Monday, July 18, 2016

The Cozy Book Corner No. 9: The Differences Between My Two Blogs

Welcome to my Monday 
bookish feature!

In each weekly post, I explore 
my thoughts on several 
book-related topics.


Back in 2010, I first began to think about the possibility of starting a book blog. Actually, it was a co-worker, in a job I had at the time, who suggested it to me, and, the more I thought about it, the more interested I became. So, in September of that year, my first blog, A Night's Dream of Books, was born.

At first, my new blog was an eclectic one. I love several genres of fiction, including popular ones, and I also love nonfiction. However, I began reviewing fiction exclusively at first, later on expanding to include some nonfiction. 

I noticed right away that, since I was reviewing Young Adult Fiction on that blog, my readers didn't seem to be interested in any other genres. I got more comments on my YA reviews than I did on those that weren't in this category. Also, whenever I reviewed nonfiction, I got very few to no comments.

Therefore, I decided to start MindSpirit Book Journeys in 2012, in order to accommodate my other literary loves -- adult fantasy and science fiction, literary fiction, Christian fiction, and, of course, nonfiction. At the same time, I decided to restrict the reviews on my other blog to YA fiction, with perhaps an adult review every so often

In addition to book reviews, A Night's Dream of Books eventually included other kinds of posts, such as blog tours, giveaways, blog hop book memes, and author interviews. When I first started out, I also participated in blog awards and book tags. Eventually, however, I had to stop doing so, as these became much too time-consuming. Needless to say, MindSpirit Book Journeys is not the type of blog that would lend itself to these activities. I now have statements to this effect in the sidebars of both blogs, as well as in the comments form for posts.

It's been a rocky road since then, as life and work have frequently gotten in the way of my blogging. This blog, MindSpirit Book Journeys, went through a three-year hiatus, and I began to post on it again in 2015. I still don't post on it as often as I do on my other blog, though. This is a situation I would definitely love to improve!

There are obviously some differences between the two blogs. First of all, I consider my second blog to be a more 'serious' one. I have dedicated it to genres that require more intellectual analysis, as they deal with more profound topics. This is especially true of the nonfiction topics I'm particularly interested in. 

The purpose of each of my blogs is entirely different, and I do want them to remain totally distinct from each other. Therefore, I will continue to post on serious subject matter on this blog. This also means that I will not be doing giveaways or blog tours here, at any time now or in the future. Nor will I be posting author interviews. Obviously, I have nothing against these events, since they are part of my other blog. However, certain obligations come with such posts that I feel actually detract from a blog with a more profound type  of approach. Because of this fact, I also feel that these types of posts take away some of my freedom to publish what I consider to be important, and to my liking.

Unfortunately, I have actually felt forced to participate in the above activities on my other blog for the sake of giving it more exposure, and getting some recognition for it. Sometimes I feel that I've compromised my 'blogging values' to some extent. This is why I don't want to include the same types of posts on my second blog, which, to be quite honest, I would really prefer to make my priority.

Blog hops and reading challenges are not a problem for MindSpirit Book Journeys, though. In fact, I've already participated in one weekly blog hop, "First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros", which is hosted by Diane @ Bibliophile By The Sea. This was an enjoyable hop for a while, but eventually, I came to the conclusion that there was too much of a discrepancy between the books I like to read, and those the other blog participants like to read. So I decided to stop participating. I will join another blog hop, though, if I find one that includes books that are more compatible with my literary tastes. This might sound like a rather elitist, snobbish statement to make, but surely every blogger has the right to express their own opinions, and have their own particular literary tastes. For instance, what could either of my blogs possibly have in common with book blogs that review the genres of erotica and horror? I detest both, so I would not be at all interested in interacting with bloggers who love them.

Reading challenges are very interesting, and I feel they are perfect for both of my blogs. At A Night's Dream of Books, I'm currently participating in The 2016 Reading Challenge, hosted by Evie @ Bookish Lifestyle. At my second blog, I intend to participate in The Women's Classic Literature Event, which is hosted by The Classic Club

These challenges do not require any 'compromise' of my blogging values and standards. I am totally free to post about the books I enjoy reading, with no pressure to publish posts by any required deadline, as happens with blog tours, for instance. Of course, these challenges do cover the present year, but still, there's no pressure to publish posts at any given time. Participants are entirely free to choose the number of books they want to read, too.

