April 13, 2017 by Beth - I SNIFF BOOKS blog
I’ve been reviewing on this blog for well over three years now and if I’m honest with myself (and with my followers) I have to admit that I’m running out of words. Perhaps you’ve already guessed this. Perhaps you’ve sensed some distance. I went from cranking out multiple reviews each week to only having posting seven times (including this post) so far in 2017.
I assure you I am still reading everyday — I will always be a reader, it’s just who I am and a huge part of my identity — but I’m just having trouble translating my bookish review thoughts to paper. At first I thought maybe I just had writer’s block, but no, that’s not what it was. What is was though was a (dramatic) change in the way that I thought about reviewing. I asked myself does my opinion about a book even matter? I’m just one wee reviewer in a sea of hundreds (probably thousands) of reviewers. I’ve come to the conclusion that my opinion doesn’t matter. No one will notice if I stop cranking out reviews. (No one noticed when I permanently left facebook. Or Twitter. Or Instagram.) And that’s okay.
I just miss the those days of yore. Those days that were low-tech and nobody had a cell phone and the Internet had barely started. Days when I would just walk into a bookstore, pick up a book, read the premise on the back cover, maybe glance at the first few pages, decide the book would be a good fit, and then carry the book with me up to the register and take it home. There was no scouring the internet using my smartphone (because smartphones probably didn’t even exist then) at the bookstore to check for reviews and see what others thought about the book.
And then after reading the last page of the book, I would close the book, perhaps sigh that I was no longer in the book’s world, and then I would find a home for the book on one of my bookcases. There was no shouting to the rooftops (not that that is a bad thing) about how great (or not great) the book was. It was just a quieter and more private reading experience.
And that is exactly what I crave and need. I really miss those quieter and more private book times. So, as you may have already guessed, I’ve just been reading and not sharing bookish feelings. It’s just been me and my book and my own thoughts. And it’s been real nice.
I’ve read some spectacular books in 2017 but I’m not quite sure how to (or if I’ll) share my feelings about the books. It was easy to completely cut myself off from social media but for some reason it’s been a bit harder to walk away from my blog. Maybe when I come to visit my blog, I’ll just write more (like this post you’re reading and my recent Books I’ve Loved and Lost post) and review less. We’ll see.
Have you made any changes to your social media or reading habits in 2017? Are book reviews still important to you? Let me know in the comments.