A Change For The Better…

You might just notice that there’s been a change or three at Savidge Reads when you read this post. I sat myself down and gave myself a good talking to, which caused some odd looks from passers by, over this last weekend (between some major shopping, sunshine, picnics and pigeon eating pelicans) about just what I wanted from this blog and hopefully, bar some tweaks here and there over the next few days, that’s what you will now be getting.

I did make some big decisions though. I am not going to say I won’t be posting everyday from now on because I might,  I am however giving myself the option of simply not doing so; very much like I used to do many moons ago when I first started this little project.  I am sure I won’t go back to the days of doing nothing for a week, but if I do I am not going to fret or beat myself up about it.I will also not be putting posts up around the exact same time every day. I have never been made to feel obligated that I should do either of these things by anyone other than myself and with everything going on outside of my blog I need to allow myself more me time. This might mean I am not at other blogs as much, or lurking a bit more, I am telling myself that’s fine too. I will also be going off on a lot more reading tangents but that’s less about the blog and more about my future reading habits.

I have also decided there’s going to be bigger gaps between reading a book to reviewing it. I think distance is a good thing, so I will let my thoughts flow for a while. I realised I was writing nice things about books I enjoyed which as time went on stayed with me and grew on me more than the books that I was raving about, initially loved and then faded after time. It’s time to step it all down a notch enjoy the books and spend more time reading as really that’s my main love and what this little place of mine in the ether is all about. This leads to the next port of call in my thought process… those pesky aesthetics!

I am hoping the blogs looking a little simpler and yet a little more modern. I am aiming for less is more; I want the books to be the focus. The new look isn’t quite finished and I am still plotting a few things here and there whilst doing lots of brainstorming (currently about how I do my book thoughts/reviews, which I need to hurry up and decide upon as I have one good to go for tomorrow) so bear with me in the interim while everything gets sorted and to just the way I want it. You might be wondering where lots of things have vanished to, the key to the answer is in the pages… I now have drop downs and so have created more hidden pages. Well… when I say created I might be being slightly liberal with the truth and in fact mean creating!

It’s not all out with the old though. ‘Simon’s Bookish Bits’ will still be around, though I debating it as a Saturday post, along with the occasional ‘Do I Want to Read?’ which are two posts I love because I hear back from all of you. There are also some cracking ‘Savidge Reads Grills’ coming up in the months ahead which I am very, very excited about (and almost pinching myself slightly). In fact you could say all the things I love myself and can really enthuse about are coming to the fore in many ways and not just with posts but with what I read too.

There are some new things in the pipeline like having a search engine which will hopefully prove helpful. I am just working out the logistics of a few other bits and bobs, for examplehow to do some sort of agony uncle feature (did you all know that’s one of the things I do for my day job?) only in a bookish way. Maybe find someway of promoting and involving some other bloggers, not guest posts but something else though am not quite sure what. I also want to try and get an independent book shop involved with an idea I have but haven’t ventured to contact any yet. I am also wondering if a non-book based post once a week would be of any interest to you?

There is one new feature that I can almost guarantee will excite most of you. I have taken a leaf out of The Lady and its revamp by asking a rather wise woman from the Peak District who isn’t afraid to speak her mind to do a column, though not weekly, on books. Who else could it be than Granny Savidge Reads? I think that calls for a picture of us both.

Gran and Savidge Reads; even on a bus a bookshop causes awe, temptation and the question of demanding the driver to stop!

I am quite keen simply from the fact that she said ‘you will check it for slander or liable before it goes out’ I think we can expect the unexpected with this post when it comes and if it goes well and Gran thinks she can commit the time it might just go fortnightly. No pressure though, which I think best sums up the new Savidge Reads approach. No pressure at all just lots of reading and book loving.

I just hope you all like it… keep me posted.


Filed under Book Thoughts

50 responses to “A Change For The Better…

  1. Oh I love the new look! And I firmly believe in keeping things in perspective. So if you feel the need to dial it down, then I am supportive. Lastly, I LOVE that picture of you and Granny. You should freaking frame that thing. It is perfect!

  2. Eva

    Love the new look! I think giving yourself permission to not post every day is key to being a happy blogger. 🙂 Even though I’m unemployed and thus have gobs of time, I never force myself to blog if I don’t feel like it, because otherwise I get cranky! lol

    I can’t wait for more from Granny Savidge Reads.:D That picture is so fun!

  3. Great post! I am getting better at that little self talk myself. I do so enjoy chatting and blogging but if it doesn’t happen because of my life that seems to require time and love – then that is pretty cool too 🙂

    Enjoy your new freedom…. take a walk… grab a coffee 🙂

  4. I LOVE the new look, Simon! I am a firm believer in less is more and this new layout is just perfect.

    Congratulations on giving yourself a break; life is simply too short to beat ourselves up over things that are truly not worth it. Now….I need to follow that prescription myself 🙂

  5. Lu

    LOVE the new layout! It’s so clean and pretty. I also love the photo of you and your grandmother! I’m supremely jealous… I wish my grandmother were here to be in a photo with me.

