Thursday 30 October 2014

This Blogging Life.

It's a curious thing.

Over the past month or so, as many of you will have read, I've experienced a weird blogging & reading thing.
The curious thing about this is...I'm not alone!

Far from it.

It seems that many of you out there in blogger land, are also going through your own kind of weird blogging & reading thing.

Some, like Nancy at Ipsofactdotme, just need a vacation.
Andi at Estella's Revenge found the life/work/family balance was out of whack.
O, at Behold the Stars suffered through writer's block.
Kyra at Blog of a Bookaholic ran us through what a slump looks like & things to do to get out of one.
Bryan at Still Unfinished, also found several other bloggers going through a slump.
And Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner, like me, has simply experienced a weird something!

That's just to name a few.

What's going on here?

We all talk about our love of reading, our love of blogging, our love of the book blogging community...but are we stretching ourselves too thin?
Have we lost sight of why we started blogging? Why we love to read? And what's important to us?

Thanks to the Dewey Readathon I found my reading mojo. It was the simple (but sometimes very difficult) decision to only read something I REALLY wanted to read. Something that grabbed my attention, tugged on my heart, spoke to my soul or sucked me in straight away.

I put aside the duty reads for work & the worthy award winners.

And straight away I found myself itching to write a review post.
The good books, that is, the GREAT books, demand to be shared, demand to be talked about and demand to be raved about. The reviews almost write themselves!

However, all this discussion about reading and blogging has reminded me of a fabulous book by Daniel Pennac called The Rights of the Reader (here's the link to my original post).

Pennac lists 10 reader's rights that tonight I will subvert for my own purposes.

1. The right not to read (or blog).
2. The right to skip (or skim read a review).
3. The right not to finish a book (or review).
4. The right to read it again (& not to blog about it).
5. The right to read anything (or nothing).
6. The right to mistake a book for real life (& real life for your blog!)
7. The right to read anywhere (or check your blog from any device).
8. The right to dip in (& browse without leaving comments).
9. The right to read out loud (& curse your computer).
10. The right to be quiet (or scream out loud).

My final food for thought also comes from Pennac:

"We human beings build houses because we're alive, but we write books because we're mortal. We live in groups because we're sociable, but we read because we know we're alone. Reading offers a kind of companionship that takes no one's place, but that no one can replace either. It offers no definitive explanation of our destiny, but links us extricably to life. Its tiny secret links remind us how paradoxically happy we are to be alive, while illuminating how tragically absurd life is. So our reasons for reading are as strange as our reasons for living. And no one has the right to call that intimacy to account."

And finally:

"A well-chosen book saves you from everything, including yourself."

On that note, dear bloggers, goodnight!
It's time for me to get lost in my well-chosen book.


  1. Very timely quotes at the end of your article. Thanks for sharing that. Also we readers and bloggers have to remind ourselves that we don't have to read anything if we want a break.

  2. I'm struggling too, so can I join the club? I think, in my case, it's a matter of being too busy. I have two courses going, I'm part of a read along, a couple of book discussions, etc. and I'm a little burnt out. I'm also having very little uninterrupted time to think, so that is hardly the recipe for being able to be reflective. I have about 15 reviews started and I'm progressing one sentence at a time. Argh! But fortunately I've still been interested in reading so perhaps I only caught half the bug. I hope everyone is able to have a little break and then gets inspired again ....... Or someone discovers some sort of reading/writing stimulant! ;-)

  3. Anonymous31/10/14

    Nancy's bill or rights:
    take a vacation from the blog at regular intervals.....give your mind a rest.
    participate in 1 challenge per year, Aus Reading Month
    read 10 books minimal per year from Classic Book List
    write 1 review at a time
    run 5 km to unravel s storyline or learn French words when I need a break....
    take notes with pen, color highlighters, ruler and thoughts are bared phrases that evaporate before my eyes.
    try to learn new literary tools. Today's word: malapropism = confused use of words for comic effect. Constable Dogberry, Much Ado about Nothing " Our watch, sir, have comprehended two auspicious persons"

  4. In my case, it is because I am taking care of my granddaughter four days a week. It is the most fun I've ever had. My reading is only at night on the Kindle, but I know that babyhood goes by quickly, and the books will be there when she is older.

    1. How to lovely to have this special time with your granddaughter. I know my mother cherished those times with her grandchildren in their early years. And it shows in the bond they still have with her in their primary school & high school years.

      But I can tell you are an avid reader & that it's important to you - because even though you're busy & tired, you still find time to read before going to sleep :-)

  5. This is a great post Brona.

    Personally I am spread too thin. I seem to have alot going on in life!

    I am a very slow writer so for me writing my blog cuts into precious reading time. With that said I think that think, writing and discussing books makes me a better reader.

    I almost never NOT feel like reading.

    1. I'm not sure I've ever NOT felt like reading either, but I do go through phases where I find it hard to find a book I can sink my teeth into or get lost in or swept away by or just plain old engrossed!

      However I do go through phases where I don't feel like writing every day. Even though writing every day creates a rhythm and flow which helpes me feel like I'm writing well.

      I have a friend who says "I'd rather be busy than bored" & I kind of understand the sentiment. But ultimately, I'm an introvert & I need quiet time & down time to re-energise. And with a book on hand - I am never bored :-)


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