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Darnit! Reading about what "book bloggers" are reading and what's on their TBR pile are my favorite posts! Forget all that literary criticism. I want to know what decidedly-not-highbrow folks like myself think of a book. Blog away!


I'm definitely in the pooter category myself and I don't care one bit what Rachel Cooke thinks of us.

I think "Pooter Lives" is a play on "Frodo Lives," which I know from bathroom stall graffiti, not from actually reading Tolkien. :)


You know, I'm just as lost as you are, Danielle. I actually Googled "pooter" after reading her article and came up with several definitions, the main one being a slang term for female genitalia. But that's the American definition, and since Cooke is from Britain, I think she meant something else entirely. At least I hope she did. I also came up with a website that sells cute stuffed animals, and from what I could tell, the creatures were called Pooters. Beyond that, I lost interest, but it's obviously not a compliment. But don't let Cooke tell you what's cool. I prefer the homey, down-to-earth blogs anyway. I'm a proud pooter and you should be too!

See? We can make pooter-ism work in our favor! Maybe all the pooters should form a football team: the Blogville Pooters. We'd go undefeated!

Dorothy W.

I don't get the Pooter reference either (and I'm curious! must continue Brandon's research). I love the kind of book chat I find on your blog, Danielle, and I know tons of other people do too! Your enthusiasm is infectious. And I think it's fun to hear about how people read, how they manage all their books, about TBR piles and reading plans. And I like certain kinds of academic criticism too -- those things aren't mutually exclusive by any means, as you point out, and I don't get why people insist on looking down their noses at chatty book talk. They are missing out. Not everybody has to think the way we do, fine, but there's no need to criticize our love of book lists!

Book blogs are so great because people can write and read about books in ways they couldn't before -- in formal and informal ways, and I think that should be celebrated, not condemned.


Adrienne--I rather enjoy those sorts of posts, too (can you tell by the predominence of them here). I like all sorts of writing and blogs. I pretty much dismissed everything that was said until I was starting to write my post today and thought...okay, here I am writing about exactly the sort of stuff she disdains! Oh well, I don't think she was ever one of my readers anyway! Ha.
Susan--I had never even heard of Rachel Cooke until all this--I guess that doesn't say much about her either. I have never read any Tolkien either, so I am not surprised I have missed any reference to it!
Brandon--Man, I better be careful if I ever use "pooter" again, eh--I don't think I will, though! This was all just too weird. It seems to me that blogs are meant to be sort of Home-y and very personal--that's what makes them interesting.

Dorothy W.

Got it. Check this out:


I totally agree with everything Adrienne and Dorothy W. said. I find your blog exceedingly interesting and I, too, love to hear about what people are reading and how they make plans for reading with lists, challenges, etc. Way more interesting than the Sunday NY Times Book Review for instance, which I take with a grain of salt anyway. A critic has never influenced whether or not I've read a book, but I sure have gotten some good suggestions by some fun book blogs.


Dorothy--Maybe one of our British friends can elighten us as to the Pooter reference. I'm not even sure where all this came from. I don't think anyone sees blogs as possibly taking the place of criticism, it is just another creative outlet. And it makes literature and reading accessible to a wide range of people--what can be bad about that. I think I have refined my reading tastes and learned a great deal about literature through blogs (as well as other sources). There is an amazing variety of people out there talking books--from the general reader to people in publishing, academics, even authors themselves. I see it as a great tool personally--and a smart person takes advantage of all the sources he/she can!


Dorothy--Oh how fitting...diary of a Nobody. Now that is quite nasty, isn't it! Thanks for the reference...must read more!
Camille--thanks for the nice words. You know quite often a reviewer will turn me off a book rather than on to one, whereas I often get more reading suggestions from other bloggers--as usually they are quite enthusiastic in what they are reading. After reading someone for a while you get to know and trust what they read. I suppose if you read reviewers enough it is the same, too, but I admit I don't read as many professional reviews as many other people.


Ah Danielle and that's exactly why I keep coming to your blog. I want to know what new books you've discovered, I want to hear from someone else who sighs when they have to return books to the library unread, and on and on. I hope you aren't planning to change a thing because your blog is perfect as it is.

Lazy Cow

I'm adding my agreement to the previous bloggers'comments. I love reading about your reading experiences! Often straight review book blogs are too dry for me (though the writing often is very good). I like to know a person's state of mind while they are reading, how they fit their lives around reading, even what they eat while they're reading. In short, the minutae that newspaper editors would obviously find unpublishable!


yeah, what they all said & more, Danielle! You're the only book blog I read I say keep up the great work! Remember that one of the reasons we read is to know that we're not alone out there.


Well this is why these people make me REALLY angry (I seem to be having a tantrum week) when their silly posturings end up making wonderful bloggers like you feel you ought to apologise for your site!!!! Don't even go there. It's a very ugly ploy by the papers to whip up a row and thereby make some more revenue for themselves. We should all be ignoring them and getting on with the kind of immediate, engaging and honest blogging that's obviously got them rattled. I mean, fancy thinking yourself so very clever, and then finding out that the public is far more interested in the way a blogger describes so lusciously the oontents of their night stand! We flock in droves to your site, Danielle, because the way you do it is special, and we love it.


