First Post-Retirement Tweak in My Blogging Practices

Keyboard photo

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!

A Modest Accomplishment

I’ve finally finished a project I’ve been working at sporadically since I started the blog several months ago: posting to the “Chronicle” section the text of the newsletter I mail out to friends and family at the end of each year.

I started sending out these annual newsleters in 1989. As my several attempts at keeping a journal never lasted very long, these newsletters are the handiest thing around (besides the photos I’ve kept) that document where I’ve been, lived, traveled, lived with, etc.

As I get older, my brain’s ability to recollect What Happened When gets more difficult, so I wanted to get these newsletters into one convenient place so I could refer back to them when I was trying to remember what year I took a particular trip, or when a particular job-related event happened, or when I bought the fountain for my patio.

Later on, I hope to post assorted other archival scribblings that must be up in my attic somewhere, or in the back of some filing cabinet.  And I hope to scan and some of those old photos, too.

Now Available: “The Constant Reader”

To browse my annual reading lists (and reading recommendations), click the Constant Reader tab at the top of this blog. I’ve posted (in reverse chronological order) my reading lists dating back to 1989, and will post the few missing lists – and lists of titles read before 1989 –  as soon as I can locate (or compile) them.

The books I’m currently reading are listed on the right-hand side of the blog.