Friday, September 10, 2010

Interesting giveaways... and interesting blogs!?

Happy Friday everyone! In a few hours, the week-end will start :D Woohoo!! Seriously, I can't wait LOL. The workload has been pretty decent recently, but I feel like a machine... Doing the same over and over with a scary efficiency ^_^;

I've just finished The Grimrose Path by Rob Thurman. Great book, but it took me nearly a week to read. I just don't get why Ms Thurman's books always take me time to read ^_^; Anyway, have yet to pick up my next read. Any recommendation?

Okay, enough with the chit-chat :) I've actually wanted to draw your attention to two giveaways taking place right at this moment :)

First, Tabitha from Tabz Book Blog — just another readeraholic... just had her first blogniversary! Woohoo, congrats Tabz!! And as celebration, she's having a giveaway :) Take a look, there's some good books in there :) Of course, you should also take a look at her blog. She hasn't blogged much recently, but I'm hoping that work will slow down and wedding madness will fade eventually and she'll be back with us! :)

Second, Mollie from Book Fare Delights is also having a giveaway :) Different circumstances though. Mollie had the chance of going to Jennifer Crusie's signing and thought of us! She has one signed copy of Maybe This Time to giveaway! How cool is that? I'm still waiting for Maybe This Time to arrive in-store, ugh. However, I'm happy that she enjoyed it :)

I was going to start another post for this, but why not combine them, right? Today's discussion topic is:  
What are you looking for in a blog?

Every once in a while, I go out there in the vast and immense place that is blogland and I look for new blogs to follow. I visit a few, add a few to my sidebars and my feeds and sometimes, me and these new blogs click and other time, we don't. I'm actually very picky when it comes to finding new blogs. I'm looking for blogs which are updated frequently, have a nice design/layout (actually, the most important for me is your post area. I hate it when it's too narrow ^_^; ) and whose owner reply to comments that are left. Then of course, afterward, it comes down the blogger's personality, but that takes time to find out. What about you? What are you looking for?


  1. I like a certain degree of simplicity in the design and I tend to select those blogs that really make an effort to personalize their reviews with personal details, experiences, songs...of course genre also matters but I enjoy some variety in my reader

  2. So "...blogs that are updated frequently...", huh? Don't drop me! :-D

    Seriously, good question - I'll have to try and figure out what the blogs I read have in common.

    Layout doesn't influence me massively, as I tend to read from Google Reader, but yes, not keen on narrow columns.

    I love personal takes and opinions, not so much the blogs that just rehash the book summary and give a rating. But I go to different blogs for different things - some blogs to find out about upcoming releases, other blogs for industry news, some for reviews, others for more chatty op-ed stuff... Some blogs I read all their posts, others I just skim based on titles.

    Like Em - variety!


  3. I love all my blog peeps and am sad when one leaves - or seems to disappear (don't drop me either!! ;))

    I often wonder what it is about blogs that draw me. I think I just want to connect and chat and have a ton of fun. Blogs that make me laugh or have me nodding along. And I like variety - sure, tell me about the great book you're reading but how was your day? You and Ames and Kristie - it's not just about the books - it's about family, pets, accidents (no more!!), books, TBR piles, work and play.

    Honestly, I haven't gone out looking for new blogs and I should - I think almost half my blogs on my sidebar are either gone or on hiatus that hasn't ended.


  4. Emily - Nod nod. Interesting about the personalization. I didn't think of that. I guess I like my reviews to be simple :)

    Li - LOL, never Li!! It's not a criteria list to keep my current blogs, more like to find new ones :)

    I'm probably one of the few that still goes to every blog and blog-hopping ^_^; I go through my list on the sidebar one or twice a week... so layout really matter to me. I don't mind a busy one, but in that case, I need for the post area to be wide.

    I agree with you. I need more from a review than the book blurb and a grade. Why did they enjoy it? Why didn't it work? I actually like blogs that are a bit more personal and less industry orientated with author promotions and tons of giveaways. Also, weird, but while I like the blogs to post consistently, I don't want them to post too much during a day ^_^; In any case, it tends to be promotional stuff...

    Cindy - LOL, don't worry, Cindy :)

    True, true, it's not just about the books, but it's a place to start :)

    If you go blog-hunting, share your finds with me :)

  5. Thanks for linking to my giveaway Nath! :)

    I usually look for blogs that have similar reading tastes. But I also follow blogs that may fall outside my favorite genres so that I can be exposed to some different books taht I might not otherwise know about.

    I also like a similistic design or just a well organized blog.

