The last issue of Bookslut is now up and there will be no more. I can’t claim to be a regular reader. I used to be, back in the early days when blogs were new and I was new to blogging about books. Bookslut is where I got my book news and where I learned about interesting authors I had never heard of and other literary goings on. Bookslut founder Jess Crsipin has an article at the Guardian that is somewhat sad on a variety of levels from her closing the blog to what she has discovered about a certain lack of interest in readers in obscure books and unknown authors:
In order to make enough money to run a real publication, you have to write about books everyone has already heard of. You have to indulge in clickbait. You have to narrow your conversation down to the one that is already happening elsewhere. This reinforces the white male-dominated paradigm, where one type of voice is elevated above all others. It’s not just the publications that prefer these voices, it’s the readers themselves. I saw time and time again how little interest there was in radical voices, writers of colour, obscure women writers. I had given up on the site making money, and I would just shrug and continue to publish the voices I was interested in.
It’s a rock and a hard place, this book blogging thing. We do it for love of books but should a person want to try and make a living out of it, well it quite possibly changes what you read and write which is unfortunate but not entirely surprising.
I never even considered trying to make any money from blogging but I appreciate those like Crispin who have. They raise the bar, provide a sort of standard to aspire to. She will be leaving a little hole in the internet.
On a more upbeat note, I am considering reading/rereading some Betsy-Tacy books after watching this video from the University of Minnesota:
I read and loved a number of the books when I was in grade school. I think between my best friend and I we read every one our school library had. This was so long ago, however, I have almost no recollection of them at all. How could I not remember they are set in Minnesota? They are a big deal here and the houses of the girls Betsy and Tacy are based on have been turned into museums. I even went so far as to look up what kind of biking adventure it would be to get there and while I could ride there in about 5 hours, that would leave little time for a look around, rest, and ride back. Not to mention there and back would total about 154 miles/248 kms. Kind of far for one day.
Nonetheless, I am curious about the books and curious to discover if any of them might jog loose some childhood memories. With my huge reading pile at the moment I doubt I will get to this project any time soon. Perhaps it might be something to plan for winter? I bet they would make some cozy reads.