University Required for Blogging?

Hello everybody, I have a bit of a random chat this time. But I received my first negative comment on one of my posts (figured it was about time). I don’t find myself particularly bothered by the fact that someone doesn’t like my opinion/blog whatever it may be. What I was annoyed by was the fact that they asked me about my education. They asked if I went to university because the blog post was badly written. In case you were curious it was my bookish post about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Ok, so I want to start off by saying, I don’t care that they don’t like my blog. But my personal opinion on that is: then don’t read my posts. If you have something constructive to say, go for it or disagree with me. I can take it. Implying I am uneducated isn’t helping anyone. They then went on to tell me that I lacked insight because I described the character of Sherlock Holmes as fun. According to them he is intended to be stoic.

So the real purpose of this post… What does everyone think about education and blogging about books?

I have never thought to ask a blogger about their education. Does it really matter what degree they have, or don’t have? I don’t think it changes an opinion about a book. An arts degree, for example, may influence how you analyze it or break it down. But I don’t think it changes how personal experiences evoke different emotions when reading.

The truth of it is, most people read for pure entertainment, not to sit down and discuss the themes and symbolism. In the end most people reading a review just want to know if it is worth their time. Was it entertaining? Did you learn something? Was it predictable?

In the end we all read, blog and review differently. I guess just do what you want is what it all comes down to. I know I won’t be changing anything based on that comment.

Have you guys had similar questions? How do you reply, or not?

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18 thoughts on “University Required for Blogging?”

  1. I’ve had people express surprise that I know English well since I’m Indian. I usually just hit ignore comment, click block and move on. Considering they call themselves educated and know that India was colonised their lack of common sense shocks me. Ignore such comments. Reading is for reading, it’s for fun. Their comment would make sense if you were masquerading as some sort of Pulitzer prize judge.

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  2. You’ve got to be kidding me! I agree with MyBookJacket. Kick their idiotic comment in the trash and block them. Obviously this person is a troll who has nothing to do all day except try to make other people as miserable as he or she is.😒 Education has nothing to do with this. Love of books does. Some bloggers do get more into the symbolism and other scholarly aspects of the books they review. And that’s fine. But I, like you, tend to focus on the more general things most people want to know. I was a librarian for 26 years, and the majority of patrons who came in asked for recommendations of books that were in their preferred genre, and which had interesting characters and great plots. I tend to base my blog and reviews on the way I talked to my library patrons.

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  3. I don’t blog but……

    I believe it is about sharing a passion, a common interest, a love of learning and hoping to hear about new books and authors that you haven’t tried yet.

    Actually, I think it’s an obsession and you’re all enablers.

    I mainly listen to audiobooks now, while I’m doing something with my hands.
    But every now and then I go to the basement or my office or my bedroom and visit my books. I come away feeling content having relived memories of spending time within their pages. They comfort me. I loan them to people I trust and I look forward to retirement.

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  4. I completely agree: if someone doesn’t like a blog, they don’t need to read it. And I hate that so many people feel compelled to share their negative opinions online.

    Education has nothing to do with the ability to appreciate and review books. I’d even argue that reading and reviewing is an education in itself. The only thing I don’t completely agree with you on is how education can influence appreciation of books. I have a master’s in English and creative writing, and it has had a huge influence on how I see most books now, including my emotional response to them. I don’t think that makes me in any way superior to other reviewers, it’s just something that’s had a significant effect on me as a reader because I analyze instinctively as I read now and I understand more about the writing process than I did when I was younger. But that’s still not really something I think makes my reviews all that much better, it’s just personal experience.

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    1. Ahh very fair, just a general question for you. Did you degree help you interpret what the author was trying to say a bit better, and therefore maybe you get more out of the writing itself? I don’t have university level English so I can only compare what I had learnt it high school English to reading and exploring on my own.
      On a side note for me personally I do find that as I am maturing and reading more I am getting more out of my reading as well. Thanks for your input I appreciate your point of view about English degrees. Most of my friends went into science 🙂

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      1. I think so. I’m more sensitive to grammatical techniques and meaning now. Plus, I think my understanding of the technical aspects directly affects my overall reaction to a book. If the writing bothers me, I have a very hard time forming an emotional connection to the book (though there are exceptions). I also agree that tastes change as we get older and have more books under our belts . And while I think I needed grad school to help me understand literature more and become a better writer, not everyone does. It is something you can learn with time on your own if you make that effort.

