Thursday 4 August 2011

Less is More

I had a quick trawl through CSNI earlier and realised that I've only posted one review here in 2011. This seems a bit out of sync with the number of books I've received and read in that time. In fact, it's completely out of whack. I've written a few of them for Culture Northern Ireland but that still doesn't account for the discrepancy. Without digging too deep, I think I've discovered the problem.

I've developed a bit of a chip on my shoulder about not being paid to write. When I first started the blog, the only reason I needed to pen a review was the simple joy of sharing my thoughts with like-minded individuals when a good book tickled my fancy. Then it afforded me a chance to get in contact with some of my favourite writers. And soon after that came the free books. Spoilt, I was.

But like any other spoilt child, I started to take everything I had for granted and set my sights on the next step. Money, money, money, money, money. Of course, there aren't many people out there paying for reviews right now. Not from a lowly blogger like myself, anyway. And, disheartened, I lost sight of the reason I began to share my thoughts in the first place.

Time is a factor too, of course. I have my wife and kids to think about. And a wee fluffy puppy and thirty-something tropical fish too. And somewehre between that and my day-job. I need to find time for my fiction, and maybe an hour or two on the Xbox. Banging out five hundred words on my last read barely makes it to the top of my list of priorities these days. But I feel bad about that. Especially since I still get a fair amount of free books every month.

So, what to do?

Well, this week's solution is to write reviews that are much shorter. Fifty to one hundred words. More like blurbs, really. And you know, that's probably a better length for internet consumption anyway, right? At least I'm not shrinking them down to Twitter proportions, right? I'm still contributing to the crime fiction community, right? Oh, you don't care? Right.

Anyway. I just finished reading Back of Beyond by CJ Box, so I expect that to be the first one I review in my new lean, stripped-down blogger fashion. Then I'll go back to the great books I've read but avoided reviewing over the past six months and run a series of short, blurb-like reviews of those. And with any luck, I'll post more regularly and feel just a little less guilty about all those free books that keep my bookshelves stocked.




Michael Stone said...

I've missed reading your thoughts on the books you read and like the sound of short and sweet reviews. As you say, they'll probably be more suited to the blog-o-sphere than 1000 word essays. Would you welcome potted reviews a third-party reviewer?

Gerard Brennan said...

Cheers, mate.

By the looks of the today's post I could use a little practice at shorter and sweeter reviews. Getting there, though.

As for third-party reviews, I'd welcome them with open arms!