To comment or not to comment – that is the question…

Posted On 13 January 2015

Filed under Book Reviews
Tags: ,

Comments Dropped 55 responses

Well, every now and again I like to throw out a random thought about blogging.  Today, it’s about commenting.

Okay, when I first started blogging – I basically had no idea there was a whole blogging universe out there (btw I frequently say that I live under a rock) – people all over the world to talk to about books who share the same love that I do and who won’t be bored to tears by book talk. Just imagine!!

Anyway, my story about getting into blogging is relatively simple and for those who know how badly organised I am won’t come as a surprise. I basically used to keep a book diary, all my books and authors were on there with a few paragraphs, just for me, about each one – full of spoilers and snippets. I loved that diary! However, can you believe I kept this in the form of a never ending draft email.  I know, I know. Long story short I lost my diary when the computer had to be reinstalled – all my files were saved – but not drafts!!  I was gutted. Then my lovely better half set me up on a blog.  I didn’t want it – not at all!  Resisted it in fact. And things were different.  Of course I had no idea that anybody would read what I wrote, and when I realised that they might I had to change the way I wrote my little snippets!  My reviews have probably changed in style slightly as I picked up guidance from others and also because I didn’t want to throw spoilers around like confetti.

But, out of all this, the most positive thing, for me personally, about blogging is the friendships (albeit electronic) with other book lovers – and comments are what gradually lead to these friendships.  I would say I have a very good number of blogs that I rely on for book recommendations – whose opinions I trust and who I look forward to talking to.

I don’t think for one minute that every book blog out there is going to appeal to me or anyone else for that matter because we’re all different but once you find the blogs you enjoy you’ll want to talk to those people and this brings me to the comments.

So, I don’t always comment, even on the blogs I love – which is simply because sometimes I miss things accidentally.  Sometimes I don’t comment because I genuinely don’t have anything to say or, put simply, nothing needs to be said.  Sometimes I don’t comment because the piece I just read is so damned good or intelligent that anything I say will sound trite or I’ll send dumb (this does happen!). However, more often than not, I want to talk to people and generate conversation.  Basically, I do like to comment because I want to talk to people about books (and other things) and blogging gives me that outlet.  If I don’t comment it’s usually purely by chance, maybe I’ve been on holiday or socialising a lot and it’s difficult to catch up with maybe two weeks worth of blog posts.  It’s difficult to catch up isn’t it?  And, after all, this is a hobby.

Now, what about you – are you a commenter or not?  What are your views.  Does it stress you out.  Do you feel it doesn’t matter.  Do you comment regardless?  I’m just interested to know how you all keep up with it – or, if you don’t for that matter (which, actually (doh) – I’ll never know about because, if you’re not the sort of person who comments, you probably won’t comment here!)

Thoughts please.

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55 Responses to “To comment or not to comment – that is the question…”

  1. romeorites

    I comment. Usually, I will say if i have or havent read X book, or want to read X etc I have been known to share silly anecdotes that probably arent funny at all. I try to be funny but usually fail and thats pretty much it I think. I dont tend to wade in with comments of fury on a review/essay I disagree with etc or the latest blog controversy. I keep simple and fun, at least, thats what I try to do when commenting. 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Oh god no, I never rant at other people’s reviews – if I disagree, I might have on occasion said ‘this one wasn’t for me but glad you enjoyed it’ and I’m definitely not interested in getting involved in the latest controversy – these things definitiely have a way of turning round and biting you not to mention spinning out of control! I think you can be perfectly amusing – I enjoy your blog very much!
      Lynn 😀

  2. Michael

    I tend to comment if I feel I have something to add to the conversation. Whether or not the person who owns the blog or their visitors agree is up to them, I guess. 🙂

    I also like to try and keep my comments sounding fairly intelligent and not rambling. Which is hard to do sometimes. 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I definitely try to keep my comments sounding intelligent – doesn’t always quite work out though.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Nathan

    I have been known to comment on a blog or two, yes. And thus far have only been kicked to spam by a few of them, so not all is bad. I know how excited I used to get when I would check e-mail and have six comments waiting to respond too, so if I have something even halfway worth saying (or just some snark to throw) why not? ALready on the site after all.

