A Slightly New Direction

Bookcase

As you know I’ve struggled to keep Gudrun’s Tights going over the past year. And I’m struggling now. I love blogging and I love the friendships I’ve made through blogging, but I am feeling completely uninspired and cold about it all right now. Sometimes I think that anything I have to say has already been said or doesn’t need to be said. Yet I love sharing my thoughts on the books I’ve read and the things I’ve learned as well as posting photos. So, what can I do? As I thought about it over the weekend I mulled over some ideas and decided that one thing I am passionate about at the moment is reading American women authors and bringing some of their forgotten work to light. I wrote a post about this back in March 2012 and everything I said there has been carried in my heart from that day. As a committed Anglophile, however, I tend to gravitate toward British authors and to neglect the literature of my own countrywomen. There’s nothing wrong with that – we enjoy what we enjoy, but I do think now is the time to read more American women authors.

Also – I’ve been unsatisfied with many of the books I’ve read this year. My soul, heart and brain long for nourishment, beauty, meaning, wisdom, folly, humor, truth and universality. I want to read books that make me think and make my heart spring. I want to indulge my curiosity and follow unexpected paths of delight. I’ve chosen to read books out of duty to my job rather than out of duty to myself. Can I be a good librarian if I don’t read all of the ‘hot’ authors and bestsellers? Most of my colleagues say no. This is a dilemma I’ll have to figure out for myself…

Yes, friends, you’ll see more American women authors here and I’m going to celebrate the heck out of them!  You’ll see more classics and more books that I’ve chosen to read because I want to read them not because I must read them.

Thanks, as always, for listening. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.

22 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I think this is a fantastic idea! Reading what you don’t enjoy or isn’t sparking your mind is hard enough, let alone then having to try and write a blog post on them.

    I look forward to see what you read, it can push me in the direction of these authors too.

  2. I love the picture of the bookshelves – are they yours? I see books I recognize, Mary Stewart & Trollope! I also know the feeling that “everything has already been said” – but your reactions to a book will always be uniquely your own. I would hate having to read books that I didn’t want to. Is it enough to read reviews of them, for work? In something like Publisher’s Weekly, or the NYT review of books? Or do people ask if you’ve read something, when you’re doing reference? People’s reactions are so individual anyway – just because you liked it, that doesn’t mean the patron will – or vice versa. I do think you need to read what nourishes you, what you enjoy.

    1. Yes, they are my bookshelves! Nothing is in any order, but I seem able to find what I want. 🙂
      I can glean a lot of knowledge from reading reviews and just reading blurbs, but sometimes it is hard to suggest books to patrons when I am not in the know. I couldn’t get away with recommending Dorothy Whipple and Elizabeth Bowen to our patrons who love Janet Evanovich and Stuart Woods!
      I do like contemporary literature, but I don’t want to make it my focus. I need to find a way to balance my duty and my personal interests.

  3. Do it 🙂 Regarding the library, if all the emphasis is on new, then maybe that makes sense, though hopefully it isn’t that way! Your knowledge of older works is surely important to the readers who share your interests and just in general. A question you can’t answer could always be passed on, and likewise for librarians who don’t know what you do.

    And don’t feel that everything’s been said if you want to write about a book/topic. Even if a lot of it has, any post you write is bound to have something new to it because it’s your opinion.

    1. Unfortunately, the emphasis is on the new. Most library patrons want to read the bestsellers and ‘buzz’ books, which is great, but I don’t feel that excited about reading them myself. Most of the classics I suggest are to teens who are doing book reports.

      You’re right about everyone having a unique perspective – I will keep that in mind when I sit down to write blog posts!

  4. Love this idea. If your heart is in it, that will show in your writing and will make you happy. Plus your enthusiasm will be contagious. Your unique perspective will come through and your readers will love it. Happy reading!

  5. Please do read the books that call you – there are too many good books in the world to spend too much time with books that don’t touch your head or your heart or your soul. And, speaking as a library patron, I certainly don’t expect librarians to have read everything, just to love books.

  6. Good luck with your new project! If I worked in a library I know I would find it difficult to keep up with the latest bestsellers too. Hopefully you can find the right balance between reading for your job and reading for pleasure. I’ll look forward to seeing which American women authors you decide to read!

  7. All the support in the world from me! (And everyone else in the book blogosphere, I’m sure.) It’s no fun to write about books you’re not interested in. Everyone enjoys writing more, and writes better, when they’re writing about something that truly interests them. Facts.

    1. Those really are facts! I realized that I’ve lost my mojo because I’ve lost my heart – here’s to reading books I want to read instead of ones that I have to read (though there will be some of those, too).

  8. I’m looking forward to seeing where this new direction takes you! If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend reading Heat Lighting by Helen Hull. I really loved it and think it might be just the kind of book by an American woman author that you’re looking for.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

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