The Guardian UK has sparked an international conversation by posting the comments of the Booker's lead judge saying that book bloggers are harming literature. The author, a book blogger himself, brings up some good points on both sides of the debate.
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My opinion is nuanced. I take writing this blog very seriously, I try to be fair and provide a product that is useful to my readers. I am also a freelance writer, meaning people pay me to write, as a result, the quality of the writing here is at a higher than average level. However, I am also aware of what is out there-- that the vast majority of bloggers do not have the training and/or attitude that I do.
But even with the large number of bad blogs, there are still many treasures out there, other independent bloggers like myself, who are not paid but are using their personal expertise to help others. Those gems make blogging worth it.
I also think that any conversations about books and reading are positive for everyone involved--from the publishers to the authors to the readers.
Finally, as the Guardian notes, the one thing book bloggers have is space. In a world where more and more information is condensed into short, sound bites, we bloggers still take the time and space to thoughtfully talk about books and reading in a long-form format.
I will keep reading the official literary critics, I will also keep reading the work of my favorite book bloggers, and most importantly, I will keep blogging myself.
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