Though the above might not exactly be what I have been doing for the last few weeks yet it is slightly how I have felt of late. I know if you have popped by the blog and seen the posts going up you might be thinking ‘what on earth is this chap talking about?’ There is however quite a big difference between typing about books and talking about them, now typing I have been doing lots of.
With the secrecy behind ‘The Green Carnation’ submissions for this year I have literally not talked to anyone about it. Nope, not even Novel Insights or my Gran and it’s quite weird. If books come up in conversation I either go shifty, really vague with lines like ‘oh I have just been reading masses of stuff, I wouldn’t want to bore you’ or simply have to change the subject because I know what I am like and I might just let something slip. I have of course been able to chatter online about books either here, like writing this or responding to comments and on other bloggers in their comments. And while I love it, it also isn’t the same as having a proper chin wag over a coffee, down the blower, in the pub, at book group (no disrespect to bloggers and the blogging world of course). It doesn’t quite scratch the itch.
Neither does emailing and believe me there have been furious emails between all of the judges flying across the country (we worked out a whopping 32,000 words have been whizzing through the either catching up on where we are at and what our thoughts might be on this one and that one and so forth) but until dinner on Tuesday when we debate and decide on the longlist I wont have physically breathed a word, not even a hint, about any of the books that have come in for it.
In fact I noticed the other day that I haven’t done a post on incoming books for ages, in part because I haven’t asked for any for ages and also because most of what has come in are Green Carnation submissions. In fact maybe I will pop a secret post in below so you can have a look at anything that isn’t Green Carnation related that’s come in and we can have a chatter about those? In fact I most definitely should as some of you have sent me books and though I have thanked you by email I haven’t on here. Back to my original subject of chatting about books though! (Note – I have done a post on incomings if you fancy a snoop!)
It made me think of who the real “in the flesh” people I chat to most in the world about books are and weirdly I haven’t seen them for a catch up or spoken to them on the phone for ages. So members of book group (and Kim, Dom and Polly in particular who I see often out of it), Gran, Mum and my little sister Miriam I am sorry it’s not been avoidance honestly.
It has given me some time to think, and not in a bad way. I have been scheming and plotting some new bits and bobs for the blog and looking at how I review things (you may even see the odd slightly, and I mean slightly, negative review), which books I am missing out on and shouldn’t be and where my focus is and isn’t. All really positive stuff actually. Maybe now and again we need to be cut out of the book chattering world a little (and lost in the real world with some good books, some amazing books and some absolute duds – oh see, I nearly slipped right there) and focus on some other things and catch up with everything else?
It has been hard but good and it will get a little bit easier and a little bit better after next Wednesday; just don’t go asking me what my favourite is in the long list, ha!
So have there ever been times when you haven’t been able to talk about books? How did you cope? Is it just something you simply cannot imagine? Who are the people away from the internet and in the real world you instantly turn to and have a natter with about books and why?
P.S I hope no one thinks I am moaning about judging for The Green Carnation Prize, I’m not honest (its just made me think) and have already signed up for The Green Carnation 2011, which is going to be something quite special… mind you am not meant to be talking about that until December. Best shush again, oops.