Recently, (more specifically, after this post), I came to the realization that I don’t talk about books enough in general. Writing, sure. I ramble on about my own writing like one those poor, um, overserved* individuals you occasionally see wandering the convenience store barefoot and in search of cheese doodles.
But I don’t mean writing, I mean books.
That said, I actually do it more than you’d think. Talk about books, that is, not the thing about the cheese doodles. Sadly, though, speech is pretty limiting in that you need to be within the physical range of my voice to get any kind of idea what I think or how I feel about what I’ve been reading. That limitation pretty seriously hampers my ability to be much of a book evangelist. Well, unless you’re a co-worker of mine, or a member of my family. But in that case you have bigger problems.
Kidding aside, I do pretty firmly believe that books can certainly use some evangelizing. See, I’m generally of the opinion that, as a people, humans could do with a little more reading and a little less Schadenfreude-filled reality TV. I also believe that more discussion of reading can lead to more actual reading.
So it’s not too much of stretch, then, to conclude that I should both advocate and participate in more open discourse about books, reading, etc.
Long story short, I realized I need to put my money where my mouth is and maybe get into some kind of book club. One that isn’t limited to actually hearing other people talk.
I’ll make this an easy pop quiz: yes, I did, and yes, they do. So, feeling my oats**, I recently took it a step even further and joined a group on Goodreads, the Sword and Laser. It’s exactly what I was looking for, a kind of an online book club for science fiction and fantasy, which is right in my oarlocks.
What do you mean, what’s with the oarlocks? You know, “oarlocks”. Don’t you know that saying that is totally a thing now. Well, or it will be. I’m making it one. Like “wheelhouse” but not so way overused by everyone. What? Hey, it might become a thing. Just…just, nevermind. *grumbles to self*
Anyway, so I joined the Sword and Laser because, well, it seemed like fun. Reading is fun, you know. Also, because I’m into those kinds of book and look forward to discussing my thoughts about them in an open forum. That said, for every book I read with that intention, I’m also going to post a (hopefully as spoiler-free as possible) review of the latest novel in question here.
I’m going to do that for two reasons.
- I’m pretty certain that not everyone who reads the blog here belong to Goodreads, and I’m absolutely certain that you won’t all be lurking about the Sword and Laser group. More importantly, the thing is that most the people over there will have already read the book in question. If I’m only sharing my thoughts and feels with other people who’ve already read it, that’s kind of the exact definition of preaching to the choir. Remember, the idea is to get people who haven’t read something to go, “Hey, maybe I should read that.”
- I wrote 700+ words about Dragonflight yesterday. If I’d posted that on Goodreads, those words would be property of Goodreads and could go poof at any time without giving me any say in the matter. Well, I don’t want my thoughts on a novel to go poof. So I’m going to write them here, on my blog, where I own everything right down to the strange detours in logical and the poor punctuation. Oh, and lest you think I’m kidding about the poof business, not too long ago Amazon decreed that authors who’d written reader reviews of other authors weren’t objective, and lots of comments were, in fact, deleted.
The long and short of all this is: I love books. I want more people to love books, too. And, hopefully, if I apply myself a little, maybe I’ll convince a person or two out there to read a book they wouldn’t have otherwise read.
That’d be pretty cool if you ask me.
So go read a book. Then we’ll talk about it.
*Why, yes, this is a pseudo-polite way of saying “loaded”, “hammered”, “knackered”, “three sheets to the wind,” or “drunk”
**What does that even mean? Seems like it’s the kind of activity that probably requires a shower. Or at least a wet-nap