So…* I was going to publish my review of the book wot I read and then I noticed something. My last post was number 499. I decided I had to make post 500 count. I decided I had to think of something cool. Then I decided I had to do a sort of review of my blog since it began and look at what’s changed – maybe in my life as well as my blog. And I actually started to write it.

But it was depressing :(

So then I thought…* Well I didn’t think I just sort of left it. Which is very typical of me and this blog really. 

I started this as a LiveJournal blog back in February 2003. It was the result of a casual comment by someone in a Buffy newsgroup where I spent a lot of my online time (i.e. a lot of my time). “I find most of my Buffy conversations are on LiveJournal these days” they’d said. “Hmm” thought I, and opened an LJ account to join the conversation. 

And the funny thing is that this blog has been many things but it’s never really been part of a conversation. I envy those that can do it but I lack something – some writing style, some persistence, some self-marketing – needed to make this a blog with an active following. (It has a following just not one where people tend to comment)

So instead it’s become the place where I talk mostly about either books or my diet. My diet – when I’m still doing it – is on MFP these days, and I haven’t read much this year. Which is why I was excited by having completed that book. (I’ve read yet another since!)

So my blog has become quiet. But that’s OK. It’s been quiet before and got busy again. I have thoughts about what I might do with it in the future. Maybe more personal stuff – the return of flubbage! (but not under that name), more faith stuff, more random rambling on topics that just come to me. I’ll see.

These days I think a lot about whether something’s appropriate for my blog, Facebook, Google+ or other places. So that’ll enter in to it too. I may even move the blog again. Still pondering that.

The only thing I know for sure is I’m going to keep it and I’ll write it when I feel like putting something out into the world. Whether I get something back or not…*

Anyway – thanks for reading!

*I use ellipses far too much. 

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A book!

Was Read!!

By ME!!!

Yep. I finished The Martian by Andy Weir and I’m pleased that I did. I may even review it.

Or maybe I’ll read another one.

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A New Start

Er hello.

Been a while. Again.

I’ve been thinking about this blog and how I’ve not posted for a while and how that’s because I’ve not read much and am unsure what else, if anything, I want to post here.

I thought I’d catch you up a bit on the reading. Not completely because I’m still not up for that really.

Since January, according to my Calibre library, I’ve read 21 items but only one was a full length novel (The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, which I enjoyed). The rest were short stories, comic book issues and comic strip collections, a couple of non-fiction Kindle Singles and a play. However in that time I have bought/acquired 47 new items costing a total of £159.77, which I must admit I’m embarrassed by, only because I haven’t taken advantage of those books yet so it seems wasteful.

It’s starting to get to the point where I’m worrying that if I get out of the habit of reading longer works then I’ll lose my concentration span completely. So I’m going to start a new book tonight. I had planned to make a new-to-me book too – because that tends to engender more initial enthusiasm – but that was before I calculated that total spend for the year figure. What the heck, I may do it anyway.

I’ll see if I can finish the book in a week or two and then I’ll report back – maybe not with a full review but at least noting I’ve completed it.

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…and Again

Another day, another friend, another nice conversation. I am really blessed.

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While I’m still thinking about how much to share and how honest to be on my blog I thought I could write about something that’s more in the sort of area that I’m thinking of but which will hardly be controversial.

I think friendship is a good thing.

I’ve been thinking about this because over the weekend I got the chance to spend some time with an old friend. My life lately has been about trying to make new friends and wondering whether the fact it seems to take so long these days is because of my age, or just me. But it was amazing and so nice to be reminded of what a good friend can do for you just by being there. 

This is someone I’ve known for years. Someone who gets me. Someone who likes me and who I know and believe likes me. Someone who I can talk to and be honest with and know that I won’t be judged. It’s hard to express how much I’ve missed that. I didn’t even know how much I think.

So that’s what I wanted to say. Not necessarily profound but relevant to me right now and just, well, nice.


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Hello Again

It’s been a while hasn’t it? And to be completely truthful I’ve not read much. I have read a couple of books – which is worse now that I think of it. Means I owe you reviews. Somehow I’ve neither felt like reading or writing about reading.

I have felt like blogging though. Specifically I’ve felt like talking about things going on in my life. Thoughts I’ve been having. But that gets me back to the old dilemma of Journaling versus Blogging. 

Maybe I just need to be brave and accept that if I post here some people will see a side of me that they don’t normally. 

I’m still thinking about it. In the meantime I’ll try to work up the enthusiasm for a review.


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2013 Reading Wrap-up/2014 Goals (part 2)

So I’ve been doing this reading-and-blogging-about-it thing for five years and I usually get excited toward the end of the year to both wrap-up and report the results for the existing year and lay out the targets for the new.  This year I’m not feeling that. The reasons for that are not reading related so I’ll skip them here. 

So I intend to do a quick 2013 wrap-up and present the new goals in one post. I’m not going to do a very detailed post of the numbers, nor am I going to do the “Melissa Awards” – but I reserve the right to do those later if I feel like it.

The headline result of 2013 was that I read 28 books. This is below my target of 40 and way below what I was projected to hit early in the year. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First is that when certain life events hit I didn’t feel like reading. I don’t like this. I’d love to be one of those people for whom a good book is an escape (I’d even more love to be someone for whom writing is) but sadly it takes just enough effort to read to put me off when I’m feeling down about other stuff.

That’s only half the story though. The other big theme was not finishing books. I read 26 of those 28 by the middle of August which makes it look like I hardly read in the second half of the year. However this year I read 9918 pages but only 8862 of those were from completed books. In other words I read 1056 pages in books I started but didn’t finish. In fact I started another 17 books, a couple of which I was more than 50% through. This was partly due to a dogged and frankly ill-advised attempt to keep up with the S&L book club. But it was also a habit of not reading for a while and then when I came back to pick up something new. 

As for goals well I already said I’d joined the Triple Dog Dare thing, which means TBR books only until April and if I can I want to focus on books I’m already in the middle of. Not necessarily just those 17 either but any that I’ve got significantly into in the last few years and always meant to get back to.

I’m repeating my overall book goal of 40 books. I have a few extra “sub-goals” which are nice-to-have but I’m not going to be slavish about:

  • reduce TBR by 20 (1 Jan 2014 TBR is 327)
  • read exclusively from TBR in Jan/Feb/Mar (i.e. Triple Dog Dare)
  • finish 4 of the 6 abandoned books that I was more than 10% through
  • try to choose books I’ll enjoy and increase my average score above 2013’s 7.0/10
  • read 2-3 short stories a month

I’d really like to recover some of the joy of reading though. I don’t think is something you can do by setting goals. I think you just have to read and hope it “catches fire” again. Some people think you can squeeze the joy out by goal-setting but I know for me if I don’t do that I’ll probably hardly read at all. 

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