I’m running out of words…


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 — butย 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 isย 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.ย 


14 thoughts on “I’m running out of words…

  1. I miss the old days too. I’m sorry you aren’t reviewing now as much as you used to. Sometimes, I just want to read too and not blog my review. Blogging takes up a lot of time and my reading is suffering because of it and I’ve been blogging for less than a year. Good luck to you. Do what feels best for you!!

    • Yes, those days of yore were good times weren’t they? Hardly any internet, no smartphones, no social media. It’s (almost) crazy to think about how things used to be and how technology (and social media) is such a part of our daily lives now.

      I’m very very sorry to hear that your reading time is suffering because blogging is taking up a bit of your time. Perhaps considering taking a wee break and picking up a book from your towering to-read pile and just sink into the pages ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Ares . Three says:

    Hi Beth,

    Perhaps our reviews on books fall on deaf ears, but does it really matter? One person could think it was the worst book ever written, while another loved it. I’m sure what most people get out of reviews (at least in the blog sense) is we like to hear what you, Beth, thought of the book you read. Not a random stranger on the web.

    Maybe we like your writing style, or viewpoint.

    All I can say is, for me, I enjoy writing about topics I enjoy, or books I’ve read, as it is quite therapeutic. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and even though I am not new to the WP software, I am new to this online community, and I find it fascinating.

    We all need to unplug every now and then, take some time just for us. Perhaps writing just isn’t in the cards right now. If you are enjoying a simpler life sans social networking, thats terrific (I personally have never had a social networking account, and people think I am strange for it). But this place, I enjoy.

    Regardless of whatever path you choose, I enjoyed reading this post!

    • Hi Ares . Three and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

      And yes, exactly, it doesn’t matter if one person or one hundred people or a thousand people read a book review I write — reading is such a personal experience that people are going to love a book or hate a book or feel somewhere in between. But it is entirely possible, like you said, that people might enjoy following my reviews because they like my writing style and books I choose to read.

      And yes, I am very much enjoying life with no social networking. It was oddly very exhilarating and liberating to delete those accounts — I have zero regrets. You are most definitely not missing out on anything by not having a social media account and I definitely don’t think you are weird for the lack of one — although you might want to consider looking into goodreads — I’ve had an account there for a few years and love that site. It’s hard to explain but it’s a social media site for book lovers. Just books and nothing else.

  3. You are right that maybe no one will notice that you left. And no one may care about reviews (which I am sure some people do care) but it’s about what you want. You want a more quieter experience with books. Have it. It’s just matters if you are enjoying this or not. Don’t force yourself for anything. Even I didn’t write anything on my blog for literally more than a year but did just write one post. So you never know.

    • Hi Secretly Enigmatic and thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts.

      The blogging break has been good for me — it truly was becoming a chore. But now when I sit down at the computer, I’m ready to type. The post I just shared literally wrote itself — I probably typed all that up in less than an hour. Before I would have agonized over it and tweaked it ad nauseam and all that takes time, time, time. Maybe in 2017 I just need to keep doing what I just did earlier today, just type it all out, read it over, and just send it out into the world ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hi Beth,

    I remember those days before we were all connected in some or other. And I’m sure no one would really notice if I never post a blog entry ever again. I haven’t posted many at all, maybe half a dozen. But when I do, it’s to put in writing my thoughts and feelings on whatever painting I’ve been doing. I’ve found that I enjoy more painting time and less blogging. Works for me. Maybe for readers expecting a regular entry it is disappointing but there are many other blogs if that’s what they’re after. So basically, you do what feels right for you. I enjoyed your post, it’s honest and heartfelt. I would very happily read more entries like this one too. Sometimes reading a book becomes such a personal experience that it’s hard to share your emotions and feelings. I hope this make sense, and is helpful to you, Tania

    • Tania, Hi there and thanks for stopping by again to share your thoughts. It’s kinda crazy how the act of blogging, of talking about what we are doing, takes us away from the other activity we love doing. That’s kinda what I’ve been trying not to do in 2017. I’ve been trying to do and experience more and blog less.

      I really appreciate you telling me that you liked my post — it means a lot and everything you said makes sense ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Tammy says:

    Well, I noticed you were gone. Even left a comment saying I hoped all was well, and wishing you happy reading and coloring! I’ll miss seeing reviews, for both reading and coloring. I did enjoy your writing style and the way you interacted with others. Personally, I looked forward to new entries by you because I’m disabled, often housebound, and I used your content and opinions to decide if I wanted to purchase a new book or coloring book. It was reassuring to know I’d probably enjoy an item when I ordered it, instead of merely hoping I would. I had worked checking for new posts every so often into my routine, and will miss seeing your posts. Having said that, like others, I think you should do what’s best for you.

    I’ve only got a Facebook account, and I use that to keep up with my cousins who are absolutely immersed in social media and think an actual voice phone call is almost old school and not to be messed with. I’m definitely in agreement that people, including me, can end up on social media and neglect other aspects of life.

    I hope you continue to do whatever makes YOU happy. Just have fun and enjoy your friends and family and hobbies. That’s all that matters!

    Best wishes,

    • As always, Tammy, thanks for stopping by to visit and leaving a lengthy comment. I’ve always wondered if you’ve seen my replies because I (almost) always do comment back ๐Ÿ™‚

      It means a lot to me to hear that you looked forward to my new posts and that you enjoy my writing style. I’m not completely vanished from my blog — I do plan to write again (maybe even share reviews) but I just don’t know when or what the topic will be — so do keep checking in from time to time.

      I also wish for you to continue doing whatever makes you happy. Are you still doing lots of coloring? If so, what coloring books have you been coloring in lately?

  6. Tamara says:

    I hope you’ll keep your blog post up โค love reading your reviews. I look forward to your posts in regards to coloring books. There's so many out there and I want them all. I love being able to go back and look at the postings for coloring books I may not have seen or heard of. Thank you for taking your time. I haven't gotten anything started as I'm too easily overwhelmed.

    • Hi, Tamara and thanks for stopping by. It’s real nice to hear that you enjoy reading my reviews and even go through my archives to read ones you may missed — so thank you for that. I may not be posting as much but my blog site will remain up ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Leanna says:

    Hi, Please don’t stop with your reviews. I send your blog’s details to a friend of mine and she could not stop raving about your reviews on books and art goods. I like to look at your reviews as they are honest and to the point. I also feel that you cover the points that are important to me. I definately depend on your reviews as most of my books and art equipment I buy online as they are not stocked in South Africa.

    • Hi Leanna and thanks for stopping by. And another thanks for enjoying my blog so much that you told one of your friends about it. I’m glad both of you find my reviews honest and helpful. I’m not completely stopping with my reviews, but as you can tell, I’m definitely not cranking them out like I used to. And honestly, whatever you want to call it — a break, burn-out, writer’s block (although not really) — I really can’t see myself getting back into the swing of things and cranking out reviews like I used. More reviews and more writing pieces will be forthcoming, but I just don’t know when.

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All content on this site is owned by the blogger. To request permission to use her words (or photos) as excerpts, blurbs, re-posts, or anything else please use the contact form. ยฉ 2014 โ€“ 2018. All rights reserved.

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