Thursday, September 30, 2010

Good News - Bad News

First....the Bad News:

Since I returned from vacation about two weeks ago, I'm been on a reading roller-coaster.  I've had periods of intense reading where I didn't come up for air (figuratively) for almost 24 hours, then I had two or three different days where I would pick up a book, read about 10 pages, loose interest (or fall asleep) and go to the next book, only to repeat the evolution.  One day I started and abandoned 6 different books!!

In the meantime, the To Be Read pile has morphed into a tower that threatens to bury any cat who comes with a three foot radius of it.  Gaps between posts both here on the blog, and on Library Thing widened (it's now been almost five days since I had two cents worth of energy to speak about books far less compose anything worth saying), my blog feeder has approached the point where I expect to get a notice saying I've exceeded some sort of limit on unread posts (there are over 1000) and I find myself contemplating going on permanent vacation from reviewing, blogging or doing anything but just plain reading.

Now.....the good news.
  • I've given myself permission to build a bridge and get over it. 
  • I'm once again reading like a fool and enjoying it.
  • I've actually written a couple of reviews and scheduled them to post.
What caused this turnaround???

After having read 125+ books so far this year, I was getting tired....tired of having to choose from at least 10 books I wanted to read right now and say this comes next, tired of having to read something because it had to be reviewed, tired of reading something because the book club chose it (I belonged to 4 different clubs), and tired of my pile growing taller and taller and time growing shorter and shorter.  I think part of it might be seasonal.  As the days grow shorter, and there is less warm sunshine, it feels like I have less time every day to accomplish anything. But, then as I was trying to catch up on emails and my blog feeder, I came across two very inspirational tidbits.  This first is a blog post on Tartz called Blogging without obligation.  This is  a movement that started a few years ago, and in her post, Tiffini challenges us with some wonderfully empowering encouragement, e.g.
  • Because sometimes less is more.
  • Because only blogging when you feel truly inspired keeps up the integrity of your blog.
  • Because they are probably not going to inscribe your stat, link and comment numbers on your tombstone.
  • Because for most of us blogging is just a hobby. A way to express yourself and connect with others. You should not have to apologize for lapses in posts. Just take a step back and enjoy life, not everything you do has to be “bloggable”.
  • Because if you blog without obligation you will naturally keep your blog around longer, because it won’t be a chore. Plus, just think you will be doing your part to eradicate post pollution. One post at a time. . .
Don't you just love this concept?  This is one of those AHA moments.  Thank you thank you Tiffini.  I love the button, and I especially love that she has 'released' all her thoughts to the public domain.

The next day I saw an interview published in Shelf Awareness with Nancy Pearl of NPR fame, where she said: 
Do you feel pressure when you read a book?

I think that I try to avoid that like the plague, but it's true that every time I read a book I try to figure out what kind of reader would like it, and why I do or don't like it myself. When you're talking about books on a professional basis, it changes the nature of your reading--it's no longer a purely personal response.

I took both these inspirational moments and let them sit for a few days, and now feel like I'm back on the reading track I love so much.  So even though there are several review copies I'm dying to get to, I'm going to be mixing them in with some other books that just jump out of the pile, off the shelf, or appear on my reading table all by themselves.  From now to at least the end of the year, I'm giving myself permission to read what I WANT TO READ, not what I have to read.

I don't ever want my blogging to be anything more than a personal response to a writer's words.  That's why readers read book blogs.  If we want professional reviews we can read Booklist and Library Journal and Publisher's Weekly, etc., etc., etc.

This is supposed to be my Two Cents-because reading is supposed to be fun....and that's still the good news!


  1. I know how you feel. I've been trying to read only the review copies I have and now I'm going to start reading for fun again. I work in a library as well and I need to keep up with the current things as well as the old things that have yet to be discovered. I too was inspired by Nancy Perl's words. Let the reading begin.

  2. I'm nodding my head YES as I read this. I totally know how you feel Tina. Good for you for acting.

  3. That's why I don't enter challenges, nor do I blog every day. If it becomes a "have to" job, then I won't enjoy it and what would be the point?

  4. Good for you! There's no point in blogging if you're not having fun.

  5. I have not heard of the Blog without Obligation movement, but I'm going to join as soon as I'm done commenting here. This is something I subscribe to on my own blog and it is why I don't take many books for review. It has to be something I already wanted to read or something that sounds especially intriguing. I only want to read books I want to read. And I only want to blog, when I feel I have something valuable to say or share. I love the comment about "post pollution". I say AMEN!

  6. certainly I read differently than I did before I started blogging..and I am not sure it is for the better.
    and I certainly know about that tower of TBR books, threatening my imaginary kitty, Kitty.

    maybe it is just a too long summer, but sometimes I consider a blogging sabbatical...sigh....

  7. I definitely agree that you should read only what you want to.

    That's why this year I decided to slow down from the 150+ pace of last year to a calmer 120 if I make pace in 2010.

    Just remember to save all the good ones for me!

    Cheli's Shelves


Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Now that you've heard our two cents, perhaps you have a few pennies to throw into the discussion. Due to a bunch more anonymous spam getting through, I've had to disallow anonymous comments. I try to respond to all comments posing a question, but may not always get to you right away.