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READ THE BEST BOOKS FIRST OR YOU MAY NOT HAVE A CHANCE TO READ THEM ALL*
When you find a great new blog do you go back and read through the archives?

Why or why not?

Does it make you feel like a stalker if you do?

I am so unmotivated at the moment I'm amazed that I finally (after sitting and staring for what felt like forever) managed to actually start writing even if it was to cheat and ask a question of my readers thereby putting the onus of providing content on someone else.

I'm curious, though. When I find an author I like I want to buy every book they've ever written and read them all through. I find myself doing the same thing with online journals and blogs. I read back through the archives, sometimes obsessively, sometimes helplessly, pulled along by a curiosity and hunger for something I can barely begin to define. I look at the "about me" page and the user profile and read lists of 100 things if they exist.

I check out links on their blogroll or friendslist, reasoning that if I like this person's voice so much, they must also have good taste and will lead me further to even more great writing out there (—which opens a whole 'nother can of wormy questions about how many lives I can keep up with anyway, when most of the time these days I feel I'm barely keeping up with my OWN).

Yesterday was book group and even though there were only 5 of us, it was WONDERFUL. One woman told us how a friend of hers, tired of listening to her rave joyfully about our book group, finally "retaliated" by starting one of her own. She was asked if she wanted to join the new one, but she finally answered that it would be more fun to be able to talk together about the books each were reading and the responses of each other's group to them. There is something special about book people. There is something special about the way they press their favorites on you and say "I know!" in that rising and astonished and kindred voice when you say something about how a book made you feel or why you reacted one way or the other to the writer or the writing, that weaves a special spell of friendship.

Another friend who has come a few times and who I was thrilled about having the chance to get to know better in the context of one of my favorite ways to spend time with people recently remarked that she was considering dropping out. She doesn't like to borrow books and doesn't want to come if she hasn't read the book under discussion. I didn't use to like borrowing books that much either, but with this group it doesn't feel like borrowing. To me, the word 'borrowing' has a sub-context of obligation, debt and guilt attached to it. I prefer to think of it as sharing. With this particular group, or at least the members that really are kindred spirits, there is no sense of obligation, debt or guilt. There is only excitement, encouragement, interest and curiosity. There is a genuine belief that knowledge is important, that well-written words are life-affirming, that bringing these things together and sharing them with each other will give everyone the foundation with which to build a network of pleasure, friendship and support. I hope she changes her mind, or at least that she doesn't think I'm stalking her.

Beegest and Brightest Birthday Weeshes to My Beeg Leetle Seester, Sarah!

*Thoreau
 lethargic
mood: lethargic
music: Heart—Love Me Like Music


Comments

I have a weight loss blog and several people have told me that they've gone back and read all the archives, which kind of freaked me out at first because I can't remember half of what I wrote. I'm actually too scared to even go back and reread the really old entries because they cover about 2 or 3 false starts over the period of a year or two. But, I also find it flattering that they like my writing enough to spend all that time on the blog. I only read someone's entire archives if I really, *really* like their style. I think I've only done it once or twice.

I read the archives, how could you not? There's always enough hints in the current entries about things from before that I feel I have to catch up before I dare to delurk and comment.

Yep, I read a pretty good chunk of the archives. I've noticed a few folks help out by posting their own top ten favorite posts as well. I've been thinking of doing that myself, but how to even start such a top ten list? It boggles the mind.

And gee, you've certainly put a new spin on that whole thing one might have about hating to be a borrower, haven't you, little Missy? One might reconsider one's position if one gave that new spin enough space to roam around in one's imagination.

And, Happy Birthday, LizardSis!

stalk, stalk

Especially considering your ENTIRE JOURNAL is a favorite post of mine. I doubt I could pick just 10 of yours either!!

Not to intentionally add to the mutually admiring, increasingly stalky flavor of this particular thread (well, maybe a little) but awhile back you asked people for help making your own top ten list and I couldn't even respond for that very reason. Pick out just ONE? TWO? Pick out JUST TEN? Nope, can't do it!

In my own case, I meant more that I'd have to go back through them all and that just seems like a march into the bowels of insanity.

haha! march into madness! that's it exactly :D

(Anonymous)

Thank you for the birthday wishes!
Seester

did it make you feel stalked when you saw my IP address recorded 12,000 times when I first found your blog? ;)

hahaha! I don't check IP addresses. Those are numbers, see. Me and numbers, we don't get along so well. We're still speaking to each other, but that's about it.

No, I don't go back and read all the archives. I read back a few weeks maybe, but I've never read more than that. It just takes too long and there are other things I want to read as well or other sites I want to visit. I do always read the profile and look at the list of blogs they read for the same reasons as you.

And I just realized that I never thanked you for your email response about your book club. I really appreciated your answers. I hope our club can figure itself out as well as yours has. :)

In general, I usually read a few older entries, such as what's on the page or I go back 5-10 if entries are in single-entry/page format. I do this to get a feel for the author and his/her writing style.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Oh! Excellent point!! That has happened to me, too (the buying of books based on blogs), although most of them have been good, there were some definite disappointments.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

*takes out a restraining order*

Hee! :D

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

*snort* We're all stalkers 'round here, so no worries! :D

I read the entire archive. Hey, they published it. Plus, I never worry that I'll seem like a stalker because I know that one must leave the house in order to stalk others.

I was just stalking Liz by reading all her comments. And that icon with the bed...that room is just beautiful! Do you actually get to read books there and sleep there every night?

(Anonymous)

I never feel like a stalker. Oh wait, I mean I always feel like a stalker.

~Sprigs

And such a cute one you are, too!

(Anonymous)
stalking!

I definitely read through the archives of a new blogger after going to him/her a couple of times. It's an amazing way to learn about someone and their way of thinking. I find it as enjoyable as reading a novel. But now that I understand stats better, I sometimes email that person afterwards telling them that I was going through their archives -- I don't want them to think I'm a crazed stalker!

Neil
http://www.citizenofthemonth.com

Re: stalking!

Stalking is the new black, when it comes to blog archives. :) I've been reading back through yours when I have a moment.

(Anonymous)
I was wondering if it was just me too...

I definitely always find myself reading thru the archives on blogs I come across and like. I have become somewhat obsessive about it. And most of the ones I read, like yours, I end up wishing that I could meet people in real life...

(Anonymous)

Thanks for the birthday weeshes! Thanks for the birthday singing! Thanks for being my Leetle Beeg Seester!

Love me.

When I find a blogger whose voice resonates with me, I totally start reading archives and 100 Things and profile and everything. And then, of course, I add the feed to my Bloglines...and wonder later how I can possibly keep up with these hundreds of lives I'm reading about! (Can you spell addiction, boys and girls?) How you find the time to maintain such an active blogging life AND STILL READ ALL THOSE BOOKS...not to mention, you know, RAISE A FAMILY...is beyond me. :)

(Anonymous)

I am feeling so much better about myself - I am not alone in the reading the archives of a new, beloved blogger! Afterwards I feel like I've overdosed on too much information, but I can't help it! It's too much fun to stop!

~Samiam

Lovely post, that's how I feel about other people's blogs too...

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