The OF Blog: Things I've learned about this blog's readership and myself

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Things I've learned about this blog's readership and myself

Here are a few things that I've observed recently that I hadn't thought about writing down until just now:

1. If my Followers list is any indication, I have more female regular visitors than male.

2. My Book Porn posts are most popular in Turkey, where everyday there are visitors from that country searching for "Turkish porn," "12 porn, "14 porn," "16 porn," "18 porn," and "Christmas porn." Quite amusing.

3. I am more likely to get links to my reviews than I am to get actual discussion of said reviews here.

4. The reviews and interviews that get the most hits are not for the authors that other SF/F-oriented blogs cover as well, but for rather more "obscure" titles. Currently, Best of Contemporary Mexican Fiction is generating quite a few visits, including from the publisher's, Dalkey Archive Press, website.

5. It is rather sad that the posts that get the most comments tend to be ones where I talk about how sick I am (and by the way, my ear infections have returned in force) or how there are perceived deficiencies in others' reviews. I guess if I were to post about how I am 95% certain that I'm leaving my public education position at the end of the school year, I'd get plenty of comments then, huh?

6. Roberto Bolaño might be my new literary mancrush, straight as I am in real life. Four more books of his are due to arrive in the next couple of weeks, including three from Spain. Will have spent close to $300 this year alone on aquiring hard-to-find (in the US) books of his.

7. I wonder if I've maxed out my audience appeal at around 370 subscribers to my Feedburner and 250-350 visits according to Sitemeter a day. I also wonder if I should give a damn.

8. Interesting how a 1946 novel, Titus Groan, is currently receiving over twice as many votes as the second-place vote-getter, Jonathan Littell's excellent and just-released in English translation The Kindly Ones.

9. Will the regulars riot if I switch to covering more mimetic/non-genre fiction in the coming months? Right now, my tastes seem to be more towards books that are hard to classify.

10. Shall be interesting to see the reactions to a few projects I'm planning/working on at the moment.

11. Cough syrup can lead to some strange thoughts at 11:30 PM.


Matt Keeley said...

I would like to see your comments on The Kindly Ones, as it has been so polarizing. I'd like to read it, but I don't have the money for it, and I doubt that it would be as good as...

... the last really long book I read, 2666. I sort of know how you feel about Bolano - I've bought three more of his books and can't wait to read them. I gather New Directions is translating another one of his fiction collections for 2010. Something to look forward to for those of us who don't speak Spanish.

Anonymous said...

Re: #4. I enjoy your reviews, but I usually haven't read the book yet so cannot comment. (I am a slow reader) I come to you in search of new and interesting reads.

#6. I have a womancrush and hope to enjoy those Spanish editions vicariously through you. Sigh.

#8. The Kindly Ones (Though, of course, I haven't read it)

#9. I LOVE obscure, hard to classify books!

#11. And I LOVE good cough syrup!

Mary C

Anonymous said...

#10. Are you taking anything to boost your immune system?

Mary C

Liviu said...

Honestly I found more interesting books (directly or by association) here in the non-genre books than in the genre books.

Cannot said I cared that much for Last Dragon (ok, but..), Long Look (I thought that was so bad, almost a joke), Graceling (Prince Po - enough said) and so on, while Jordan, Erickson, Sanderson are just not my cup of tea.

Even though I like Bakker, he is still a genre writer and trying to move the discussion about his fantasy books beyond genre to "relevancy to real life" - which is something I do not give a d..m about - leads to the ludicrous sexism charges and such from the recent interminable posts here and there, ludicruos since his universe however well done for a fantasy one, still comes crashing down if analyzed closely. Angels on a pin anyone?

I love Bolano's work, rediscovered Pavic, checked out various other authors I may not have heard about either, so I would love more non-genre discussions for sure

Everyone has heard of Titus Groan but Littell is relatively new, splash, controversy and so on, still only 06 in Europe and now in the English speaking countries, so I would not be surprised about that :)

Lsrry said...

So far, almost 50% into Littell's book, I would have to say it falls a little bit short of 2666 in personal appeal, but much of Littell's "shortcomings" would have to be due to my expert-level knowledge of certain events surrounding the Shoah. Bit of a dissonance between the novelistic account and my own reading of oral history transcriptions of German and local people involved in it.


I'll do my best to highlight more Spanish-language authors in the future. And I'm glad you love those obscure books as well! I have a photo of the 1946 American edition of Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan that I'm going to post this weekend, if that helps the raging book lust! :P

As for taking anything for the immune system issues, outside of a few citrus juices, haven't been told to have anything but the yogurt for the replenishment of the "good" intestinal bacteria.


I'd be disappointed if others were constantly batting 1.000 with the books I've loved, but I'm glad that you have looked into and enjoyed several of the ones I've liked recently. Agreed on the reason why Peake's book is winning now. Just thought it'd be amusing to note the obvious in the post.

And regardless of the vote, Littell's book will be reviewed in the next 10 days or so, time/energy permitting.

Anonymous said...

Vit C and Zinc. Some swear by Zycam(sp). I'm hooked on Halls Defense (yes, the cough drop) with vit C, zinc and echinacea. You're supposed to start popping them at the first sign of illness to lessen severity, but starting now may help to turn this thing around. We, in the health care industry, forget that lay people don't always know (or believe in) herbal medicines and such. But studies indicate the combination can be beneficial.

Mary C

Anonymous said...

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The challenge:

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”


This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

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