Re-evaluation, Revamping, Resting & (More) Reading

Yes, it’s happened, Savidge Reads has gone and had a revamp and in some ways it is going to mark a new era (which probably sounds a bit grand but hey ho) for the blog. Being unwell in the last few months has given me lots and lots and lots of time to think about anything and everything. One of these things has been blogging. By the way this isn’t going to be a navel gazing post or ‘I’m quitting blogging’ post, it’s all very positive and I am rather excited.

I mentioned a while back that I really wanted a change with the blog I think I felt like it needed a new energy or something. I then tried various different themes and got you all to vote on them, went away and combined all the things that you wanted with what I wanted and ‘ta-dah’ we have an all new look site. It still has some tinkering and tweaking to go but I am much, much happier with it and so am hoping you all will be too. Do let me know though won’t you? I hope you all know that you who visit and are integral to the blog?

It’s obviously not just the aesthetics that make Savidge Reads and recently I have been mulling over all the ‘content’. I have become a little bit dissatisfied with my reviews, in fact I ranted a little bit about this the other day, and did a post on negative reviews too. I think some of my best reviews, in my humble opinion, are the longest or the more personal ones about books I have gone away and really, really thought about (rather than in a rush of ecstatic excitement that then fades) be they good or bad. Fortunately I have some reviews backed up and they are going to undergo some ‘testing’ to see what works. I also need to stop racing down books because I am so keen to talk to you all about them.

I am also going to ‘relax’ a lot more with the blog. It’s proven a real life line whilst I have been ill, the support and comments from you all has meant lots. It has also been a little bit of a pressure as I have been scheduling posts (and still am, as this is one) when I can in fear that there is nothing new on the site, through my own choice I am not moaning. So that stops too. I am going to post ahead of time if I like, and not if I don’t, every day if I want, or twice a week if the mood takes. It might mean random little bookish snippets or snapshots; it might mean some never ending rambles. There are no rules other than to enjoy it.

I love reading and want to read more. That might mean less time typing and more time sitting and reading. Especially with Discovering Daphne, a new Savidge Reads project coming and The Green Carnation Prize (whose site I also gave a revamp) submissions and two book groups in the real world. I need more time, don’t we all, and this might mean less blogging, it might not though, either way I am fine with it.

It does feel funny that after almost 4 years I am making all these changes and tweaks, but we are always learning and evolving aren’t we?

So even though you might think this post has just gone up and I have been working away at the website changes all morning, I haven’t… it’s scheduled. In fact this weekend as I can’t get any internet access (or phone) I have been inspired by Thomas of My Porch and so will have started my own little private weekend read-a-thon. Hope you all have a lovely one planned?



Filed under Random Savidgeness

27 responses to “Re-evaluation, Revamping, Resting & (More) Reading

  1. dom agius

    here’s to pruning rose bushes so they may grow ever longer & bloom finer. x

  2. Great post. I used to be very stressed about blogging on certain days. However over time, I have realised that what the act of blogging gives individuals, is freedom. There are really no set rules as to how much or how little you post, if you have something worth posting, then post it. If you force yourself to write something when you have nothing to say then in my opinion, your audience is going to detect that.

    I’ve also revamped my own blog and also feel excited about the future. Here’s to the future if your blog!

  3. I like the revamp. I can’t remember whether or not this was one of your trial themes that I liked, either way it looks good.

    Your revised ‘mission statement’ sounds eminently sensible. There are many benefits of all this social media stuff, but it can leave some participants feeling under pressure to achieve quantity in everything, be it number of followers or number of books read. Let enjoyment be your watchword. If you’re enjoying yourself, then we readers will too.

    I hope you are winning your health battle.

  4. I’ve been impressed with how much blogging you’ve been doing and think you deserve some time to relax and read:) Love your new look!

  5. Jo

    I wholeheartedly concur, I had a slight oh my god moment in a “what have I got myself into posting every day or scheduling posts for every day when I have not finished a book to review”. This was combined with having too many books on the go.

    However, I took stock and thought well read the books and enjoy then and the post about them, if you have a sudden spurt of posts so what, if not then so what! No one has our arms up our backs making us blog every day!

    Enjoy your ‘you’ time and I hope your health is improving and look forward to reading your blog when you post!

  6. Well the new look is lovely, and hats off to you for such a reflective and positive post. I especially appreciate your observation that we should perhaps all strive to be ever learning and adapting. It is easy for adults to forget that I think as if reaching adulthood is license to settle into an immutable identity. We ask children to try new things and push themselves eery day so why shouldn’t we expect the same of ourselves? Good for you!

  7. Louise

    I love your new theme, it’s great! You could change the header every now and again if the mood takes you 😉 I love reading, i miss my old blog at times, but less time typing = more time reading, so it suits me that my blogging days are over, for a while 🙂 I admire how much you put into your blog, but i think it’s great you’re taking a more relaxed approach.
    Your reviews are your own honest thoughts and i always enjoy them, the long or short.
    Have a great weekend 🙂

  8. Glad to hear that blogging is helping you. It’ll be interesting to see your posts during this infrequent blogging, there is a difference that comes with blogging when you feel like it, it’s definitely more fun to do. As always, wishing you the best.

  9. I have a very relaxed attitude to posting on my weblog and I have always been both impressed and slightly concerned by those of you who feel the urge (need?) to ensure that there is something of note every day. If it is good then we don’t mind waiting a few days for the next post!

