't know which of the ones you just five-starred will actually appeal to me!

February 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

You, girlie, come up with the best topics ever!!! :)))
I'm actually not bothered with bad design too much because I'm reading posts in my Google reader, but I will take issue with captcha. It's absolutely atrocious and utterly unnecessary. The only captcha I like is sweet captcha, which is pretty adorable and easy to apply.

Answering to comments: I am extremely guilty of answering them o more than twice a week. I just do not have time to do it more often, plus because my blog design is made on Artisteer, Blogger doesn't let me reply to each comment individually and this doesn't help the matter at all. I have to make a long answer to all comments at once - no fun. So I am pretty forgiving and I rarely go back to blog to check if someone bothered to write back (time issue again).

I LOVE negative reviews!!! I'd always look for one ad see if the issues someone had with the book will put me off or do the opposite. It's great fun, and you are totally right - five star reviews all the time will put me off too, I wouldn't trust someone like that.

Giveaways: there is one thing I really object to: when following is required AND there is only one way to follow. It's counterproductive. I've done following as necessary for entering only couple of times when I was just starting and the numbers would drop straight after a giveaway. Now I don't eve bother: follow if you want and how you want or just click free entry. Steady readership is more important and that I can check through RSS.

I take issue with too many promo posts and memes. I come for interesting topics and reviews, seeing 10-20 blogs a day doing the same meme makes me skip the post altogether. I find them absolutely unnecessary because in a grand scheme of things they blur the edges between different blogs and they lose individuality.

Saying all that I find I sometimes can't unfollow some blogs I don't want to follow because I subscribed to them through GFC and then they got rid of the option and ow forever pop up o my Google Reader. Have you had that before?

February 19, 2013 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

P.S. I forgot to mention that I don't like blogs which have no ratings for their reviews at all. I can be as diplomatic and soft as possible in my review but my rating will reveal the truth, so having no ratings just confuses the hell out of me! ;)

February 19, 2013 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I don't think I'm familiar with sweet captcha at all. I do like the one on Diana Peterfreund's site, because it uses Killer Unicorns words.

Yeah, but I do see that you respond to people, and you comment back occasionally too. You're obviously engaged.

Yup! I don't always write books off based on negative reviews, but it tells me about the blogger and where we might and might not agree.

Exactly. Making people jump through hoops like that just for one freaking entry. Would one free entry kill you? No.

Meh, I comment less on the blogs with a lot of promos/whatever going, but I don't write them off entirely. I pretty much never comment on that content though, or read it.

Oh, there are two ways to handle that. I'll tweet you.

February 19, 2013 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, I don't mind no ratings blogs, but I am more skeptical of them in general, just because it can be a lot harder to find the negative reviews. If they say their thoughts really clearly, like April of Good Books and Good Wine, then awesome. Sometimes it's so you can be more positive about everything though.

February 19, 2013 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Becky LeJeune said...

I generally look for similar taste in books. I'm a little nit picky about small things but not enough to prompt me not to visit a blog generally.

I do have to say that while I hate, loathe, and despise Captcha, I am forgiving. I have opted to use it on my own blog. I've turned it off at times and find that I'm bombarded with spam comments. Blogspot does catch most of them but going through them to make sure they're spam (and discovering they all are) is irritating to the point of being demoralizing. I'll accept that it may turn folks off from commenting even if it does suck.

As for negative reviews -- I have a hard time writing them. And I don't use a rating on the blog itself (perhaps I should - then folks can see if it's a 5 star love vs a 3 star like, etc). I do have a negative one coming up tomorrow for a book I really didn't like, but it's not all that mean or scathing.

February 19, 2013 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Becky LeJeune said...

I should point out too that I sometimes skip covering a book on the blog at all if I just don't like it.

February 19, 2013 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I was just thinking about this the other day!

Admittedly, I don't read blogs as much as I used to because I get really wiped out after work, but I kind of follow the same procedure as you when I'm choosing which to read. My biggest factors are definitely content, design, and balance of negative and positive reviews.

For me, I tend to prefer simplicity and readability in design, so I don't think there's anything wrong with your look at all :) I hate when I find good content, but my eyes start to hurt from all of the things going on on the page.

Content is the most important factor for me. I read cooking, book, and other miscellaneous blogs, and I look for content that is relative to my interests, because if it isn't relative to my life, why read it? For example, if I found a blog dedicated to bacon, it probably wouldn't be a great choice for me (although it would be awesome for you and Jordan :D haha).

Like you, I also like to see a balance of negative and positive reviews because it's impossible for one to love everything. I value honesty in all aspects of my life, so even if ideas differ from my own, I respect them.

Completely OT, but I may finally start blogging again! I came up with a new idea, so we'll see if I find some buried motivation this weekend :) haha

February 19, 2013 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Giselle said...

"Find a Negative Review" YES! Gah to people who love everything. It's just not helpful you know! And I agree with most of these except the one where I don't answer comments on my own blog. Haha. Sorry but 99% of people don't check back and blogger doesn't tell them you replied, so I don't bother. I will during the Book Girls posts bc those are discussions posts--more people may come back--but otherwise I'll just go to the blog and comment on their post, too. I'll sometimes comment on Twitter though if the comment made me react >.<

Shitty sidebars will also get me to not come back. Like those who have 129836127863 moving widgets that take 3 years to load. Yeah dude I don't care about feeding your damn fishes! DIE FISHES! DIE!!

February 19, 2013 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Lol. Giselle, I actually thought of you. That's why I stressed that there are other ways to be interactive than responding to blog comments. You comment back or chat on Twitter. That's totally fine with me.

Ugh. Sidebars. Yeah, that's obnoxious. What is this about fishes?

February 19, 2013 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I turned off Anonymous commenting, and I've been fine since then so far as comments go. However, I know that some blogs get more anonymous commenters, so that can upset people. Thankfully, I never got many anyway.

In general, I try not to be all that scathing in my negative reviews, though it depends WHY my reaction was negative.

February 19, 2013 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Becky LeJeune said...

I have too many real readers (my sisters!) who only comment anonymously. And a lot of the spam comments I was finding led to those one post word press blogs, which I never understand, but they would initially appear to be a real person!

I think I have a harder time with negative reviews because I come from a bookseller background. I have some pretty strong opinions about certain kinds of books and had to temper those in that setting! Based on some of the comments here though I'm definitely thinking I should add a rating. I have a lot of three star books (I rate on GR) with generally "good" reviews.

February 19, 2013 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Simplicity is great. My new look will be simple too, I think, whenever it happens, though a white background instead of green.

Lol. Bacon blog. Paul would probably follow that one.


February 19, 2013 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, yes, I can see doing things that way then. Having captcha will definitely affect the fanbase you can build, but it's a question of what matters most to you. Maybe you could look into Sweet Captcha or something similar? I hear it's less annoying. The biggest issue with captcha is how impossible to read it is.

Ratings can be useful. They have their downsides too, but I do like seeing them.

February 19, 2013 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) said...

#1 factor in commenting for me is Captcha. If you've got it, I'm not commenting. I don't care if I wrote a 1,000 character comment, I'm exiting out of the window and moving on. I don't normally comment back on the post simply because I don't think people will come back to the post to see if I responded but what I do do is visit their blog and leave a comment on one of their posts and if they left me a question I either answer it in the comment (if it applies), tweet them or send them an email.

I will admit that when I first started blogging I followed every blog that had giveaways I was interested in. And if you made it mandatory to follow, I did it. Now, not so much. I try to only follow the blogs I keep up to date with. That way my inbox doesn't get overrun.

And I 100% agree with you about the blogs that love every book they read. Make me a little jealous because there are times when I get a few DNF or 2 star reviews and I want to pull my hair out. I guess I'm just stingy with my 5's. :-P

February 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Captcha is awful, though I don't go so far as to delete the comment I've written. Your dedication to not letting Captcha win is inspiring. There's nothing wrong with responding to comments another way, so long as it's not a vacuum.

Yup. I did that for a while, but now I try only to follow blogs that I really enjoy and from which I really want to see every post. I also follow with Google Reader instead of GFC now, which is so much easier to manage.

I'm stingy with my 5s too.

February 19, 2013 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Steena said...

