Hmm, so I hear from Dear Author that Laurie Gold is feeling rather blue because she's not getting the usual amount of votes for the All About Romance annual poll and she also doesn't understand why bloggers aren't talking about the poll. Well, just spreading the word here - if you have some time to spare, go fill out the ballot form at AAR.
This has me thinking. I personally never cared for polls since they always seem to be popularity contests than anything else, so I have never participated in any of them. In fact, most of the time I can't remember on the spot my favorite books of the year. Sometimes I thought I liked this book, only to remember that the book came out a year before and therefore didn't qualify for the poll - that kind of thing. Other times I'm like, "That book... that book... what is it called?" only to remember the answer much later when I'm doing something else like stirring the soup. And by that time I'm not in the mood to go back and redo the poll all over again.
But what do such polls (not just the AAR one, but any other polls on romance books) mean to other people? I know my taste rarely gel with many people - especially AAR regulars since I can pretty much guess that some familiar favorite names will end up topping the polls every year and many of these favorites aren't mine by a long shot - so the polls don't really elicit anything from me other than a passing curiosity as to whether Suzanne Brockmann still wins every category she's eligible for, heh. These last few years I visit AAR less and less because I realize that their newest generation of reviewers have tastes that are very different from mine. The times I look up their review of a book I've read confirm this: what these reviewers are looking for in their books are different from what I'm looking for. No big deal.
Also, and I hesitate to say this because I like the site and the principles behind the founding the site, I wish AAR is a little bit more... cutting edge, if I may say so. Back in the 1990s, it was one of the handful of non-fluff review sites and I remembered the site as one to visit to discover new authors. But since then, AAR don't review ebooks. They rarely, if ever, review AA romances, much less MM stories. Erotic romances tended to elicit "Eeeuw, anal sex!" reactions from their reviewers. I still scratch my head over their review of Collette Gale's Unmasqued, mind you, where the reviewer complained that the opera chorus girl sleeping with a patron is a sign of immorality. I'd think folks who are big on historical accuracy will realize that such behavior is actually quite common - expected, even - among opera singers back in those days. Dare I say it? AAR seems to have drifted as far away from me as can be when it comes to what we think, see, and look for in romance novels.
Is there a point to this blog entry? None, really. Just my thoughts about AAR that started with the poll thing.