This blog turns three years old today—it started as a new year’s resolution I made in 2008, and it’s the only one I’ve kept for so long. In all the time I’ve been blogging I’ve heard background chatter that blogging is a dying if not dead medium; the most popular blogs now look more like websites for mass-media properties, and a lot of what would fit best on a blog a few years ago now gets Tweeted or Tumblr’d. It may say something about our culture that we talk often about how books matter less and less, while we sign up for tools that offer subtle gradations of saying things briefly.
But the book still lives, as an idea if not always as a business proposition. And as for blogging, well, I’m stubborn, through the baby fog and all the rest, for the same reasons I gave last year. Blogging makes me a better reader, and though I do Tweet and (very rarely) use Tumblr, only here can I work out the kind of thoughts I can’t compress into 140 characters but which aren’t quite ready for prime time (i.e., a published review). I blog less than I used to, but, I think, with more of a purpose now: Though I swore to myself when I started blogging that I wouldn’t write what would formally qualify as a “review” here, these days I’m more interested in expanding on ideas contained in individual books or stories, either riffing on something I’ve written for print or exploring ideas that would be hard for me to summarize in a 600-word assignment. If I’m disappointed at how much word counts have diminished since I began writing book reviews for publication (oh, jeez) 15 years ago, I can’t complain that I lack the space to say what I’m thinking about. Here, the only limitations are available time and, perhaps, a good editor, still one of the benefits of writing for publication.
But if I don’t have a backstop, I’m not doing this entirely alone. The comments, email exchanges, and personal conversations I’ve had as a result of this blog have been profoundly important to me, and that in itself is a reason to keep doing this. As always, thanks for reading.