A tagline is important to me, sad to say (kind of a blend of 1 and 3). I want to know what kind of books you're reading up front. As someone who isn't constantly in the book market, I don't necessarily know what books fall into which genres. So, even if I read through your blog or skim the pages, I might not be able to tell if you're into Contemporary YA or Paranormal YA or etc. I'm not saying every blog needs to define itself into a genre. For instance, you provide book reviews for "just about every kind of book," which is factual and also lets me know what to expect of future reviews. And I am delighted when reviewers break out of their mould and try something new. But I'm going to be more inclined to read a historical fiction review blog than I am a contemporary romance blog and it would be helpful if a blog labeled itself so in a tagline or an 'About' page.

I also have an issue with unfollowing blogs, so I have a few that I keep on my Google Reader and skim but don't pay much attention to because I was already following before I realized their genre was not my own. That's more my problem than theirs.

February 19, 2013 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Huh, interesting. Since I do review so many different genres, that never really occurred to me. I stay clear of romance/erotica/mystery/nonfiction blogs, but pretty much everything else is a go for me. I can see that being really helpful though, if you're more of a niche reader. Good point!

I have no problem unfollowing. I guess I'm just mean.

February 19, 2013 at 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with so much of what you said! Design can be interesting in determining blog personality, how new the blog is, how organized the blog is, etc. but it's never a determining factor for me, unless the blog is actually unreadable due to crazy fonts, colors, etc.

I also like to go through the review archive and see whether we read the same types of books and whether we both enjoy the same books. The archive can also be a good indicator of how many reviews are posted. I read book blogs primarily for book reviews, and while I understand some people read more slowly than others, it might not be worth it to follow a blog that reviews a book only once every two months.

And comment replies are also very important, even if the blogger only says something like "thanks." It's difficult to put time and effort into routinely commenting on the same blog, if the blogger never acknowledges your existence. It would at least inspire me to stop commenting, if not stop reading the blog.

February 19, 2013 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Good point about looking at how much they've reviewed. I prefer blogs that do a lot of reviewing, so if they don't have an archive or only have a few books in there, I'm likely to pass, though I might be back later.

Several of my close friends are more likely to respond to my comment on Twitter, and I'm cool with that too.

February 19, 2013 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Twitter replies are good! I just think that commenters don't like feeling as if they're talking into a void, any more than bloggers like the feeling they get when no one comments on their posts! I'm even ok if the comment replies come a long time after the comments are made. (People have replied to mine literally months later.) I see blogging as a relationship, and it's hard to expect people to comment if you literally never reply to what they're saying to you. It is hard to reply to comments that just say things like "Nice post," though.

February 19, 2013 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Exactly. I just want to know they're there and interacting with me somewhere, whether on their blog, my blog, Twitter, maybe fb, though I don't use that for blogging.

February 19, 2013 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, also, I have a personal policy not to respond to those that I have no real reaction to. If all I can say is 'thanks,' I just skip it.

February 19, 2013 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

Excellent post!

1. When it comes to design I really don't care if it's professionally done or a regular template (though I am attracted to pretty). I care about whether or not it's aesthetically pleasing (and holy crap I just spelled aesthetically right on the first try!) on the eyes. Can I read it or do I have to squint my eyes? Are you using a normal font for your posts? Are you playing music? I'm also really turned off super large headers. If I am in full page mode I should be able to see your first post.

2. I don't enter giveaways ever anymore cause I don't win and I'm lazy, but I do pay attention to blogs I follow that host giveaways. I want to see content, not all giveaways.

3. There's a blogger or two I follow that I would say our book tastes are like 2% similar, but I really like their personality and there's other posts besides reviews so there are still bookish things to be talked about.

4. Well said.

5. I'm not as picky about this one. I think it is concerning when it's all 5 star reviews, but you have to look at time frame too. Is it just the last month or so? Or is it all the time? If it's just the last month I don't worry about it cause we've all had awesome months before. If it's all year then I'm worried.

I think some people are afraid to put out negative reviews, especially given some recent (and not so recent) happenings. I know I labored over BD for sometime making sure it was "perfect" before posting it.

6. Things that bother me: Can I get your full post in my reader? I WILL NOT click to read the full post. I know that someone once said they didn't know and my response to that is... Don't you follow yourself? I totally do, that's how I know to fix things if something turns out ghetto. Captcha on big blogs. I get it when you're just starting or if your a small blog, whatever. And I get that if you have a ton of followers than you are more susceptible to spam. But if you have a 1000 followers you should not have captcha. There was something else but I just can't remember it right now.

February 19, 2013 at 5:56 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

I feel bad about it, too, but I also judge a blog by its design even though I do most of my reading in Google Reader! I just feel like if you don't put much thought into the presentation of your blog, you probably don't put much thought into the content either. :-/

It's weird but I find it hard to find blogs with the same taste as me, so I end up following a bunch of blogs that focus on one or two genres that I read. I have to regularly cull my reader because of this. My tastes are all over the place, but it seems like most bloggers choose a genre and stick with it.

I love negative reviews too! I've picked up quite a few books because of negative reviews, and I've noticed that my own negative reviews tend to get marked as helpful on Amazon. I'm also more likely to read a negative review, since "OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK! WOO!!!" isn't as helpful as "I didn't like this book because..."

Anyway, great post!

Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

February 19, 2013 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Tez Miller said...

The more I read your blog, the more I like you. I agree with everything you said in this post! Particularly the negative review, and not having to be a follower to enter giveaways.

*checks own blog* A lot of my reviews have been rather positive lately. I usually only write reviews for the stuff I really like or really dislike, because I'm lazy and couldn't be bothered reviewing everything I read ;-)

February 19, 2013 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Midnyte Reader said...

Interesting this has been brought up. I got rid of ratings on my blog a while ago (still do them on GR & Amazon) because they were confusing *me* and I was just laboring over what to give a book. However, recently, I've been thinking of reinstating them.

February 19, 2013 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger April (BooksandWine) said...

YESSS I think I do all of those things. Well, besides my design, sort of. I mean the colors don't entirely match but there's a lot of white space, just 9 things in my sidebar (i know clutter fail) and new super simple header, so yayy.

1. If a design is obnoxious, especially with unique fonts, I bounce. Like, I am down for unique fonts for blog post title, but besides that, the entire post, um no. Also, same with small fonts, because I am getting old and at the end of the day, my 25 year old eyes don't want to struggle to read 12 point font. ALSO I read on daily blog tips that if you increase your font size, the bounce rate tends to decrease.

2. I don't enter giveaways and don't really follow a ton of blogs that do them constantly. Like none of the blogs I follow do those book blasts or a billion hops. Thank goodness.

3. YES! I think it's important to have overlapping taste or at least something in common. Granted, perhaps I am a hypocrite because my reading is all over the place, but I tend to follow a lot of YA blogs, but my true love is for blogs that are eclectic. I hate being boxed in to one set genre and like seeing other blogs who read as widely as I do (which is why I fricken love it when you review non-fiction audiobooks lol). YAY.

4. I tend to think that when people don't reply to comments in some way, shape or form, they are snobby and I do not like that. I like blogs that are conversational. Granted, I have been slacking on comment replies myself lately, but hey my boss resigned so my workload has really increased a ton.

5.I do read some blogs that don't do negative reviews, but typically that's because I am friendly with the person who runs the blog and straight up, friendship matters to me. However, like you I just fricken love a negative review from time to time.

And as for my personal factors: I like bloggers that aren't lazy as all get out. Which okay this is judgemental but LOL most of the newer blogs I follow I have found through friends or Top Ten Tuesday. I will never follow a blog if they just post a fricken boring ass text list with no explanation as to why they have selected a certain book or character. Yet, if they post great reasons with GIFs or a sense of humor, then hell yes I will add them to my feed reader, like today I added Book, Interrupted to my feedreader because her TTT post was thoughtful and awesome and I liked her taste.

Which brings me to my next point -- I also like blogs with a strong voice. I am not a big fan of blogs where you can't quite tell one reviewer from another. I like a distinctive voice and preferably one that does not bore me. Like, okay there's the Book Smugglers where they write very long reviews, but they are articulate and intelligent and I don't get bored. Then there's the girls at Makeshift Bookmark where it's keysmashes and love and I am all HELLO I AM HOME. Or Rather Be Reading or G Reads Books where each word is carefully chosen and crafted. Like, I follow a lot of blog but one thing that they all have in common is a distinctive voice. There are no blogs in my reader where I am like oh, yes I can skip that post because it's going to sound like everyone else's.