  6. I love your new look and the sound of your plans. It’s no fun feeling OCD about one’s blog, compelled to post or comment or visit rather than eager to do so. I, for one, would love to read some posts in addition to books, but that’s just because I love all of life and learning about my bookish friends. It’s nice to see one another evolve.

  7. The new look is great, as are your resolutions.

    Am irrationally excited at the prospect of hearing more from Granny Savage Reads.

  8. Susan in TX

    I have to echo Claire because I love the way she put it – I’m “irrationally excited at the prospect of hearing more from Granny Savidge Reads.” 🙂 So nice to hear from multi-generations on all things bookish – or just all things. The new look is very sleek, btw.

  9. Your blog looks more manly now. 🙂 Just saying! And I love the idea of taking pressure off of yourself. I think you can always tell when a blogger is enjoying themselves versus feeling a bit obligated. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us! And a Highgate feature wouldn’t be terrible!

  10. The new look is perfect! 🙂 And I’m very excited about the new things in store, especially the return of Granny Savidge Reads! 🙂

  11. winstonsdad

    very slick simon look forward to changes ,warmest stu

  12. I like the new look! I think trying to post every day is a big pressure – I hope you feel better about blogging now you have lifted that that challenge.

  13. gaskella

    Like the new look. I’m a huge fan of less is more, and I’m glad you’ve taken the pressure off yourself.

    I love the idea of an bookish agony uncle post occasionally – sounds really fun, and more Granny Savidge will be wonderful too.

  14. Dot

    I love the new look Simon, very swish!! Good for you for making changes, I think there is a fine line between blogging being a pleasure and a pressure, you have to find what works best.

  15. Susi (The Book Affair)

    I really like the new look – you aimed at clean and modern and you’ve achieved just that. I also like your resolutions – don’t forget the fun that blogging and reading is supposed to be.

  16. Linda

    Good for you with your plans, Simon! The new look is great. It looks clean and clear, especially the coloured text bits on the black. (I’m a slower reader due to eyesight problems).
    I look forward to posts from Granny Savidge too!

  17. Loving the new look Simon!

    I’m a firm believer in not posting just for the sake of posting. Do it when you want to, and when you have something you want to say.

    I’m also very much looking forward to seeing more from Granny Savidge. 🙂

  18. Ooh, what a change! Something new to get used to. Not sure I like the teeny tiny text in the comment writing box, but I do like the new layout. And a bookish agony uncle sounds good – have you seen Waterstones Books Quarterly ever? They have a book doctor on the back page which is always fun.

  19. Ooh I think it’s very nice, Simon! Very sleek and chic looking.

    I think you’re right to just allow yourself to chill out and do what you want with the blog rather than getting stressed about it. I love some of your ideas – a Book Doctor page would be fantastic! And I love the idea of Granny Savidge!

  20. I post on my own weblog very infrequently (thank goodness you probably say) even if I probably overdo my commenting on others. Quality not quantity matters; I’m sure you have made a wise decision and I look forward to reading your posts whenever they appear.

  21. I liek the new look, can’t help wondering if your bathroom looks a bit similar as it reminds me of those dark marble floors favoured by home design shows. Slick anyway 🙂 I’d love to see a bookish agony uncle type post, there are a few about but either genre specific (Samrt Bitches, although they do a great job) or I find myself feeling like they’re rceommending wrong (The Book Doctor in the Waterstone’s magazine).

  22. That picture is hilarious, I love it! It makes me immediately curious for the Gran Savidge posts. I am so glad to hear that you will still be around as I do love your reviews. Love the new look, by the way!

  23. Nice look to the blog! You seem to be well on your way refocusing and resolving issues that you had with blogging. I like everything that you said, especially about waiting a while to write reviews after reading a book. Can’t wait to hear what your Gran has to say.

  24. Can’t wait to read Granny Savidge’s posts! And I also like the idea of a non-book based post as well. Nice one, Simon.

  25. Oooh, very swish, Simon.

  26. novelinsights

    Yes very nice Simon, a change is as good as a rest they say…

    I also came to drop this off seeing as you read the Pullman book lately.

  27. Pretty new layout you got there! And I agree, blogging should be all about enjoyment, if you turn it into a chore with a set schedule then I’m sure that sucks some of the fun out of it. Or maybe I only tell myself that to justify my sparse updates!

  28. Love the new look, Simon! Quite modern-looking. And I think its wonderful that you truly devoted time to thinking about what you wanted from your blog and have decided to post when you want and not feel obligated to post everyday – Kudos! Happy reading!

  29. Ti

    I find that a personal post every now and then is actually quite refreshing. I like to know the blogger behind the blog.

    Granny Savage Reads? Brilliant.

    I also thinks it’s great that you don’t adhere to a posting schedule. For me, it just gets too predictible and for you, it creates pressure which makes it less enjoyable.

