Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Blogging Confessions

Hosted by the Broke and Bookish the topic for July 8: Top Ten Blogging Confessions
Oh man, I am going to stink at this one, but I haven't played in so long I still want to come up with a list of some sort - though my list probably isn't going to look much like anyone else's. I have only been blogging for 6 months. I am not even sure what counts as a blogging confession (my html is spaced poorly? Dear Apache forgive me for I have sinned. I dropped three closing tags and borked my css ?)

1. I stink at comments. I visit other peoples blogs and read but usually I can't think of anything to say other than - cool! or sorry, not for me. Then I made the mistake of reading another bloggers multiple posts about 'annoying' comments. I know that she was mostly talking about comments from people who clearly haven't really read the post and are only commenting in order to drop a link, but that made me even shyer about leaving comments.

I am even lame at commenting on my own blog. I read all the comments (even the weird spam - what the heck are those? They are so insane!) but usually from my phone or tablet and I have yet to figure out how to comment properly from those - they always end up mangled. I love visitors and comments - I just need to up my game and show it more on the blog.

2. This isn't going to seem like much of a confession, but for context I took graduate courses in English literature for fun while I was getting my Masters degree (in Earth and Environmental Science - long story short my advisory took off to Europe for a year and left me high and dry so I was allowed to 'audit' courses in other departments where I could make a contribution) ... Anyhow - I have not read more than a few paragraphs of Chaucer. Shakespeare - no problem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - fine, Piers Plowman - okay I read it and remember nothing at this point. But Chaucer, no dice. I have a Riverside Chaucer but I have never had the time or energy to tackle it. 

3. I loved reading the Vulgate Cycle, also known as the the Prose Lancelot, (the Norris J. Lacy translations) but I never finished the fifth book - which is technically the Post-Vulgate stuff. I guess this isn't much of a confession but I was the only one of the students in the class (a graduate class on Arthurian literature) that really got into the Vulgate in the first place. I was sorta the class 'expert' and I didn't want to confess that I lost steam. 

It was such a completely weird read that I was entranced. For example, I found parts of Lancelot's quest hysterical because he would stop for the night, find a hermit, have this long conversation/confession thing followed by warnings, signs and portents - then in the morning Lancelot would ride on through the forest only to find another hermit the next night who already knew everything and then would basically continue the discussion. I called it Herm-net - because they were better connected then the internet. There were lots of things like this - literary mechanics that would be totally unacceptable today (at least when they are being employed this obviously).
4. I will confess that I haven't read any Twilight, Shades of Gray, etc. etc. I have read all of Harry Potter (I started when the second one came out and read all of them right after release.) As for the rest of them - I am not interested. In fact, as far as I can tell I am not interested in lots of the popular stuff - thus I often have no idea what some people are talking about. So far I haven't had much luck finding many other people who read the same sorts of things that I do - I am still looking for my blog niche.

5. This is sounding way too pretentious! So I will also confess that I read lots of children's books. Lots and lots and lots! And not the just Newbery contenders either. Fluffy silly stuff too. It started when I was an undergraduate - right after finals I would go check out a big pile of kids books to read. It was my way of relaxing. I still do it now, though I have to wait until after I finish grading the finals now. I also fall back on children's books when I am writing a paper work - that kills too many brain cells for me to want to read anything deep. I want fun, adventure and humor.

6. I confess that I do not have a deeply thought out philosophical position about did not finish books or the theoretical ethics of reviewing a book you did not finish. Until recently, I never even thought of books as 'DNFs' - i.e. some sort of discrete category - there were just books that I put down and never picked back up for whatever reason. Sometimes I would find them and start again, sometimes I would find them and just put them aside because I was reading something else more interesting by then. Unless I am reading something for work (or class or as some kind of challenge), I won't force myself to finish a book. I simply have too many books that I want to read to turn my fun reading time into torture. Long experience has shown me that if I have some kind of fundamental issue with a book, chances are that reading it to the end usually will not resolve my problem - much more often I have gotten increasingly upset/irritated. And if I put a book down and start something else (I usually read 2-4 things at once) I might not even notice that a book turned into a DNF by default.

I will also confess that as long as a reviewer says that they did not finish a book, I have no problem with them reviewing the book. I have found that the reason they didn't finish might tell me whether or not I am interested in reading a book. A DNF because someone doesn't like info dumps ?  Well, I actually tend to like info dumps so I actually get more interested. A DNF because of graphic violence of certain types - thank you! - because I don't want to read that either so now I know not to pick that book up.

7. I always have a book or two or three with me. Now that I have an e-reader this is much easier on my back !  In high school I would carry around a stack of paperbacks that I was reading - 3 or more at a time, so that I would have something to fit my mood (more or less) and so that I always had something to read when I finished a book. For this reason, I tend to prefer paperback - hardbacks are too heavy and awkward. Now that my wrists have been damaged I can't even comfortably read a hardback in bed.

8. I read while walking places. This used to make me stand out on campus but since everyone else is looking at their phones now, I look normal.  In my defense I have very good peripheral vision so I don't walk into things and I have never run into anyone. Ages ago one of my professors tried messing with me by moving back in forth in my path was was impressed that not only could I dodge him without looking up - I knew who he was as well.

9. I am not even remotely organized about blogging. I have no master plan at all. When I have a spare few minutes and access to a computer (i.e. there isn't a Minecraft quest going on in my house) I try to type something up. If I am bummed at work or waiting on some equipment - I can squeeze in some time there too. I do want to start taking better notes on the books I am reading, but organizationally I doubt much will change anytime in the near future. I am impressed by those of you out there are have spreadsheets and do formal ARC reviews but I am not going to get into that. This is just for fun. 

10. Saying I spend way too much money on books probably doesn't count as much of a confession. The really dumb thing is that for some books I have both electronic and paper copies! Favorite books, books that I reference for work, books that were on sale that seemed like a good idea at the time ... A copy for when you have that sudden need for a comfort read or to look up some quote that is making you nuts.


  1. +JMJ+

    I always fall back on Middle Grade and Young Adult novels! =) When I was a new uni graduate, I thought there was something wrong me for still liking them so much, when they were "for children," but I've since embraced this literary preference. Besides, lots of them are really good!

  2. I love reading YA and MG books, and even some picture books. In fact, one of my top books of this year is the MG A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd. It's extraordinary. As for comments - I admit that I, too, don't always know what to say, especially if a book is way out of my usual genres. I've been known to fall back on "Sorry, not for me" but usually if I can't think of what to say, I go poking around for another review by the same blogger that I can respond to.


Hi! I do read all of the comments and want to let you know that I really appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to leave a note. Work has fallen in on me and I have not had enough time to reply coherently lately so I apologize preemptively but still want to assure you that your comments are valued. I am using comment moderation to avoid using more annoying spam avoidance. Thanks for your patience.