Tuesday, February 19, 2008

reading and blogging

Every night before falling asleep I read. In fact, I no longer seem to be able to fall asleep unless I do read. My bed time reading is frivolous. I only read fiction, and my preferences are for mysteries and science fiction.

When I was in college and graduate school, I had so much reading that I had to do, that I never read for pleasure because it generated too much guilt -- if I had time to read, then I ought to be reading one of the many required books or articles. In 1988, I was denied tenure on my first teaching post, and my friend Sharon sent me a mystery by "Amanda Cross" (aka Carolyn Heilbrun). It was called Death in a Tenured Position. It was exactly the right antidote for my feelings at that time. Sharon sent me other things, an early Sara Paretsky mystery for one. I began reading every night for 30 minutes to an hour before going to sleep, and the habit stuck. Now I keep basket of books under the nightstand.

Recently I discovered some new writers. I've been a member of the Mystery Book Club for years, but recently I've gotten lax about remembering to cancel the automatic shipments. So about six months ago I ended up with two boxes of books I had not really wanted. On the rare occasions that happened previously I would send them back unopened. But this time, I said, "what the heck" and decided to see what was there. As a result I had the chance to read a book by J.A. Jance. It was one of her mysteries featuring career homicide officer J.P. Beaumont; and I loved it. Got on Amazon.com and went back to the beginning of the series and ordered several more that were just as good. Then a few months later, I was in the grocery store and noticed a book by Jance that was NOT part of that series, called Web of Evil, and was introduced to former broadcaster and blogger "Ali". Another great character and story, so again I went back and got the first book in the series, and the most recent book.

Reading Jance's series about Ali have made me want to spend even more time blogging. The fictional Ali's blog "cutloose" is inspiring. Does anyone (ordinary person) have that kind of blog experience, where they develop a large readership and engage in real "conversation" in their forums/comments?

I've become part of a group blog Blue Island Almanack that has generated wonderful discussion, at least among the members of the group (and hopefully over time with a wider group of readers). But, Blue Island Almanack deals with important issues (environment, education, economy, etc.) and because of that it doesn't entirely fulfill all my needs for expression and interaction on-line. I'm still trying to figure out what kind of a blogger I want to be.

1 comment:

Qaro said...

I think your best bet for an active forum would be an actual forum. : )

I've seen them, I just don't remember where they are. Pick a topic you like and go to the off-topic section of that.