    I dislike the blogs that have a lot of book tours and/or do a lot of author interviews. I know a lot of people like these but I started following blogs to get OTHER READER'S opinions and book suggestions. I very rarely read author interviews.

    I just like find out what other readers are reading and continually adding to my TBR pile. A reader's work is never done, no?! :)

  6. Hiya, nath!
    Thanks for the heads up on both of those giveaways! ;)

    I love your discussion topics and all the comments that others leave, too! Very interesting.

    I don't think I've ever actually tried to pinpoint what I do and don't like in other blogs... I just know what I like! LOL

    But now that you've got me sitting here thinking, I could probably come up with a few things.

    I try not to judge a blog's content or quality by its layout, but just like with books... I am sometimes more drawn to the "pretty" ones and less so to the "not so pretty" ones. What do I consider "not so pretty" with blogs? Basically if the text is too small and or there are ads all over the blog. Sometimes it's so bad, you can barely find the content through all the billboards, you know?

    As for content, well, of course I like the blogs who post about the same books I'm interested in, but I also really like when a blog introduces me to books I that I wouldn't have normally considered. I also like when a blogger mixes it up a little and reveals a bit about their other interests besides just books. Even if it is just a personal post here and there or a paragraph here and there... it makes a HUGE difference to me about how often I come back and even how often I comment if I "see" the person behind the blog. And not just a picture of the blogger... but insight to their interests, sense of humor, lifestyle, etc.

    Speaking of comments... I'm with you and expect a reply back from the blogger. It doesn't have to be right away. I have a life, too, and know that sometimes it takes a day or two or three to comment back. And I don't always expect an elaborate reply or even one addressed to me. But come back and say something to all the people who took the time to read what you wrote and leave a comment. Is that asking for too much? It especially irks me when I visit a new blog and never get a response from the comment(s) I leave.

    Wow. That was all pretty specific for someone who never thought about it before, huh? @_@

  7. I like a variety in the blogs. Like Li, I go to different blogs for different things.

    A couple of things will stop me from going or commenting - blogs that take forever to load. And I have pretty fast internet! There's one that I like but rarely go to because it's so loaded with ads, widgets etc.

    Bloggers who rarely reply to the comments or maybe only reply to the first few comments. I stopped commenting (& going) to some because of lack of replying.

    I like blogs that are genuine - ones that you don't have to wonder if what you're reading is real or just bs/hype to stir up more blog traffic.

    What's odd is that I like blogs that give us those real life tidbits but I'm still terrible about doing that. :)

  8. Mollie - No problem Mollie, although it lowers my chances... Just kidding :)

    I know what you mean. That's what interesting in blogland is that you can expose yourself to genres that you're not fond of, but that way, you find books that you'd never find otherwise :)

    And it's funny because Hils and I were just having this discussions. I wholeheartedly agree on blogs that focus on promotions. Even the ones that do so many giveaways ^_^; I only read interviews of authors that I really like ^_^; It's fun for authors to have the opportunity to promote themselves and their books... but bottom line is, how was the book?

    and LOL, never. As long as authors write and publishers publish :)

    Christine - No problemo, Christine :)

    LOL, most of the times, I just think of something and then it leads to, what about the others? :P I'm glad you're finding the topics interesting :)

    I know what you mean about the layout of a blog. It's like the whole: don't judge a book by its cover. Problem is, appearance is still important. What you bring up is important: size and colors of the font. For me, I dislike narrow post area because that usually mean there's tons of a junk on the sidebars ^_^; and as you say, it's then hard to find the content.

    I think the reasons why we're so interesting in personal stuff is that 1) we're curious and 2) we will eventually develop a bond/relationship/friendship with the bloggers. It make them less anonymous... although, I don't want to read your diary either ^_^;

    I don't think it's too much at all about the comments. I don't know, any time I get a comment from a new blogger, I'm always excited. I think it has to go both ways seriously. We take time to comment on your blog, least you can do is respond.

    LOL, it's as you say, Christine. You know what you like :)

    Leslie - Nod nod.

    Oh, so true, Leslie. Although those are quite rare :)

    Yep about the comments. It's really a matter: why am I the only one giving? In any relationship, it goes both ways...

    LOL, you know, you are getting good at adding tidbits of your life :) They are still scarce, but they are there :)

  9. Hey Nath, thanks for linking to my giveaway.

    I follow a blogger base on book reviews (type of books and how they review), their response to a commenter, frequency of posting, and also personality of the blog.

  10. Tabitha - No problem :)

    LOL, glad I made it on your blogger base ;)