Random Bookish Thoughts

I’ve finally hit upon a winning blogging strategy, after months of feeling like blogging was becoming a chore that I couldn’t keep up with. Now I’m writing on Friday afternoons. After my son gets home and we’ve chatted about his day and looked at stuff he’s brought home, he gets a snack and plays on the computer while I get out my iPad and write on the couch. It’s perfect because I’m not DOG-TIRED like I am at night after work and parenting. If I put out one post a week, I’m happy. Yay!

Photo by Nicole Honeywill / Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Do you ever have that feeling that the books you read back in January or February  of this year feel like you read them YEARS ago? ‘Cause I do.

This whole Sarah Dessen Twitter debacle is a very weird story. I do think it’s odd that a young woman would get on a college book search committee with the purpose of keeping a certain author off the list. But I also think it’s really weird that an author gets all hurty-feelings about it and then broadcasts that on Twitter, enabling some of her fellow authors (including Roxane Gay, Jodi Picoult, and Jennifer Weiner) to then pile on the young woman to the point where she has to abandon her social media accounts to escape the onslaught. This is pretty much why I only Retweet things, because at any moment anything you put out on social media can turn on you and ruin your life. Twitter is a cesspool, one that I can’t seem to quit, unfortunately. Have you read about this incident? I only heard about it because I saw Roxane Gay’s apology tweet. It’s just so odd and unfortunate.

If you’ve followed me a long time, you know I’m a dedicated mood reader. Well lately I’ve been moodier than usual. I want to throw away my TBR list and totally start over some days – which most of the time strikes me as pure madness. (The current TBR on Goodreads stands as 347 books. My TBR is my list, not an actual pile of books in my house.) Sometimes I want to take off all the books on my library card holds list – but instead I keep suspending them so that they don’t come in. I suspend them over and over until I’m ready for one to come through. Sometimes I suspend them so long that I decide I don’t really want to read it after all. This is all to say that there are just SO MANY delicious looking books out there, and I just want to read them ALL  – and it sort of pains me that I can’t seem to make real headway on the books that I actually own, or the books that have been on my Goodreads TBR for years. Also, I want to make room for the random picks – those choices that just look good as the come across the library desk.

But then I just get over it, ha ha! It’s a good thing that there are so many enticing books out there for me to enjoy. I’ll never run out.

What are some of your random bookish thoughts lately?




36 thoughts on “Random Bookish Thoughts

  1. I’m so glad you found a blogging schedule/style that works for you. As soon as it starts to feel like a chore something needs to change. I’m happy to hear your thoughts anytime, however you put them out there 🙂

    Ugh, Twitter intimidates me so much. I had one I guess about a decade ago, when it first came around. But abandoned it fairly quickly, and in the meantime it’s turned into something I never would’ve anticipated. Did you read Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (I feel like you did and we discussed at some point). It just solidified my fear of it, that the smallest, thoughtless little thing could turn into something that destroys your life, relationships, career, reputation, etc. I think Twitter can be a vehicle for a lot of good but also so much bullying and badness. Your strategy of only retweeting seems best.

    I haven’t heard of the debacle you mention but it doesn’t sound like what she did was so egregious to deserve that kind of shaming? That makes me very uneasy. Off to read it now, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Renee. Twitter is very intimidating! I feel like it’s changed a lot since it first came out. My sense is that it was way more fun back in the day! If it weren’t for our current state of politics, I’d probably not be on it very much. I DID read the Ronson book and it also confirmed my ideas about not putting anything the least bit controversial on Twitter! Scary!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it did used to be way more fun, I joined along with a bunch of then-coworkers and we were always cracking up about it! You’re right though, it does feel necessary for the news, thanks to the current political situation. Ugh. The Jon Ronson book was definitely a big warning about how to use it. I admire others’ bravery, haha!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read about the Sarah Dessen thing and the article I found said that the student joined the group to advocate for Bryan Stevenson or a couple of other nonfiction authors with messages like his. I think someone is twisting the story if they say she joined just to keep Dessen off.
    And that is my complaint about the country today. So many people just don’t read enough! (If they did, it wouldn’t be such a problem picking a common book for a college. It wouldn’t be the only book the incoming class was expected to read!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed – we don’t tend to read thoroughly or deeply by and large. I did read that the then-student was quoted as saying that she wanted to keep Dessen off the list, but she also favored the Stevenson book. It was sort of a toss-off quote I think and not very deeply explained. You’re right – why should students have to just read one book? Why not a range of titles? One book puts a lot of pressure on just one author and the committees.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I happened to see the Dessen tweet circulating not long after it happened, mostly with messages of support for Dessen. I got curious about the context and looked for the article and saw that it was such a small thing – one former student at a small college making a flippant remark to a small local paper. (She did say she joined the committee to keep Dessen off, but she didn’t say Dessen’s books were bad.) I figured the former student doesn’t spend all her time on book Twitter/YA Twitter and didn’t realize how her remark could be interpreted, nor would she have any reason to expect it would be scrutinized by so many people.

