Thursday, March 28, 2013

Top Ten Reasons to Have Students Blog About Their Reading Experiences by Russ Anderson

Every morning I eagerly awake to a new Nerdy Book Club blog post awaiting me in my Gmail inbox. In today's post, Russ Anderson makes a persuasive argument advocating student blogging. I agree with each point presented; however, reasons three and ten resonate the most with me. Despite sixteen plus years of education, I still struggle with finding my own voice, which is one of the reasons I started this blog. Before I began, I researched how to structure a book review, as well as, reviewed numerous book blogs. My first blog post follows the formal book review format, yet something didn't feel quite right. Those were my words, but it wasn't my voice, which had become buried and lost somewhere beneath the methodical composition. As I visited more book blogs, I soon began to realize that each blogger expressed their book love in various ways. Every blogger did not share the same review style, layout, or even rating system. After my first two posts, I ditched the stiff review format. My voice has yet to reach maturity, but it has definitely come a long way from my first post.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Trust Issues

As I perused several book blogs before starting my own, I noticed that several blogs contained reviews mostly with ratings of four or five stars. Hmmm...suspect. Questions to these bloggers formed in my mind.

What do you look for in a book?
Do you like every book you read?
Do you prefer a particular genre or read them all?
Are you a discernible reader?
As a reviewer, where do your loyalties lie, to the author or the book-loving public?

A few weeks ago, in a School Library Journal e-newsletter, I read an article comment that continues to gnaw at me. The commenter stated that she only reviews books that she likes. Yes, book blogging is my hobby; however, I believe my responsibility as a book lover and reviewer is to disclose everything about my reading experience: the writing quality, plot, characterizations, dialogue, my likes, and dislikes, without divulging the story or including too many spoilers.  Even though book reviews are not without impartiality, can you really trust reviewers who post only glowing book reviews?

Sound off!