Is there Elitism at work in book blogging ?

I am a working class  man school educated ,that loves reading maybe without the best grammer in the world ,but a sackful of passion .I have the feel that this means my blog is oft over look ,and may even be a joke to some people ,but here is the rub I love my blog and books ok I m never ever gonna  be as well read or written as some of you ,but I feel my words need to be heard and hell waterstones don’t ask what your level of learn is books are free to all  .sorry need to get it of my chest I find some bloggers attitudes terrible .Don’t ask I m not gonna say .

34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amy @ The Friendly Book Nook
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 18:55:30

    Good for you! Blogging and reading are open to everyone.


  2. nymeth
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 18:59:38

    I’d assume that the blogging world is as prone to elitism as any other sector of the population, but your blog is certainly NOT a joke to your many readers. I’m sorry if there have been people who have treated you unkindly, Stu :\ I hope you know that there are many of us who do appreciate you.


  3. milorambles
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 18:59:47

    Well done for posting this, keep the faith and as long as you enjoy reading and sharing your thoughts what does it matter what other people think? Write for yourself and have fun 😉


  4. Amro
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 19:00:48

    Sir, I think your blog is wonderful. I really admire that you take the time to write it and that you support translated fiction – a very under-appreciated section.

    You’re also incredibly well read – I’m not just saying that.

    I’m saddened that people have been unkind about your blog but many of us really appreciate it and you. It’s certainly more than I’ve ever managed.

    I’m glad you got it off hour chest though – I’ve noticed you’ve been bit low about things lately. Please know that there are many of us who love you for who you are. Perhaps not as polished as some – but a diamond in the rough nonetheless.

    Take care sir.


  5. Claire (Paperback Reader)
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 19:05:37

    Hmm, poor grammar and dreadful spelling are a peeve of mine but it doesn’t affect my enjoyment of your blog. It *does* annoy the bejesus out of me on some other blogs where the continual misspellings set my teeth on edge. However, for me your style of writing is a “quirk” that I overlook and that I actually find endearing (please forgive me if that sounds patronising because it’s well-meant). Your passion for books and general loveliness and generosity of spirit exudes from the screen, Stu; so much so that I don’t even notice your writing. Don’t let us perfectionists and grammar snobs get you down.


  6. Rob
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 19:48:13

    Idiots Stu, plain and simple, and the book blogging world is full of them. Like my Dad said, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, so just please yourself :).

    You do a great job. You’re passion is undying, and your own style of writing is endearing. Don’t try to change that for anyone.

    Not sure if I ever come across as trying to be elitist (notice I said TRYING), but I never mean to come across as arrogant or pretentious (I don’t think I do, but who knows?). All I’m interested in is striving for perfection in myself, and in many ways it’s more of a curse than anything else.

    So keep that chin up mate (it looks like you already are), and keep that passion flowing.


  7. April Books&Wine
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 19:55:30

    I don’t think there’s elitism.

    However, your blog is lovely and I think it’s admirable that you read as much as you do. I have huge respect for people who are self educated.

    Keep up the awesome work 😀


  8. Dusky Literati
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 20:00:46

    Hey there, I RSS’d your feed a couple of weeks ago. So while I may not comment on every post, I do enjoy your blog. 🙂


  9. kimbofo
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 20:35:45

    Stu, the best thing about your blog is your distinctive voice. If other people don’t get that, then that’s their loss.


  10. cousinsread
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 20:59:54

    I love your blog! I would never hear about so much wonderful translated fiction if it wasn’t for you. I feel like a dunce a lot of the times as a blogger because I don’t write as well as many bloggers out there, but like you I feel I have something to say and I bring my own voice to blogging. There’s a place for everyone in this, I think.


