Bookstooge | A Reviewer of One




In 2001 the United States of America’s Army changed their official slogan from Be All You Can Be to the rebel macho, yet still working for The Man, An Army of One.  I have to admit, I never understood why they changed it. I’ve got mentors, friends and proteges [at least in my mind] who have all been in one branch or another of the Armed Forces so I have a passing familiarity with the military beyond what I read in SF. The overwhelming impression that I’ve gotten is one of teamwork and cogs in a huge machine that just can’t be stopped. There are specialized parts, ie, the Special Forces for various branches, but even they just don’t go out and shoot people willy nilly because they can. Or even if I want them to. Which is kind of sad, because I have to tell you folks, I would make a GREAT military dictator.


In fact, if you decode the picture above, it actually says “Bookstooge would be a Great Dictator”. I guess Charlie was just ahead of his time.

Now, all of that just to introduce what I actually want to talk about. Co-Blogging.

I was talking about this very lightly with Miss Abigail on one of her posts where she mentioned it and I was decrying how I could never do that, etc, etc. Afterwards, I started thinking about it a bit more seriously. Here on WP I follow several sites that have 2 or more writers and from what I can see, it works out pretty well:

  1. The Ladies from Bibliosanctum
  2. PcBushi and his various Bushi’s
  3. Lashaan & Trang at Bookidote
  4. Brothers Robert & Jared at Reading over the Shoulder


I was realizing that it is more than the fact that I am a control freak, must have things on a schedule and only want “Yes sir, yes sir” posts that push me away from Co-blogging. The first, and biggest, is the fact that I initially set this blog up to simply record what I read. I actually started on Blogger in ’05 and that was a carry over from a paper notebook from ’00. I copied my blogspot to wordpress just as a backup [you’ll soon get the idea that I’m pretty paranoid about info disappearing] and in the last couple of years have started blogging socially right along with my book reviews. But everything is geared specifically towards me, Bookstooge.

Mrs Bookstooge is a big reader as well, but she tends to read fan translated chinese/korean/japanese stories, what I’d classify as “light novels”. She has NO interest in reviewing. I got her to join Booklikes in ’14 and that lasted for about a month before she just let it lapse. I don’t think I could let her into my blog here because my expectations would be a weekly post and she just isn’t geared that way. This is literally “my” blog.

With that in mind, I started thinking of scenarios where I would be comfortable co-blogging. Honestly, I got lost after about 30 seconds of thinking. I wouldn’t want someone who is JUST like me because that would be wicked boring for the readers. I wouldn’t want someone who is so different that I’m constantly consigning them to the stygian infernal pits. ‘Cause man, that gets very stress inducing very fast.



Also, for all that I like schedules and order, I get pretty stressed out if I feel like I “have to” do something. I never review, or blog, when I don’t want to. I just have enough words bubbling out of me that I want to write several times a week. But put me on a schedule and poof, I’d dry right up. And what happens if I get in a fight with my co-blogger? Because I get in tiffs with everyone online. That is one of the reasons I limit the number of people I follow.

So for me to do co-blogging I’d have to start a new “project co-blog” blog, find someone who I get along with 99% of the time and most importantly, find someone who isn’t quite as brilliant as me because I can get insanely jealous and if their posts got more likes than mine, I’d go into sulks and probably quit. Really, I’m just a big baby.

And that sums up pretty well why Bookstooge will probably always be a Reviewer of One. Thanks for putting up with my ramblings.

*this message approved by Abraham Lincoln*



28 thoughts on “Bookstooge | A Reviewer of One

  1. Haha, various Bushi’s!

    It’s not for everyone. At my last blog, I had occasional guest writers. This time around I invited my buddy to contribute when he feels like it…and then a fellow nerd/Twitter friend of mine was looking for someplace to work his atrophied writing muscles, so…it just kind of happened. I just tell them to post when they feel like it, and I know them well enough (I think) that they won’t put up anything too out there or far removed from our themes.

    I know some blogs, like Castalia House, have pretty strict schedules that they work around.

    Whatever works!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really enjoy how it has worked out at your site. I never know if I’m going to get a political post, a book review or a picture of a guitar 🙂 or something else. The mystery….


