Yep. 10 long years. Belated happy birthday, beloved fifth-grader book blog-child of mine. If you were a real human child, you’d have already filed a case against me for being a deadbeat parent. 😉
Because my book-review series timeline is all screwed up, I’m listing the 34 blog posts I did over the past decade:
34! There goes my “medium-term writing exercise in 17 cycles.” 😛
Having this many posts to look back on gives me a better handle on the pros and cons of this blog’s original concept. On the one hand, it’s fun (and kinda cringey) to see how much my writing style has changed. It’s now much less serious and term paper-y – which means my average post length’s also a lot shorter. Cheers to economical word use (and Grammarly)!
But the biggest downside of reviewing books by theme is also the reason why no one else does it: it takes a damn long time to make just one.
I’m sure other book bloggers read and write more than I do, and can do bulk book reviews in a minute. But after 10 years… I can’t be that fast, not anymore. I’m getting older, the day job and the grad-school thesis are eating up much of my time and energy, and I have other goals and responsibilities and bullshit to handle in my life. As much as I’d like to read all day every day and tell you all about it, I can’t do that.
I also think that within the decade, reading and blogging according to theme or commonality became another job I had to finish instead of the fun thing it was supposed to be. You know when you pressure yourself to do something – and then you end up not doing it at all, and actively avoid it for as long as you can? That’s exactly what it felt like.
As I said here, it’s time for a few changes. I noticed that, especially in Q4 2019, I’ve just been picking books at random and reading them, thinking I’ll get started on a theme eventually. I’ve decided to scrap all that – yup, no more themes, and no more “content plan.” I’ll read as I please, post when I can and when I like, and see what happens.
And I’ve always thought that I’ll keep my books forever, and maybe pass them down to my nieces and nephews and friends. Well, living in a small space puts a damper on that plan. Space is at a premium, and I really shouldn’t hold on to things I don’t use anymore.
I also learned around 2018 that my nieces and nephews have zero interest in my books. Of course, I felt bad about that. But what was I expecting? I am who I am, and they’re their own people. They like what they like – and if they don’t like reading at all, I can’t force them to.
I’ve donated books in the past, with around 70 sent to a reading center in Mindoro in 2015, and another 45 going to Reading Club 2000 last year. I also sold a few before that second time, but the profit’s obviously not enough to recoup the cost of an entire personal library.
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Donated 45 books plus art tools to a free community library that’s open 24/7. Too bad I didn’t get to meet Mang Nanie. Maybe next time. I also love that his neighbors are super friendly – and one helped me carry those books into the house, which has reading material stacked from floor to ceiling. 😍📚🤗 Didn’t stay long, though. Philippine summer heat’s a killer at 34-35°C.
This year, I’m planning to unload books again… even those I held on to for ~15 years, and which saw me through my teenage and yuppie years. I loved having them, but I need to make space for books I haven’t read yet. And by selling or donating them, I can pass them on to other people who will love them as much as I did. There’s no point in keeping them at home when they’re not being used, or won’t be appreciated.
Well, what do you know? This blog (and the occasional blogger) is all grown up. 😉
Hmm, what else? I traveled some, talked a lot of crap about things that were important only to me, worked as a book editor for a while, and was a writing fellow for creative nonfiction at a national writers’ workshop.
Overall, it’s been a good 10 years. Looking forward to more books – and hoping for more downtime to actually read them.
Writing one, too! Aiming to finish my graduate school thesis this year, which is basically a full, publishable manuscript.