Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blog comments, and Bookshelf Meme

How do you respond to the comments on your blog? Do you try to email individually or comment on post yourself answering the comments above? What do you think is the best way to respond to comments and do you respond to all of them? Do you feel slighted if you don't receive a response back from the blog owner? (question courtesy of Jenn)

I reply to the comments I receive within the comment section on each post. Sometimes it can take a couple of days but I do try to reply to everyone, although I sometimes do a general reply if individual replies would just be repetitive, on my photo posts for example. On most of my bookish posts though I do try to respond to everyone. Emailing each commenter seems like it would be quite time-consuming so I don't do that unless very occasionally I want to chat with someone about a topic more indepth. And most blogs nowadays seem to have a way to subscribe to the comments on any individual post, so it's easy to see the replies, via email, without having to remember to go back to the original blogs.

I also try to return the visit by commenting on the blogs of those who have commented on mine. I'm not always very good at keeping up with this, especially lately, but I keep trying. Since I never seem to have enough time to comment everywhere that I'd like to though, and since I'm often a bit behind in reading others posts, I do end up lurking a lot sometimes. And I have to admit that I comment a lot less on the blogs that don't give any kind of response. I completely understand that it takes time to respond, and that not everyone has that time, but even in real life, if it feels like I'm just talking to myself, I'll soon fall silent. I know some people are happy to keep on chatting away, so I think it's a personality thing. I guess I feel that replying to comments is a way to build up a relationship with other bloggers, a conversation of sorts. A few of my favourite bloggers always reply to comments and even to comments on older posts so it really encourages me to visit more often. And ultimately creates a positive spiral as I visit more, I get to know them better and comment more, and so on.

So what it boils down to is that I love to receive replies and always try to do so on my own blog. And while I tend to comment more on the blogs that do reply, or that visit me regularly, there are lots of other blogs I love reading and will continue to do so regardless of whether they reply to comments or not.

I hope I haven't made anyone feel bad by explaining my thoughts on this. How do you respond to comments?

Avis of she reads and reads tagged me for the Bookshelf meme, started by Eva at A Striped Armchair, ages ago, but I forgot all about it until recently. Sorry! I'm going to skip the rules because I think they are most likely very out of date, but here are my answers...

The book that’s been on your shelves the longest:
I guess it would be my Narnia boxed set, or maybe an old copy of Clifford the Big Red Dog that I think I still have tucked away in a box somewhere. I don't really have any of my baby books though, and due to various long-distance moves I only have a select few of my children's books left. It's probably a good thing considering my extreme lack of space but I do wish I still had some of them. I talked more about my childhood books last year.

A book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time, etc.):
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell reminds me of England since he's English and that's where I got it and we were living at the time. But it also reminds me of Japan because he spent some time here and his wife is Japanese. Change the genders around and it's my life, well except for the being a brilliant writer part! It also reminds me of when I had an opportunity to go to a reading and live interview with David in London after which we chatted for a few minutes, me rather tongue-tied, as he signed my copy. David was such a nice guy! It's one of my most treasured, signed books.

A book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used bookstore, prize, etc.):
A couple of years ago I never would have imagined that I'd receive books sent to me directly by the authors! The wonders of blogging! And it's nothing out of the ordinary now, but a few years ago receiving a book from half way around the world through Bookcrossing seemed pretty exciting. Isn't it amazing how the internet has made the world so much smaller?

A book that’s been with you to the most places:
That would have to be my small assortment of children's books, as they moved with us in Canada from Manitoba to Victoria, and later travelled to England, first to London then to Cambridge, and are currently residing with me Japan.

The most recent addition to your shelves:
I was going to say my copy of Drood by Dan Simmons that arrived about 3 weeks ago, but the small Amazon order I made last week just showed up this afternoon. It included Emma, vol. 8 by Kaoru Mori, The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz, and The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak.

A bonus book that you want to talk about but doesn’t fit into the other questions:
How about my most watched book? By that I mean the book to screen adaptation I've watched the most, and that would be without a doubt Pride and Prejudice. I've only read the actual book two or three times, but I've watched the BBC TV series countless times and even the more recent movie version a few times. Ah, the classic love story! And my default answer for "What's your favourite book?" so I don't have to think, because really, who can choose just one?!

Again, I'm sorry it took me so long to do this. Because this made the rounds so long ago, I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you'd like to revive it, please feel free to grab it and let me know so I can come read your answers. Or answer a question or two in the comments, I'd love to hear about your memorable books.


  1. Yay, I'm glad you did this meme! (I'm also glad I'm not the only one who sometimes takes a while to get around to posting these sorts of things!) This was one of my favourite memes -- it's fun to read other people's answers to these questions. (Can you believe, I've owned the BBC Pride and Prejudice series on DVD for a couple of years and haven't watched it yet?!)