  2. Ya, we started off co-blogging. I don’t know if I could really let someone else in as an equal partner later on.

    At least from my perspective, it’s been a regular excuse and reminder to talk with each other. We’re thousands of miles apart so even monthly posts were enough for me to keep it going. No post quotas, but there had to be feedback and participation or it would feel like talking to a wall.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess I’m much the same way, so I understand where you’re coming from. On one hand, it would be nice to “share” blogging duties with someone, but on the other hand, my sphincter would painfully slam shut every time a review didn’t meet my high standards. Heck, my sphincter slams shut when one of MY reviews doesn’t meet my high standards!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hahaha yeah, I’d be pretty bummed too if a co-blogger got more likes than me on a regular basis. I tried featuring a fellow bookseller, but she didn’t write with any consistency. My husband loves the same genres I do and majored in English, so he’d be ideal, but he’d almost always rather play video games than read. I’d don’t think I’d ever give up control, anyway haha. They’d have to play by my rules and be reliable and that’s a difficult combo to find. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Have often thought of this, though would be difficult to find someone from the ranks I’m familiar with who would fit, since (a) they’d have to NOT be a book snob, (b) it would sure help if they also were sufficiently interested in movies to contribute on that front, as well, and (c) they’d have to adopt the same format, which is basically the extended capsule review. And, of course, their opinions would have to be reasonable, so no great reviews for self-published drivel or movies like Howard the Damn Duck. Given all that, though, it’d be great, since I’d rather my site was a guide more than a blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just had an image of some teen writing with you and absolutely raving about HowardtheDuck. I suspect it might give you a heart attack.

      Finding people who “we” would accept as co-bloggers seems so vanishingly small. Which is why I listed those who seem to have pulled it off. It impresses me to no end when it works…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not just a teen. I recall that Mr. Lorn — he of much self-published drivel — liked to rave about Howard the Duck on BL. He’s also the guy who once admitted that he essentially re-wrote books in his head to suit his own fantasies, then went ahead and reviewed them! : -)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh man, if you and Lorn teamed up, it would be a comedic tragedy of epic proportions. I’ve never felt inclined to read any of his stuff and I never followed him, but I did read one or two of his posts and I have to agree with your feelings 😀


  6. haha I’m sure you would make a great dictator 😉 never let humanity get in the way of that ambition 😉 Ah I know what you mean about co-authoring- for me it’s less to do with being a control freak and more that I don’t work so well in a team (aka I tend to take over in group projects and just do all the work myself- which I suppose is a bit of a control freak thing to do…?) And I get what you mean about starting the blog so you can voice *your* thoughts- that’s what I feel about mine too- I started it so I’d have somewhere to share my honest opinions about books- it would kind of defeat the object if someone else was there. And I wouldn’t want to do anything when I *had to* do it (one of the reasons I don’t do ARCs) Basically- I’m like you!! Don’t think I could ever do a collab for an entire blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I might have thought I could do the schedule thing 2 year ago, but the tail end of 14 and 15, Netgalley showed me that reviewing because I had to sucked the joy right out of reading and reviewing. Free books weren’t worth the soul suck.

      So here is my promise to you: I will never try a collaboration with you 🙂
      We’ll both be much happier people…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant rambling! Thanks for the shout-out, btw. In all honesty, I completely understand all your concerns regarding co-blogging. Bookidote was brought to life just around the same time when I JUST started to re-immerse myself in literature. I used to not read much fiction (just non-fiction related to my field of study) because I had absolutely NOBODY in real life to share my thoughts/impression/love/hate on books. With my co-blogger, who also helped me rekindle my love for books, we ended up creating Bookidote and started reviewing anything we read. I quickly realized that our posts are 100% DIFFERENT whether its because of the type of book we review or just simply our writing styles. Our partnership turned out to be a perfect combo of different styles that just seems to work with the WordPress community. Scheduling is definitely a complicated thing when co-blogging since we both have our own lives, but I guess my leniency on her ability to publish according to our fixed schedule has helped us in not bringing down Bookidote. In the end, co-blogging would definitely be a bitch if your co-blogger’s commitment is far too different from yours. If my co-blogger were to stop writing up posts for Bookidote, I’d probably decide to be a lone wolf in the whole blogging world. Bookidote would become a virtual journal and I’ll probably grow a similar paranoia as yours as to the sudden disappearance of my content. 😀

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

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