what type of blogger are you? -from my kidlitcon presentation

At one of my sessions at KidLitCon, I talked about what bloggers can do specifically to help with the diversity cause as book bloggers. I say “specifically” because that’s what’s often missing from the conversation, and I say “as book bloggers” because I looked at most of the blogs of most of the KidLitCon attendees and realized that for the most part, they fell into one of three types of bloggers: Jack/Jill of All Trades, Greeter, or Analyst. I made these terms up and their profiles, and I’m still not sure whether I’m Jill or an Analyst or somewhere in between, though I’m definitely not a Greeter.

But you may be! And since my Google Slides thing was mad ugly and put together in a flash, I went and made a shmancy “infographic” (my coworker would object to the term because I don’t actually use images to convey data or information; I just used Pictochart to make a thing that was cute – and I’m really not a graphic designer, as you can see) that you can now download and/or share (so long as you link back RIGHT HERE and don’t modify it, though I certainly encourage you to continue the conversation, offer your suggestions for a rewrite, or suggest other book blogger types) with your friends. I’m pretty proud of myself, and I hope you find these suggestions useful or the types illuminating or thought-provoking. Just click to see the graphic. I’ll throw it on my resources page, too. Continue reading

on kidlit nonfiction, that incendiary nyt article, and “dumbing down”

There is an interesting conversation that went on last week on the child_lit listserv about this NY Times article on the trend of adult nonfiction authors rewriting their titles for young audiences. I was going to reply there, but the conversation has sort of gone dead, and everyone on that listserv dislikes me anyway, so instead I will write an essay about it. Of course, this is in fact not a new trend at all, but the Times could get more clicks if they claimed it was and also if their headline was “Hey, If You Hate YA Because You Think It Means Everyone Is Getting Stupider, Click Here and We Will Let you Complain About That,” so that’s what they made their headline. Long story short, because I don’t really like summarizing things, the article was about when publishers and authors take a best-selling nonfiction book for adult readers and adapt it into something suitable for younger readers. Surprisingly for a piece of writing about a topic in which the journalist has no expertise and doesn’t care, this one actually doesn’t use “YA” as a catchall to mean “anything for people who can’t vote that is longer than 32 pages and in a smaller trim size,” so my Bingo card for the Journalists Who Know Nothing About YA Except That It’s Trendy Refusing To Consult Experts Before Writing Articles Game is not full. So that’s awesome. Anyway.

There are interesting things going on here for sure, and I can see plenty of sides to it. Having been a kid when the book Chinese Cinderella (Adeline Yen Mah) enjoyed some success and was a trendy thing to read, especially after A Child Called It, I remember reading it and then finding another book by the same author, titled Falling Leaves. Given that as early as I can remember, I read books like a script supervisor and thought often about what my moves would be when I was a publisher, you can imagine my surprise when this book was the exact same as the book I had just read. Continue reading

a commitment to not buying things, i hope

Some recent purchases (and two borrows) that follow my self-imposed rules.

Some recent purchases (and two borrows) that follow my self-imposed rules.

I am a book-buying addict. Shocker, right? It’s kind of bad, because I own way more books than I could ever read, and it also makes moving really difficult, and I move all the time. And it’s stupid, because I’m a librarian, plus I have a public library card (or four), so it’s not like I don’t have access to just about every book I could ever want to read. I have been trying to be more discerning about which books I keep after I read them, like confining it to things I reread, things I annotate, and a few things that just make me look like a cool person if someone sees them on my bookshelf. Anyway, I don’t exactly make millions of dollars, so I really shouldn’t spend a lot of money on things that I can get for free and enjoy just as much.

In the grand scheme of Hannah Likes to Give Herself Rules and Regulations and Then She Promptly Disregards All of Them Because She Has No Self-Control and/or Expects Too Much of Herself, I am going to impose some rules on my book buying, from now until forever, or at least the next year or so. You know, because maybe by then it will be a habit, not a personal challenge.

So. In order to be allowed to buy a book for myself, it has to satisfy at least one of these criteria: Continue reading