Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to the Blogosphere!

A year and a half ago I created a book-blog (http://fictionflirt.blogspot.com/) in hopes of joining the (hyper?)active community of reviewers and recommenders flourishing on the internet. I was in the middle of my first year of graduate school for English Lit and while I loved the deep, academic discussions in my seminar classes, I felt as though the joy and sheer pleasure of reading was being a bit beaten down by the serious, theory-driven approach dominant in the classroom. Book blogging gave me a chance to connect with readers who turned to books not because they needed source material for a publication or a term paper, but because reading made them happy, made them think differently about their own lives, or made them stretch their imaginations to explore new worlds and new ways of thinking.  The recommendations and reviews offered by the blogging community guided my pleasure-reading and introduced me to some of new favorite escapist literature. Blogging was my release valve from the 'heaviness' of grad school and kept me in touch with the reasons I loved reading in the first place.

Unfortunately, after only 6 or 7 months of semi-regular reviewing and commenting I found the combined demands of coursework and teaching (and of an anemic but determined social life...) to be too much and my poor little book blog faltered and gradually faded out from neglect. For the past year and half I've been running myself ragged finishing up classes and slaving away as a graduate instructor of First-Year Composition and Introduction to Literature classes at a large public University and the idea of "pleasure reading" seemed a mere pipe dream. Now that I'm entering my last semester of Thesis writing and venturing out into the academic job market, however, I'm hoping that I'll have the time (and energy) to start tackling my absurd TBR pile and to rejoin the conversations online :)

This blog is intended to be a record and a review of my reading, a space for reflection about bookish concerns, and an outlet for the ranting and raving that often comes with being an English teacher. I plan to approach the blog as I do many of my classrooms; to see it as a space where I send my research, opinions, questions, concerns out into the community and hope that others will receive, consider, complicate or even combat my reflections. I believe that the blogosphere, like the classroom, is a community that must be built, respected, and carefully nourished. I hope to do it more justice this time around :)


Post a Comment