  11. Bina
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 21:14:11

    And here I am in awe of you and the books you read! I love how diverse your reading is and if it weren’t for your blog I’d never hear about many of them. I don’t understand how anyone could look down on what you do here, please know that I love your blog! 🙂


  12. Aarti
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 21:17:34

    Oh, Stu, I’m sorry people have made you feel bad. Like Ana, I think there is elitism in everything. If they don’t want to read your blog, they don’t have to. So they can get their news elsewhere. There are others who appreciate the very different books you read 🙂


  13. Thomas at My Porch
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 21:19:25

    Being the OCD control freak that I am there are many things annoy me from time to time in the blogosphere, so I guess I can sometimes be elitist. Although I think my contrarian nature often makes me feel like taking an anti-elitist stance against bloggers who are a little too full of themselves. I hope I am not one of them, but I always try and keep enough humour and perspective in my writing so that people know I don’t take myself too seriously. As for your blog, I am astounded by the geographic breadth of your reading. I tend to keep mine pretty close to what is familiar to me.


  14. parrish
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 21:46:11

    Hi Stu, Like yourself I was raised in a working class environment, I grew up in a council, sorry local authority house & went to my local school, & like yourself (I’m guessing) books were your refuge & escape route, in fact the term autodidactic was coined for people such as yourself & as for well read, well I had vague notions that I was until, I chanced upon thus site & came to realise how well read you were. So in future @#%#*! To the nay sayers & keep on keeping on.


  15. simon
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 23:12:31

    Good points well made stu. This blog is all about you and it’s for that reason I keep coming back again and again to read it. Don’t change and keep your chin up!


  16. Becky (Page Turners)
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 00:15:09

    You have some of the more interesting reviews on your site that I see anywhere else – I have found so many great international reads here that I couldn’t find elsewhere. I hope no one has said anything mean to you. You’re blog is great and you are one of the friendliest bloggers out there, thanks for stopping by my blog so often, and keep on doing what you’re doing!


  17. Heather
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 02:01:04

    Hi Stu,
    I enjoy visiting with you as your read such a great range of books that I haven’t even heard of. When I see errors in spelling and grammar in another’s blog, I assume that perhaps english is not their first language, that they’ve had too much caffine that morning, or maybe just that’s how they write. All are fine with me. I’ll take a blog in what ever way it is generously offered.


  18. Tom C
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 08:45:33

    Stu – I’m not sure that many people are as well read as you. You read a vast range of books, many of them very difficult to get into. Your blog is just fine – don’t worry about it


  19. Lisa Hill
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 09:13:16

    Oh Stu, I was so sad to read this post!

    Look, I know many people who have university under-graduate and post-graduate degrees, and yes, they have great grammar and spelling, sensational sentence structure and vocabulary. But they are woefully ignorant about books and reading, and they are as dull as ditchwater to be around. They are narrow-minded and boring, boring, boring!

    You, on the other hand, are widely read, your passion for reading is infectious, and your thoughts and ideas about the books you read are a refreshing alternative to much of what’s around. If there is another blog out here in cyber-space that covers the diversity of books that you do, I have yet to discover it, and I personally know of a college professor of literature who is not as widely read as you are, ok? (He only ever reads African-American literature, nothing else!)

    Some people write the most amazing blogs, perfect in every way, but they never bother to comment on anyone else’s blogs or get involved in friendly conversations about the books they’ve read. I love coming home from work and discovering that you’ve just read my latest effort and have taken the trouble to let me know what you think – it cheers me up when I’m tired and fed up, I can tell you! I often see your friendly encouraging words on other people’s blogs too, and I bet they feel the same way.

    So don’t you change a thing, Stu. We love your blog just the way it is, and meeting you through cyber space has been a real pleasure for me. I feel my horizons have been widened by discovering books from all over the world from your blog, and I often visit to refer to it as a resource for finding out about books in translation. You’re an inspiration to me, and there’s a stack of books on my TBR because I read about them here on Winston’s Dad.

    Blogs don’t have to be written to suit anybody else’s ideas about what style they should have. Blogging is a different kind of publishing which has its own rules and there is a place for everyone to do things in a unique way. Your grateful readers from all over the world like Winston’s Dad just the way it is.