    It does sometimes seems like a lot of people on Twitter are quick to assume the worst about others’ intentions/meaning and then it all gets out of control. I still like Twitter for quick, off-the-cuff conversations, but the negative culture there gets me down sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m reminded of Jon Ronson’s book on public shaming as well. You have to be so careful about what you say on social media these days. I pretty much never post anything opinion-y; just links to my blog posts, or photos of vacations and book hauls.

    There are times when I look at the hundreds of unread books in the house and they just feel like burdens. On some dark days I think, if my house burned down or I moved back to the States and had to get rid of all my books … would that really be so bad?! For 2020 I’m thinking of not requesting or accepting any review books, or at least dramatically scaling back on them. I know you don’t do review copies (and you wouldn’t need to anyway since you get so much access through your library!) and I can understand not liking the feeling of obligation and deadlines they place on you. Reading by pure whim sounds very appealing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of Ronson’s book too. It’s sad that opinions feel dangerous online. I’m so grateful that the book blogging community is so kind.

      Reading by whim – doesn’t that sound fun? It’s how I used to choose books all the time before Goodreads/blogging. I wish you luck in deciding what to do about review copies.


    2. FWIW, Rebecca, I made that decision myself, when my review copies were comprising more than a third of my reading in one year and creeping towards the 40% mark: it was really a hard decision to make – and, honestly, I sometimes still struggle with it now and then (ohhh, the temptations! LOL), but I am much more content overall, and I have kept it up longer than I expected to when I began. Besides, you can always change your mind! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The good thing about these Twitter spats is that it lets you see these “liberal” celebrities in real time behaving as obnoxiously and as bullyingly as the people they criticise. I never understand why people don’t make more use of the block and mute functions. No-one who is rude to me appears in my timeline ever again! But then I’m immune to being bullied – too many years working with badly behaved youngsters have left me with a very thick skin and a stern school-marm approach to anyone behaving badly… 😉

    Glad you’ve found a schedule that works for you. I’m always amazed at people who can work and/or look after kids and still have time to blog! It’s so time-consuming, which is fine if you have plenty of spare time…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha! I suppose it does show that we all do have a tendency to fly off the handle and speak/act before we think. Block and mute – yes! Do it with abandon!

      I’m glad too, FF. I was beginning to feel like a failure at blogging because I couldn’t seem to carve out the time. But now that I have this window, I feel rejuvenated. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Yay for finding a great schedule for writing! That’s half of the battle.

    Thanks for linking up this Twitter fiasco – I had no idea it was happening. How sad that a successful author was so upset that one young woman doesn’t like her work. When I was in college, Twilight was all the rage and I hated it with a passion. I could totally see myself doing the same thing with the goal to block a Stephenie Meyer novel, ha. This poor girl! The internet can ruin people’s lives.

    I hear you about all of the delicious books! Lately there’s been a few holds that I’ve waited MONTHS for that I returned without reading. I realized that I was drawn to other books much more than whatever was super popular at the time. I’ve decided in 2020 that I’m not going to buy any books for myself and will rely on the library for all of my books (except for Wendell Berry. Yes, that’s an actual clause in my informal goal). I love the social aspect of chatting with my librarians when I return the books and the soft deadline of the due date. Plus, my librarians have never let me down. They’ve gotten me everything that I’ve asked for, in one way or another.

