Saturday, February 27, 2010

What is the difference ....

What is the difference between a lit blog and a book blog?

No, seriously. I see "lit blog(ger) versus book blog(ger)" stuff thrown around, and I want to have a better context.

So if you anyone wants to share definitions and how these two differ, I appreciate it. Because as far as I can tell there is no real difference.




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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

14 comments:

Leila said...

Lit bloggers use bigger words?

Celia said...

Lit bloggers fancy themselves discussing important pieces of art?

Maybe its just me but lit blogger sounds a bit pretentious...as though both groups are discussing the same thing but they feel the need to differentiate themselves.

@Tracy_Seeley said...

The perceived difference may depend on the blogger. But it also reminds me a bit of the two different sections in my local bookstore. There's "Fiction" and then there's "Literature." Sort of like the difference between literary fiction and popular fiction, high-brow and low-brow, Virginia Woolf and, oh, Danielle Steele, say. Are all books literature? If so, it seems like a distinction without a difference. And if not, then we're back where we started, in a way. What's the difference between literature and books? Do you notice a difference in content and/or focus between lit blogs and book blogs? I think I've confused myself....sorry I can't help.

Colleen said...

As someone who has been around a few years (ha), from what I recall, the section of the blogosphere that talked about books was initially called (and remains) the "Lit Blogosphere" and thus if you blogged about books in any capacity at all, then you were a lit blogger. That was it. Everything bookish was lit blogging. The "book blogger" tag came out just a couple of years ago, right? And I have yet to see any kind of a difference in content, etc. Some blogs are much more indepth, some do giveaways and blog tours, some are run by folks who also review for prestigious publications. But that's true regardless of how the bloggers label themselves. In other words you won't find any case where a so-called lit blogger does something a book blogger doesn't, or vice versa.

Honestly, I never thought there was a difference until last year when some articles started getting written about this online and I found out that by referring to myself as a "lit blogger" I apparently thought i was better than everyone else (as evidenced by Celia and Tracy's comments here).

Sorry, guys. It's just an old term coined from the lit blogosphere and tied also to the term "lit mag" (as in "Bookslut is an online lit magazine"). If anyone is suggesting something other than that, then I believe they are speaking for themselves and not for either larger group.

Debbie said...

I have them saved together in one folder on my RSS, so I guess I don't see the difference either.

Amy said...

I think the idea of people who differentiate is that lit bloggers are more like journalists and book bloggers are more people just writing about books for fun.

I don't really care what someone calls my blog. I use book blog because I'm comfortable with it. But, if say, Colleen wants to say my blog is a lit blog b/c that's what she's comfortable with that's fine with me.

Hagelrat said...

I think of Lit blogger the same way as genre or YA blogger, it's a way to define your specific area of interest.

Liz B said...

Leila, ha! Graders for Tea Cozy usually puts me at elementary school level. I thought it was because I reviewed childrens books and that somehow affected it, but now I know its lit/book blog!

Celia, I hate to drag out the "c" word (clique) but truthfully? I've seen us/them attitude on both sides of the line. In other words, book bloggers trying to differentiate themselves. And not nice things said by both sides about it. Part of the reason I'm intereested in a real objective definition (take a blog that you don't "know" and apply a checklist, what do you have?) is it seems much more subjective stuff is going on. So I want to be shown how I'm wrong (I'm open to being wrong!)

Tracy & Hagelrat, it sounds like you're saying a bit of the same thing (area of interest) and I'm intrigured how literature can be different from books as I see them as two words for the same thing, especially within a blog context. And if its about literary fiction, I've seen self identified book blogs blog about literary fiction, so it doesn't seem as cut & dried as that.

Colleen, if its merely the idea of *when* someone started blogging, given some of the vitriol, it seems even more c-word ish (and again, I'm saying both sides of the so-called line. I am not taking sides here).

Debbie, same here. Except, until this lit/book stuff happens (and btw I'm inspired to ask this question because it reared up during a Twitter #followreader conversation) and I'm wanting to know, OK, there is a line in the sand and does it mean anything or is some type of fannish thing?

Amy, to me, that is pretty subjective, then, evaluating both how and why a person writes what they do on a blog. And while you're comfortable with whatever someone wants to call you (as, frankly, I usaully am -- just don't call me late for supper, lol) when it comes to this line-drawing in the sand, I want something more than someone elses subjective belief as to why I or another blog. So, what does it mean to be "more like a journalist"? What does it mean to write just "for fun"? Does fun include deadlines and ARCs, then, or is it having to say "I love this book" without analysis? Who says journalists (or journalist-style) don't have fun? Does this mean the book blogger con is just about "fun" and there will be nothing about ethics, professionalism, knowing your audience, balancing pressure? I appreciate your answering, and your honesty, but it doesn't seem to really define one group as opposed to another. With my end point being it doesn't matter whether its lit or book, so why is there even a line?

Amy said...

Ah yes I see your point. And I agree that both "camps" (if there are camps) have been cliquish and tried to draw lines so to say.

I saw someone else say that the difference was that lit blogs covered more than book reviews. Well that's not exactly right either, because a lot of blogs considered to be book blogs have more than reviews as well.

And I hated saying just for fun, I just couldn't figure out how to articulate what I meant. I often got the impression that lit blogs were kind of like print publications online and book blogs were more along the lines of blogs about books.

But I seriously doubt there's any clear line between the two.

Sherry said...

Sounds like tomato/tomahto to me.If some people want to make a distinction, it's up to them to define. I blog about books. I blog about literature. Sometimes I blog about other stuff, too. As Mr. Whitman said, "I am large, I contain multitudes. "

Susan T. said...

I notice that the newspapers' and magazines' (i.e. mainstream media's) blogs about books are usually called book blogs.

I don't see a difference, really.

Liz B said...

Amy, it was that tweet during #followreader (ie about book reviews) that inspired me to post to say, OK, what else? Because while it appears to be very objective (a book review!) as you point out, not so much in that both so-called lit and book blogs review books & talk about bookish things (and other things....I'm sure someone at some point will say to me "you also blog movies so you're not a lit OR book blog." (that is me kidding, btw!))

I can think of a few sites like what you say, but even then, I think the line (if it existed) is blurred. Bookslut: very much is an online mag. I very much am not going to research Jessa's first posts/website to know if it was always that way or it grew that way. Take a look at 100 Scope Notes; to me, that now looks more like an online mag, also. So even in terms of appearance, it can get iffy.

Sherry, I've even blogged about my shoes. Which reminds me: squee! I found saddle shoes I love! Will blog about them.

Susan T, agreed.

Colleen said...

I didn't mean to suggest it was based on when you started by my comment - but that it was lit blog at the beginning and that was just what everyone was who wrote about books. I honestly do not know when book blog came about and I didn't notice a change in content, etc. It seems like everyone was considered a lit blogger for a while. Then some folks started referring to themselves as book bloggers. But as to how or when or why - there is no answer.

I swear it is not at all about older blogs are one thing vs younger blogs are another. I SWEAR!!! I only meant that years ago lit blog just meant someone who blogs about books and bookish matters. And now both lit blog and book blog seem to mean that.

The terms, to me, have been and will remain interchangeable unless someone insists I consider them one or the other (and I don't know why they would).

I think I'll go post about hockey now. And how hot hockey players are. Which is decidedly not bookish or literary but more fun.... :)

Liz B said...

You're right, Colleen. Sorry if my musings made it seem like it was about timing.

And I'm off to leftovers for dinner!

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