Shit, I should have just turned this into a response post on my blog because omg this is the longest comment ever.

February 19, 2013 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Love this and agree with everything! Site design may seem small, but we're always told to make a good first impression and the design does that. If I open a page to blaring music, I am so clicking away.

I would also add one other thing - variety of content. As a fellow reviewer, I don't read reviews, which is smart if you think about it. So in order to get me to follow a site, there has to be more than reviews - and I'm not talking about memes either. There has to be something interested, ie rants, covers, author interview, interesting features, etc.

I do have to admit to being rather lazy when it comes to responding to comments on my site though. I respond on Facebook and Twitter! When I hit up my site, it's usually to schedule/post something; but I've been trying to get better about that.

February 19, 2013 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Christina Reads YA said...

Yes to the negative review and 5 star part. There are some blogs that don't have a single negative review and some bloggers who have addressed this by saying that they do not tend to dislike a book. In which case... uhh, not going to work for me. And yes to overlapping taste! And layouts!

As for the comment interaction... my current layout doesn't let me reply in the same way yours does and I've hated that for so long. I get your comment about wanting to have a dialog with people, but there's also that factor. And I really hope I don't come off as standoffish :(. Admittedly I'm not as involved anymore because of time constraints but... rawr!

You're really good at both comment interaction and visiting other blogs though :O.

As for giveaways, I, unless it's a publisher sponsored giveaway, actually make all of mine follower required. If I manage to get my hands on an ARC (rare) or am doing follower appreciation, I want to give a prize or whatever to only the people who have been reading my posts--not to some random person who chanced upon the blog. And yeah, people start following you sometimes just for the giveaway, but they could unfollow if they want, and there's always the possibility that the newcomers will like your blog enough to give it a second chance.

But you're probably right lol. I have wondered sometimes if that comes off as desperate. Meh.

I've also found some great blogs by virtue of other bloggers' recommendations or retweets. I.e. YOURS!
Plus sidebars of bloggers I love!
Plus interesting blog names!
A thoughtful Goodreads review.
So many places to find new blogs :).

February 19, 2013 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That's funny. It seems like I've been reading nothing but negative reviews from the girls lately. *grin*

But I'm with you on not reviewing everything I read. If I did, I wouldn't be in this review slump. *grin*

February 19, 2013 at 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great post! I think I am pretty much in agreement with your feelings.
For blog design, I do take more notice of a blog when I like the design. But basically, I need to be able to read it. I've been to some blogs where the background is white and the font color is a light gray. I mean, I totally cannot read that! There is a not enough contrast. And although it isn't a deal breaker, I don't really care for all those banner things where the blogger is showing love for all the series they love. I don't care too much when the blog are too busy. White space is good people!

Giveaways don't really factor into whether or not I follow a blog. Once in a great while, I will come across a book that I just want so so so bad, and I will follow a blog to enter the giveaway. But I think I have only done that twice in two years.

Overlapping taste is definitely one of the most deciding factors on whether I will follow a blog. Also, if I feel like someone is a book snob (totally my own opinion and not necessarily a fact) I won't follow.

I've never really looked at comments when deciding to follow a blog. But I think I might start that. It's a good way to see what the blogger is like.

I have never thought of looking at a negative review, but I am definitely with you on not enjoying bloggers that only rave about books. I mean, it's great when someone falls in love with a book, but not every book can be out of this world! And personally, when I've read a book I didn't like, writing a negative review feels good (not because I want to bash a book) but because I need to vent about all the things that frustrated me. I always have more to say about a book I didn't like, and usually end up talking about spoilers. I actually just wrote a negative review of Ice by Sarah Beth Durst. That book was just nuts!

Something else that I really value in a blog is consistent posting. I'm not saying they need to post every day, but at least a few times every week. Also, not memes all the time. I definitely participate in memes, and I really like them because it lets me answer book related questions. And I feel like it helps me get my personality out there, and it helps me learn the personality of other bloggers. But when that is all a blogger does - well that is kind of frustrating, and also kind of boring.

February 19, 2013 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Belle said...

This is great criteria! I think I consider all of these things too, except maybe the giveaways. If a blog does too many memes I tend not to follow either.

February 19, 2013 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Maji Bookshelf said...

I love this post. I totally agree on all of your poitns.. especially the last one. It IS impossible for someone to love every single book they read! and to rate every single book 3+. My sister and I only have a handful of 5 star ratings and when our readers see the 5 stars they KNOW how much we are in love with that book.. also another point is the comments.. I am one of the people that don't usually comment back on comments because, in my opinion, most of them are comments that don't require me to comment back. When I post a discussion post, yes, I definitely comment back. When someone asks me a direct question or an intriguing statement that is pointing out at something I mentioned, I would definitely comment back.. but yea, I also don't enjoy it when people advertise their giveaway on every single post they have on the blog...

great post again :)

- Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

February 19, 2013 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger molly wetta said...

I think partly because I read a lot of book blogs to stay on top of new releases and find hidden gems in YA since reader's advisory is such a huge part of my job, I seek out blogs that review lesser known books and take a critical approach.

All positive or all negative is equally off-putting for me.

Design is less of an issue for me since I mostly read in google reader, but when I do go to comment or browse, blinking or dark backgrounds turn me off.

I also appreciate bloggers who are into dialogue and community and respond to comments or bloggers I see often commenting on other posts.

I'm not into blogs that do a ton of memes or promo posts -- I like book reviews and thoughtful posts on trends, book culture, etc.

February 19, 2013 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger hbjgvhuogyihpo said...

AH! Incredible post. So here's my take on all of the points you've mentioned.

1. I'll admit that design is usually what draws me in at first, but it's not what keeps me at a blog. I have to like the content... but I will admit I enjoy looking at pretty designs!

2. AH. Once upon a time I followed blogs just for giveaway, but I stopped doing that. I'll enter a giveaway every now and then but I'm not going to let it determine who I follow! And the thing about mandatory following bugs me! It's like. You may have amazing content, but when you host these huge giveaways and require a mandatory entry... it makes me think that's why you have so many followers. Not that follower count matters at all!

3. This is such a big one for me! I have a favorite book in pretty much every genre, so I'll go through that bloggers archive and try to find at least one of them and if we don't agree... well I probably won't follow them right away! I'll search around their blog for similar interests wherever they may appear. But If we don't like at least some of the same things... chances are I won't follow.

4. AH! Negative reviews really let you see what kind of person a blogger is. And now that I'm looking at my own blog, I'm seeing that I have a ton of positive reviews. But it's more that I research what I'm going to read beforehand, because books DO cost money and I'd rather spend my money on something I think I'll enjoy rather than something I won't.

Fantastic post!!

February 19, 2013 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger A Canadian Girl said...

I admire blogs with amazing designs but in terms of design, I just want to see a blog that's not too cluttered, doesn't have music, doesn't have captcha codes - they're a hassle when trying to leave a comment - and has font that's easy to read. To get me to become a loyal follower - and especially to comment - I like the blogger to have similar tastes in books (genre and ratings wise) and interact regularly with me (e.g. Twitter, through comments, etc.).

February 19, 2013 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I very rarely respond to comments on my blog just because I figured nobody remembers to go back and check (I know that I never remember to check to see if other bloggers respond to my comments unless I ask a very specific question) so that doesn't bother me. However after reading this, I did start responding and it is actually a lot of fun so thanks for the encouragement there!

February 20, 2013 at 1:06 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

1. Yup, the consensus definitely seems to be that most of us don't care much as long as it's physically possible to read it. I've found a couple with music, and it's like time traveling back to 1999. DON'T DO THAT, ANYONE. And the large headers, YES. Those are obnoxious too.

3. True. As long as they're open to discussion or highly entertaining, it's all good!

5. It's fine if they have mostly 3+ ratings, but everyone reads a stinker now and then, you know?

Oooh, yes! I hate when the full post isn't in reader. It's the worst. I do not follow myself, but I do check occasionally.

