Half a Year Already, Which Makes Me Ponder…

I meant to pop this post up earlier today but every time I read it I thought it was verging on one of those navel-gazing posts and that was not the tone that I was after at all. I do always get to the middle of the year though and have a small ponder, about this and that and everything really, and start to take stock. Does anyone else do this?

It’s been a weird year so far I have to say. First of all I am in a new city leaving behind over a decade of a place I called home and all my friends, book group, familiarity etc. Then I got poorly and that seemed to set me back a bit more. I thought I had felt secure and supported and yet things feel rocky again, the ground is shifting and I find myself getting frustrated I am not in the position that I had hoped I would be in by now when 2011 opened. Thats partly the health thing, partly sod’s law and partly because I think I put rather a lot of pressure on myself. That all sounds a little maudlin or miserable and ungrateful and its not meant to, honest – I think I have been bloody positive this year as much as I can, outwardly at least. I’m going off on a personal tangent so lets get back to my quibbles about Savidge Reads instead, much safer territory.

I fear I will never be 100% happy with Savidge Reads, I’m too close to it and can see all its faults niggling at me, but ever since I gave it a revamp and a nice new face (which I still really like and am very glad I did) I have felt like something else needs to change. I always say that I am planning on posting less… and then don’t. There is no use even saying that today as this is the second post today and you have two coming tomorrow. Its something I keep mulling over though, am I writing about too many books even though it’s the amount I am reading (in fact my blog is very behind the amount I have read this year with ‘less work and more being ill’) but it is also what I am reading and at the moment what I am reading feels wrong. It’s almost too mainstream, maybe even too modern. With a new literary salon on the horizon (venue now sorted and launch date) and The Green Carnation Prize submission reading in full swing its understandable in a way, but… but… but…

I need to redefine the direction I’m going in, I think. What happened to me reading older more forgotten classics? How can I find more of those current hidden away gems that miss the mainstream radar like ‘The Proof of Love’ which blew me away when I least expected it? In trying all this new stuff what has happened to my old favourite authors? These are the questions I need to be asking myself moving forward, none of you have the answers in the interim though do you?

15 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

15 responses to “Half a Year Already, Which Makes Me Ponder…

  1. The year is almost over and I realize that I’ve not read Elizabeth Gaskell like I planned. I just don’t know where to find the time these days. Suffice it to say that time scares me.

    • I think weirdly since I wrote this post I have actually really chilled out. I am all about whims and short books between submissions etc at the mo and its quite lovely.

      I must stop reading so many new, and I mean brand new, books. That I need to focus on.

  2. Jen

    Simon, look into your heart. It knows the answer.

  3. Eva

    Oh Simon, please cut yourself some slack on non-bloggy stuff! And don’t worry about being ‘positive’ all the time; you’re not being ungrateful/whiny because you acknowledge how much it sucks to have serious health problems.

    As for the bloggy stuff, I feel like my unplanned blogging break really helped me crystallise what I want from blogging and reading. Plus, I’ve been forced to change things up due to my own stupid health; I’ve found that having to reinvent the way I post, giving myself permission to blog ‘smaller,’ etc. has really revitalised everything. I look forward to blogging so much more now! And I feel less stress about it; really, my new health issues have done away w my case of blogger-guilty. I’m just happy to be blogging at all, no time to worry about whether it’s good enough! My point is, perhaps trying some new approaches might make things more fun and help you figure out what you want. 🙂

    Finally, re: the reading stuff, I’ve also made a couple changes in my reading habits to make sure that I’m regularly reading older books. And it’s been wonderful! Last month, I read a ton of fiction by authors I’ve already read and loved; I was shocked at just how much better it made the whole reading experience. I shouldn’t have been so surprised, but its a lesson I want to hang on to going forward. If you’re feeling burnt out, definitely return to your old favourites!

    • I had given myself some ‘time out’ a while back, it was after the Manchester riots and it really made a difference. I am now just reading what I want (with submissions for The Green Carnation its harder but I read the ones I think I fancy the least first – odd I know) when I want – when I can.

      I think I was getting the reading and blooging ratio wrong.

      Thanks for all your tips Eva, its nice to know you arent alone.

  4. Pingback: Savidge Reads Feedback Wanted #1… Do You Like Incoming Book Posts? | Savidge Reads

  5. I’ve recently been mulling over the type of books I read. It feels like there’s too much brand new stuff, and not enough old stuff, so I’m going to try and rectify that, and dig out some pre-2010 books that have been lingering in my TBR for years. And having recently tackled — and loved Ulysses — I’m going to try and read some of those big hefty books that I’ve been putting off because I think they will be too difficult or have too many pages. I think it’s good to analyse your reading habits every so often. We all go off tangent and sometimes you just need to get back into line, as it were.

    • Kim I think you have hit the nail on the head there. I do feel I am reading way too much new stuff and missing out on some corkers. In fact reading Moon Tiger recently really highlighted that. I have had that in my TBR for years and put some new books nowhere near such a calibre ahead of it in priority – erm why?

      I think I am almost back in line, I say almost as I am currently reading the Sue Johnston memoir and latest Val McDermid novel, which arent old, in fact they arent out till next week – but I am almost there.

  6. If it isn’t fun then stop doing it! If it is but it isn’t “perfect” then try to learn to live with the imperfections (you will find this easier with age I suggest from personal experience). I stopped analysing my reading habits a couple of decades ago; I mean why on earth did I care so much if I had (or hadn’t) read a particular book?

    Relax …

  7. I have the opposite problem as I think I read too many classics and I’m missing out on all the new stuff thats coming out which I am liable to forget about i a few months time. There are just too many great books out there, McCarthy/Atwood and loads of others I keep meaning to read more of.

  8. novelinsights

    Navel-gazing (aka having a good think / reflecting) is important. I bet literary greats like Oscar Wilde did plenty. The trick is to reflect and then to look forward and that is what you are so good at doing. I know 2012 is going to be a better year for you. Keep sowing those good seeds while it’s tough and they will blossom soon.

    I’m in a period of not worrying at all about books that I should have read or haven’t got round to. As far as I’m concerned, if they are in the pile and I suddently want to read them they’ll jump to priority.

    • I am not sure about naval gazing, it tends to be more self indulgent than having a good think and then giving yourself a good shake afterwards and moving on.

      Apart from the Green Carnation submissions, books for book group, bookmarked reads (which sounds a lot, well it is but you know what I mean, least with bookmarked its only authors I love) I am just reading what I want to.

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