    • lynnsbooks

      Actually I’ve noticed a few bloggers comments going into spam recently – not sure why, think it may be a glitch with WP. One of the bloggers who I sometimes chat with even emailed me to look in the spam – and sure enough, there she was – I’m keeping my eye out for that a bit more now!!
      I know what you mean about getting all excited when somebody leaves you a comment and so I do like to comment on others. I guess I have more of a – blogs that I follow really quite religiously and virtually always comment on unless I’ve missed something, and then the other blogs I follow – who I check out in the reader and if something really stands out for me I go for a chat.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Bridget

    I too like to comment to generate conversation. After re-launching my blog on the first of the year, I’ve been trying to rebuild the community I used to have and commenting is the best way I can think to do that, outside social media, which has been somewhat successful but mostly “meh” so far. It does stress me out sometimes, though, because sometimes I’ll come across a FANTASTIC post and I’m like, “We should be friends!!” but then I can’t think of anything to contribute to their post because they said it already.

    I also love reading book reviews, both of books I’ve read and books I’ve haven’t, and I always want to weigh in regardless—but with books I haven’t read it’s always like “Oh hey! I want to read this!…” and then what else am I going to say, you know? It always seems sort of empty to just say “Hey nice review!” and then not actually contribute anything to the conversation. But sometimes I do it anyway so the blogger will know that I appreciated their review.

    I always see everyone talking about this great book blogging community, and I want to be part of it, but I always feel like I’m on the outside looking in (which could partially be my extreme introversion talking, but still). So mostly I try to comment when I can so I can get in on this great community and feel less like I’m hanging out on the fringes.

    • lynnsbooks

      I know what you mean about not just wanting to say ‘nice review’ but I think you have a good point – even if you’re only saying well done and thanks it’s still a comment and makes the other person know you at least stopped by.
      You should get involved with a couple of events – I’ll have to check on over and check out more what your reads are but there are always events and readalongs going on and once you get involved with those people will start to know you better. The other thing is you want to really be having chats with like minded bloggers. Not that I don’t comment on a diverse number of blogs but it is nice to chat with people who have similar likes in terms of books. And you build up a bit of a rapport and start to trust recommendations and suggestions.
      Good luck getting back into it all – it’ll all work out! 😀
      Lynn 😀

      • Bridget

        Thanks! I’ve tried readalongs before but I’ve never quite gotten into them. I haven’t tried for a while though, so maybe I should give it another shot. I do follow about 100 other blogs through my reader, I just don’t always find stuff that I’m interested in reading. (A lot of it is YA, I think, and I don’t read a lot of YA—but for some reason it seems so difficult to find more bloggers who are interested in adult fiction!)

        I think now that I’m paying more attention to Twitter it’ll be easier for me to keep up with all the events and stuff—at least I hope it will be! 🙂

      • lynnsbooks

        Well, if I hear of any good readalongs I’ll let you know. Saying that, I do tend to focus on Fantasy and sci fi so it depends if you really like that? If you do – there are lots of good events each year – like Vintage Sci fi and the Sci Fi Experience, plus Once Upon a Time and Readers Imbibing Peril – the latter two are not sci fi – more fantasy. You might enjoy those, they’re not challenges so there are no rules set in stone and they’re a good way of chatting with others and finding more books recommendations. You might also like The Classics Club – which is just what it sounds tbh – you can do a personal challenge with them and set whatever amount of books you want to read – choose your own list and timeframe. Every month they post a discussion topic and sometimes they have book spins – it’s a good site. And, (and I’m going to stop now!) Worlds Without End – they have an immense number of challenges, book recommendations and great blog posts – you should check out their site – you can’t fail to love it.
        Lynn 😀

      • Bridget

        The only one I’ve heard of is the Classics Club—I actually remember when it was created, and I joined then but haven’t done much with them since. I’ll look into those others though 🙂 Thanks!

      • lynnsbooks

        Well, I’m not doing terribly well with my list – but I am reading some, so…

  5. Tammy

    I leave LOTS of comments, but I want to leave all those comments because I have something to say. I want each one to be thoughtful and not just some copied and pasted meaningless statement (and I know bloggers that do that!) But I found out early on in blogging that if you want to GET comments on your blog, you need to leave them. Luckily I’ve found a bunch of blogs that make me want to comment all the time!

