Life as a Reading Challenge, Chapter 9
It takes me forever to finish my own projects, doesn't it? Chapter 8 went up over nine months ago. Since that time, you could say a whole new direction to my blogging has been born.
When I started writing these posts, my personal reading challenge was to come up with a nice balance between "new" books and "old" books. (See Chapter 3.) That soon became a more general rule of having as eclectic a reading mix as possible. You can see how that works out if you review last year's "Two or Three" Book Club picks . . .
In a nutshell, I did a reread of a fondly remembered Jane Austen Romance, sank my teeth into my first Stephen King Horror novel in several years, and tried Laura Ingalls Wilder's historical fiction for children for the very first time. But the best part of all that reading was that I did it all with your company! (Yes, you!)
That brings me to a new kind of reading challenge. While I usually read what I please and let others take it or leave it, I've come to see that attracting the company of others means having to consider the preferences of others. And that may turn out to be my biggest challenge yet, because the next book I'd like to try is probably not something a lot of you will be too crazy about.
This is a blogging-related complication, of course. And there are at least two ways of looking at it.
From a "branding" perspective, I see that the best thing to do would be to keep going in the direction that is working. The most successful Book Club pick by far, in terms of creating discussion, has been Wilder's Little House series. The last time I had this much reader involvement, I was blogging about Madeleine L'Engle. Obviously, classic children's literature--anything that touches a nostalgic nerve--is a comments goldmine. And I should do more of it.
From a personal perspective, however, sticking to one theme is just not something I want to do--at least not for more than a month or two at a time. Remember that the overarching reading challenge of my life, to which this blog is subject, is to keep things as eclectic as possible. And that means that I don't want the next pick to be a hugely popular classic: in fact, I want it to be even further away from the Little House series as Pet Sematary was from Persuasion. But now here's the rub: will you also read it with me? (Yes, you!)
So far, I've been amazingly lucky to have had at least one other person willing to read each of last year's three big novels with me. But they weren't the same people, and I don't know how any of them will react when I say I want "our" next big read to be a book that wasn't originally written in English.
What do you think? Would it be a good thing for at least one feature of this blog, namely the "Two or Three" Book Club, to be more streamlined? Go ahead and let me know, as I do value your input.
As for the "branding" perspective, have you ever felt pressured to pursue what your readers seem to want, at the expense of what you want? If so, then what did you do about it?
Image Sources: a) Persuasion by Jane Austen, b) Pet Sematary by Stephen King, c) Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder