First Post-Retirement Tweak in My Blogging Practices

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Washington DC-based Thomas Otto has long been one of my favorite “bibliobloggers.” I enjoy his blog My Porch so much that it’s included in the blogroll of my other blog.

Thomas’ descriptions of his reading adventures are often accompanied by much-appreciated photos. His choices of reading material – usually novels – are refreshingly offbeat. His descriptions of the books he reads are succinct, informative, and opinionated without being pretentious or pontificating. His long-standing admiration for certain writers has prompted me to try those authors’ books myself. I also admire the way Thomas often manages to limit his book-reading comments to a single paragraph – sometimes even a single sentence – per book.

One-paragraph – and certainly one-sentence – book reviews are far too difficult to create for an amateur writer as notoriously verbose as moi, but I have decided that, for anyone even mildly interested in what I’m reading, my providing, say, three-sentence reviews of the books I’ve read might be a bit more useful than providing no commentary whatsoever.

The main reasons I keep a list of the books I’m reading/have read is because (a) reading is what I do more of than any other single thing, (b) I get more enjoyment from reading than I derive from most other leisure “activities,” and (c) because I’ve found, to my profound dismay, that I simply cannot rely on my deplorable memory to determine what books I’ve previously read.

Also, of course, I list these books because (in most cases) I want to urge other readers to consider choosing at least some of these titles for their own reading.

Hence my decision to begin routinely attaching a few remarks to the listing of each book I’ve finished reading.

Having just created comments about the dozen or so books I’ve read thus far in 2013, I’ve realized I’d better write my three-sentence-max comment immediately after finishing each book! There’s one book I read earlier this year that I just can’t remember in enough detail to write anything about – other than it was “engagingly written.”  Which isn’t very helpful to a potential reader (or even to me when trying to remember later on why I enjoyed it).

At any rate, for anyone interested in considering adding to their own reading a book I’ve enjoyed, there are of course longer descriptions – written by other readers – available at (and elsewhere on the Intertubes) .

I wish more of the readers I know personally would start up their own “biblioblogs,”  or would at least begin writing personal blogs that include reactions to what they’re reading. Then I could “follow” them, like I hope you are “following” this one. I need the help of all my bookloving friends and acquaintances to help me discover the Books Most Worth Reading.

And even if you never begin writing about the books you read, you might enjoy following (and perhaps contributing to?) that other, more reading-centric, blog of mine.

Happy reading, everyone!


3 thoughts on “First Post-Retirement Tweak in My Blogging Practices

    1. Your shorter reviews are nevertheless very helfpul, so I hope you keep posting them. And thanks, too, for sparking my forays into books by Brookner and Pym. Congratulations on your St. Elizabeths book! As a now-retired liberrian, I envy you those weeks ensconced in the archives, rooting around for book fodder…and for the fact that the archives you needed were located in the same town as your (wonderful) house!

  1. The short reviews is a great idea! So busy with art and making stupid jokes I just don’t have time to read. And charming Peggy, which alone is a full time occupation.

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