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To be honest, I thought I would hit this landmark last year, and it seems almost fitting that I hit it on the eight of December and then took until today, the twenty-eighth, to comment on it, but here I am. 1,000 posts in five years of blogging (six next month) with 775 of them being reviews — 464 fiction books and 226 nonfiction books.
I’ve read several posts in my RSS reader over the past couple of months discussing a shift in blogging. Perhaps the most pertinent posts for myself would be the wrap of the Book Blogger Survey that was offered back in October, particularly Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness’ breakdown of participants’ responses to significant life changes and it’s impact on blogging. I found my reading and blogging slowing down last year as I entered my final year of undergrad, which I figured would happen given the thesis I was preparing to write.
But my posting further slowed down in 2013 as I started a new job in a new city for the summer and then started grad school in the fall and while I’m not willing to completely walk away from this blog, I don’t have to tell you all that it hasn’t been a priority for me in this last year. My hope is that once I graduate, once I have a job and lead a more stable life, I’ll be able to return to the wonderful rhythm of reading and discussing the books I’ve read.
Of course, I don’t mean to sound entirely melancholy. In addition to the non-bookish accomplishments in my life that are to be celebrated, I’ve read some great books in the last year, tackled some massive tomes that I never thought I’d finish, and am very pleased to celebrate 1,000 posts. And probably the most rewarding aspect of this whole slow down is I no longer feel that internal and external pressure to plow though books I don’t like for the sake of keeping my blog update or “relevant”. Although, if I learned that a long time ago, I never would have made it to 1,000 posts as quickly as I did.Photo © Me. Taken: December 7, 2013.
Have I really not shared a post of my recent acquisitions since May? Well, given how little reading I’ve been doing over the past few months, I suppose it is good that I managed to slow down my acquisitions as well. Yesterday and today were the on campus library’s used book sale and I could resist pursuing the available titles. I was fortunate to pick up two titles I’ve wanted to read for awhile, and a friend was nice enough to pass along another.
- Bananas (Peter Chapman) from PaperBackSwap
- The Lady and the Unicorn (Tracy Chevalier) from the used book sale
- Out Stealing Horses (Per Petterson) from the used book sale
- The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) from a friend
- Prophet’s Prey (Sam Brower) from the used book sale
I had the fortune of the day off from my internship today and spent it at the National Portrait Gallery. In between exhibits feature the portraits of modern-day, common people, Civil War generals, and political figures were portraits of beloved (and not so beloved) American writers. Henry James, of course, being the exception to this having been born in New York City but becoming a British citizen the year before his death in 1916.
I instagramed the eight that I found and recognized in the museum with the reminder to myself to read the works of those whose portraits I photographed but have yet to experience in the written form. Seeing these faces was a rather interesting experience. I never expected the ever so dark and twisted Edgar Allan Poe to be quite so dashing.Top, clockwise: Edith Wharton, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Nathaniel Hawthorne and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Bottom, clockwise: Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry James, and Toni Morrison.
Even though I haven’t picked up a non-school assigned book since March, I apparently cannot resist the temptation of free books in the donation bin. I snagged three (pictured above) yesterday, and I imagine more will make their way into my room as the dorms empty of residents.
- American Woman (Susan Choi), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
- Farewell to Manzanar (Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston), a memoir of a Japanese-American family living in an interment camp during World War II.
- The Wind Done Gone (Alice Randall), which bills itself as “a provocative literary parody that explodes the mythology perpetrated by a Southern classic”. You can probably guess a to what that classic book may be based on the title.
I made a decision earlier this morning to delete my TBR list. I decided to do so after checking ten titles off the list from my public library only to open up each book when I arrived home and wonder why I wanted to read it in the first place. Most of the titles on the list are ones I no longer recognize or have no recollection as to why I added them in the first place.
Deleting might be the wrong word as the list is still in existence. Yet I culled 1,100 titles down to just under 100, keeping only those that I own, added within the last week, or are written by favorite authors. Of the 98 books left on the list, 43 are ones that I own and thus constitute my physical TBR pile.
I probably deleted some great books off the list, but it feels good to have a much more manageable list to work off of going forward. This might just be the fresh start I need to climb out of this reading slump.