The Daily Monocle

Critical book reviews from a literary skeptic.

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 - The Year of Wonderful Possibilities

Posted by J. P. Wickwire

Hello to all of my lovely bookworms! I have several exciting new developments to share with you.

For one, The Daily Monocle is now part of Nuture Book Tourz, which means that we'll have some wonderful authors stopping in from time to time to talk to us about their works. I'm also continuing to contact authors independently, and have one high-profile author interview lined up, and another on the way.

The Daily Monocle is going to have a slightly different slant this year. Because of my current occupations, I can't read books as avidly as I might like. But as a student, I write a lot of literary critique papers and read a lot of classics. So The Daily Monocle is going to start having some more articles and "classic" reviews for your reading pleasure.

And last (but not least), I want to post this welcome (after the break) to 2011, even though it is a bit late. Ten days into the new year, and I still can't get my act together! I would love to hear your thoughts on anything and everything regarding The Daily Monocle. And please know that we'll be back to a (semi) regular posting schedule by next week, with at least one review up a week, and hopefully an interview to go with it. This will continue until this summer when I'm not at school!

People ask me sometimes what it's like to review books for a blog, or publication. I tell them it's not much different than writing a short, analytical paper (something which my nerdy self has always loved to do).

I used to be able to read books and feel satisfied. I could read the last page, sit back, and smile. Think about all of the things I had seen in that book, and all of the things I could sit back and think about. I even wrote fanfiction at one point, for a large, well-known science-fiction franchise and would show it to my friends.

But I'm not like that anymore. Now when I finish a book I feel empty. All of the life that the book brought with me is gone when I close the page. Granted, I know I can open it again and re-read (that's part of the magic of books), but I become so emotionally invested in each story I read that when I close the book, the story lingers, but still comes to a stop. As they say, great works of art are never finished, merely abandoned. Well, readers never die either, we're just orphaned when we close the page.

This is a good thing.

I always keep two books on my person at any one time, because when I finish one, I immediately delve into the next, or write a review. And I don't just read one book at a time either. I have five or six open at any one point, and a little notepad I keep in my pocket, or in my purse, with notes on style and characterization and spiffy-sounding anecdotes.

I don't get paid for my reviews, and I don't have an exceptionally large readership (though it continues to grow). But I'm passionate about my fiction, and I review as a way to get it all out of my head and onto the paper. Because for me, literature is more than just a hobby—it's more than a passion—it's an addiction. An addiction that prompts me to write down my thoughts and feelings and to keep on going faster and faster towards different books, to see how much I can absorb.

Even as a little kid my reading habits were there. I've read The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White at least a dozen times, and Charlotte's Web at least that many times. Why? Because when I finished a book, and my mom couldn't drive six-year-old me to the bookstore, I just re-read. And re-read again.

I just can't get enough of the written word.

Like I said, it's an addiction.

What I'm trying to say is I don't think I'll ever be able to kick the blogging habit now. I'm always reading; always writing; always posting. There might be a week between posts, but that's generally because I have papers due, and yes, I force myself to put my college degree before my blog posts. If there are breaks between posts, keep checking back, because I will always get some sort of an update out there, so long as God keeps my fingers typing.

So, hello 2011! Let's make this an awesome year for the written word.

There are some addictions you don't really want to kick.


Aly said...

This made me smile. I love reading your reviews and I understand entirely about the addiction, though mine seems to fade a bit more than yours. ;)
Looking forward to more reviews, Jessica! (Also, I MISS NANO GRRR.)

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