February 20, 2013 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ah, yeah, I see that. Though the reverse could probably be just as true: counting on a good design to mask meh content. Who knows, though.

Oh, my tastes are super all over the place. Most bloggers are a bit more niche, though I do know a couple with tastes as whackadoodle as mine! Good Books and Good Wine for example, listens to random audios, reads classics, YA, adult novels, romance, middle grade...we can bond over this.

True. Negative reviews have a tendency to be a bit more informational. Though I don't often pick up books based on negative reviews, I'm not opposed to it. Basically, it depends on how familiar I am with the reviewer. If they have pretty similar taste, I'm more likely to go with their review. If they're an unknown quantity, I can see if I think the things that bothered them would bother me.

February 20, 2013 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Very interesting that you tend not to write the middling reviews. I haven't really heard of someone with that policy before, though those are the toughest reviews to write, so I totally see the appeal. I have to review everything, or I would start making excuses to not review anything.

Oooh, who are the girls? They sound like my kind of people. :-p

February 20, 2013 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I liked your old header, but this one's good too. Your blog is pretty shiny. I like the simple, not super colorful look, actually.

1. Oh, yeah, I do a unique font for the title, but that's it. Everything else is in Georgia, both because I like it, and because I live in Georgia and think it's kind of meta. lol. I'm lame, basically. Actually, I HATE large font. I mean, I want it to not be so tiny I can't read it, but I will totally ctrl- pages with gigantic font.

2. I only have a couple I follow who do that, and that's because we're friends so whatever, I just scroll past.

3. Yes! You are one of the only bloggers who reviews as much (actually more) random shit than I do on your blog. I think we read about the same range, only you also read romance, which I don't really do. You read everything, lol.

4. Exactly! I mean, I try to be really fair. Checking a whole bunch of posts through out a couple months just to see. I know people get busy, but if you never respond in any way, not cool. It always seems like they're too big for their britches.

5. Right. Making exceptions for friends, I totally get. One of my IRL friends blogs and almost never rates anything low, but she's also one of those people who really does like anything. If I didn't know that about her, though, I probably would be like meh pass.

Oh man. I did one of those lazy lists once, because I was really tired and busy, but, yeah, it's really hard to respond to those, and I prefer not to do it. I love gifs!

Right! You are like the poster child for a strong voice in blogging. I love it.

Actually, it's not if blogger let you post it. I've had some Cover Snark comments that had to be cut down because it exceeded the character limit!

February 20, 2013 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh yeah, music needs to go back to the 90s where it belongs. I am so dumbfounded when I find that now.

I read reviews, but rarely for anything I'm planning to read, and never for something I'll be reading within the next couple months. I do love seeing variety. It's one of the reasons I love The Perpetual Page Turner. Jamie can come up with discussion posts like no one else.

Responding on Twitter is cool too. :)

February 20, 2013 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Not ever disliking a book is so not legit to me. Maybe some people's brains do work like that, but mine does not, so I probably won't be able to glean much from those reviews.

Oh yeah, I know that some of them don't allow for individual replies, which is a hamper, but you do comment back. You're good!

Goooo me!

Interesting. Well, if it works for you, then do it that way. I used to, but I felt like a lot of people followed me just for to enter the giveaway and never interacted. That still happens some now that it's optional, but I think the percentage is lower.

Oh yeah, I try to check out RTs when I can. I ignore sidebars, though, honestly. X_X

February 20, 2013 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh yes. I am not a fan of the banners. Some have banners for all of their favorite books, countdown widgets, and buttons for all of their teams and I'm like O_o.

Ha! I know exactly what you mean about the book snobs. I follow a couple of those, but I never comment. I just see what they're saying. I tend not to read the actual reviews and just check the rating, because the reviews make it sound like anyone without that same opinion is an idiot, which I'm not a big fan of.

Exactly, I really love writing negative reviews sometimes, though some of them are painful. Mostly, they're cathartic. Ooh, I've had bad experiences with Durst, so I am excited.

Oh yes, consistent posting. That's important. You don't have to post a lot, but I like it to be obvious that you're still around. I personally like to make sure I have more reviews going up than non-review posts, to make sure my focus stays on the most important thing.

February 20, 2013 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger The Relentless Reader said...

What a great post, it's made me do some thinking. (Ouch!)

Design~ I enjoy something simple to look at. I can't read itsy bitsy print or fancy fonts. If the background is black and the font is yellow? Adios! I just cannot. (Your design is lovely! Easy to read and that's what really matters)

Giveaways~ I do them now and then but I don't look for them elsewhere.

Taste in Books~ Bloggers that share my taste in books are the ones I usually read. I do follow a few folks that read genres that I'm not interested in but it's because they are hilarious and/or have great content.

Comments~ I try very hard to interact with the people that take the time to comment on my blog. I think it's important. I appreciate people that read my ramblings and I want them to know that :) Like you said, this community is awesome and I love being a part of it.

Negative Reviews~ Yup. We can't all LOOOOOVE every book we read and if someone does? It seems suspicious to me. I don't do ratings on my blog but I do use them on Goodreads and Amazon.

Thanks again for this post, loved it to bits!

February 20, 2013 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh yeah, memes have been a popular no-go. I don't mind as long as they're balanced with other content.

February 20, 2013 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yup, I want five stars to be only those books that I couldn't personally see any flaws in, though others will rip them apart. It's like that scene in Love Actually: To me, you are perfect. Lol!

Some of my friends have a similar policy on responding to comments, but they'll react on Twitter, or comment back on the person's blog. As long as they're out there and involved one way or another, I'm cool with it.

February 20, 2013 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ah yes, for reader's advisory, you're going to want to learn about backlist titles as well. You already know what the big titles are now, but you need readalikes and things like that to recommend to the person who's finished the latest dystopia and wants something similar.

True. I don't like all negative either, but I don't know of any blogs like that.

Agreed. Though I participate in a couple of memes, because they're a good way to network, they're often not my favorite posts, though TTT is sometimes awesome.

February 20, 2013 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

2. Yeah, I never follow for giveaways any more, but a year ago was a different story. The mandatory following just seems a bit sketchy to me. It will get you more followers, but how much do they actually like you?

3. There are a few books that I'm going to have difficulties accepting your hatred of. I can, but it's going to take me a while. They're so special to me I almost feel betrayed. God, I'm weird.

4. Truth. I understand having mostly positive reviews. I'm pretty particular, but my average rating is over a 3, I think, just because I have some idea what I'll like. I'm still wrong a lot, just because pretty covers will trick me or there were no reviews yet or unsolicited copies or whatever.

February 20, 2013 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Exactly. I'll read if they're not interactive and they're a good source of information, but I won't comment. I do not comment for my own amusement!

February 20, 2013 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Jenni said...

I am so with you on the design and negative review one. If the blog is a mess and I don't even know what I am looking at I will just exit out. I hate overcrowded blogs and all these FREAKING team badge thingies GAH! Also I won't follow if they seem to love everything because I want someone who is going to be honest with me or their reviews mean nothing to me. Love this topic great post!

February 20, 2013 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I am sneaky like that. Like a ninja. ha, no problem. There aren't many people who comment back, but sometimes people do, and that always makes me feel so happy. They cared enough about my opinion to return and say more things!

February 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh thanks. The design will be changing at some point, but it should be a white background with dark text, so still easy to read when that happens.

True. If someone's funny enough, I totes don't care if we agree.

For real. There ought to be some variety of rating, though some people are better about DNFing than I am, so they don't have many low ratings. I totally get that.

February 20, 2013 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'm remembering that one post I looked at from early in your blogging. lol!

Ugh, team badges are so annoying!


February 20, 2013 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Lilian said...

Dammit, I love your discussion posts. Every time I have to study (midterm tomorrow!), so lure me into reading your blog with a discussion posts...and then OF COURSE I have the urge to comment.

01. Design
As a graphic design major...I don't care about people's layout design UNLESS it's littered with glitter, blog buttons (giveaways make people do scary things to their blogs,) advertisements, purple text on black backgrounds, and captchas that I can't get right after the 5th try (I PROMISE I AM NOT A CYBORG! LET ME COMMENNNNTTT.) But I tend to read posts in emails/Google Reader anyway...

