Monday, August 8, 2011
Four Years of Blogging, and Maybe It's Time to Change It Up
But lately I've been feeling a little antsy and have been wondering if I ought to make some changes. Over the past two weeks I've been rigorously weeding my TBR piles and I culled lots of books- old books, new books, ARCs, paperbacks, hardcovers, things I bought, things I picked up at shows, things I asked for, things I received unsolicited, things I've read, things I haven't read, things I may yet read from the library or in another medium. If there is a category of books in my house, there is something from that category in the discard pile.
I started weeding because the piles were overrunning my den and because there's no way I can possibly read them all, and because over the past year or two I feel like my reading has lost its focus. Sometimes I hear a lot of hype, and I get caught up in it. I want the new "it" books, and I end up drowning in them.
Meanwhile, all those cool little books I pick up at used bookstores and from small presses get left in the dust. I started the Europa Challenge (along with my friend Liberty) in part to address this problem, since I collect Europa books kind of obsessively but haven't been reading them at the pace I'd like. And reading them, I'm reminded of all the other idiosyncratic choices I've left aside for the past couple of years in favor of the hot new book-of-the-week or review obligation. And I'm tired of doing that. Which is not to say I'm abandoning current fiction or review requests but I need to steel myself to be choosier.
I've also been wondering if it's time to change up the look of my blog- get some new logo art and reformat it. What do you think? Keep my redhead woman up there, or get something different? You take a chance when you mix it up with your brand image; that's how a lot of people recognize my online persona these days, and I've worked hard to make it recognizable. Is it too late to change it?
And maybe alongside the visuals, maybe I should change the topical focus to emphasize the things I've been neglecting- the older books I ferret out, the personal choices I find on my own, the books no one's told me about but that I want to read because they just look so interesting. But ignoring new releases would be like closing the door on a lot of great conversations; blogging is like belonging to a big book club sometimes, and I don't want to lose that camaraderie.
All of this leads me to ask what is it that you expect of Boston Bibliophile? Hot new releases? Random stuff? What is that you're hoping to find when you come here? Do I deliver on that? What am I doing that you wish I wouldn't? What can I do better? The blog is by me but it wouldn't exist without you, so I want to know what you think.