    It may not seem like it sometimes but I love reading too, but as I get older I want to do it less not more and, personally speaking, I think that is part of the relaxed attitutude that (can) comes with age (I’m 51). Thirty years ago I wanted to read everything including all those “classics”, now I don’t. I read (for work) a large number of books, reports, papers in journals etc. and perhaps that’s why I am now much less insistent on reading my way through a novel every couple of days.

    I do very much hope that you maximise your enjoyment from your weblog; I’m sure we your readers will love it just as much.

    Ageing Cat

  10. Lovely post and I love the new look. A great choice. Unlike the ageing cat, I am reading more and more and loving every minute of it!

  11. gaskella

    Relax and enjoy reading and blogging. Take the pressure off – we’ll be here whenever you post, and we can wait … Like the new look – quite different to all the ones you trialled, but it’s definitely you.
    BTW, I’m the same age as Dark Puss, and wish I could read more!

  12. I know what you mean about just relaxing and reading more rather than feeling the need to blurt out your (often more enthusiastic than they would be upon reflection) opinions on a book right away.

    I agree with gaskella 🙂 Just chill out and make this blog work for and around you and your needs rather than letting it control you. Although I’d love my blog to be the only thing I do…it just can’t happen and I get hives just thinking about what I should/shouldn’t be writing when in reality…well, why worry? We’re supposed to enjoy this after all


  13. I love this look (and arrangement of content/labels/categories, etc.)! I’m the Queen of Change The Blog Look, so I know of which I speak. 🙂 I’ve decided that I like the white background best because while black gives a beautiful pop to photographs, white is easier to read. The only thing I can’t figure out for my own blog is about challenge buttons. I try not to have a cluttered sidebar, but then I fear they’re too far removed tucked away in the ‘pages’. That’s where I have your Daphne challenge, but I think it needs to come out and be more prominent (along with a few other challenges I’m excited about). Well, it’s a quiet, rainy day here in Illinois, most perfect for reading. So, I wish us both a happy reading weekend!

  14. Henrietta

    I was so pleased when I visited your blog today to see the “new” look. It is much easier to read, and I love the banner at the top.
    You are quite right not to be a slave to your blog – write as the mood takes you, your readers are out there and will drop by.
    Hoping that you are feeling stronger.

  15. EllenB

    I like it, I like it. Very fresh looking. I also like your new attitude toward instant reviews. Letting those instant reactions to a book percolate for a while might lead to more toughtful reviews, not that I have any problem with your reviews now!

  16. I hope you’re enjoying your readathon! I read one short book on a train today, but fell asleep on the way home… so not much reading done.

    This theme gave me a bit of a start, as it’s the one I use for my book group blog!

  17. I like the new look and I like your new approach to blogging. I love your post. It’s so positive. Amazing.
    I hope you are getting better.

  18. kimbofo

    I love this new, clean look, Simon, easier to read and navigate. The best thing is being able to leave a comment without having to trawl back up to the top of the post! I’m so lazy – LOL.

  19. It sounds like you have come to a really comfortable conclusion on how you want to blog and present your blog to your readership. Fantastic idea on blogging when and where it feels right, blogging schedules are a nightmare and stifle creativity. Nothing is worse than trying to write something when you just aren’t feeling it. I’d much rather read a few good blogs than a daily collection of something sub-par. On the subject of reviews I just like to know what you were left with once the experience is over, be that good or bad. I don’t want to be deceived and told a book is brilliant when it’s not but liking a book is so subjective you will always be left with a dissatisfied customer, it’s the nature of life.

  20. When I started my site I went nuts, adding everything I could find–pictures, buttons, widgets. I think every revamp I’ve done has seen a cleaner, simpler overall look result. I’m reading to do another one later this summer, too.

    Your current revamp looks great. I’m curious about the categories list. I have not posted this on my own site. Do people use the categories list much? If I want to find all the Octavia Butler books you’ve written about, say, could I just use the search feature?

    I like all of the topics/lists you have posted on the far right. Since I don’t get to drop in every day, lists like those help me find the posts you’ve done that interest me that I’ve missed by not stopping in as much as I’d like to.

  21. I love the the new look, hope the private readathon went well.

  22. like new look simon ,I take a relax approach to my blogging you did so well posty every day when not well ,you deserve to relax ,all the best stu

  23. novelinsights

    I like this very much – clean and easy to read with all the info / links tidy and easy to find. Bravo!

    Good idea to take the pressure off. No need to be chained to the computer! 🙂

  24. Loretta

    The new look is great. I am looking forward to Discovering Daphne. If less blogging is good for you, then it is good for me. I’ll take whatever I can get because I enjoy your blog. But there is something to be said for taking it easy and enjoying your reading and it seems that this is the time for you to do what feels best.

  25. ana

    Love the new look! It has an expansiveness that is entirely appropriate. You have made an excellent choice.

  26. I love the new look Simon! I think it looks more modern (not sure if that was what you were going for or not??!!) and for me (I’m so selfish!) it is much, much easier to read which sounds like such a silly little thing but it does sometimes make the difference about whether I hang around at a particular blog for a period of time. Looking forward to reading more!

  27. It looks great and is easy to navigate. The header is attractive as well.

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