    • lynnsbooks

      That’s it precisely – I don’t want to leave a meaningless comment – I want to talk to people. Like you said, I tend to have quite a number of regular blogs that I enjoy so much so that they take up more time commenting on – as I ramble on and on!
      Lynn 😀

  6. brideofthebookgod

    I only comment when I gave something to say (like now) but I always try to respond to comments people make on my blog, even if only to say thank you

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, sometimes if I really can’t think of something that I want to say I probably just like the post. Sometimes, tbh, nothing needs to be said! I do always reply to people though.
      Lynn 😀

  7. jessicabookworm

    I comment if I have something to say. I don’t pressurise myself to always comment.

    • lynnsbooks

      I think that’s a good idea – you definitely don’t want to feel pressured into doing so. I do like to comment but I want it to be genuine.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Carl V. Anderson

    There is certainly some stress inherent in blogging, when people comment on your site you can/might feel obligated to visit/comment on theirs. But I think we all learn that you have to let that stress go and just do what you can or want to do within the time allotted. There is simply too much to take our attention. I could blog all day long, with no sleep, if I visited everyone I’ve come to know over these 10 years of blogging.

    I do my best to keep up with what everyone is doing using Feedly, and comment when I’m either drawn in and am compelled to comment, or simply have a few minutes and want that person to know I was still paying attention to what they are doing. Even if that is just a “hey, good review” comment. I do try to actually say something about what the person wrote, but sometimes that is easier than others because, as you say, sometimes the only thing I can come up with to say is not all that intelligent beyond, “I agree!”

    • lynnsbooks

      Completely agree. In fact reading your comments made me have a temporary moment of ‘light’ – it’s just like your everyday friends isn’t it – you don’t see them all the time, sometimes you only see them a few times a year (particularly if they don’t live near by) but, you’re still friends, right? It’s nice to check in with each other and let people know you’re reading their blog but it wouldn’t be possible to do it with everyone all the time. Time constraints just won’t allow – unless we get one of those time turners – then we’ll be good!
      Thanks Carl.
      Lynn 😀

  9. nrlymrtl

    Great post1 And, yes, this is a hobby and if something has to get shelved briefly in your life, then this is it (and I do the same).

    Mostly, I have been a silent stalker but I am trying to change that. I often only comment on commentaries (like this post) or on reviews of books I have read. I have bumped in to SO many spoilers in the book blogging world that I tend to avoid reviews of books I want to read because many folks don’t mark spoilers (though I have found some awesome blogs that do mark spoilers like Stainless Steel Droppings).

    • lynnsbooks

      Well, yours, Carls and Andreas (plus a few others) are some of the first blogs that I started reading. So, they almost have a first love type of feel for me and I pretty much always check them out – in fact between the three of you you’ve exploded my stacks with recommendations!
      I know what you mean about commenting on commentaries – it’s like you can always find something to talk about in these discussions.
      One of the worst spoilers I EVER had was with a library book – and it was when we were reading Mistborn as a readalong – I went to get number two and the short write up basically gave away the ending of the first book – I was like ‘nnnnnooooooo’.
      Lynn 😀

  10. Danya @ Fine Print

    LOL a draft email? Really?! That’s hilarious.

    I definitely feel you re: the urge to comment. Of course it’s lovely to get comments of all kinds, but I definitely prefer to receive comments with some substance rather than just a simple “Great review! :)” which does happen from time to time. That means that when I comment on someone’s blog, I want to say something of substance too – not just comment for the sake of commenting. Sometimes I don’t comment because I really disagree with what someone has said and I just don’t feel like getting into it with them. But the act of commenting is important because like you said, it’s all about those friendships! I always look forward to commenting on your blog – especially when it’s about your hilarious post titles. 😉

    • lynnsbooks

      Aw, I know – I’m such a simple kind of girl!! Imagine – all your important book thoughts in a draft email. I need my head examining! I must admit that I have a regular set of bloggers who I always comment on and think about when I’m reading certain books – yours is one for sure. You just simply wouldn’t have enough time to comment on everyone after all – it just wouldn’t be possible time wise! I do like to leave comments though – I find that sometimes I flip through the reader and I’ll just see a title from way back that I loved and i have to comment – I like that though because it feels like I really have something to say.
      Lynn 😀

