Last week Shannon @ River City Reading caught my attention with her ‘Let’s Shake Things Up’ post. She mentioned how difficult it is becoming to post a book review that sounds original instead of sounding like a repeat of every other book review you write. She also referred to a post by Michele @ A Reader’s Respite that discussed the idea of slowing down to read purposefully. I have to admit, those both rang true for me. I can’t say that I am tired of writing reviews or that I have trouble feeling like I have to make them distinctive, but I can say I feel like I am on a bit of a treadmill. I made the mistake of over-committing to reviews earlier this summer, and now I am in a pattern of reading as quick as I can, churning out a review, and then starting in on the next book. This doesn’t mean that I am not giving thoughtful, honest reviews, because I am. But I am feeling pressure to pick up the next book before I have time to digest the last book. I also am having a little trouble with writing a thoughtful review and still refraining from revealing spoilers, but that doesn’t really have anything to do with being over-committed.
After reading Shannon’s post, I began thinking about why I started book blogging in the first place. When I started blogging, it was all about me. It seemed like often, someone would mention a book and I‘d forget that I’d read it. Or I would recognize the title and the fact that I’d read it, and maybe even remember that I liked it, but I couldn’t tell you anything about the book! Book blogging was my solution to that problem. As soon as I finished a book, I would rate it and write a quick review so that I could come back later and refresh my memory. When I started, I even went so far as to find discussion questions and answer them in detail, posting my detailed thoughts on a ‘private’ blog, especially if the book was a book club selection. Keeping it private allowed me to discuss the book in detail without worrying about revealing spoilers.
Relatively soon, as I became more involved in the book blogging community, the blog became less about me. I now spend more time with memes, which I enjoy, but it does take time away from my reading when I interact with other bloggers. I also started participating in book blog tours, again something I enjoy, but it does put a little pressure on me at times when I let myself get over-committed. There are just way too many good books offered for review! And it leaves me almost no time for ‘deep-thinking’ about a book! Or for impulsively picking up a book that catches my eye.
I’m not sure what the solution is for finding time for reflection on a book. I am slowly getting caught up on my commitments. I don’t think I have anything scheduled after November! But I really would like to find a way to interact with other bloggers more about the books themselves; a community ‘deep-thinking’. Maybe a new blog where everyone links their review on a particular book and then stays to discuss the book? Or a ‘blogger’ group on Book Movement? I don’t know….
What do you think? Are you feeling the need for more thoughtful discussions about books? And if you do, what ideas do you have for implementing a discussion? I’d really like to hear from you.