Housekeeping

While I get caught up on my reading and reviews, I thought it a good time to address some Housekeeping Items.

The first, and most important change you may have already noticed: most of my reviews since BEA have dealt with international lit & translations. Over the next 6 months you’ll see this trend continue – and hopefully increase.  My goal is for 75% of the books I review to be translations, international literature or books that deal with international subject matter.

My reasons?  I just don’t think the world needs another review of Jonathan Safran Foer’s latest novel (at least not from me).  Or a re-cap of what’s already on the Best Seller lists.  I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with either. (Personally, some of my favorite blogs are doing this and doing it extremely well).   But it’s always been my intention to introduce readers to new books – ones they might not know about otherwise. International literature, subject matter dealing with other countries & translations seems to provide the best opportunity for that.

Less drastic, organization changes I’ve made to BookSexy Review

  • The ISBN code at the bottom of each review now has a link to a website (usually the publisher’s) where you can buy a copy/version of the book.  I receive absolutely no money from this – it’s there strictly for reader’s convenience and because publishers requested it.
  • There is a new page/tab added to the site.  Languages is specifically for translations.  It lists translated books that I’ve reviewed by the original language (when that language is not English) they were written in.  All books, including those originally written in English, are still listed alphabetically on the Read It page/tab.
  • I’ve made some changes to my sidebar: a widget that lists current Tweets and some updates to my Blogroll.  Also, I’m using a new template that only shows the sidebar on the homepage (please let me know if this bothers anyone).
  • I’ve also become much more active on Twitter & on GoodReads.  There are buttons for both in the sidebar, so please feel free to follow or friend me (if you haven’t already).  My presence on LibraryThing is almost non-existent, and I’m thinking of doing away with that account altogether.  If anyone has thoughts on LibraryThing – and it’s usefulness or benefits vs. GoodReads, I’d love to hear them.

That’s about it.  We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming….

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9 thoughts on “Housekeeping

  1. Oh the guilt! It’s been a while since I’ve done any housekeeping on my blog *frown* so I’m impressed by this.
    I think it’s a good move to stick to books beyond the bestseller lists. As you say, there are reviews everywhere of those, and I like blogs that offer diversity of one kind or another.
    Re: Library Thing…I was an early adopter, and enthusiastic participant, but like you I’m considering abandoning it. (But what to do with my LibraryThing T-shirts? Use them for dusters in the other kind of housekeeping that I do??.) It’s too slow and clunky, and it’s not easily interactive -and from what I’ve seen in discussion about that, the tekkies behind it don’t have any plans to change things much.
    Specifically, if you look up a book and decide to click Add to Your Books, it doesn’t do that. It takes you to another screen where you have to search for it again. Then, finding your own edition is a pain, there’s no easy filtering system so that you can sort e.g. by format. Pages are slow to load, and when you’re in Your Books, you can’t tell if you’ve done a review for a particular book until you load the page to see. There are some nice features on LT e.g. the way you can personalise a profile page but overall, I’m really only hanging on out of (diminishing) loyalty and in the hope that they improve things.
    What I like most about Good Reads is that adding a book is a simple one step click, and conversation with other book lovers is so easy. It’s all together on one page, about the book under discussion so that you can follow the conversation coherently. I also like that you can choose to be notified about conversations of interest, and opt out of them when you’ve moved on to something else. I like being able to personalise it with the bookshops I use here in Australia, and I love the way I can so easily set up different shelves e.g. a TBR for 2011 and (this is what’s different to LT) order them by priority, if I want to. I also like being able to show what I’m currently reading and to see what my friends are reading – we have lots of good chat about that.

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    1. You’ve convinced me, Lisa. It doesn’t look like there’s much reason to go back. Thank you for such a detailed evaluation.

      Speaking of convince… I went to the bookstore to pick-up my husband a copy of A Dance With Dragons and found the Penguin edition of Keri Hulme’s The Bone People. Have you seen it? The cover was drawn by the New Zealand tattoo artist Papa Heller. Completely fabulous – and when I saw she is a NZ author I immediately thought of you! How could I not buy it? 🙂

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  2. This seems like a great idea. I love that you’ve surveyed the book-blogging landscape and found a pocket for you to do something a little different. I appreciate your good work and passion for books!

    Bill

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    1. Thank you Bill! I’m not sure how much surveying I did. This change is mostly for selfish reason – it turns out these are the books I enjoy reading. Who knew?

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      1. You’re talking about the kind of selfishness that I think is a great thing. Reading and writing about what you care about most is an excellent recipe for good work and that is reflected in your blog. Although you resist the word survey 🙂 even in your post you talk about what others do and what you plan to do. It’s something at the university we have to do a lot. Talk about what we do in the context of what other people do. Like lots of college stuff overwhelmed in “fancy” terms, you have cut through all that and said it much more simply. Well done and good luck!

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  3. Yay!!! I am so excited by what you are doing, you have no idea! I wish I could do as well as you!!!! 🙂 I can’t wait to see more of what you come up with and no doubt my wish list will get lots of new additions!

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    1. Amy –

      Thank you for the enthusiasm! I’m very excited about taking the blog in this direction, but nervous too. Most bloggers I’ve read that focus on translations are so smart and literary – I hope I can keep up! 🙂

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  4. So I want to find a way to say that your devotion to reading translated literature is amazing without it sounding like I’m completely jealous of said devotion. No, wait, I think that’s impossible…

    Anyways, jealousy at your resolve aside, I completely commend your choice. Book blogs tend to be repetitive by nature (in terms of the book choice, perhaps because most bloggers receive books for review and publishers hand-out the same books…) and at the end of the day, many of us do want something new. Something different. So once again – awesome move. As always, I look forward to your reviews.

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