Blogging and Books

Interesting post from Joe Carter over at Evangelical Outpost on his thoughts after three years of blogging. Here are two ideas that I can definitely relate to:

On the Mixed Blessing of Free Books – Within the first few months of blogging I made an astounding discovery: If you write stuff (even drivel), publishers will send you books to review. Write stuff; free books. For an avid reader like discovery a recipe for alchemy. At first I didn’t even mind the fact that the books they were sending me were ones that I would never, ever have chosen to read. The fact that there even existed such a concept as “free books” seemed beyond my comprehension so I dutifully took what was offered. I soon realized, however, that “free books” weren’t exactly free at all and that I would be paying for them with the only currency that ever really matters: Time.

Soon I became much more discerning about the books I agreed to review when I realized that the publishers or authors actually expected you to review them. If you haven’t written a book review since 12th grade English class, you probably forget just how difficult it can be. Add to that the guilt that piles up alongside the 27 review copies stacked in the corner and you realize that buying your own books isn’t so bad after all.

[. . .]

On Guilt: The longer I blog the guiltier I feel. I feel guilty about receiving books that I haven’t reviewed. I feel guilty about the comments that I don’t take the time to answer. I feel guilty about the email from readers that languishes in my inbox. I feel guilty about the time I waste blogging instead of spending time on more productive activities. I feel guilty about not spending enough time blogging because I’m spending time on unproductive activities. I feel guilty when I blog about trivial current events. I feel guilty when I blog obscure topics. I feel guilty about not linking to other blogs enough. I feel guilty about not promoting other bloggers. The guilt shifts around but it never goes away.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).


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