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  5. I see education/credentials for bloggers/reviewers come up every once in a while. (For example, a lot of non-bloggers commented on the Guardian’s Kathleen Hale article that “unqualified” people shouldn’t write reviews.) I’ve written my own post about this–but my general opinion is that that is garbage.

    Books (unless we’re talking about scholarly monographs and things of that sort) are written for the general public. There is absolutely no reason the general public, then, cannot have an opinion on them. This is particularly true if we’re talking about YA books. These books are written for teens–aka people who do not even yet have a high school diploma. To walk around saying people shouldn’t review them or blog about them unless they have a PhD in literature or something is absurd. These books, even books aimed at adult readers, are not written at a level that requires some kind of advanced degree to “properly” understand and discuss them.

    And, yeah, if someone doesn’t like the way a blog is written, they should probably just…not read the blog. I admit there are tons of blogs in the world I am not interested in and may even *gasp* think are badly written. But I don’t sit down and hurl my insults at the bloggers for the fun of it! I move on and read blogs I enjoy!

    (As an aside, though, I must agree with the commmenter above that education really can change your approach to reader/understanding/appreciating books. I got a BA in English and thought I was hot stuff when it came to understanding literature. Then I got an MA and realized that, as someone with just a BA, there was just so much I didn’t know! But, as I said, I hardly think this is “necessary” for reading and talking about books.)

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    1. That is all a very fair. To be honest I don’t have any education in english, so I don’t have an opinion on how it changes. I have no point of reference. I’m sure if I took classes it would change my reading, but on the other hand I don’t necessarily feel like I’m missing out drastically, I still enjoy reading and what I get out of it.
      I have considering taking some just out of curiosity and I enjoy learning, but for now I’m good with just reading strictly for entertainment.

      I also get a lot of enjoyment out of reading blogs/reviews from people of different educational or cultural backgrounds. I like different points of view, I wouldn’t only want to read reviews by scholars.
      Thanks for the comment I find it all very interesting to hear people’s different points of view on this.

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      1. I think it’s like all education. You think you know something until you learn more and you’re like “Oh, wait…” Until you reach the point where you finally realize there will always be more to learn. :p

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  6. OMGADD Can I send a thrillion of U GO GIRL ON THIS POST? Nailed it. I think that’s just unfair to judge a blogger by his credentials. I mean there are 11 years old kids who are youtuber and consider themselves bloggers. And that’s absolutely okay. Everybody should be free to express their opinions in their own ways ! And honestly its even truer for me since my posts express only my excitement and enthusiasts a lot of slangs compared to Lashaans. That’s exactly why I think blogging is greaat! You can see different personalities shining through different kind of posts and we Dont.Need.A.Bachelor. to do that 😎

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    1. Everyone has their own way of doing things, I like to be more laid back with a review. Like chatting with a friend over coffee not an essay. Just my personal preference, I do read the longer more essay type reviews when I’m interested in a book though. There is room for all of us 🙂

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  7. I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now, and have been fortunate enough not to receive any negative comments along those lines. If I did, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it, nor would I change anything about the way I write a review. As you’ve said, we all blog in our own way – wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same? I think I have a tendency to unnecessarily long sentences at times, and I’m sure that some people read my blog (I hope someone reads my blog, at least!) and think that they’d have phrased it differently. If someone doesn’t like my style of writing, they don’t have to come back 🙂

    In terms of education, I don’t think it matters at all. I studied maths at uni, which isn’t particularly useful in reviewing fiction. I did A-Level English Literature, but that’s *mumbles unintelligibly* years ago now so probably not all that relevant either. I read for fun, and blog for fun, and I don’t need a qualification for that.

    Just keep doing your thing!

    Liked by 1 person

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