    I’m loving the clean look of the blog.

  30. The new look is very nice, clean and stream-lined and I like that it’s not cluttered. I don’t know how you find the time to post as often as you do anyway!

    I agree with you about reading time. Sometimes I get a week or more behind on reviews because it seems like so much work when I’d rather be reading!! I have to get better at that. Too much time goes by and you forget all the things you wanted to say and how you felt.

  31. Oo, all change!
    I’m glad you’ve made those decisions – they all seem very wise.
    And your Gran looks peculiarly like a slightly-older version of my Mum! Weird…

  32. Like the new look! And I think it’s probably sensible to let books marinate for a bit before reviewing them. I’d do that except I have a wretched memory and am too lazy to write down notes. :/

  33. I just found your blog today,through Cornflower’s Boook Blog, so I can’t add anything to the comments about your new look. However, I am glad that you made only the sidebars black as my aging eyes have real difficulty reading blogs with black backgrounds.

    Any man who would post a picture of himself and his granny riding on a bus gets an A+ in my book. I’m adding you to the sidebar on my book blog. (Not just because of the granny picture!)

  34. Ooh, I like how sleek and cosmopolitan your blog looks now. Good choice.

    Even though I am new to blogging, I have learned not to post simply to have a new entry because …. said entry will SUCK. First and foremost, I live life, I eat, work out, and read when I can and want to. If I did it otherwise, it might become a chore, and that would break my heart.

    I certainly wouldn’t mind a non-book post once a week. The reason I revisit your blog and the others on a daily or semi-daily basis is because your reading choices broaden my own, we have similar tastes, you write well, and most importantly, I like your voice. Seeing more of that voice certainly wouldn’t hurt my feelings.

  35. *hearing/reading more of that voice. argh.

  36. Darla LaRoche

    I think its all been said but I’ll throw in my “thumbs up” too! Your blog is very sophisticated looking, this almost scared me as I love your charm and was afraid that you would become more formal too. But as I read on, I was reassured that it’s the same you that I enjoy. I am looking forward to the Granny Savidge Reads posts, your Bookish Bits, and Savidge grills. You are so lucky that you have your Granny in your life, my Grandmas were gone by the time I was 10.

  37. I like the new look, clean cut and sophisticated, are the words that come to mind straight away 🙂

  38. Elena

    I am loving the makeover.
    And I talk to myself all the time.
    I am looking forward ti the new changes.
    Welcome Granny Savidge!

  39. Looking forward to seeing your new ideas! It’s always fun to try new things and get back to what you love most about books. Would definitely be up for some personal posts.

  40. fleurfisher

    Wow! I was wondering where I was for a moment, but now I’m reoriented I like it very much.

  41. Baba

    Glad to see that you are taking time to enjoy things; books, family, life in general. No need to apologize for any deviations in style , frequency of postings, etc. We understand. Love the new look and the new attitude. Keep up the good work!!

  42. Love the new look and looking forward to hearing more from Granny Savidge!

  43. I actually like this new look more. Simplicity is always nice to have 🙂

  44. Rob

    Not bad Simon. Not bad at all! (the new look I mean)
    I wish you every success with your new plans. I’m looking forward immensely to reading Granny Savidge.

  45. It’s good to see you giving more leeway to your blogging habits, Simon. And so looking forward to seeing more of Granny Savidge. Love the photo! 😀

  46. Blogging is your hobby, not your obligations.

    Congrats on taking it easy.

    I’ve noticed that several bloggers that I follow are writing less. Everyone needs a break, including me!

  47. henrietta

    The new Spring look is very smart Simon, and I can only imagine the amount of work that it must have taken. My only comment would be that I find the grey on white text quite hard to read. This is probably because my eyes are older than yours, and not the part of me that works best. Not sure if it is the colour contrast or size.

    I’m so pleased to hear that you are not going to feel compelled to blog every day. It will give you a little more space. I have about 5 blogs that I follow regularly, and am in awe of the energy and time that they must consume to run.

    Looking forward to folliwng the new look, and the search engine will be useful too.

  48. I like the Granny Savidge idea a lot. Having a couple of regular features has been fun for me as well as a big help. It’s easy to do a batch of “features” in a single afternoon at the coffee shop.

    No reason to post everyday that I can see, unless you’re getting paid or having fun. But some kind of schedule has always been helpful for me. I like lists, even to-do lists.

    And I’m getting to like the new look. It is very distinctive which is an important thing. Having a blog that doesn’t look like the rest is a good way to go. I do like how it keeps the focus on books.

  49. I won’t reply to all of these individually as I might have liked to for fear that my arm might drop off. I know you all deserve personalised responses as you are a wonderful bunch and your comments have all been lovely. I am just shattered and would be repeating myself so just one big THANK YOU from me for now.

  50. Oh and another BIG, BIG thanks for Granny Savidge Reads who is thrilled you are thrilled she will be popping by for her own regular feature!! She has started plotting and planning already I believe.

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