May 20, 2013 — 20 Comments
First off the top, let me say this: I know many of the book bloggers who are involved with Armchair BEA (Book Expo America). I follow their blogs regularly and I like them. So this is no reflection on them or the event, which is a great one for those who have the time and want to get involved with it. This is only my reflection.
Recently after trying to participate in a week-long book blogger event online and failing (yet again), I’ve decided that I’m not going to participate in any more week-long book blogger events. For example, this means I’m not signing up for Armchair BEA, which starts next Tuesday, May 28, and runs through next Sunday, June 2. Why not? Let me list the main reasons, as I see them:
- My work schedule: While it is true that I only work part-time at a library during the week and one Saturday per month there (plus another part-time job every other weekend), my hours at the library increase as the week progresses. I start with a three-hour shift on Mondays and then end with a 6 1/2 hour shift on Friday and sometimes another 6 1/2 hour shift on Saturdays.
- My wife’s work schedule: She works midnight to 8 a.m. so my window for seeing her is small, usually when I return from work at 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Plus next week, we both have off Monday and Tuesday so we might want to get out of the house on one or both of those days.
- My personal schedule: Since earlier this year, I have been attempting to make Wednesdays and Saturdays what I call “relatively Internet-free days. As a result, even though I don’t have to be into work until 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, I’d rather have that time to read than to talk about reading.
- The transient visitors: During these events, I always have an increase in “hits” or “views” on my blog and usually comments, but they don’t last. Within a week, everything decreases to its normal rates…which aren’t that much to begin with. While I appreciate those who do stop by to visit, by the nature of these events, it’s usually only to say “Hey there, stopping by your blog because of X, Y or Z event.” It’s not that commenters aren’t sincere. It’s that it normally doesn’t lead to future meaningful conversations, at least in my experience.
- Because of 1 through 4, by the end of the event, I feel like a failure. “I did well at the start of the event, but then petered out toward the end” is said somewhere in my wrap-up post. So for me, why just not do the event at all? Again, that time might better be spent reading than attempting to talk about reading.
- I am not sure if the event fits in with my goals for this blog, which are not only to share what I read, but also what I’m listening to, what I’m watching, what I’m saying and what I’m taking photographs of. In other words, I focus too much on one thing and neglect other parts/formats of my blog I’d like to focus on. On this last point, I don’t know if I’ve been doing that as well as I would like and might need to re-examine those in the near future. Personally, I think it’s always good to re-examine why we’re doing what we do as bloggers every once in a while, although too much of what I call “blogger navel-gazing” isn’t good either.
While searching for a link from this blog to go with “blogger navel-gazing,” the only one that came up was this one: Who I be (non-Armchair BEA style) in which ironically I reference bowing out of the rest of Armchair BEA (last year) and explain why I am dropping out of a monthly photography meme event. In brief, the reason is No. 6, so if nothing else, I am being consistent and this time recognizing my failure at such events before I set myself up for…well…failure at another one of such events.
How about you? If you are a book blogger, have you signed up for Armchair BEA? If so, why? If not, why not? How do you decide what events to sign up for and what events not to sign up for?