It would be great if I could get more follows and comments on my second blog, but, since I don't include the 'crowd-pleasing' posts that I publish on my other blog, the likelihood of this happening is rather slim. Unfortunately, not every blog reader is interested in reading more serious posts such as the ones I publish here. 

There's another good reason for my lack of followers and comments on this blog. I have discovered other, similarly serious blogs that do have more comments and follows. These blogs employ a more conventional type of blog design, with white backgrounds and black type in their posts. In contrast, MindSpirit Book Journeys has a more 'ornate' type of design, so this might put off blog readers who are looking for more serious content. 

Again, I feel this blog allows me to be truly myself, to do things in complete freedom. I happen to be a very visual person, so I prefer to have bold images on both of my blogs, as well as more colorful blog designs. In the case of my second blog, if this puts off readers who might otherwise be interested in my posts, then that's a sad fact I will just have to live with. I simply do not feel that having a more conventional, staid type of design reflects my personality at all. My second blog might come off as too 'flamboyant' to some readers, but this is the type of design I like. I don't feel it detracts from my serious posts at all, either. 

In short, there are distinct differences between my two blogs, as each of them reflects a different side of my bookish personality. Both, however, do have one thing in common, and that is being 'uncommon'. I don't want my two blogs to look like other blogs, nor do I want them to look visually conventional. Not at all!

I will continue to keep both of my blogs distinct from one another. MindSpirit Book Journeys may never get the interaction I have on A Night's Dream of Books (although I don't get as many comments on that blog as other bloggers I know do on theirs), but that's just the way things are. I need to keep blogging away, hoping that my second blog will eventually reach a larger audience. But if it never does, I have to be content with that. After all, I'm blogging primarily for my own enjoyment. If others of like mind discover that they enjoy reading the posts at MindSpirit Book Journeys, they will be welcome, even if there aren't that many of them! 

I would like to acknowledge and thank those of you out there who are reading and commenting on this blog. I greatly appreciate you guys! 

What are your thoughts 
on this topic?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!


Brian Joseph said...

Another great and thoughtful post Maria.

I enjoy both your blogs. Though I am really into what people call serious books I have spent a lot of time reading more popular books. I also contend that many of books that are considered genre or less serious often have a lot of worthwhile things to say. I wish that I had more time as I would read more science fiction, fantasy and other genres.

I also love Shelf Candy Saturday.

I do not think that there is anything wrong with the aesthetics of Mind Spirit Book Journeys and I do not think that the look keeps anyone away. I think that it looks great. As we discussed it is so difficult to attract followers and comments for a lot of reasons.

Have a great week!

Maria Behar said...

Hey, Brian!

Thank you so much for the compliment!!

Also, thank you for being such a faithful reader and commenter, at both of my blogs! I wish I knew more book bloggers like you!! :)

I'm glad that you, too, like popular genres. And you're absolutely right that these genres do have much to offer. In the case of writers like Tolkien, LeGuin, Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, and others like them, these genres can also be classified as literary fiction. I'm also reminded of "A Canticle for Leibowitz", which I would love to re-read!

Thanks for the good word on "Shelf Candy Saturday"!! I love that meme, too, of course. Regrettably, I've lost all the bloggers who used to comment and participate in the original meme, when Steph @ Five Alarm Book Reviews used to host it. However, I think that was due to my irregular posting schedule. Last Friday night, for instance, I was feeling completely "out of sorts" because of something that happened at work, so I just wasn't in the mood to post the feature. Now I wish I had....

Thanks as well for your comments regarding the design for "MindSpirit Book Journeys"!! I have often wondered whether this was keeping serious readers away.... I guess I'll have to work on giving this blog more exposure.

It's so GREAT to get thoughtful, supportive comments like this one!! So, another "thank you" goes out to you!! Hope you have a great week, too!! :)