One of the reasons I’m drawn to blogging events like Bout of Books is because I’m always looking to discover new-to-me blogs. But I’ve discovered that the bigger the event, the harder it is to find what I’m looking for. It’s not hard to discover new blogs, but the bigger the pool, the slimmer the chance of finding those few that I’ll really connect with, and the more exhausted I’ll be after searching for them. Because the blogosphere — even our little bookish corner of it — is huge.
The frustrating thing is that the blogs I do really enjoy… it’s such a weird mix of personality and content. Similar tastes in books becomes more important if they post primarily reviews; it’s almost a non-issue if they put more of a focus on discussion and general topics. Unfortunately, it’s not really evident from just reading a couple of posts if the blog I just stumbled upon is going to become my new favorite place on the internet.
Everyone blogs differently — as we all should — but sometimes I wish there was a quick and easy way to filter through the ones that just don’t interest me. Like eHarmony, but for book blogs. Fill out a questionnaire, send it off into the internet, and wait for my results. Here are your most compatible fellow bloggers. Enjoy your long and lasting friendships. Ah, if only…
Instead, I hop around through memes, through links shared on Twitter, through comments, through events like this… I see a post I enjoy, I add the blog to my reader… I occasionally weed through, getting rid of the ones that have lost my interest… all the while adding new ones to the list… and ever so slowly, I find those that I can confidently add to my “Favorites.”
Insatiable Booksluts is all about the personality. I have very little interest in literary fiction. I do read their reviews, but while I’ve tried a couple books based on their recommendations, I’ve never been really excited about any of them. Mostly I read their blog for everything else — the Reading Rages, the Evolution of a Bookslut profiles, the posts that are just generally about reading, or blogging, or anything really. Anything other than the books they actually read. And so you might think that maybe this isn’t a blog for me… but trust me, it is. They’re just that good.
At the other end of the spectrum, ScienceThrillers.com is a blog I read solely for the reviews. It’s literally the only other blog I’ve come across devoted to thrillers. The only one. (If you know of others, please let me know! We are sorely underrepresented in the book blogging community!) And only one small subset of thrillers at that. But that’s okay, because it’s a subset of thrillers I usually really enjoy. This blog isn’t nearly as entertaining as most of the ones I read, but it’s a great blog for adding to my TBR.
Most other book blogs I read fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Rory at Fourth Street Review, Jenn at The Picky Girl, Jennifer at The Relentless Reader, Katie at Words for Worms… these are just a few of the bloggers I make a point of reading, commenting, and chatting with on Twitter.
More of my favorites are listed on my sidebar, and I’m subscribed to many more. At any given time, I’m following anywhere between 50 and 100 blogs, with varying levels of interest and engagement, and I’m always on the lookout to add more.
The thing is, I’ve been book blogging for five months now. I’ve been alternately lurking and commenting in the community for a lot longer than that. And I do feel like I have a small circle, a few familiar places on the internet where I can go and mingle and have fun.
But I don’t think that means I should stop looking for more.
How do you discover new blogs?