    About commenting, I also try to respond to all the comments I receive on my blog (although I don't always do so in a timely manner!). And I'm also less likely to comment on blogs that don't ever respond to comments. As for visiting and commenting on other blogs, I find I go through cycles. Some weeks I'm really good and comment on lots of posts; other weeks I'm terrible and accumulate 700 posts in my blog reader...!

  2. I like your term of a "positive spiral" re: responding to comments and how it encourages more return visits and comments. I handle my responses pretty much like you do - on my blog, usually individually addressed unless my response is more like a general "thanks so much for your support."

    To me, commenting and replying are what make blogging the uniquely social writing that it is!

  3. You summed up well my own comment process. :-)

    I have been lurking a lot lately myself. It is hard to keep up sometimes, especially when I have a lot going on in my personal life.

    And I am the same way about being less likely to comment on blogs where I get no response for the exact reasons you state. If a person instead stops by my blog and leaves a comment, I do notice and take that as a form of acknowledgment.

    I enjoyed reading your responses to the meme, Nat. I can't even remember what book has been on my shelf the longest. I have so many that seem to have always been there. :-)

    I hope you are enjoying your week!

  4. It is cool that everyone responds to comments in different ways.

    Your Narnia book set is cool. I lost most of my childhood books in a fire.

    Love to watch P & P! My poor DVDs are worn out!

  5. I always make an effort to respond to comments too. That kind of interaction is what I enjoy the most about blogging, pretty much. I know no everyone has time to respond to comments, and I don't feel slighted either when people don't, but I know what you mean. I'm Miss Paranoia, so if I comment on a blog several times and there's no response/acknowledgement from the blogger, it's easy for me to become convinced that my comments are annoying them and just fall silent :P

    "Isn't it amazing how the internet has made the world so much smaller?" It is! (Btw, I owe you a reply to your very sweet e-mail and a proper THANK YOU, but I haven't answered yet because I don't know my new zip code and need to find it out, lol :P)

  6. I'm with you on responding to comments on my blog. I do my best, although sometimes I'm better than other times. I enjoy it when other bloggers respond to comments, because it lets me know they're paying attention and reading what people have to say.

  7. You have so much in this post to comment on!! First off I loved that boxed set of Narnia that you have!! Comments...I do answer mine via email when there's an address to send it to, if not I TRY (keyword try) really hard to comment back in that section but I don't always keep up. I do however make it a practice to visit new bloggers to me and comment on their posts. I've never heard of Cloud Atlas but I loved your story of meeting the author. You are quite a globe traveler aren't you???!! bloggin and the internet has made the world much smaller and friendlier!!! Drood intimidates me with its sheer size!!! And then you ended with my favorite book and movies of all time. I watch them both quite regularly!!

  8. Avis - I'm so sorry it took me so long! I can't believe though that you've had P&P for a couple of years but haven't watched it yet!

    You sound very similar to me about commenting. I haven't been keeping on top of Google Reader very well at all lately. Sigh.

    Florinda - I really like the conversational aspect of commenting and replying. The internet and blogging have certainly changed the way we interact with others.

    Wendy - Thanks! I hope you've been having a good week yourself.
    You have to know that I include you as one of my favourite bloggers that I mentioned above! I don't know why I've been having more trouble than usual keeping up lately, but I still try to comment when I can. Wasn't someone supposed to be working on finding a way to get more hours in the day? ;)

    Nise' - That's too bad that you lost your books in a fire. Most of mine just got given away before various moves, but I'm glad to still have a few.

    Nymeth - I include you in my favourites as well! You're wonderful about replying to everyone's comments on your blog and you have a lot more regular readers/commenters than I do. I agree that it's one of the aspects of blogging that I enjoy the most.

    And no worries about the email. I'm glad to know it wasn't lost in the ether, but there's no rush. :)

    Kim L - That's definitely part of it for me too. If someone doesn't respond I wonder if they've even read my comment in the first place.

    Staci - It's hard to keep up with comments and replies sometimes. I think we all have days/weeks/months when we simply can't do it all.

    LOL. I've moved around a bit I guess. I loved our time in England, with all the book shops! But thank goodness for the internet otherwise I think my life here would be much lonelier. Smaller and friendlier indeed!
    And I think I'm about due to watch P&P again! :)

  9. No worries about taking a long time to do the meme; I can totally relate! I still haven't done the "interview with me" meme that I was sent months ago!

    Your enthusiasm for P&P has inspired me; I'll have to get to that soon too!

  10. It has been so interesting reading everyone's thoughts on commenting this week. I have adopted the same type of method as you for commenting back, but I also agree that it is getting more and more difficult to visit new commenters in addition to all the other blogs I comment on. I'm trying, though! But what's most is getting to know other people through comments--that is why I'm so passionate about it--I could have written exactly what you said.

  11. Avis - LOL. I can be pretty bad about getting around to these things sometimes. Glad I'm not alone. :)
    I hope you enjoy P&P when you finally get a chance to watch it.

    Trish - I've been having trouble lately keeping up but I do keep trying. There are simply too many blogs to read! Getting to know other bloggers better through commenting is one of the best parts though.


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