Several things have made me think about writing this post for a little while. Originally its was going to simply be a question of which books do you like reading more about a) contemporary modern ‘out now’ books b) the great classics or c) the books in between? The thing with that question is that there are a lot of books in category c. It was when I decided not to follow my original reading plan for Easter and went on a hunt for something a bit different I took note of my recent reading habits and all those books in the ‘out in the open’ part of my TBR (lots are in boxes… a spreadsheet is involved, I won’t shame myself further and say anymore on that).
When books come in to this house they go straight onto my shelves, they are visible; I don’t have them in publication date order… yet. From that line alone you can see that when I go to browse my shelves for my next read it is pretty much guaranteed to be a book from the last year or more likely six months or in fact something that’s coming out over the next six months. When I went hunting for ‘something random’ I noticed that I had less than 20 books that were published before 2009 and four of them were republished from the place time forgot last year, and out of that 14 left only 4 were published before 2001. I suddenly thought ‘oh dear, I have unintentionally become that marketing tool I discussed on the blog’. I have to then take into consideration that I do get new books in the main for my job, which makes me feel somewhat better, but what about all the other books out there?
I have noticed in the last month or so that book bloggers seem to suddenly go into a furore (I have been swept up in it on the odd occasion) and posting craze over the same books and within days you see about ten reviews of the latest ‘hot’ book, or one that a publisher has sent out en masse. That’s not a criticism before I get flailed for that in fact it’s nice to see the varying thoughts on the book but will I rush to read it if I have it? No, I will wait until everyone’s over it/read it instantly and then go back at another point, or in the case of all the TV Book Club titles I own probably wait until the autumn to read. It makes me feel sorry for the left field titles or independently published books that seem to get skipped. After all each year 206,000 books are published in the UK! What about those published before this/last year, what about books from the year dot?
I am more likely to try to find and read a rogue book I see at random on a blog that came out 5 – 105 years ago if truth be told than the latest book that some bloggers seem to be competing to read the earliest. Yes I do honestly feel there are some bloggers out there competing, its something I have noticed more and more of late and its something that irks me somewhat as blogging shouldn’t be a competition, aren’t we all writing these things because we love books? Maybe thats a discussion for another time, I digress.
It was reading an Anita Brookner, which I mentioned yesterday, this Bank Holiday that gave me the final nudge. I read ‘Hotel Du Lac’ last year, loved it swore I would more Brookner… and then didn’t until now. How many other authors from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and before have I said that with and then not read? It’s bothered me since Monday and still bothers me a little as I type. So I have made a bit of a decision and that is simply to get my act together and start going through the back catalogue and try much more of anything written between 1830 – 1996 (which seem, and are, random years but it’s a rough guide) and as usual you can help. I will also not be writing about ‘out now/in the future books’ before they are released as I think its alienating as the average Joe Blogs can’t get them anyway for weeks/months. Which I think sounds a plan. Contemporary reads won’t stop, I just want an equilibrium.
I would love you to do me a few things things, the first is tell me a favourite book from each decade in the 1900’s so that’s ten titles if you can, nothing past 2000. That’s optional but I would love it if you could, I know its tough, I will work out mine and post them on Saturday for Simon’s Bookish Bits. I would also like you to answer me four other things the last of which is the question I initially started with…
- Do you get bored of seeing the same title mentioned on all the blogs again and again in one month (new or old), does it put you off reading that book until all the hype dies down?
- Which era of books do you think bloggers are seriously missing out on and what authors?
- Would you stop reading a blog if it only had current books out now or if a blog never reviewed a current book?
- Which books do you like reading more about a) contemporary modern ‘out now’ books b) the great classics or c) the books in between?
Right over to you all, I am really looking forward to all your thoughts on this, it should be very interesting.