1. I signed up with a couple of promoters to be part of virtual book tours. I have tried to be selective about the books I chose to review, but sometimes I can't tell from a short blurb if it's something I'll be interested in. I have ended up reading some books I did not enjoy - that I had to force myself to finish because I accepted a free copy. I have received two self-published books that were so poorly written that I had to back out of reviewing them. I could not give an honest review that said anything positive, yet couldn't publish something hurtful to the authors.
2. Since I began working at the library in 2005, I began feeling increasing pressure (self-imposed) to be up on the new trends, authors, etc. so that I could make recommendations to patrons. With the addition of the blog in 2009, the pressure increased (again self-imposed) to keep up with the other bloggers - read faster, read pre-release, read more "literary".
3. Over the 2 1/2 years of blogging I have occasionally, and with increased frequency, written about our family, our life, the comical - and sometimes the serious - happenings. Those are the posts that get the most comments and hits. I also find that when I'm reading other blogs I am a lot more likely to skim book reviews, but read posts that have to do with life.
In light of these three factors, I am shifting focus. Reading has been my favorite activity since I learned how, so of course books will continue to be part of the blog since they are a part of my life. But no more book tours or reviews on request. I love read-a-thons and other book-related events, so I'll still be joining them - but no challenges or other things that dictate what/how I read.
I wrote a post once before about how I felt I was losing the joy of reading - replacing it with the responsibility of reading. I tried at that time to make some changes, but evidently not enough. I want reading to be fun again. I want it to be something I do because I can't think of anything I would rather do - like I used to feel. I also don't want the guilt that comes when other responsibilities keep me from reading at the necessary pace. So there will be fewer book reviews here - only when I'm excited about a book and really want to share. And there will be more content about life. Hope you'll hang around to get to know us better.
Book Buying Ban: After just saying that I would not be joining any more challenges, I am accepting one - but not the usual type. Instead, I'm joining Rikki at Rikki's Teleidoscope in instituting a temporary book buying ban. The stack of unread books on my dresser and bookshelf is just plain silly - and most of them are books I purchased because I really want to read them. Rikki threw out the challenge to refrain from any new book purchases until I have read twenty from my own shelves. I gave myself an exclusion for a couple books that were already pre-ordered, and of course library books don't count as purchases, but they also don't count towards to goal of twenty books. So far I've read four.
Movies: I'm having so much fun watching old movies this summer, that I've added a few more to the original ten.
- Mary, Mary - starring Debbie Reynolds
- The Three Musketeers - starring Gene Kelly and Lana Turner
- Dream Wife - starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr
- Going My Way - with Bing Crosby
On the Town Christmas in July- Dick Powell and Ellen Drew
- Send Me No Flowers - Rock Hudson, Doris Day