But I do CARE about my own design. Even though am not talented enough to build it from scratch (too difficult, I rather read lalalalala.) I just turned down joining a promotional event for a book because they wanted me to put up a banner. I had the HARDEST time composing that "sorry, but I don't put up banners because it ruins the aesthetics of my blog, but please don't take offense, your banner isn't ugly or anything!" email without something like a pretentious jerk since putting up a banner seems like such a trivial matter. But at the same time, I didn't want to visit my blog's homepage and wince every time. Then think "oh gosh, Lilian. You've been bribed so easily."

Okay, I must confess that the banner they asked me to put up wasn't the prettiest thing ever. andtherewasnowayiwantedtolookatiteveryday.

But the experience made me think that aside from a review policy, I need to make a "promotions" policy. Where I state that I don't put up banners. Or do cover reveals.

"Most especially, you can usually tell if the blogger primarily reads paranormal."
Ditto. Purple. Galore. Or a goth girl somewhere.
Not saying it's a bad thing.

02. Giveaways
Which is why my Google Reader is filled with blogs I don't care for. Which is why I email subscribe to all the blogs I do care about because I can no longer depend on my Google Reader.
I am still a greedy pig.
I don't mind whe giveaways ask me to follow, but it's when they ask me to vote up reviews on their Amazon that I get annoyed. Then I feel like voting their reviews down. Because I'm a rebel. Or putting up blog buttons that are GIGANTIC.

You know, I think I started following your blog because of a giveaway. And oe of the entries was to make a comment, so I made a comment (I hope it wasn't a "great review!" comment, but it wad definitely a "GIMMIE MY EXTRA ENTRY, WOMAN!" comment) somewhere...
Then you actually replied and commented back on my blog...so then I HAD to "repay" the favor. And then I started spamming your blog. You're welcome. *bows*

03. Book Taste
I follow some blogs that specialize in genres I would LIKE read more of. *coughclassicalliteraturecough* but ultimately never do.

Which is why I actually comment on your blog, EVEN though I am supposed to be making a study guide for my midterm tomorrow. I am going to be blaming my grades on you.

05. Negative Reviews
I love reading negative reviews. *evil cackle*
Those reviews are where personality and personal tastes really comes out.
And for some reason, my negative reviews are the ones that are most liked on Goodreads and voted up most frequently on Amazon.

"So, if you would like to, link one of your most scathing reviews in the comments, and I will come check you out."
Not my own, but I think you will appreciate this negative review from a reviewer I trust and stalk on Goodreads (but her book blog isn't very active): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/124972214

YOU, of all people, need more blogs to follow? BUT I SEE YOU EVERYWHERE.

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

February 20, 2013 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Great post! Here are my thoughts:

Design: I'd rather see a basic homemade design than something crazy that hurts my eyes. Your green is very soothing, BTW. I can't stand visual clutter. And not a fan of things that move, like falling snow. That makes me queasy.

Giveaways: I really dislike that single mandatory Rafflecopter entry that "unlocks" the others. I like to give people different options to enter. Some people don't want to tweet or FB or comment. I sometimes mention ongoing giveaways in posts, since I know people don't visit my blog every day.

Taste: I review YA so if a blogger doesn't review any YA, it becomes a bit of a problem to go and leave comments on reviews of books that I have never heard of and will never read. If the person is super nice and leaves me comments, I try to visit back, but it's hard to think of stuff to say.

Comments: I have unfollowed blogs that don't ever respond to comments (or visit back, or email back tweet back, or whatever.) I'm not perfect, but I try to get back to most commenters in one of those ways.

Reviews: I don't care if people do or don't give negative reviews. If I can't stand a book, I tend to DNF it. it's the only way I can get through my stack. I just want a review that's specific. What exactly did the reviewer like or dislike and why? If a reviewer isn't specific and their opinions are super-generic ("great plot, great characters, blah blah") then that review is completely unhelpful to me and I sometimes wonder if they even read the book.

February 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

There are a few things that will cause me to immediately close my webpage and never go to your blog again. The first two are the most important.
1. If you have a black background and your font is anything 'neon' I will not be returning to your page.
2. If you have music on your page. I can't tell you how many times my volume has been turned up and I click on a new blog and I get the crap scared out of me.
3. I'm all about variety but yeah, if you don't read ANYTHING that I'm even vaguely interested in then I don't see the point. Sorry.

Fantastic post!! And btw, I quite like your blog layout. Nice neutral colors. No neon. :D And no music.

February 20, 2013 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm sharing a negative one, lol maybe we could bond over that! Tell me what you think :)


February 20, 2013 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Oh, I hadn't even thought about that! But you're probably right that can happen, too.

I'll have to check that blog out! I hadn't heard of it before! Thanks. :D

"...if I think the things that bothered them would bother me." That is exactly why I like negative reviews. :)

February 20, 2013 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger cncbooks said...

This is SUCH a good post! As for me---

1. I recently took a new design and I'm thinking I may have to change again because it seems a bit--maybe a lot--too busy and the contrast isn't good enough. No captcha or music, though!

2. I don't use Rafflecopter (WP doesn't allow it) so my giveaways are pretty simple--leave a comment sometime in X # of days. I don't usually bring it up again on the blog but will on Twitter and various elists and yahoo groups. Oh, and I don't require following. A couple of blog tours required that back when I could use Rafflecopter and I don't like it.

3. Variety is the name of the game with me and my volunteer reviewers so you can find almost anything on Buried Under Books.

4. My biggest FAIL. I'm awful about this but am trying very hard to get better.

5. Oh, yes! I don't make a habit of it but I will post negative reviews. Here are a few for you to choose from---



http://cncbooksblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/book-reviews-a-christmas-home-by-greg-kincaid-the-morphine-murders-by-lj-king-and-drop-dead-on-recall-by-sheila-webster-boneham/ (read the second one)

As for ratings, I've never done them because I think they're too restrictive (I do them on Goodreads and B&N because I have to). Sometimes I think I should start but I just don't know...I do know I would be stingy with 5s.

I used to do a lot of blog posts myself, other than reviews, but I started inviting guest authors and eventually lost my space and my incentive. I also got too caught up in blog tours but I haven't gotten into the meme or blog hop games. I'm in the process now of cutting back on the guests and the tours (and their banners), starting in May, and I'll be glad to get back to making my own voice heard ;-)

February 20, 2013 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Allison L said...

I love all the GIFs in this post, Christina!

You have so many good points. Here are my thoughts:

1. I like originality with blog designs but I also have my limits. If the blog design if kinda obnoxious, or if I can’t read anything on the blog because of the font style, size, or color, I usually don’t stick around very long. For me to be able to enjoy something, and read it, I have to be comfortable doing so, you know?

2. I’m not a big giveaway enterer unless it’s something that I’m really interested in. I also don’t tend to follow blogs that constantly do giveaways. I prefer to simply read reviews, I guess. Also, I really don’t like when people are obnoxious about their giveaways because most of the time it does make them sound like they are simply desperate for followers and numbers.

3. Admittedly many of the blogs that I started following, I started because April was already friends with them but, I continued following them because of how our tastes in books overlapped. One of the things I love most about this book blogging community is getting to discuss and interact with others. I definitely feel that you shouldn’t box yourself into one specific type of blog to follow, or one specific type of genre to follow because then you could miss out on meeting so many fabulous people!

4. I always like it when people respond to my comments because I love the conversation that goes along with it. One of my New Years resolutions for blogging was to comment more, and respond more to comments left on my reviews. So far I haven’t been very good at that (thanks for my work schedule) but I’m working on improving!

5. I think negative reviews are important but I can understand why people might not want to post them or promote them. I do really like it though when people are completely honest about the way they feel regarding a certain book. Sometimes I wish I could be just as honest as them!

Other personal factors for me regarding the blogs I tend to look for:

Blogs without Captcha: Captcha is the worst thing ever! Seriously. Nothing irritates me more than having to mess around with captcha. I will still leave a comment on a blog but I will probably complain about the entire time I’m posting.

Blogs without music on them: I have had the crap scared out of me so many times by clicking on a blog that was new to me, and suddenly loud music starts playing. I really don’t like this at all.

