Paperback Reader

Just a girl who lives on books…

A fresh page

Posted on | January 4, 2012 | 26 Comments

IMG_0489Happy New Year! I don’t tend to make many New Year resolutions but I made one this year to blog more frequently.  Stepping back from blogging in 2011 was good for me as it allowed me more time to focus on my career and my personal life and it was also good for my reading.  Ironically blogging had started to change the type of reader that I am and I needed to return to my reading roots.  Last year I didn’t record what I read or how many books, although this was something that I had done pre-blogging, but I wasn’t being swayed by review copies, literary prize reading, challenges or blogging hype either.  Returning to reading on a whim was good for me and I read for me again rather than for Paperback Reader.  The only review copies I received were unsolicited ones and I was led more by my own instincts once again.  Receiving a Kindle also revolutionised my reading as I felt that my reading options were limitless, rather than being limited to those books pressing for review.

The photo above shows my three favourite books of last year: one I  had on my wishlist  for years and received for Christmas 2010, another published last year that appealed, and one by the author of one of my all-time favourite novels, of whom I had been too afraid to read anything else.  I think these books reflect a more balanced approach to reading that I had been missing.

However, I have also missed aspects of blogging and resolved to dip my toe gently back into it.  Today has been the first day of 2012 that I have actually read anything and that was inspired by the Australian Literature Month being hosted by Kim(bofo) of Reading Matters; in the maddening throes of a reading slump where nothing would stick in the last week of 2011 and nothing was picked up in the first few days of 2012, I decided to throw caution to the wind and read something Australian.  Hopefully Cloudstreet by Tim Winton grips me and doesn’t let me go until the last page.

Comments

26 Responses to “A fresh page”

  1. Verity
    January 4th, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

    Hello! I am going to reread My Cousin Rachel when I’m on holiday – I hope it is as good as I remember. It’s nice to see you back – I agree that blogging can heavily influence reading preferences so glad to hear that you are returning to your roots. I hope that you will enjoy Cloudstreet – which I’ve not read.

  2. kimbofo
    January 4th, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    Hello Claire — and nice to have you on board re: Australian Literature Month. I hope Cloudstreet does the business — there’s nothing worse than a reading slump. I had a couple of those last year. I usually find that a thriller or crime novel eases me back into the swing of things.

  3. Shelley
    January 4th, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    “The maddening throes of a reading slump”–quite a phrase!

    Yes.

  4. sakura
    January 4th, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

    Good to hear your will be blogging more – I miss your posts! I’m going to try and take a step back from blogging hype this year, but we’ll see how long that lasts, ha ha.

  5. Darlene
    January 4th, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

    Happy new year, Claire! Whether you post once a day or once a month it’s always lovely to hear from you.

  6. Elaine Simpson-Long
    January 4th, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

    I love blogging but sometimes it can become a tie and more of a penance than a pleasure and at that stage you need to wonder why you do it. I simply love blogging and used to write each day but found it was getting restrictive. I now blog three or four times a week and, as you know, not always about books but my Rants and also a bit about my life, and I find it balances out well. I have enjoyed my posting much more since then

  7. Annabel (gaskella)
    January 4th, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    Welcome back Claire. Glad you’ve got back in touch with reading for you, and hope your slump evaporates!

  8. Bellezza
    January 4th, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

    Glad to see that you’ll return to blogging again this year, and that it will be on your own terms. No sense turning our joy into a job, is there?! I, too, relish being led by my own reading instincts rather than a sense of obligation.

    (That said, do you think there will be a Persephone Reading Weekend this year? :) Would you like any help organizing it, if so?)

  9. Iris
    January 4th, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

    Hey there :)

    It is good to see you return to blogging. I like the idea of reading on a whim more, blogging can turn reading into a job and that is exhausting in the end.

  10. Alex (The Sleepless Reader)
    January 4th, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

    Glad to have you back Claire! I’m reading Frenchman’s Creek at the moment but hear that My Cousin Rachel is even better. Sow it recently in a list of the best unreliable narrators of all time.

  11. Emma @ Words And Peace
    January 4th, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

    wasn’t Ella Minnow Pea such a great read? here is what I wrote about it: http://wordsandpeace.com/2011/05/24/my-review-of-ella-minnow-pea/

  12. jenn aka the picky girl
    January 4th, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

    Welcome back! I really loved My Cousin Rachel when I read it last year and have also heard good things about Caribou Island. Glad to see you were able to go back to the reader you are. Happy New Year.