  11. Leona

    I started to blog about books cause 1-My online friends and a few real life friends ask me for book recommendations and I got tired of repeating the same stuff over and over so I figured it’s easier to share my book recommendations, 2-To share the information I find out while researching the publishing world with other indie authors. I comment to the blog posts of most everyone I follow, time permitting. Especially if I really love the post. If I have nothing much to say, I still comment to thank them for such a helpful review (especially the detailed book reviews which really help me choose the best books to read, and the writing/publishing advice posts)

    Because, when I receive comments from people, it makes me really happy. I feel much happier if I get 100 views and a whole bunch of comments and 1000 views and no comments. Every morning I checked for new comments form my phone. So I figure other bloggers probably appreciate comments, and I try my best to leave comments for everyone, even if it’s just a simple thank you.

    • lynnsbooks

      That’s a lovely way to look at it – everyone loves to receive comments after all! it just makes you feel wanted or included! Just imagine putting a smile on somebody’s face just by leaving them a comment – love it!
      I particularly like your No.1 reason for getting involved with blogging – strikes a chord.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Lynn 😀

      • Leona

        Now only if I could find a bunch of fantasy readers to talk about these books for hours! I am hoping the book blogging community will give me that one soon 🙂 Many hugs to you and your comments always put a smile on my face!

      • lynnsbooks

        Thanks – and if you’re posting fantasy reviews you can count on me to stop over and comment!
        Lynn 😀

      • Leona

        I review only fantasy genre 🙂 if you check my book reviews tab, there will be a lot more in the near future, as I devour more books. Now I’m reading The Broken Empire, while still having the giddiness of The Kingkiller Chronicle!

      • lynnsbooks

        Cool. I’ll keep my eye on your reviews for sure. Rothfuss is excellent and Lawrence – I love his books!
        Lynn 😀

  12. otakutwins1

    I try to comment on as many people’s blogs as I can because getting a comment makes me happy and I hope it makes them happy too XD it’s kind of a silly reason. I also comment on other people’s book reviews because I’ve eead that book or want to read that book…basically it’s the first one!! XD

    • lynnsbooks

      It makes me happy! So, not a silly reason. I do love commenting about books I’ve read – for that matter I pretty much like commenting when I see a book I want to read too!
      Lynn 😀

  13. heavenali

    I do like commenting yes, but I sometimes simply don’t have time, and as you say unless I have something I really want to say, then often I don’t. Another issue is blogs not hosted by wordpress are often involve a bit more work for me to add a simple comment, and then the comments sometimes disappears anyway grr!! and my time is getting more and more sqeezed. I love interacting with people, but it is hard keeping up with it, I do feel guilty sometimes because I know how much work goes into the writing of pieces.

    • lynnsbooks

      I must admit that the comments where you have to prove you’re not a robot are a bit frustrating sometimes. Especially if I shut the dialogue box before even realising – then I’ve lost the comment completely!

  14. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    I do like to comment. There are some blogs I look at that I know are higher traffic, but have very few comments, and for some reason I am way less likely to comment on those. I also sometimes read posts on my phone and think “I’ll reply later”,waiting for a keyboard to type, but then forget, and never do. And sometimes I am just too busy to keep up with my own blog. And like you, sometimes I have nothing to valuable to say. I really like the Like button in those cases, but many blogs don’t have them.

    • lynnsbooks

      I also love the ‘like’ button! At least I feel I can contribute something if I don’t actually have anything meaningful to say.
      I’m useless with my phone – and I could end up saying the strangest things with the predictive text!
      Lynn 😀

  15. Carmen

    I didn’t always comment on all the blogs I follow, but lately I do and I’ve realized that people tend to reciprocate, which in turn gets me excited about receiving both comments and more visits. Prior to the end of the last year, there were only 2-3 blogs on which I commented regularly, but my taste has expanded as result of visiting more blogs and finding like-minded people who pretty much enjoy the books I do.