    Lisa (sending you a big hug from 12,000 miles away in Australia)


  20. Annabel (gaskella)
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 10:17:54

    Stu, you have a brilliant, distinct voice, and are definitely well-read – bringing so many good books in translation especially to our attention. Keep it up! *Hug*


  21. Nana Fredua-Agyeman
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 14:07:42

    It was Steve Biko (or so) who once said: I write what I want. Simple! In fact according to the Purists we are all bad with our grammars. Once the information is carried across, the end.


  22. Gavin
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 14:47:01

    Stu, I am sorry to hear that people are being unkind to you. You are one of the best read people I know and you always leave the kindest comments! I am glad you decided to stick with your blog (I would miss Winston terribly). Just ignore the prickly buggers!


  23. Richard
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 15:41:56

    If you feel your words need to be heard, Stu, that’s more than reason enough to keep doing what you’re doing. However, this outpouring of support you’re receiving for you AND your blog is another great reason also. In short, keep up the good work, my friend!


  24. Emily Jane
    Feb 12, 2011 @ 00:10:14

    Stu, I love your distinctive voice and consider you very well-read! (whatever that means, anyway). You read and write about books I never would have heard of otherwise, and get your points across loud and clear. I’m sorry that you’ve experienced snobbery; I hope you won’t let it deter you from continuing to make yourself heard 🙂


  25. Mel u
    Feb 13, 2011 @ 12:18:58

    I really like your blog-I follow it-I read all your posts and I always will-I some times have spelling mistakes in my blog-it is not from lack of knowledge but it is just hard to proof -your own work as you see the sense of it not the meaning


  26. JoV
    Feb 13, 2011 @ 15:25:29

    I for one minute don’t believe the audacity of anyone out there who dare to say such things to you!! Who cares? Everyone should read and blog. My little boys should read, even Winston can read if he wants to!

    You introduce me to lots of books, even when they are unfamiliar to me, but I keep them in mind. The next time I see it again, I know it is you who first introduce it to me.


  27. Caroline
    Feb 13, 2011 @ 16:08:40

    I am sort of speechless. How does anyone dare to belittle you! Or anyone else for that matter. I am not a native-English speaker and can imagine people occasionnally frown when they see my mistakes. I am fine with that. We shouldn’t aim for perfection we should strive for authenticity. You’re blog is very authentic, that’s all that counts.


  28. pburt
    Feb 13, 2011 @ 22:05:32

    Sigh – why to people have to go out of their way to belittle someone. I don’t always comment but I certainly enjoy reading and the links – just noticed the estonia literature link so I am off to explore. I am reading Purge right now and I am finding it interesting.


  29. maphead
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 00:22:05

    Hello Stu,

    Sorry to read that you were the recent victim of some mean-spirited comments. Please take comfort in knowing when it comes to reviewing and promoting translated literature, (especially from Europe) your blog is one of the best on the Internet. As a matter of fact, you are my number one source when it comes to modern European literature. While you claim to possess a modest amount of education, your love and knowledge of contemporary world literature certainly excels those of your more “educated” contemporaries, (and WAY excels mine !).
    Another testimony to the quality of you blog is the sheer number of supportive responses your post has generated ! Your blog is held in high esteem by your fellow book bloggers.
    Please continue to keep up the good work !


  30. Willa
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 13:29:33

    Stu, I am so sorry you feel like this! Completely understand that you need to get it off your chest. Just want to let you know that I love your blog and that I appreciate the comments you leave at my blog. You are so well-read and always have view-point that are interesting. Keep up your great work!!


  31. winstonsdad
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 23:30:09

    Many thanks to everyone for your Kind supportive messages ,stu I am truly touched ,all the best stu


  32. Bellezza
    Feb 18, 2011 @ 02:36:29

    I find your voice, and your blog, compassionate and real. There is nothing more valuable than that.


  33. savidgereads
    Feb 22, 2011 @ 18:22:09

    I don’t think spelling and grammar matter so much (mine can be ropey on the blog as its a hobby and occasionally done in a rush or random place – grammar is meant to be my job, I have had emails from readers on my commas, seriously!) its the passion that is important and you have a huge unquestionable passion for books Stu.


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