Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reading Local

A few weeks ago, my fellow Edmonton Book Bloggers and I had a discussion regarding reading local authors. It was brought up by a local author that none of us listed an Edmonton author as a favourite in Kristilyn's EBB feature post.

Personally, I don't think this is fair. Bloggers aren't paid. We do it because we love it. It's my hobby and I don't feel obligated in the least to give preferential treatment to a local author. Authors should be recognized based on individual merit and I don't care if you're from Edmonton, New York or Kenya; if you write what I enjoy, you'll get a positive review and maybe even work your way into my list of favourites.

Most of my fellow EBBs agreed that this author was way out of line, but I'd love to hear what you think. Should bloggers feel obligated to make a special effort to connect with local authors? Does this apply more if you're a member of a location-based group (ie: Edmonton Book Bloggers)?

Also, in honour of this, I'd like to share a few local reads that I did enjoy (and half the time I didn't even know they were local until after I'd finished the book):

1. Exiled and Shift by M. R. Merrick

Matt Merrick is from my hometown of Red Deer, Alberta. We went to rival high schools at slightly different times, but it doesn't really get much more local than that. Plus, the Protector series is awesome in it's own right!

2. Gate to Kandrith by Nicole Luiken

I had no idea Nicole Luiken was from Edmonton until I was putting the finishing touches on my review of Gate to Kandrith and it was a lovely surprise.

3. Icefields by Thomas Wharton

I read this one for a university english class before I started blogging, but it was my second favourite book of the class and a very interesting read. I'm really looking forward to reading his YA work.

So, there are my favourite local reads. I'd love to hear your thoughts on reading local and maybe even who your favourite local authors are.


  1. The only local author, that I'm aware of, that I've read is almost everything by Pauline Gedge. She's one of my favourite authors. I've been hearing good things about MR Merrick - so I think I'd like to check out those books sometime soon. :)

  2. I agree with you that the author was out of line. You should list books because you like them, and not because the author is local.

  3. Yes! Just because I live in a city AND am a book blogger doesn't mean I must read local. I do feel like I should give some local authors a try, though, since I do work with books and volunteer with books and BLOG about books, but I'll do my own choosing, thank you very much. :)

  4. haha, NO WAY! That is such a coincidence that you and M.R. Merrick went to rival high schools. Glad you didn't have ill feelings for their book because of that!

    Aaannnd I completely agree with what you have to say. It is very important to me that I actually ENJOY my blogging experience and read the books that I want to read. It isn't supposed to be assigned homework. It's supposed to be fun! If I did read really positive reviews of a local read (like the three above) though, then it would definitely be an added incentive to reading it, I think.

  5. The thing that really bugged me about this "authors" comment is that I *have* read and reviewed (and even did a giveaway) of two local authors. This author was judging us based on how we answered Kristilyn's answers, not on our actual blog content. Just because my top 3 favorite author's not a local writer, doesn't mean I don't read local. Argh, this still hits a sore spot with me! Lol.