Blogs with a variety of content: I love to read reviews, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s nice to read other things as well. Be it an interview, or a guest post, or a meme, or a discussion post. I especially like posts where I have to really think of a response (like this one!).

Blogs with personality: Everyone is different, and I really like when that is reflected in a persons blog. Maybe it’s in the way that they write, or the type of language that they use, or the fact that they use gifs, or bullet points, or something that captures your attention. I love when I am pulled in by a review, and feel like I have to read the book immediately, and I think that is usually because of the bloggers voice.

Blogs that promote other blogs: I love the networking within the book blogging world, and I’ve found many new blogs because of it. If a blog has a list of favorite blogs that they like to check out, I usually try to check it out to see if there is someone there I haven’t heard of before. It’s a really fun way to find new people!

Anyway, that is enough from me. I’ve talked way too much as it is. Excellent post! :)

--Allison @ Good Books & Good Wine

February 20, 2013 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Shelver506 said...


Well, I like it if a blog feels professional. I only take this desire so far because not everyone is into the design aspect of blogging, but I won't typically follow a blog with a default setting or that has tons of typos or is difficult to read. If a blog feels like the blogger doesn't really care about it, why should I bother to care?

I do look for blogs that read some of the same books that I do. Obviously, reading all of the EXACT SAME books would be boring, but if a blogger routinely hates the books that I love and vice-versa, I'll move on.

And I do still follow some blogs for their giveaways, but not very many. :)

You want negative reviews? I've got negative reviews! not very many, though, because I'm too impatient and will usually DNF a book before it gets that far. Here are some for your enjoyment:

The Flight of Gemma Hardy: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/03/review-flight-of-gemma-hardy-by-margot.html

Goddess Interrupted: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/04/review-goddess-interrupted-by-aimee.html

The Girl in the Steel Corset: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-girl-in-steel-corset-by-kady.html

Monument 14: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/06/review-monument-14-by-emmy-laybourne.html

Of Poseidon: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/08/review-of-poseidon-by-anna-banks.html

Origin: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/09/review-origin-by-jessica-khoury.html

Quarantine: The Loners (this one inspired a full-on rant): http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/12/review-and-rant-quarantine-loners-by.html

The Raft: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-raft-by-sa-bodeen.html

Stolen (I think I'm the only person who disliked this book): http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/03/review-stolen-by-lucy-christopher.html

This Is Not A Test (ditto): http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/06/review-this-is-not-test-by-courtney.html

I also wrote a very brief snarky review of Girl, Stolen by April Henry on Goodreads.

Huh. I guess I've been more negative than I thought.

February 20, 2013 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

1. Captcha is convinced that I am a cyborg, which is just plain rude.

Nope, it's not a bad thing, but purple, shiny and a girl in a dress or with goth eyes. It's the most consistent one.

2. But you love mine. For the giveaways AND my awesomeness. Do not disabuse me of this notion. Oh, I hate seeing that everywhere.

Oooh, so that's the importance of responding to comments right there. It gets you blog stalkers. :-p

3. Yeah, I follow a couple of urban fantasy blogs, and I keep adding awesome ones but never getting to them. Same with adult fiction.

4. Wooooo! I mean, no. Those grades are on you.

5. Yup. I think so too. It also tends to make it really clear what a person is reading for primarily: characters, world building, plot, action, writing.

Some of that is responding to comments. I only comment actively on a few of my own volition.

February 21, 2013 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'm totally GR friends with that person. Or I was. But yeah I know her.

February 21, 2013 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh good. I'm changing my design someday, but it'll still be simple. probably a white background just for convenience though. I really wish I could white out spoilers. The falling snow made me crazy. This is not as cool as you think it is!

Yup. I've only had a mandatory Rafflecopter entry once or twice, and it was a requirement from the tour.

Oh yeah, that's tricky. I encounter that sometimes with people who review all indie. I'm like .... I have no idea what this book is.

Exactly. I like to see they make an effort somewhere.

The worst is trying to review a book with spoilers everywhere, because then you do have to be like. Plot: thumbs up. Characters: thumbs up. But yeah, if your review for one book could easily apply to another, that's not a good sign. I'm trying to do better about DNFing bad books, but I'm not very good at it. I keep hoping they'll get better, and then they don't.

February 21, 2013 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Honestly, font should never be neon...on any background.

Ew. I can't believe how many blogs are still doing that. I haven't encountered many. BUT in the past, it has scared the bejeesus out of me.

You need to be able to relate somewhat!

February 21, 2013 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

1. I don't care how the blog was designed (professional or template) so long as it is easy to read. I am there for the content, but if your content is great but your design is distracting/unreadable I'm not staying. I find this idea that if you use a blog template you are lazy thing crazy. I tend to not like the professionally designed ones because they are often too busy for my tastes-at least the free ones. I could pay someone to design one but I prefer to spend what money I have on other things. Like the books I review.

2. Obnoxious blog giveaways are big turn off for me too. Probably because I don't enter giveaways very often. This is becoming more of a problem for me on Twitter. Some people I enjoy following most of the time for what they have to say are about to be unfollowed because of their constant giveaway retweeting. I blame Rafflecopter which I think is evil. At this point my loathing for it almost equals my Captcha loathing.

3. Yes. You don't have to read exactly what I read but there must be overlap somewhere.

4. I don't really take this into consideration. I respond to all my blog comments but don't expect others to have the time to do the same.

5. Yes. I'm highly skeptical of blogs that have no negative reviews. I don't put my star rating on the blog though just Goodreads.

February 21, 2013 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Faye M. said...

Aha, I have a few stuff to sa about this:

1.) God, the design, people. The DESIGN! Every time I check out other blogs, I instantly get turned off when it's cluttered with so many images that it even freezes my laptop. *sniff* I find that blogs with simple ones have more substance, while those blogs with all the "These are the books I love" and list hundreds of pictures of them at the sides tend to be ... less interesting. This is just my observation, though. But, still. I tend to stay far away from such.

2.) I don't have any strong opinion on this. I do kind of agree that it reeks of desperation if blogs require you to follow their blog first before entering, or before using the other options to register your entries. I make mine mandatory.

3.) Same. I don't really need to read reviews of books that are purely romance or erotica. Not my thing.

4.) I agree! I've made comments on several blogs, and some of them don't respond to me... makes me a bit bitter because most of my comments were, well, a bit thoughtful (methinks?) and could be used to open discussions. I'm not to debate intensely, but I always love to discuss and chat about things (be it political or whatever, as long as there is subtance! haha)

5.) Completely agree. Not that I doubt their credibility if it's full of five stars, but I'd rather follow someone who's not afraid to speak their minds. If you don't like it, say it. Don't be a carebear. For the past few weeks, I didn't give any book a 1 star, except for this one particular book yesterday called Slated. Check it out HERE if you're interested. I became a bit reprimanding :'D

February 21, 2013 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger April (BooksandWine) said...

Awww, thank you!

1. I love the Georgia font. It's so easy to read, but also pretty to look at.

2. We sure do put up with a lot from those we are friendly with. <3

3.Hey dude romance is awesome if you read the right books. As with YA, there's a lot of crap out there, but also a lot of good.

4. Yeah, britches indeed.

5. Again if I didn't like or know people who did that I would so do meh pass.

Hey we all get lazy from time to time, but every week haha?

Yo, I try hard at that.

ALSO! I never knew blogger had a character limit for comments.

February 21, 2013 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Faye M. said...

Oops, I meant to say, I made mine *NOT* mandatory. Haha. Fast fingers.

February 21, 2013 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, I haven't read that book actually, but I'll check it out.

February 21, 2013 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

Christina, this is an AWESOME post. I NEVER thought about checking blogs for negative reviews, but that really does make sense, so that you don't end up following someone who looks great on the surface, but only writes happy, shiny review. I've realized that I CAN write negative reviews and survive it. At first I was afraid to but now, if I don't like the book, I say so. And if I loved it, I say so.

Couple negative ones I recently published at my blog: Dance of Shadows, and Me, Him, Them, and It. (I still cringe when I realize I made it through both books.)

Design - YES. Thank goodness some of the horrible trends like having music playing when you land on their homepage have gone away, but I still cannot STAND captcha. It is evil and so many bloggers use it. I ask my users to be registered and sign in somehow - open Id, etc etc but just plain having captcha no matter what makes me all stabby.

