You may have noticed lately that I’ve been a bit absent from the blog. I’ve been thinking through how I feel about reviewing (and blogging and tracking my reading) because I’ve been doing it faithfully for literally half my life. My estimate is that in that time, I might have missed reviewing about 10 books… most of which are recent misses. That’s not a streak I’m excited to see broken!
But as I’ve ramped up to full time at work — which has been a long trek, because I’m self-employed and it’s been a matter of finding people I trust to work with, and work that I enjoy doing (spoiler: I did not enjoy doing transcription) — and as I’ve been studying for my MSc, I’ve had less and less leisure time. At first, I was trying to cram in as much as possible to that leisure time by setting myself targets, making lists, trying to do all the things I did before in half the time.
Needless to say, that was a bad idea. Much as I’ve enjoyed reading, reviewing, doing blog posts, crocheting, playing video games, learning languages, doing online courses… and all the other things I tried to strictly schedule in, once you’re doing it like that it’s work too. I was never getting any time off.
So recently I’ve been slimming everything down, and one of the things I cut out was the obligation to get reviews written on time. Which has meant they haven’t been written at all, or sometimes that when they’re written, I haven’t gone ahead and posted them.
I don’t think I’m going to abandon this blog and reviewing the books I read. But I will be changing things up a bit: I don’t know if folks noticed recently that, with fiction books at least, I did more work on recapping what the book is about — I was trying to write the kind of review that I see being popular elsewhere, and maybe give readers a bit more information on the book rather than my impressions. But I’ve never been that kind of reviewer, and it doesn’t come naturally to me. I prefer to be short and sweet! So I will go back to whatever feels natural for the book I’m describing, rather than trying to recapitulate the summary in an interesting way.
In the end, what I need to go back to is reviews being for me. Those are the reviews most people followed me for, anyway! I need to stop worrying about networking and getting visits and yes, getting ARCs. I think all of this will be more enjoyable for you guys if I’m enjoying it too.
So! What this means practically is just one thing: I’ll be catching up soon, and that might mean a spate of reviews here and there whenever I have energy, as I try to get back up to speed. It might also mean that now and then I won’t review a book, especially if it’s the umpteenth time… or if I do, I might only post it on Litsy or Goodreads. Otherwise, should be business as usual here!
The past year has been exhausting for everyone, so by the way, I fully understand if folks lurk, don’t comment back if I visit, don’t post for months and then post a bit, don’t review, review a lot… whatever’s getting you through. Reminder that this is a hobby for most of us and it should be fun!
Lots of love,
Nicky / The Bibliophibian