Why am I doing this again?

I haven’t posted anything in four months…

I think everyone with a blog runs into this situation every now and again. Posting starts to become a chore and I wonder, why I’m doing this again? When I first started this blog, four and a half years ago, I had a specific reason for doing so. I was intimidated by writing in general, thinking it the domain of wordsmiths and geniuses, so I thought that writing in a pressure-free environment would allow me to grow more comfortable with it. It worked. 🙂 This blog as also helped me to expand my love of books to the point that my to-read list is impossibly long and occasionally overwhelming. I’ve gotten a lot out of doing this and I’m amazed I managed to stick with it for so long with my short attention span. I’m feeling just a little bit proud of myself.

Ah, so now you’re probably expecting me to announce that I’ll be giving up the blog, that I don’t have the time or the interest in keeping it going anymore…

Never fear! I’m not going anywhere. I needed a break, sure. I needed to reassess what I want this blog to be now. So, I will be making a few changes to better reflect my current interests and to make it as easy as possible. Easier blogging will help with my little procrastination problem. I’ll be giving the blog a new look and focusing on slightly shorter posts. On some occasions in the past I was reaching a bit to find enough to talk about with certain books, so instead of me trying to fill a certain word quota, some posts will be short, some will be long, and some I’ll condense into quick review lists. These lists will work best for books that I don’t have any strong opinions about. It will also allow me to read more books without having pending reviews piling up on me.

In addition to the usual book reviews, I’d like to try to find some room for more Off the Shelf posts to break things up a little. And, if I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I might convince myself to post a wee bit of creative writing here as well. Like so many other book lovers, I have certain writing-related aspirations. I also have very little confidence in my abilities and so much to learn.

With all of these changes, please forgive any layout weirdness that may occur in my older posts. Each layout works a bit differently and things that centered nicely in the old layout don’t work as well in the new one, and it will take time to correct things. But for the first time in months, I’m getting excited about this blog again! I’m not sure where I’m headed, but that’s half the fun isn’t it? New posts and a new layout coming soon! Until next time…

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I got a nook for Christmas!

nookNow, I know e-readers aren’t a new thing anymore, but that doesn’t make me any less excited! This means that I’ll be doing more indie reviews in the near future. I’ve wanted to review more independent publications as a way of paying it forward, since, someday in the future, I just might manage to write something worth self-publishing. Whenever that happens, I would like people to read and review my work as well. The tricky thing will be sifting through the not-so-ready-to-be-published titles and finding the authors who really took the time to do it right, so if anyone has any recommendations for me please let me know!

I’m also looking forward to being able to read really long, and therefore quite heavy, books, like Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart, without having it dig into my legs while I read it. As much as I prefer the real thing, this little device will come in quite handy.

The holidays have delayed me a bit, but I’ve got several new reviews coming up soon! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season! And I wish you happy reading in the new year! 🙂

Introducing My New Comments on Classics Category!

~Comments on Classics~

For the longest time, to me, classical fiction was the stuff I read in English classes against my will while hating every minute of it. Later on, I discovered that these books were not my enemy. I could read whatever I wanted, at any pace, with no tests to take or papers to write. Heck, I didn’t even have to finish it if I didn’t like it! Literary freedom!

While I don’t read nearly as many works of classical fiction as I do contemporary science fiction and fantasy, I still would like the opportunity to share my thoughts as I do in my other reviews, so I’ve added this new category. I’ve separated them from my regular reviews because it’s tricky to review such works of fiction. Being considered classical, these books have already stood the test of time and are considered to be good, if not great, so how can I accurately review something I’m expected to like. If I don’t like it, then it would seem there is something wrong with me, or perhaps my intelligence. But I prefer to deal with classical fiction the same way I deal with any book I read. Since these aren’t school assignments, I can freely criticize, and dislike them, if I choose. So, I intend to share my opinions of them as I would any other book, whether I love them or hate them, am completely baffled, or find them to be surprisingly wonderful.

In addition to having an outlet for my thoughts on these novels, I’m hoping to demystify classical literature for those who may be intimidated by it. I won’t be over-analyzing symbolism or digging up metaphors that may or may not be there. I will be approaching them in a casual way, with my honest impressions.

What sort of books will I be talking about? Well, I’m using the term classical fiction somewhat loosely. Some of what I review might not technically fall into that category. Basically, anything about 100 years old or older from Stoker to Austen to Shakespeare. I may also include short stories by classical authors and even the occasional fairy tale by Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson.

I think this might be fun, and it will certainly broaden my literary horizons, and one’s literary horizons can never be too broad.