And YES to having something in common. When I was a baby blogger, I got into the bad habit of "a follow for a follow," which unfortunately ended up with me with a google reader full of blogs I didn't really have much in common with. Lesson learned! Now I only follow people that I converse with regularly via our blogs or Twitter, so that I know we like some of the same genres and such.

Also, before following a new person - either Twitter or their blog - I do go check them out. Sometimes I even stalk them on Twitter for awhile before I click the "follow" button so I know for sure that we're going to get along well!

February 21, 2013 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

1. Oooh, yeah, I see that. Three columns tend to look busy. It's also really wide. Yay for no Captcha!

2. Huh. I thought some Wordpress people used Rafflecopter. *scratches head* Google Docs works well.

3. Ooh, volunteer reviewers. I sometimes wish I had a coblogger, but I like being in control too much. :-p

4. It's hard, I know.

5. I don't make a habit of it either. I wish I didn't have to write negative reviews, but I've got to be honest.

February 21, 2013 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yes! The gifs are the true stars. :) Discussion posts are an excuse to break out the sassy gifs.

1. Exactly. If it's difficult to read, why would you read it when you could be reading something else?

2. I have a fair amount of giveaways most of the time, but I try to keep them minimally obnoxious. I get less entries because I don't promote as much, but whatever.

3. Oh yeah, I wouldn't want to just follow one kind, though I follow more YA than anything. I read from a lot of genres, though, so I like my niche blogs a lot too.

4. We all have that resolution. Commenting is so much harder than it seems like it would be.

5. Everyone can't love everything. In most cases, I do try to end by pointing out who the book might work for, but sometimes I really have nothing nice to say about it. I try to keep a balance of positive and negative, but sometimes you can't.

Eff Captcha. It should go to a hell where it has to solve itself forever.

Music is the worst on sites. Go back to the past!

Huh! I'm actually not as big of a fan of most other post types, though discussion posts are great. Variety is always nice though. You can see different aspects of the blogger's personality that might not come out in a review.

Personality is crucial. That's one I struggle with in my reviews, because I try to be as objective as possible, but sometimes I rant or fangirl if my emotions get away from me. I feel like who I am is more visible in my TTTs and Cover Snark.

True. I should troll some blog rolls!

February 21, 2013 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

1. I am all about serif fonts. They're so pretty!

2. Totally. That's love, man.

3. True. I've been convinced to add a couple to GR, but I'm only reading review stuff at the moment pretty much. I used to LOVE romance. I was ALL about Judith McNaught for a while. lol.

Truth. And some of the topics encourage laziness, like the ones for anticipated books, because the reason is usually: SHINY COVER MUST HAS.

You succeed hard at that.

Totes does. I know The Aussie Zombie's hit it on Cover Snark.

February 21, 2013 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

True. If I see misspellings everywhere, I bounce fast.

OMG, some of these books I loved. But some I hated. I will look at those. Haha.

February 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

1. Yup, the only reason I'm getting a design eventually is that I have a friend who does designs. It will be low-key though. The layout won't be very different. The background will be white, though.

2. Oh dear! I don't enter giveaways very often anymore, but for a while I was the giveaway tweeter.

5. You're not the only one. It's usually pretty obvious, if trickier to discover, whether the blogger's honest.

February 21, 2013 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I look for balance..both positive and negative reviews..gushing and tactfulness, nothing will make me run faster from a blog then reviews that start..i hate xxxx genre, but requested this and yep i was right it was awful..yada, yada, yada. I also want a review not a recap! Spoilers are another thing that make me run..i hate them. I like to see a mix of posts..not all book blasts and promos. As for design, the only think i care about is can i read it! Black blog backgrounds are so hard for me, my eyes water. I so agree about the comments, and unless it is a giveaway i will always engage my followers. I go one step farther, by visiting their blog and commenting. Meaningful comments mean the most and I hate those copy and past comments like nice review!(when it is actually and interview!) Lovely post and great question.

February 21, 2013 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

1) Oh man, images can be the death knell. I do not need to know all of your ships, etc. Also, they tend to just be all of the most popular books. They're not interesting favorite books I've never heard of. So you like The Hunger Games. This tells me SO much.

4) Exactly. If I leave a comment with questions and some real discussion, and I go back and they've ignored me, I am NOT pleased. I put time into that, and I thought we felt a connection of some sort. How could you just blow me off?

5) Oh, I saw your Slated review. Haha. I'm so bad about DNFing, so I have a fair amount of "I did not like this book reviews," but I don't give out ones often on here. On GR, all over the place.

February 21, 2013 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yup. I used to be a lot quicker to follow, but then I'd spend months following them and it would dawn on me that I couldn't remember seeing a single review under four stars. It's a waste of my time to devote months listening to someone only to realize they're unreliable.

I've heard things about Dance of Shadows, but haven't seen any reviews for the latter. Curious!

Captcha should die.

Yup. I tried the follow for a follow thing for like one day. That Follow Friday meme. I just can't. You're required to follow everyone that gets featured, but there were a lot of blogs I didn't like, so I quit that with alacrity.

Since I feel like a bit of a jerk when I follow and then unfollow, I try to be more discerning about choosing now.

February 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Positive reviews are important too, but I haven't found any blogs that didn't have plenty of positive reviews. I've seen a couple of all-negative folks on GR and Goodreads though, and that's no good either.

Oh, I've totally been the "I usually don't like this genre, but I requested anyway, and it wasn't for me after all" person. Oops!

Spoilers are unfortunate. I try to warn folks.

Lol. My discussion post last week was on the "nice review" comments.

February 21, 2013 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger cncbooks said...

There are two Wordpress programs, one where they host the blog, the other where the blog is hosted by someone else, usually your own site. The second allows Rafflecopter, the first doesn't. According to them, it's a security issue. I think WP #1 also prohibits Linkys.

My volunteer reviewers are great---really dependable and usually put out very thoughtful reviews. A little short for my taste sometimes but that's OK since they're reading things I could never get to ;-)

Thanks for your comment on my Revolution 19 review!

February 21, 2013 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Huh, interesting. I'll be moving to WP at some point, though I'm not sure which version. If I can't use Rafflecopter, I'll just go back to Google Docs. *shrug*

That's awesome. Since my blog has been mine for so long, I think it would be tough to find someone whose reviews I liked enough to let them fall under my heading. My blog name also doesn't really lend itself to cobloggers. lol.

February 21, 2013 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Nenia said...

Good points! I feel the same way on many of these points, apart from the giveaway ones--as I don't usually participate in those. :)

I feel lucky you consider me worthy enough to follow!!!

February 21, 2013 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Lilian said...

1. *nod nod* Totally racist.
I can see why it thinks YOU are a cyborg. You're the one who is able to read 366 books in a year.
On the other hand, I would love to be a cyborg. Then I could usually read all the books I want to while balancing homework and a part-time job...

2. Yes, I love your giveaways. But I am not really here for giveaways. The giveaways I enter here are more like "Oh, she has a giveaway! And I am a greedy pig that already follows the blog/stalk her on twitter, might as well claim those entries!"
Though I admit I should probably stop it with giveaways seeing as I DON'T READ BOOKS I OWN. Sometimes I refrain from buying books I am anticipating (and borrow them from the library instead) because I know once I own the book, it will be unread for decades. While library books are always high on my priority list because I have to return them. "NOOOOOOO, I MUST FINISH IT, IT CAN'T FALL IN THE HANDS OF STRANGERS BEFORE I FINISH ITTTTT"

"Oooh, so that's the importance of responding to comments right there. It gets you blog stalkers. :-p"
*nod nod* And content helps too. I would never follow a blog that only had more cover reveals and book hauls than reviews.

3. Really? Adult fiction? You seem to read quite a few adult fiction titles as well.
I tend to think most of the book blogosphere revolves around YA though. Everyone knows about upcoming YA books over upcoming adult books. *tries to think of an upcoming adult title*...yep, can't think of one. (though you'd probably have no trouble since you do cover so many adult titles in Cover Snark)
On the other hand, I can rattle off a bunch of YA titles and the date (or at least the month) of release.

