Confessions of an English Student: A Top Ten Post

  1. I don’t take notes when I read. I used to, but they were mostly flippant, sarcastic things that didn’t actually help me write good reviews. I feel like I should be writing wise things about prose style, or things I’ve noticed or thought about as I’m reading, but I don’t. I’m now regretting this fact, as I’m writing reviews of books I read in April and can’t remember any more.
  2. I occasionally think about giving blogging up. For all the usual reasons: I’m too tired after work (read: too lazy), nobody’s reading what I’m writing, I should concentrate more on my creative writing. (That last one is slightly more valid, it has to be said.) But then I write something that I’m proud of and excited by again, and all the thoughts go away.
  3. I don’t actually like the writing part very much. This is a problem, because writing is pretty much what I do all day every day. I love the thinking process. I love making sudden unexpected connections when I’m daydreaming on the Tube. I even love the way actually sitting down and writing can make all my thoughts come together into something much more coherent than I thought it was going to be. But the actual process of typing out my thoughts? Is a bit of a chore.
  4. I don’t read many other book blogs. Again: I used to. I used to be on Booklikes, and I used to follow book bloggers through Bloglovin, but it all just became a time suck and I couldn’t sustain it. Now, I read the reviews in Strange Horizons, and follow a couple of bloggers – bookish and non-bookish – and that’s about it.
  5. I rarely read reviews of the books I post about. Again, I tend to look for reviews on Strange Horizons, and on Asking the Wrong Questions, but even so I often write about books having read nothing else about them. This is something I do want to work on, because having someone to agree or disagree with, or build on, can be a real energiser for my posts.
  6. I hardly ever read books in the year they’re published. I think my average is about one or two new books a year. I just never manage to get round to it.
  7. I’m not interested in receiving books for review from publishers. Well, I’d be happy to get free books – it’s just, I feel there’d be an implied obligation to write proper reviews, whereas I think what I do is better classified under “random thoughts that this book happened to generate in my brain”, or perhaps “very informal cultural criticism”. Also, I don’t have anywhere near the kind of traffic that would entice a publisher to send me free books, so it’s all academic really.
  8. I have five books on my TBR pile. For me, a large TBR pile contains, say, twenty books. I know that most book bloggers have piles that go into the high tens at least. I don’t go book shopping that often – I try only to go if I have only one or two books left on the TBR pile – I don’t use an e-reader, and I go to my local library a lot for guilt-free reading, all of which tend to keep my physical TBR pile small.
  9. I am bad at planning ahead. If I know I’m going on holiday for a week then I will make a special effort to ensure I get all my posts for that week written and scheduled. But if evening stuff comes up during the week, my brain tends to go, “I can write that post in an hour, right?” No, brain, no you cannot. (This is why I no longer post my Monday posts on a Monday: because I have a regular board game night on Mondays and am too lazy to write posts at the weekend.)
  10. I often don’t proofread. Especially if it’s late and I need to go to bed.

(The prompt for this post was suggested by the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday.)

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