    I loved this post!! I love seeing your posts pop up in my reader. I hope you have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Katie! I love your Wendell Berry clause. It’s good to have clauses in our bookish plans! The library is such a wonderful way to get books… no clutter, no expense! Plus we’re usually a pretty friendly bunch. 😉

      HA HA about your Twilight story! It’s just unfortunate that someone with a platform would choose to share an article about a “regular” person with an opinion. I mean, who cares? You’re a popular author, you are making money doing something you enjoy… plenty of people like your books… I say shrug it off and move on. But that’s just me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it’s much easier to be a fickle reading when you work in a library because you see books ALL. THE. TIME. I keep adding, and I need to be more discerning. For now, though, I easily remove books from my TBR (mine is also a list, one of books that can be found in the library).

    I read about the whole author-turns-troll situation when another blogger shared the article. I can’t believe these grown women write the exact same things that their own trolls write. I mean, how did this even happen?? Did they not know millions of people would see their petty cries of hatred? Roxane Gay especially is a digital native and Twitter wunderkind who should know better. Her apology was pitiful, in my opinion, and the comments under her apology pretty much note how her apology rings false, she should know better, and it’s pretty ironic that an author wouldn’t read an article but make vile comments on it anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The struggle is REAL, dude… also it doesn’t help that I follow all these cool bloggers who write about books that look interesting! 😉 Yeah, I saw Roxane’s apology and wasn’t thrilled with that either. I think Twitter just encourages a super quick response and people just don’t stop to think. It’s unfortunate. I mean, we all make mistakes, but… people with a public platform should be doubly careful IMO.


      1. The weird thing is if a man issued that same apology, I believe Gay would have jumped all over it. I see those kinds of responses all the time — that the person apologizing do not focus on the victim, but on themselves instead.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Laila 🙂

    Glad to her that you have found a blogging schedule that works for you. At the moment, blogging isn’t something that I enjoy much. Even reading has suffered so I am around blogosphere but not really around. I totally get what you mean when you said that it had become a chore at some point. I hope the new schedule will help turn things around.

    I am off to read about the Dessen case. I am on Twitter but like you, I mostly just retweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Laila! What a PERFECT post for me to come back to blog hopping on! Yes, I can relate to how blogging has felt like a chore. For me, it’s been more that my schedule hasn’t been stable enough for me to recraft my blogging habits. Blogging is something I’ve had to fit in when I could be reading, sleeping, or working out. It’s not a great experience when it’s replacing something else I feel I need for my sanity.

    I’m trying to get my schedule a bit more stable. That’s the first step toward making blogging a key part of my life. But, I realize blog hopping has been lost in the tide as well. This is easier to develop a habit around. I often have 45-minute meetings at work. Therefore I’m challenging myself to read and respond to one post in each 15-minute break between meetings. If I get 3 done a day, I’ll be happy.

    Re: TBRs — I find that I always get in a moody slump when the seasons change. Suddenly the world is different around me and I want to read different things than I’ve been planning for. The worst are the books from the library. I forget to suspend them and suddenly I get the audiobook for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and don’t have the mind to read it— but the waiting time is over 3 months to get it again! It’s hard for me to return such things. But I do.

    In the end, who cares? We’re still reading — and that’s all which matters. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As usual you’ve got a great plan for getting back in the rhythm, Jackie! I hear you about those library holds. I’ve got to stay ON TOP of mine so I don’t get into trouble. But you’re right- in the end we’re still reading and that’s what really matter, enjoying what we read!


  10. See how much attention this post is getting? Everyone has these same problems, so you should never feel like a failure, you’re just trying to get through the day, just like everyone else 🙂

    Yes the Dessen thing. I retweeted her tweet b/c I thought it was another case of people tagging the author in a negative book review (which is so weird, why do people do it?) and then I quickly realized my mistake-yikes! So I need to be much more careful about things I retweet, even when I don’t necessarily comment on them.

    TBR-yes, I have book regret all the time too, just part of being a die-hard bookworm I guess haha

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great random thoughts, Laila, and I’m glad you’ve found a blogging schedule that works for you. As soon as anything begins to feel like a chore, it’s not worth it, so I hope you are able to start enjoying blogging again.
    I haven’t come across this Sarah Dessen thing, but then I canceled my Twitter account, as I couldn’t be bothered with it. It sounds as if a slightly misguided or flippant comment has been taken right out of context, and too many people who ought to know better have jumped on the band wagon. Life really is far too short for all this kind of nonsense, but unfortunately, it happens all the time, which is why I never post opinions about anything on social media.
    Re mood reading and TBR, I am not even on Goodreads, but have made a TBR myself of books I would like to read. I tend to fall down reading rabbit holes however, and am very much a mood reader. For now, I’ve decided to just go with that, rather than setting lists in stone, because if I did that, I probably wouldn’t read anything at all as I would become too stressed.


