About two weeks ago, I wrote a post about how following other blogs is key to building community in the blogging world, and yet it can potentially take up so much time that it’s impossible to stay on top of it all and still have any time to work on our own writing projects (not to mention little things like eating, sleeping, and saying hello to our friends and families). You can check it out here if you’d like.
Since I wrote that post (which, by the way, led to some really interesting input and discussion), I’ve been thinking more about the whole issue. I have quite a few blogs that I follow. Some are by people I feel I’ve developed a real connection with; others are blogs that I might visit occasionally or blogs that caught my eye with an especially interesting post or two. Still, the overall traffic can be overwhelming, between my WordPress feed, my Bloglovin’ feed, the daily email digests, and the Twitters links. There simply isn’t a way to read EVERY SINGLE THING, EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I’ve read comments over the past couple of years about people’s blog-reading habits. Some folks say that while they spend the most time writing book reviews, they tend to not read reviews on other people’s blogs. Some prefer discussion posts, some prefer funny pieces, some are all about the memes.
Clearly, not everything is going to be read, or read thoroughly. I’m sure we all have our own approaches to keeping up. I’ve realized that I can divide up my actions into three simple categories:
So how does it all shake out? More or less, these are my habits:
- Is it by a blogger whose work I always enjoy? Read.
- Is it for a book that I read recently, especially one that I liked enough to want to discuss? Read.
- Is it for a book that I plan to read soon? Skim. (I don’t want to know too much, but I’d still like the general idea of whether you liked it or not.)
- For a book that’s completely out of my interest zone? Skip.
- A meme I’m participating in? Read… usually.
- Top Ten Tuesday posts? 90% of the time, if the topic grabs me — Read. The other 10%? No interest in the topic, so I skip.
- Weekly reading wrap-ups (like It’s Monday. What Are You Reading or WWW Wednesdays, for example): Read.
- Book hauls, shelf stacking, in the mailboxes: Skip. I’m just not that interested in these unless they’re folded into some other sort of post, like a reading update or a weekly recap.
- Teasers, random book excerpts, quotes: Read. I like these little snippets, and I’ve found a few good books through these kind of posts that I maybe might have missed otherwise. Plus (shameless plug here), I host a quote meme (Thursday Quotables! Come check it out!), so clearly I like this sort of thing.
Other book stuff:
- Cover reveals: Skip.
- Author Q&As: If it’s someone I’m interested in — Read. Someone I’m not familiar with but who seems interesting or quirky: Skim.
- Chit-chat or discussion posts related to reading, reading habits, etc.: Read. Usually.
- Month in review posts: Skip. If I’ve been following a blog, then I’ve already seen all the posts for the month, so I don’t need another post summing up what I’ve already seen.
- Giveaways: Read. Don’t we all love free books?
- Technical tips and tricks, like making blog graphics or cool resources for bloggers: Read.
- Blogging tips, like increasing traffic or considering self-hosting: Skim, to see if there are some good nuggets in there. Skip, if it’s not something I’m considering.
- Discussion posts about being a blogger: Read, usually, unless it’s a topic I feel I’ve seen time and time again. Still, it’s always interesting to get a fresh take!
- Personal updates: Read. If you’re a book blogger and you take the time to put yourself out there and share your personal moments or challenges, I want to honor that.
- Other non-bookish miscellany: Read or skim. I entered the blogging world specifically to chat books, and I’m not terribly interested in branching out too far. Still, if someone I talk books with also writes about other topics, chances are I’ll at least check it out to see what’s going on.
- Anything with GIFs. Sorry. I just can’t. I know, I know, people love these. But they make my brain and eyes hurt, and I just can’t enjoy reading anything with GIFs flashing around on the page.
- Cover reveals.
- Posts with hard-to-read fonts, colors, or too many typos.
- Challenges: I don’t do challenges, and reading other people’s challenge update doesn’t seem all that interesting to me.
- Blog award posts: I seem to have 5 – 10 of these in my feeds each day, and as much as I may love the individuals, I just can’t read these any longer.
- Rants about Goodreads, author behavior, and blogging/reviewing politics. There’s only so much time in a day, and I’d rather focus on the positive.
- Wow, I sound like a total grouch, don’t I? I’m not putting down any of the above, really. I know people like different things, and what’s boring or a turn-off to some may be totally hilarious or thought-provoking to others.
Really, the read/skim/ skip division is the only way for me to keep my sanity and not get swamped with all the keeping up I need to do. So don’t hate me if I don’t read your meme posts or LOL over your clever graphics! I’m happy to be an enthusiastic audience for the posts that grab me… and I hope you’ll read the stuff of mine that catches your eye or strikes your fancy — and skip the stuff that bores you!
What type of posts do you always read? What do you skim? What do you skip?
Share your thoughts, please!