When I started this blog, I thought I would focus mainly on children’s books and fantasy, which for years formed my main reading interests. And I was excited to read and review new releases from many genres. But as things developed, and I discovered more blogs and The Classics Club, I began reading and writing more about classic literature. There’s a large subset of the book blog community that focuses on classics and they reminded me of many time-honored titles I had yet to read, and some I wanted to revisit.
I was surprised to find that in general my posts about classic books were more popular than my reviews of new releases. There are exceptions — I admit to being disappointed that my carefully written review of Our Town garnered only a single comment — but others, including My Cousin Rachel (my most popular review ever), Ethan Frome, The Makioka Sisters, Armadale, and The Return of the Native got much more attention.
I had thought the opposite would be the case, as I assumed readers of blogs were primarily looking for reviews of new and unknown titles, and there would be more commenting on and discussion of these. But when I think about it, it makes sense that there’s more activity around the classics, for these reasons:
- They’ve been around longer and more people have had a chance to read them, and thus have something to say about them. New releases, by necessity, have been read by few people and there’s not much to say except “I really want to read this!”
- They’re classics for a reason; they have substance and thought-provoking content that lends itself to discussion.
- Even when they belong to the category of “Classics I hated and wish I hadn’t been forced to read,” people have a lot to say about that. (I think that’s why Ethan Frome was such a hot one.)
Some book bloggers have stopped doing reviews because they don’t get much attention. If you find that a problem, I suggest reviewing some classics (which can be from any genre or time period), connecting to the blog community that shares this interest, and seeing what happens!
Do you read and review classic literature? Do you find these posts are some of the more popular ones on your blog?