I enjoy your blog tremendously, Danielle. You are an enthusiastic reader and you're also a brave one--willing to try a new author or genre, willing to read classics, and willing to keep on reading even when the TBR stack never seems to get smaller.

I adore Persuasion (along with all of Jane Austen's works) and look forward to your impression. I've never had much interest in Virginia Woolf, but as my youngest daughter is named Clarissa, I now have a desire to see exactly what kind of literary character Clarissa Dalloway is. (I didn't name her after anyone in particular, but the only other literary Clarissa I know is Samuel Richardson's.)

I want to know what real people thing about books, and I enjoy reading about the common experiences we readers share. I think I'd give up the "professional" criticism before I'd give up that!


Well dear ones, allow me to enlighten you from this side of the pond! Dorothy is absolutely right about the Diary of a Nobody Reference, BUT a pooter is also someone who "farts around", is "annoying", "foolish", and "fritters away time" (loads of different dictionary definitions for all of these, so won't bore you with the tedium of references, you get the picture). So, that's put us all in our places hasn't it?!

Danielle, you have a great blog, so you just keep doing what you're doing!


The Dalloways are in The Voyage Out? I had not idea! I love Mrs. Dalloway and thanks to you I am now very interested in reading Voyage Out. I love Woolf but had no plans to get to that particular book any time soon. Now I will. And I love it when books "cross in the night."

As to the whole pooter thing, I had no idea what it was either but I think along with Brandon's football team we could wear buttons that say "proud pooter"


Thanks for the many kind words everyone. I don't plan on changing what I am doing, but all this craziness did give me a moment of pause. I suspect there are more "pooters" out there than those who started all this anyway--so maybe they should beware...hasn't J. Sutherland just written a book? Hmm. Writers need readers, but frankly there are plenty of other writers out there I would rather spend my time and money on.
Karen--I am loving Persuasion! I want to pick that one up more than any other book at the moment, but I am making myself read slowly!
Stefanie--Yes the Dalloways where on the Continent when the steamer came into port at Portugal. I think they are going to be the impetus for Rachel (our "heroine") to change her life--she seems to be sittin there "ripe" for something to happen. Clarissa and Richard are quite elegant, definitely upper crust. They are both nice, but when they are alone they sort of look down on Helen and her husband--Rachel's aunt and uncle--as being sort of crude. I really wanted to read this, but when I started I had a hard time getting into it initially, but now that I have read a bit, I am enjoying it--curious to see where it is all going to lead!! I am really looking forward to reading more Woolf!


Unedifying? Never! Banal? Rubbish! If it weren't for you and many others writing wonderful blogs about literature and reading, I would feel quite lonely in my book obsession. Keep up the good work! Oh, and Persuasion is a wonderful novel!


I haven't read all the comments, so maybe I am repeating, but did you know that The Book Depository mentions your blog in the editors corner?

Carl V.

That artilce is one of the most assinine things I have ever read. And while I was initially annoyed by it I have now chosen to take comfort in the fact that many of these so called 'brilliant' (i.e. 'paid') people are really social inept when it comes to functioning in the day to day world. I for one would rather hear and average joe, or average jane, post enthusiastically about their latest literary passion in words that haven't been run through a million edits.

And just for encouragement, it was you and your blog that really promoted big changes on my site. Although I reviewed books occassionally I never considered my site litblog, still don't, but when I stumbled across here it changed much of the focus of my site and fueled a new joy in blogging. Every day that I read blogs (which is almost every day) I come to your site and read your latest...and I always appreciate your joy...and then use your site as the central hub of almost all my litblog reading by going down your links list. Through you I've 'discovered' many new book friends and I am beyond thankful. Don't get down on yourself, you're doing a good thing. As long as you enjoy it, who cares what the elitists think.


Ditto everything! Don't ever change, Danielle!


I agree with everyone, book blogs are more fun when there are TBR lists-- that is how I have discovered many great books.

Amanda :)


Pooters Rule!


I guess that makes me a pooter, too! Honestly, if I want to read a dry literary critique, I'll turn to the book reviews or the more (ahem) 'serious' book/lit bloggers. What I enjoy about writing my blog and reading others is the sense that we are just chatting about our shared passion, nothing too formal.

So keep on talking about your TBR pile, you'll have a lot of sympathetic (and interested) folks out here in blogworld. :)


You are my first blog visit every morning when i come into work, and I always look forward to see what you are reading. When an individual reviewer posts I know that most times one is receiving something heart felt, and not merely the edge of a well-ground axe. Keep posting, I will keep reading! Proud to be a Pooter!


I see you have already had Pooter explained but I do urge you to get hold of Diary of a Nobody by Grossmith. It is one of the funniest books I know (after Three Men in a Boat, another Victorian gem). I note in your previous post you are going to be reading A Christmas Carol for the first time. Wonderful wonderful. I read this every Christmas and simply love it.
I have written about blog power over on my and more power to our collective elbows say I

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