sexta-feira, março 11, 2016

I Will Get a Lot of Stick For This But...: "Shapes, Scenes and Strokes: Book Reviews 2015" by Myselfie

Over the last years, several people asked me whether I'd consider publishing a collection of my posts. Until 2015 I couldn't be bothered. Then someone offered to help me putting them out (I'm not at liberty to tell you who).

I've always wanted to collect my writing stuff. And to do that I always thought "Timelessness" had to be a factor, i.e., the essays had to be timeless. The last thing I would want to get is an essay book on the state of world peace...The essays needed to be written from an historical perspective as well, with the frame of reference being “...Book Reviews 2013, 2014, 20150,…” not “Last year,….

Two books I love are collections of essays by Umberto Eco ("How to travel with a Salmon") and John Clute ("Scores"). Both without much fanciness, but I don’t regret a dime buying them. If you like this kind of stuff, this collection of diatribes might be for you, otherwise stay well clear.

When I was thinking about publishing this 3rd book of my posts I asked myself why should I publish a book with my stuff in the first place. I mean, what is the advantage of having a book (and paying for it) over simply parsing through a list of posts and links (that my supposedly readers probably already know) online?

Has there ever been a collection of posts greater than the sum of its parts, i.e., the posts themselves?
I'm not sure. I think reading posts in a book format can be a significantly different experience than reading individual posts over the course of one year (in this case 2015). I find that I always get something new out of re-reading essays in compilation form. I have a queue of books much longer than I’ll ever get through, so I have to budget my time very carefully, but melikes a good compilation of reviews/essays. Sometimes I’d rather spend some time reading something old than reading new things in the hope I might get a new sliver of insight out of it.

I own several book collected from blog posts (not my own). To be fair, I love it when the book's contents is not all about blog posts. I did write some original content too. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll definitely recognize a lot. My main aim was to make it easy to read. I feel I can pick it up and set it down at my own pace. I firmly believe just because someone read a post on my blog in the past doesn’t mean she or he fully processed it.


I like the book format and I like being away from the computer when I read them. Although it's true that sometimes this is not the kind of literature I want to read when I want to relax or before going to bed because I kind of associate it to work...

If you have limited time for reading, I'd say you won't be reading this review compilation. Nevertheless here it is. If in the future the Internet folds up and I'm unable to read my own stuff (Goodreads deleted some of my reviews; those I'll never read again), I'll have it literaly in my hands to make fun of or to take with me to take to the proverbial desert island...

In the days of Mr. Google, the problem is no longer finding information, it’s being able to make sense of it, fit it together, and draw conclusions from it. That was my main reason for writing the three compilations of my book reviews, as well as writing for myself, and to understand what I read, as I've stated many times.

I'm not really sure about my target audience. I'm not expecting a huge fan base. Porn sells much more...

(On the cover of the book, Tram 28 which is a highlight of any visit to Lisbon-Not-In-Maine, my hometown ...).

I'd like to dedicate this collection to all the wonderful people I have met on Booklikes: Themis-Athena's Garden of Books, Troy's Blog, Bookstooge's Reviews On the Road, Char's Horror Corner, Reclusive Reads, BrokenTune, Bookaneer, RedTHaws Reads Randoml, The English Student, Book Reviews Forevermore, Awogfli - Bookcroc, Debbie's Spurts, Url Phantomhive, Murder by Death, Rachel the Book Harlot, The Mental Hoard of Bettie's Books, Lornographic Material, From Dark Places, The Grand World of Books, Thewanderingjew, 99 problems and a book ain't one, Lora's Rants and Reviews, To Read Is to Fly, I cannot live without books, Leopard, It's a Mad Mad World, It's a Hardback Life, Spare Ammo, WRGingell, Jessica's Book Thoughts, Constantly Moving the Bookmark, A Reading Life, ѦѺ, spocksbro, Lunaluss --- Because Books Lead you to Many Roads, Chris' Fish Place, Gregor Xane, Demoniacally Reading, Grimlock, Oldham Rocker's Mad Mumblings, Buchsalon, Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog, Sarah's Library, The Boat Was My Friend, SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady, nospin, Gurglings of a Putrid Stream, BOOKWRAITHS REVIEWS, Dantastic Book Reviews and many others. It's really been fun.

NB: A word of advice. The book is a bit rough on the edges, but I think the content is more important than the form. Also when I read collections like these, I find I don’t mind skipping essays I don’t enjoy. So that's it.

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