This is BiblioBuffet’s registered (®) mission statement. It is what underlies and defines the columns and other pieces you read. But what does it really mean for you?
First, that the writing we publish is worth the time you spend reading it. How do we find the writers that you read, that think meet the standard of “writing worth reading”? They come to our site came to us in one of three ways: a query, a recommendation, or by invitation. Nicki Leone, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, and Laine Farley were invited; I had met Nicki and Lauren on a now-defunct readers’ discussion forum to which we had all belonged. I met Laine when I was researching sites and blogs about bookmarks (a new hobby at the time), came across her blog and sent her an invitation as soon as I finished reading it. Lev Raphael came through a personal recommendation from Nicki. Lindsay Champion, Pete Croatto, David Mitchell, and Gillian Polack queried us with letters that seduced us with their writing and their proposals. In all cases, they proved upfront that they could write well, that they were committed to producing excellent writing and to the editing that would help them achieve that level, and that they had ideas that jump-started our literary pulses. In turn, each of them was attracted to the “playground” BiblioBuffet offers its writers, the freedom to write what they want and how they want (because it isn’t yet, I am sorry to say, the pay).
Having worked with editors—good, mediocre, even one truly horrific one in the past—I developed a sense of how I believe the relationship between editors and writers should work. I believe that an editor’s work should never been seen in a writer’s column. I also believe that when good writers are provided a respectful and agreeable place where they have the freedom to be themselves and have fun doing it the result will be nothing short of great. And so it has proved.
The second part of the equation that makes up our mission statement is that the books we talk about are ones we believe should be on your reading list. These are for the most part great books that for a reason stood a bit higher with our reviewers than other great books because they choose to write about them. Every reviewer at BiblioBuffet and elsewhere has stacks of books that come in. Sadly, there simply isn’t time or space to take them all on, but we do what we can. We share the books that have touched us, and that we think will be important to you too.
Of course the ones we review or talk about are not the only great books out there. With hundreds of thousands of titles being turned out per year, BiblioBuffet would have to have a couple of hundred reviewers writing daily to cover even a respectful minority. Since we will never have that—and wouldn’t even if we somehow could—you see only a ridiculously tiny number getting attention. It is a problem that has been discussed repeatedly. Ideas for getting more reviews out there have been proposed, but none as yet has met the criterion of “writing worth reading.” Because we feel that if you are generous enough to give us your time and attention that you deserve our time and attention too. We can’t give you both quality and quantity. BiblioBuffet chooses to offer quality, that is, “writing worth reading” and “reading worth writing about.”