My life has taken some interesting twists and turns. I’ve always considered myself a homebody but have ended up living in 6 countries on three continents and have travelled a lot more than I ever thought I would. Now I’m a little confused about where home really is! I once remarked that I didn’t think I would ever live in a small African village, well, let’s just say, ‘never say never.’ As a child I hardly read at all, but over the years reading has become something that I just can’t do without.
Even though I am a primary school teacher and have always been interested in education, my professional life has veered in the direction of libraries and reading. And as a result of the last overseas move from Canada to the UK, I found myself grieving the loss of my teacher-librarian job and was left with some time on my hands. Since writing is also something I like to do, my husband suggested that I turn my reading log into a blog. Brilliant! “Blog where you’re planted!”
The original book log was just a little notebook with jottings about the books I had read. Nothing extensive, just some of the main storyline to jog my memory, and a few thoughts about how I liked (or didn’t like) the book, and perhaps some quotable quotes. It was so useful when people asked if I would recommend a book to them. I still maintain the log and often refer back to it. What the blog did was expand my reading world so that I was sharing the joy of reading with many others and this has brought me great satisfaction.
Writing long reviews is not what I do. What I give people is an impression of the book and is much more of a ‘react’. Keeping things simple is a high priority for me in almost every area of my life, and my blog is no different. A picture of the book, a brief description and some comments are usually sufficient as well as any additional information that I found interesting in my research. I love reading others’ reviews and researching the author. For me it enriches the reading experience and I love to share that with my followers so that they can just click on a website link or a youtube interview.
Reading tastes vary and I learned long ago that it is tricky to recommend books so I don’t do that. It’s dangerous to say, “You’ll love this.” Better to say, “I loved this because…” and let readers decide for themselves. Being a blogger informs my own reading, always searching for that gem that will be perfect for book clubs or that new author that I’ve never tried before. The dialogue that ensues in the comments section is the greatest outcome for me, not how many followers I manage to have. Besides, I really dislike that term. I’d rather have ‘fellowers’ than followers. Fellow readers who love to talk about books. It’s all for the love of reading!