    • lynnsbooks

      Agree completely – it’s one of the nicest parts of blogging for me – finding that bunch of like minded people who enjoy similar tastes in books! It’s how I get half of my book recommendations!
      Lynn 😀

  16. April Wood

    I try to be friendly and comment on other blogs. I find it usually encourages others to return the favor and visit my blog and leave a comment. : )

    • lynnsbooks

      Agreed. It is nice to leave comments and link up with people. Thanks for stopping by.
      Lynn 😀

  17. Blog anniversary – thoughts & giveaway | Postcards from Asia

    […] which brings me to my next idea. The other day I was reading a post on Lynn’s Book Blog, To comment or not to comment and I thought about it for a while because this is an idea I’ve had for a while but never […]

  18. Delia (Postcards from Asia)

    Hi Lynn,
    Your post inspired one of my own. 🙂
    I like to comment on people’s blogs and I do it especially if the blogger left a comment on mine. It is tough to keep up with everybody and there are so many wonderful blogs out there…and I believe anybody can find something to say, even if it’s a short comment like” I really like your review, you make me want to read this” or something of that sort. Sometimes a simple comment can make someone’s day.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, nice to make people smile isn’t it! I’ll be over shortly to check out your post.
      Thanks Delia
      Lynn 😀

  19. Mogsy

    Hee hee, clearly I’m a commenter! I also love making comments and receiving comments. At the same time, if I don’t comment, it doesn’t mean I didn’t read…I usually only pipe up if I have something to say, mostly because I think that ultimately leads to more relevant discussion 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Haha, yes you clearly are! I do love to comment and receive them back I have to admit – well, everyone does really don’t they! And, yes, sometimes I do read a post but haven’t got any comment to make – not in a bad way, just no comment necessary! I always wonder if I should just put something though – you know, like, ‘nice post’ but it sort of feels odd leaving a comment if I’m not really saying something!
      Lynn 😀

  20. Lynn E. O'Connacht

    I agree with you so much. I don’t comment as much as I’d like because of time constraints, but also because I want to have something useful to say. It’s more stressful to me to write a short comment which just kind of agrees with someone than it is to write one where I try to start up a proper discussion.

    And… yes. I’m afraid I don’t have too much to add to the conversation, but I did want to say something while I had words to. ^_^

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, time constraint is the main thing – if time was no issue I would just chat with EVERYBODY! But, there simply isn’t the time is there – realistically. So, I want to comment but want to make it meaningful because I don’t always stop and say something.
      Thanks for commenting as well – I’ve really enjoyed all the discussion.
      Lynn 😀

  21. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    I am definitely a commente. Even if I don’t have much to say I say a little something to let then know I was there and read the post. I figure they know that not ask my comments are that short or lacking in personality. Cause hey somedays my brain is life a half eaten cookie.

    But yes I think commenting is important, it’s like you said, it’s how we make friends. I’m all about the community of people I follow and expressing and exchanging thoughts on books. COMMENT!!! Mu7uwhaha. And sometimes my phone likes to say random things like communist poodles….

    • lynnsbooks

      Haha, yes, my brain is actually frequently like a half eaten cookie – that’s had all the chocolate chips picked out! Lol – Communist poodles!!
      Lynn 😀

  22. Two Dudes in an Attic

    So when I did that inteview on SCFlynn the other day, I thought I was being so original and gracious by saying how the best part of blogging is the book community and the conversations we have. Lo and behold, every single interview, and several blog posts that came out at the same time, said exactly the same thing. So much for standing out.
    Commenting is how I met lots of cool people, and how we stay in touch, so I’m all for it. I just can’t read and comment nearly as much as I’d like anymore.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, but, that’s because we’re all having similar thoughts I suppose – plus these comments are really helpful to people who are only just starting up – by which I don’t mean to say they’re not useful to others, just that I think it’s really good to give out tips. I like to do a post like this every once a month just to put a question that’s been on my mind to see how the rest of the community feel.
      I loved your interview – and Nathan’s.
      Lynn 😀

  23. Lauren

    My feelings echo yours and a lot of what others have said. I don’t have the time to read everything any blogger writes, no matter how much I like them, but I regularly set aside some time to read posts and comment when I can. But I usually only comment if I feel I can engage with the content somehow. Adding to the conversation/debate is ideal. “Nice review” is a bit boring (and leaves me wondering if the person actually read the review or is just self-promoting), so if I mostly agree with what the blogger wrote I’ll pick out a quote or insight that resonated with me, just to give some positive feedback on what I think they’re doing particularly well. And because sometimes it’s just nice to have other people going “YAY!” or “ARGH!” along with you 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      it is nice to have a bit more of a discussion rather than a simple ‘nice post’ not to mention really good to know that people are actually reading what you’ve written.
      Lynn 😀

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