  13. stujallen
    January 4th, 2012 @ 11:54 pm

    welcome back look forward to your view on cloudstreet I had it from library but it didn’t grab me so left it plus it is a bit of a chunkster and didn’t have time at the time ,all the best for 2012 stu

  14. Violet
    January 5th, 2012 @ 12:42 am

    Hope you get through the reading slump soon. I agree about blogging changing the way we read. All those shiny distractions, the prize lists, the must-read recommendations, the wanting to join in with group activities. It’s easy to lose track of what we really enjoy reading. That’s been my problem since I started book blogging. Good luck!

  15. Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick
    January 5th, 2012 @ 1:28 am

    Welcome back! I absolutely loved Caribou Island, so glad to see it make your list. I look forward to reading your posts, and like you, I started pulling back from accepting review copies in the latter half of last year. My reading experience vastly improved, and I plan to continue this process for 2012.

  16. Steph
    January 5th, 2012 @ 3:11 am

    Happy New Year, Claire! I’m always happy when a post from you pops up in my reader and I’m glad to hear that 2011 treated you well. Of your top books from last year I’ve only read Ella Minnow Pea, which I read aaaaaages ago, but I did enjoy it a good deal. I had mixed feelings about Vann’s first book, so Caribou Island was never a priority, but I do have an ebook version kicking around, I think. And I’ve yet to read anything by Du Maurier… so you’ve given me lots to think about!

  17. Becky (Page Turners)
    January 5th, 2012 @ 3:36 am

    Sounds like you had a good approach last year and I hope that whatever you want to change works well for you. I read completely based on whim’s. I know a lot of people talk a lot about learning from what you read and growing as a reader etc etc. In the end though, for me at least, unless I actually want to read it rather than think that I should, I’m just not going to get anything much out of it.

    One of my gaols from 2012 is to be brave and read more du Maurier. I LOVE Rebecca and so have always been too scared to read another of her books, but I think 2012 is the year I give it a shot

  18. Tony
    January 5th, 2012 @ 4:03 am

    Welcome back, and I hope Winton rekindles (!) your desire to read ;)

  19. Jodie
    January 5th, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    That edition of My Cousing Rachel is beautiful and I got it for my mum this Christmas as Waterstones had really outdone themselves on stocking the pretties. I’m glad to hear you’ll be dipping back into blogging, but have worked out how to stick to your own reading interests. Happy to see your around again :)

  20. Vasilly
    January 5th, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

    Glad to see you’re back, Claire! Foster by Claire Keegan was one of my favorite reads last year and writing about it made me think of you. Ella Minnow Pea is a book that I want to read sometime this year. I hope reading Cloudstreet helps your slump. Happy New Year!

  21. Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
    January 6th, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    Welcome back! Ella Minnow Pea has been in my TBR for far too long. I’m going to have to try to get to it in 2012.

    I had a few problems with Caribou Island – I much prefered Legends of a Suicide, but glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    Have a wonderful 2012!

  22. Simon T
    January 9th, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    Welcome back Claire :) Hope you find a way of reading/blogging that suits – it’s easy to be distracted by review copies and what everyone else is reading, and it makes reading less fun in the end. Back to reading basics, I say!

  23. Buried In Print
    January 10th, 2012 @ 2:13 am

    Oh boy. Like Jackie mentions above, Mark Dunn’s novel has been kicking around my shelves for waaaay too long; I’ve got to remedy that!

    Hope Cloudstreet works well for you; it’s another that I’ve been meaning to get to for some time.

    Well, it’s that time, for resolutions, as you say! I hope you do have time for more bookchat next year, but at least more reading time, if nothing else!

  24. Rebecca Reid
    January 16th, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

    Welcome back!! Glad to see a post from you, and I look forward to hearing about your Australian lit read. Take it easy and just know we’re around her reading when you do get a chance to post.

  25. Shelley
    February 7th, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

    Returning to roots is good. As a writer, I was intrigued to see that the recent Flavorwire post on major authors’ favorite books contained so many “old classics.”

  26. Shelley
    February 14th, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

    Your toe is welcomed!

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