I think I give the same apology/explanation every time I have a long absence from the blog, but here’s how the story always goes…
1. The school year goes into full swing and I get really busy.
2. I still read some books, but I don’t have the time to review them, so I put them on my nightstand and pick up the next book. (Well, not the library books, but you know what I mean.)
3. I take pictures of the books and create drafts with the titles/pictures. If I’m smart, I include a bulleted list of things to mention while the book is still fresh. If not, I will really need to wing it later on.
4. The growing pile makes me feel guilty, so I don’t really start any new books because I have so many others to write about still.
5. I open up a draft and stare at it, and maybe type a sentence or two, and stare some more. By this point I have to flip through the book again to get the summary right because it’s been so long. After a few more repetitions of this the review might eventually get written.
6. Once I’m about halfway caught up on the backlog, I let myself start a new book. This often means the other half of drafts will continue to languish. (I have reviews from two years ago still sitting unfinished.)
Right now I’m somewhere in between steps 5 and 6, which means you’re going to get several new posts over the next few days, so that I can actually read a book again instead of limiting myself to online fiction websites (which are good, and I like supporting unpublished writers and indulging the occasional fanfiction whim, but its just not the same).
I ask myself once in a while why I do this. Maybe book blogging was a phase in my life and I’m nearing the end of it (the writing part, not the reading). Sometimes I just want to read a mystery, think that it was pretty good, and move onto the next book. There is a part of me, however, that really wants to stick this out (I’m coming up on three years of blogging). I think it helps my critical reading skills, and I definitely know it helps my writing skills. Ever since I stopped writing essays for school on a regular basis I find myself working harder to present my thoughts in a coherent, orderly written sequence. I know, I sound like the typical math nerd.
Even more, as litlove recently wrote about, I like having a record of my thoughts on what I’ve read, mostly for myself but also for others. I do go back and visit some of my older posts, and it’s like a mini reread; I find that I remember better the books I write about. In addition, sometimes I read older or obscure books that don’t really get much mention on the Internet other than sales pages. Maybe someone else interested in Howard McGrath or Louise Platt Hauck would be able to learn more about their books by reading my reviews.
Again, I can’t make promises that my posts will occur regularly rather than in fits and spurts, but I want to keep trying. And if you have a blog that I’ve visited in the past but don’t comment on much anymore, I am still reading! I usually go through my Google Reader on my lunch break, and if I want to comment I have to try to remember to go back and do so that night.