I love the physical sensation of books–they way they feel in my hands, the way they smell, the satisfaction of turning the crisp pages of a newly minted tome. The idea of reading e-books is completely abhorrent to me. Reading on a cold, impersonal computer? Or even the vaunted iPad? Call me old-fashioned (especially as e-publishing seems to be quite the “in” subject at this year’s BEA) but NO WAY!
I am an avid collector and my home is overflowing with books–even when I was a child, I was a book collector (amazing what a kid can scrounge out of desperation. . . ). I was a voracious reader back then, a trait that never left me and which I have transformed into my professional life, working as a content editor for a new academic press. My off-hours passion is reading and reviewing historical fiction . . . which has led me into the position of reviews editor for the Historical Novel Society’s online publication, HNS Online. Covering new (and at times more “seasoned”) titles from subsidy-publishing, e-publishing, and self-publishing enterprises is like searching for gold in a stream or a needle in a haystack, but I work with a team of exceptionally talented reviewers who are willing to risk their time and attention in search of that hidden gem . . . which they discover more often than one would believe. The downside of this job: telling an author honestly that I do not believe the “baby” is as appealing or as perfect as he or she imagines. Ouch. The upside: the delightful moments when I share good news with exuberant authors . . . my favorite part of the job.
To tell the truth, I am rather intimidated by the web presence of so many talented book bloggers–and I’m still a novice in this new world. But I do hope I can contribute something to the fray, and I look forward to getting to know some of you whose blogs are helping me out with the newbie’s “how to cope at BEA 2010” fears.
I am beginning with a couple of posts from the past, when I was struggling to keep any book club on its feet for more than two months. Three book club start-ups, three failures. Then I decided that maybe the book club idea wasn’t quite so hot and that I should focus on HNS work and my own leisure reading. I still hold out hope for the future, but I have conceded that a book club is not in the cards for the present.
The first was a contemporary book club, choosing novels from the “book club bestsellers list,” the selections of which left us quite unsatisfied. We then disbanded and came together again as a “Classics” book club. Which lasted three books. . . woo hoo!!! We became impatient with our picks once again and disbanded (this is sounding like some Monty Python skit!), leaving me to start afresh with a meet up group for historical fiction. Which lasted all of two books, and the members lost interest. Maybe it was me, perhaps it was the books, but that was it for my attempts. Three swings and you’re out! There’s my history in a nut shell : )
So, welcome! Sit back and relax, have a cuppa and some healthy dark chocolate and enjoy your visit!