Book buffet

I am falling way behind in my book reviews. There’s still one book left over from 2020, as well as the 3 I’ve finished this far for different 2021 challenge prompts. So that leaves 4 titles that “need” covering. Now that I’m back to work after my end-of-year vacation, I won’t be completing books quite as quickly as I was before, which means it is hypothetically possible for me to get caught up. If I keep posting 4 or 5 nights a week and make sure that every other post is a book review, I could probably have everything back in balance before the end of January.

A closeup of a small stone cairn sitting on an empty beach. The water line and sky are out-of-focus behind the cairn.

But here’s the unpleasant truth. I’m not sure I want to post all those book reviews. Thinking about that responsibility, the schedule and discipline needed to get caught up again—and then to stay caught up as I keep reading and blogging—it’s kinda giving this blogging hobby of mine an unpleasant taste of obligation and work.

Call me lazy, but that’s what I’m feeling.

Another piece of my resistance here is the notion that I wouldn’t actually have much to say in most of these reviews. There’s a lot of titles on my challenge list that are deliberately chosen to be light and fun—including a lot of YA titles I’ve been collecting as Kindle deals over the past few years. Since these books are recreational reading I’m hoping to keep going (even at a slow pace) simultaneous with the applying-to-grad-school* process, it makes total sense that I’m choosing lighter weight fare.

But lighter fare also means that I have less that I’d want to say in any blogpost book review.

A white feather floating on water.

Now, if I could forgive myself for writing a 200-word blog-post, it might all be fine. A few quick sentences summarizing what category I’m checking off with such-and-such title, my basic thumb-up/thumbs-down response, followed by a detailed observation or two?

Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy.

But I’m having a hard time imagining myself wasting an evening’s blogpost “slot” on something so insubstantial as the review architecture I’ve just outlined above. So, I don’t want to do long book reviews, and I don’t feel comfortable doing short ones—so where does that leave me?

I’m not exactly sure.

Now, I’ve been tossing a few different ideas around:

First would be just to get over myself and write shorter posts now and again. (This could, in fact, be quite a useful skill to build if I intend to sustain any blogging rhythm alongside the applying-to-grad-school* process.)

Option 2 would be to embrace the truth that I never ever promised to post reviews of every damn book I read, and to lean into my inalienable right to pick and choose which titles I want to post about. (This option could also dovetail nicely with my desire to make better use of my Instagram account: the kind of capsule book review that I’m resisting posting here on JALC could be the perfect-sized amuse bouche for a #bookstagram post over there.)

I’ll probably experiment with a these options until I decide what approach I prefer. (Which may, of course, actually be some 3rd option I haven’t imagined yet.)

Twas ever thus: JALC is a work in progress, representing a life lived in progress.

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* And, I hope, the starting-grad-school process….

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Image credits:

  • Zen cairn: Pixy, open license.
  • Light as a feather: Pixabay, open license.

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