Gertrude: So, ladies, the topic for today is the legitimacy of non-professional, romance-reviewing book bloggers on the internet....
Ditzy: Bertha, turn up your hearing aid, sweetie.
Gretel: That's the topic? I thought we were discussing Oscar, the dachshund who lives on Lewis Street....
Heidi: Ha! Oscar is such a horn dog, isn't he?
Gertrude: Ladies! Please! This is a serious topic. Try to focus. Ada, what is your opinion about the validity of non-professional reviews?
Ada: What an asinine question. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. How does one go about becoming a "professional" reviewer, anyway?
Brigitte: Is there a doctorate program at Yale for romance reviewing? I would love that.
Gertrude: No, I'm sorry Brigitte. There is not a doctorate program at Yale for romance reviewing.
Brunhild: Ada is right. This is an asinine topic.
Gertrude: Well, what exactly do we think are appropriate credentials for romance reviewing?
Bertha: The ability to read?
Gretchen: Chintz wallpaper and bowls of potpourri in the bathroom.
Brunhild: I took a Russian novel class at Vassar.....does that count?
Elise: I'm wearing glasses....I look very professional.
Frieda: Wearing glasses does not make you a professional book blogger, Elise. You have to get paid to be a professional.
Elise: Paid? Who is getting paid for this? Certainly not I. Could you please pass a doggie biscuit?
Gertrude: Frieda is correct. True "professionals" are paid for their opinions. For example, a reviewer for the New York Times, or something along those lines.
Gretchen: Well, I have read thousands of romance novels, I have a degree in English Literature from an ivy league university, and I wear pearls and pumps every day of my life. Just because I don't get paid for my reviews doesn't negate my opinion. I consider myself a "true professional."
Hedy: I'm a romance writer. That makes me a pretty good judge of romance writing, I suppose.
All the doxies laugh uproariously!
Gertrude: (Rubs a tear from her eye). Oh, good one, Hedy! Seriously, girls, any other opinions?
Elise: I like Oscar. I don't mind that he's a horn dog.
Brigitte: Well, there are some professional reviewers I really like and respect. But also some I disagree with. Same with the "amateur" book bloggers/reviewers. I don't think it matters if someone is being paid or not. Everyone has his or her own opinion, and sometimes I agree and sometimes I don't. I heard Oscar is seeing Lucy, the golden retriever who lives on Avon Avenue.
Gertrude: Any other thoughts on the subject? About book blogging, not Oscar.
Brunhild: I agree with Brigette. Whether or not a reviewer is "professional," i.e. getting paid for reviews, is neither here nor there. The book blogging community is providing an invaluable service to romance readers world-wide. They read. They opinionate. They entertain. They argue. They post photos of naked men....
Gertrude: Oh! Brunhild! Please attempt to stick to the topic at hand. Although I must admit that I enjoy photos of Daniel Craig in those boy-short swim trunks just as much as the next dachshund, that's not really the point of this roundtable discussion.
Ditzy: Anyone can leave a review at Amazon or Goodreads or any other variety of places. Those folks are not getting paid, but are encouraged to leave reviews of books they've read. So who really cares?
Gertrude: Good question. Evidently, some folks do care. Not that those opinions will stifle our book blogging activities in the slightest. I, for one, am looking forward to reviewing Dogs and Goddesses in the near future. It has a hyperactive Jack Russell, a placid Newfoundland, and....get this....a neurotic dachshund. Ha! Neurotic!
Heidi: Why are dachshunds always portrayed as neurotic? That really peeves me off!
Elise: Well, I think we should all adopt glasses, pearls and pumps. We'll look like professional reviewers, even if we're just romance-reading weenie dogs. Hear me, sistahs?
Gertrude: We could also get license plates that say B-YOTCH BLGGR.
Gretchen: Love....it! I want one!
Gertrude: All right, Ladies. This will conclude our latest roundtable discussion. All in favor of posting naked photos of Oscar on our blogs, please raise your right front paw!
Ruff, ruff, ruffity ruff ruff!!!!!