Tuesday, 29 January 2008

The blog as book and the book as blog

The phenomenon of the blog being developed as a book is not new; publishers' attention has been drawn to blogdom for a while, and some have created an entire business from this approach. Bloggers in print often include a list of their published peers in their blogroll and the lists get longer and longer; a great way of finding new blogs you might really want to read.
And I may be very slow on the uptake, but I hadn't clocked that there are now books being published that read as if they were, in fact, blogs; a strange twist in the order of things.
I'm currently indulging in Nigel Slater's Eating for England, and it seems to me to be a food blog stuffed between hardcovers. The tiny chapters of 100-500 words are perfectly sized blog posts. There are more potential hyperlinks in it than in Wikipedia; every old fashioned biscuit and sweet, core brands like Bisto, Ribena and a hundred others are begging for realisation in a manufacturers or enthusiasts web window. You want the missing You tube links to bring to life the mock eroticism of the Cadbury's Flake and the boy scout jollity of the Jacob's Club. There are frequent references to farmers' markets, gravy, mock chocolate, toast and a host of other recurring food memories, all waiting not for a footnote but yet another link to where that ingredient was vaunted previously. And then there is the glorious cover illustration; a magic blog header if ever I saw one.
All that is missing is an array of readers comments: "I adore bourbons too", "What's wrong with tripe anyway" and "I dream of faggots every night".

See Nigel talking about his book here. If he's not related to Alan Bennett I'm a jaffa cake.


KAZ said...

Your blog always makes me hungry.
I loved Nigel's book 'Toast' - which is my favourite food.
But now you've reminded me of Jacob's Club (orange of course)..I may reconsider.

Frog in the Field said...

Dear Jaffa Cake,
I had no idea about the Blog-Type books either, you've enlightened me. I thought they would be a collection of best quotes, suppose they make sense now I think about it, must make a mental note to visit the real world sometime soon.

Swearing Mother said...

I didn't realise that people's blogs got made into books either, until it was too late and mine had become the random collection of posts that it is. I'd already made mine unbookable by my odd style which couldn't fit into any genre if it tried, unfortunately. And of course there is the swearing.

I think your blog could be a book though Mopsa, it's got a proper character which I think would make a great story about your Devon life.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

100-500 words are perfectly sized

Oops - think I've failed big time.

Mopsa said...

KAZ, I hope you are sitting by your pc with a slab of good cake by your side. Or something Ms Powter would approve of as an alternative.

Ha, FiF!Don't bother with the real world myself - far too complicated.

SM! I'd have thought your blog would have made a fab book, swearing and all - don't forget that
>my boyfriend is a twat

has just come out in the shops.

Bretwalda - I have to say that looooong blog posts have me reaching for my remote control - I head to books for sustained reading.

Richard Madeley said...

Jaffa cakes are my favourite. But are they biscuit or a cake? I can never tell.