“But Nin! Why do you need another blog?!”
I asked myself this question right up till the moment when I pulled out my credit card to register this domain. I suppose it’s because I remain an incurable bibliophile, so much so that it’s both my dayjob and my Other Job as a published fricking author. But I also love doing book reviews, and I need a place where I can waffle on about my language learning journey.
These projected posts do not fit in with my main author website (the author blog there is on hiatus for a year or more as of the writing of this preface), nor my hypertext fiction site, nor my music and media reviews site.
This is therefore my cozy virtual library where I will be posting (when my deadlines allow it) book reviews, or reading notes and updates of my progress in learning languages as a middle-aged literary scholar, critical theorist and author. There will also be the occasional post about chess — because you cannot convince me that chess isn’t a language of its own, nor that it does not contain a narrative arc within each game. I started playing chess when I was around 19 but I’ve never been very good at it, so I’m using a couple of chess-learning apps to get better, and will be reading more chess strategy books which I shall talk about here. Besides, in my worldview, the best libraries have chessboards.
Addendum: As of March 2021, I’ve decided to incorporate music-learning posts, since libraries have aisles for music students!
My Reviews Policy:
- I’m an author, and I know what it’s like to read bad reviews of your own work. You can’t stop people from writing them, no doubt. And reviews are a necessary part of the reading and publishing ecosystem. But I don’t want to be the cause of another author’s pain. There’s enough of that going around.
- Therefore, unlike my music and media reviews blog (although even then I will be quite circumspect), my policy is going to be: “If I’m not wild about it, I’m not going to review it“. That’s the only fair policy as I’m not going to write fluff pieces about things I’m “Meh.” about and I’m a very picky reader. This holds true even if the things I chose to read in my downtimes include fluffy romance novels and epic fantasies from the
80sand 90s. And yes, this includes problematic faves. Who doesn’t have them?
- What this means: If I’ve posted about a book here, I really like it. Doesn’t have to be perfect, but I’ve engaged with it and enjoyed it.
- I don’t have time to read everything and have a humongous to-be- read pile. Therefore, for the time being, I won’t be opening my inbox to review copies. I feel it won’t be fair to authors especially since I am a very picky reader and you’re going to waste a copy when it might not get reviewed, and I’ll be stressed out by the obligation to review on time **points at multiple deadlines**.
- I’ll buy the books I read and then review them. Don’t worry, I’m paying attention to the latest releases in the genres I enjoy reading! If I like what you’ve written, you’ll be on this blog in due course.
Credit where it is due: The header graphic of the Trinity College library (Dublin) is by Soyyosoycocomiel and is is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Accessed via Wiki Commons. Processed using the bokeh overlay and various filters in Adobe Photoshop Express app for my iPhone 7.0, and later adjusted on Photoshop v. 21.2 in the Creative Cloud. I can’t install fancier fonts on this laptop for some reason so that’s as good as I can get for a header text, btw.