This weekend I think is the closest I have ever been to having some sort of bloggers breakdown. Okay maybe that is a bit dramatic but everything seemed to get a little much and so I have shockingly, apart from finishing No Name on Saturday morning, not read anything this weekend nor have I visited any book blogs or indeed blogged. My blackberry also broke so I had no internet on my travels and it was in a very strange way quite liberating. What I needed was some book space, a saying you will rarely ever hear come from my lips**
Instead I have caught up with lots of friends, been to the theatre, slept lots, not done any freelance work and eaten takeaway in front of the X Factor. However I have thought a lot about books and blogging and possibly definitely went on a book hunt. The main question was when did they take over my life to a slightly unhealthy degree and what made me need not just a blogging break but a book break? I started working on some bookaholic equations such as…
2 over thirty hour jobs + freelance work + 1 daily book blog + reading the books to blog = absolutely no rest and no social life and not the most fun filled Simon.
Now one of them is going already, yes sadly on this Friday coming I am leaving my charity job, which will mean my day times are freer to fit in the freelance and editing that I do in the evenings along with blogging. I have also made the pact with myself that for one whole month in November I am not working. I am fortunate to be in a position where I can do this and know it’s lucky but when I look back at the last time I had a holiday that wasn’t also a travel feature I have to go back to 2007. If I go back to a weekend I last didn’t work a day of I am looking at 2008. Even when this last relaxed photo of me below was taken, you guessed it, I was on a work trip and though they are cushy, it’s constant mental notes and then a whole load of write up after.
My month off is already getting filled I am off to look after one year old twins for a few days as of Saturday and I am booking myself up with coffee’s and catch ups left right and centre and Gran is coming down. I also realised I don’t have to blog everyday.
Blogging daily used to be easy last year when I had a one year freelance contract and worked from home. It was also easier when I wasn’t getting comments and readers, I didn’t look at hits a day or anything and whilst I am no means addicted I will admit I pop and look to see if lots of people have popped by. Now I don’t mean that I wouldn’t want commenter’s or visitors, I love it, I have noticed that I now ‘have to blog daily so people come back’ which as The Converted One put it “is all in your head Simon, if people like it they will come back, just make your blog work to your schedule”. This change in schedule made me think of the next equation that even though I have a good chunk of time off coming up…
9 weekends of sensation season books x 600 pages on average per book = 5400 pages of sensational reading which is slightly excessive.
So I have decided to change the schedule for The Sensation Season so if you are joining in check and see the book is still very much on the list. Those of you who have told me you have copies in advance I am making sure I am still reading those. There was factor that someone very wise, which wise friend it was I forget, mentioned to me was the fact that “if you read all the Wilkie Collins books now you will never have that first read of a Collins book again” and that’s a very valid point. I also don’t want to get sick of one of my favourite authors and genre’s. Plus I have so much else that I have planned to read at the moment or planned read-a-thons in the past few months as….
1 Man Booker long list + 1 book group read + reviews for a magazine + being on a radio books show panel + 1 sensation season = too much planned reading.
When I worked this out and the amount of books that I own and how long it would take to read them all I was stunned.
852 books on my TBR ÷ 118 books I read a year (on average) = 7 years to read every book that I own currently.
Not stunned in an ‘oh dear that’s too many books to own’ way or in a ‘I won’t buy any books at all for a year’ HEiotL way (I have given it some thought mind) but just in the fact that maybe I should be wandering through the books that I own and going off on the journeys they take me rather than joining in on another longlist, another challenge or read-a-thon. Which sadly means that I won’t be joining in on Simon Stuck-in-a-Book’s group read of Ivy Compton-Burnett’s ‘Manservant and Maidservant’ if I had the book to hand I would do but I don’t and ended up on a very long and manic hunt this Saturday through some of London’s secret second-hand book shops. I couldn’t find it, though I did find a few other gems I purchased – the seven years worth of books will not stop me getting new ones, and so felt fate had intervened. I also have a stack of library books I want to get through and as you will see (on Weds) some of my month off will involved reading some tomes that have been on my hit list for ages but are too big to lug around on a commute. So now I am feeling much happier about it all and much more relaxed. The next week is a madly busy one and so if I don’t blog everyday so what?
I won’t not be blogging in November just taking a different approach to it all. I am also going to get reacquainted with my bookshelves, I do feel like they are giving me rejected puppy dog looks when I see them and evil eyes when I have my back to them. I am just going to see which books jump out at me, no plans, no ‘I must finish it if I have started it’ (hence why my current reads widget has vanished) and if I don’t fancy reading anything what’s the big deal? Who else out there has had a ‘blogish break down’ I bet some of you have, come on fess up I feel much better for sharing and would feel even better if knew I wasn’t the only one. Has anyone worked out the maths behind their TBR and the reading rates?
**Please note – None of this was a moan by the way, if I didnt love books, reading and blogging I wouldn’t do this, as thats why I do it. The moment I really don’t enjoy it all I simply just stop blogging at the moment I am loving it I am just a bit manic and need to relax. I also just wanted you to see a truthful post about some of the delightful perils of book addiction hahaha!