    1. Reading rabbit holes can be fun, and it sounds like your plan is working for you. The main reason I keep my Goodreads account is that I like the organization of my virtual shelves and seeing all the titles I read in one year visually. Also the list of What Women Born in the 1970s Read every year. That’s a fun list to watch over the year.


  12. Yea, those January books seem so far away, they make me think I read them last year, lol!
    I didn’t know about that Sarah Dessen controversy! I looked at the article and it seems like the kind of thing I often hear about regarding YA authors and books on Twitter. I have a problem with the whole “call-out” culture in general, which I think this situation is a part of because Dessen basically “called out” Brooke Nelson. And OMG! The responses from the other authors reached some appalling levels.

    Sometimes I keep putting off books too and even take them off my library hold list. It’s ok to restart your TBR, if that’s what you really want to do, but maybe try just taking a reading break. When I’m that moody, a break helps or reading a comic book.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I do love Twitter and my Twitter is usually positive? Or silly. But then being silly against all the garbage-fire stuff makes me think I am not serious enough. It’s mind-boggling. Checking my Twitter can be a sure way to a bad mood, lately. Anyway… do I follow you on Twitter?! off to go check.

    AND, blog whenever. It works for me! 😀

    In other news, I recommend One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes. I hope to review on it next week sometime. maybe. I will never delete my 3500 book strong tbr in goodreads. I consult it ALL THE TIME. I finally got past being intimidated by it and keep it for historical significance. I do move books I hope to read in the very near future to the first couple spots – rearranging the order makes me feel like I have some kind of plan. ha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh, interesting! Moving books around on your TBR list. Never thought of that.

      I think lately on Twitter I’ve been so engrossed by politics that my algorithm has changed to ONLY show me political stuff. I’ve not seen very much bookish stuff there lately, and I need to seek out bloggers and change that. I’m pretty sure that we follow each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I hear you on January and February books! Someone will ask me about a title and I’ll say I read it two years ago and they’ll say it came out in January. Gulp. I guess there are worse problems to have, right?

    I’m glad you’ve found a schedule that works for you. 2019 has been so dysfunctional from that I’ve had to step away from my blog for weeks at a time. It scared me a bit that I didn’t miss it. You start to wonder why it even matters. Especially with the rise of Instagram where it feels as if actually reading and reviewing a book is less important than taking a pretty picture of it. It gets exhausting.

    I’m back to reviewing but only two times a week instead of three. I feel like I “should” get back to three, but I can’t motivate myself. I’m going to keep doing what I can and when/if I feel like doing more I will.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I think we are very similar-minded. I don’t ‘get’ all the bad stuff that goes on on Twitter, either. And I hardly ever tweet things myself, unless I’m just posting about a book with a quote or something pretty safe. I never give my opinion on anything – it’s too terrifying! Also, most of the people I follow are pretty positive and I hardly ever see anything too negative unless I’m looking for it (which is hardly ever).

    I’m also a mood reader and veer off my reading plans very easily, and sometimes don’t ever come back! And I work at a library, too, so I know how hard it is to not take everything home the moment you see it. Same goes for all the movies I didn’t even know were in the world until I saw them at the library. But I keep telling myself these are very good problems to have!

    So glad you’ve found a routine you’re happy with. It’s not easy, and mine keeps changing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m trying lately to curate my Twitter feed better by searching out more bookish content. Lately I’m overloaded with political content and it’s depressing as hell.

      Thank you – I think the once a week routine is liberating for me because I tend to put pressure on myself to think I “should” post more. I’m trying to get rid of all my “shoulds!”

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Your random bookish thoughts all feel so familiar to me. It’s always about balancing and rebalancing. And I feel like I’m always trying new variations on the old themes, aiming for a better mix. Right now, as the weeks in December dwindle, I’m obsessing (mostly happily) about how much MORE reading I’m going to do (magically) in 2020. Enjoy your Friday afternoons!

    Liked by 1 person

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