I’ve been amazed the last few days at book bloggers’ reaction on Twitter to yet another article by a literary critic about how book blogs are the scourge of the literary world (or something like that). The article was in The Guardian, and I am not linking to it here. Why? Because to link to it gives it credibility. It says that I believe you should bother to read it. This argument gets dressed up in a new set of clothes and trotted out every couple of years, and even though we all seem to agree it’s a tired, pointless argument, people can’t seem to help but REACT and DEFEND. At the very least, they re-tweet the article and proclaim disdain. The problem is, the more the article gets re-tweeted and blogged about, the more hits it gets. The more hits it gets, the more likely Guardian editors will be to publish another article like this one again in six months or a year or two years. It drives people to the site, and that means revenue.
I would like to say to my fellow book bloggers: let it go. The next time someone writes an article about how terrible book blogs are for the literary world, or how they are not legitimate literary criticism, just ignore it. Go on and write your reviews. Talk about books in any way you like. The proof is in the pudding (originally “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”): people read book blogs because they enjoy them. They enjoy reading reviews of books written by “real” people (whatever that means), but more importantly, they enjoy the community. They enjoy having people to talk to about books. You will not have one less reader because some literary critic got his dander up one Sunday in a year.
That is all.