4. I survived the English midterm! Except I might've guessed the last answer... I admittedly didn't study as hard as I think I should have thinking it would be a piece of cake since I read ALL THE TEXT. But apparently my professor is a troll and likes to test on obscure details. *sigh*

"I'm totally GR friends with that person. Or I was. But yeah I know her."
*feels inadequate* Well Goodreads should've let me know! hmph.

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

February 22, 2013 at 12:51 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I think the basics have been pretty much covered: captcha sucks, cluttered sidebars suck, music sucks, eye-defiling designs suck, spoilers suck, only posting positive (or negative) reviews isn't helpful to me as a reader, ratings to quantify feelings are helpful. I agree with all of this.

I like to follow people who review various things because I read various things, even though my blog is mostly YA/crossover and fantasy.

Some things that frustrate me when they're not there that I don't recall anyone else mentioning: review archives and/or a search bar - because I need to be able to find stuff, dangit! I sometimes won't follow a blog if I find that it is very difficult to find specific posts or info. It's not a feature that I'm using every day or anything, but I think that it should be there for the times when people do want to find something. If I want to see if so-and-so had an opinion on a particular book or look up a post from sometime a year or two ago, and there's no quick and easy way for me to find it, that isn't good.

I do write negative reviews. Thankfully, I haven't had to do that TOO terribly often. I usually try to keep vehemence out of them, but on occasion my frustrations do get the better of me if something really irritates me (like here). Sometimes I feel badly afterwards, but in the end I'm glad when I am able to express my true feelings and (hopefully) talk about them with others, like-minded or not. And I do probably write a good amount of reviews along the lines of "ehh, it was alright". I enjoy writing ambivalent reviews the most, I think, because when I have mixed feelings on something that makes it easier for me to point specifically to what did and didn't work for me.

February 22, 2013 at 3:21 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I don't really participate either, but I've noticed that most of my favorite blogs are the types that wouldn't make giveaway entries mandatory. :-p

February 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I do get a lot of joy out of the blogs I follow which have a variety in reading taste. It's nice because I'll learn about books I might never have encountered otherwise, and it keeps me from becoming too focused on teen fiction.

Oh, yes. I HATE when there's no review archive. Also, when blogs don't have a list of their recent posts. There are widgets for that and it's so easy. When I look at a new blog, I'll probably want to check out recent reviews, without also having to scroll through meme posts. If you don't have that list, I'm just like WHATEVER.

Like you, I try to keep my negative reviews non-acerbic, because I think that can often make me seem less serious, but sometimes you just have to let loose.

Ambivalent reviews are some of the hardest. Sometimes there wasn't really anything wrong with it but I just wasn't into it, and I don't have much to say about that.

February 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Lol. Whatever. And it was 367. Get your facts straight. :-p

For serious, I should stop buying books to read when I never freaking read them, but...WANT. Must have. *hugs books*

My goal is to never have more OTHER posts than book reviews. The reviews should be over half of the site content. For me. I don't count up other people's posts, but that's what I want to do.

I do read some adult fiction, mostly fantasy and whatever TLC Book Tours has coming out that looks interesting. Were it not for the adult pubs that send me things and for TLC, I wouldn't be reading any probably.

Despite Cover Snark, I know more about upcoming YA. I could probably name a few adult titles, but I couldn't really get into publication months for anything.

Woo! So glad you lived through your midterm, which I assume means you did well, not just that you weren't taken by a grim reaper. The latter would seem like less of an accomplishment, unless your college's English exams involved more swordplay than mine did.

We might have too many friends in common since it only shows three. Anyway, we ARE friends. I just haven't happened to see any of her updates recently, so I wasn't sure.

February 22, 2013 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Lilian said...

"Lol. Whatever. And it was 367. Get your facts straight. :-p"
*coughthankGodshedidn'tknowIorigiallythoughtitwas365cough* what are you talking about? I clearly said 367. It's just your eyes playing tricks on you. lalalalalala

Why my parents still let me buy books surprises me. I thought for sure they would've been like "enough! you are being a hoarder!" by now. They are probably thinking "better books than drugs."

"My goal is to never have more OTHER posts than book reviews."
Good. I support your...what do you call it? rule? guidelines? my vocabulary is failing me today.

"I wouldn't be reading any probably."
Thak God for TLC. I tend to read adult fiction that pops up in "best of the year" lists on all these "major news" sites like TIMES magazine. But otherwise, I really don't get much upcoming adult book news if the author didn't also write YA.

My English midterm consisted of fidgeting for an hour hoping to miraculously remember the name of a writer with some foreign name. Still didn't remember his name, and I don't want to look and feel mass regret. I am living in denial.

I don't know if my GR friends are active or not. I stalk book blogs over goodreads--but I like goodreads for telling me what my friends think of a certain book. It's a good way to curate reviews.

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

February 22, 2013 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

What? A measly 265? What do you take me for?

True facts. You're probably going to be obsessed with something, and it might as well be books.

All of those work. I like guidelines, since it's not set in stone.

Ha, yeah. I just grab anything from TLC that sounds interesting, and I get fantasy from Tor and Orbit. Penguin, HC, and S&S sometimes send review requests for adult titles too, but that's about one a month each.

What was the question about the writer? (I love knowing things)

Yup. I don't comment much on GR reviews, but I like going to a page and seeing what my friends thought. If the average is below a 3, I should probably run screaming from the book.

February 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Lilian said...

My apologies. I will never underestimate your extraordinary reading skills ever again! *grovels at your feet*

I am obsessed with books and being cheap. Library book sales render me powerless against my greed. HOORAY FOR FIFTY CENT BOOKS! My friends had to drag me out of Barnes and Nobles when they had their classics sale (FOUR DOLLARS FOR A NEW HARDBACK...*O*)

"since it's not set in stone."
I hope you don't join the dark side then.

"I just grab anything from TLC that sounds interesting"
I am actually feeling very apologetic about accepting any more titles from TLC at the moment because I DNFed the last one. I don't even know if I could even DNF for a tour (but it got to the point where I rather watch paint dry than go back to it.) So now, to save myself from guilt, I think I will have to plunge through the rest of The Promise of Stardust and write a full review because I feel like I cheated the publisher for a free book.

For the midterm we had to identify excerpts (a sentence or two)--title, author, context, significance.
I knew the reading, but I could not recall the author's name. I didn't think I would get tested on that article since it was on the short side. So I dismissed it thinking "eh, it's only supplementary, lalalala." And when I saw it on the midterm I was like "O_O WHYYYYYY DON'T I HAVE PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY?!?!"

I just faced my fear and checked the text, it was: Theodor Adorno's "Negative Dialectics"
hm, turns out his name wasn't as eccentric as I thought. Now I have no excuse.

"If the average is below a 3, I should probably run screaming from the book."
Really? But I thought three stars was "I liked it" and two was "it's okay." I feel like GR makes me have lower ratings because most books I read fall into the "meh" category-yet I am only able to choose between "didn't like" and "it's okay." Most times if I feel the book has at least one redeeming quality, I will move it up to two stars. Because one star-ing stuff makes me feel like a witch.

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

February 23, 2013 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Any time I hear the phrase "grovel at your feet," I think of The Lion King. Fun fact.

Oh man, you should see me descend like a swarm of locusts on the Goodwill book section. ALL YOUR USED BOOKS ARE BELONG TO ME!!!! Well, all of the good ones in pristine condition anyway! I've gotten as many as 25 from one store in one day, I think.

Nope, maybe for a week here and there, but no plans to move there. I hear the electric bills are a bitch.

Oh, that one sounded like the worst! I've never DNFed anything from them, since they don't care what you rate it. I have given them a bunch of negative reviews, so I am continually impressed that they still want to work with me. I'm sure the pubs aren't thrilled.

Oh no. I hate when that happens. I used to skip supplementary readings all the time, and then it would be like BAM POP QUIZ OF FAIL. And I would cry tears of blood and betrayal.

Most people use their own rating scale not GRs, and they almost never one star, meaning that if it's that low, it must have been the worst ever. I use GR's scale, which is why the ratings can be wildly different from my blog. I've been known to two-star books I gave a 3 on my blog, because, while it deserves the 3, it's more fittingly "it's okay," which I don't really have in my rating scale.

February 25, 2013 at 2:03 PM  

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