Wednesday, September 1, 2010

[POST] Return of the Prodigal Reviewer

September 1st is here and with this date my self-imposed hiatus has ended. I admit that it was not the easiest decision I have made, since Temple Library Reviews is geared towards readers and because of that I have a certain responsibility towards them. Even so, I owed myself a lot more in order to recharge my batteries and come back in the right state of mind.

While I was away I had three wonderful individuals to keep the site with a pulse. Huge thanks to Ove [Cybermage], Cara [Murf – More than meets the eye] and Megan [Po(sey) Sessions], who supplied some of the site’s best reviews and added the much needed fresh blood. I’m not kidding when I say that Temple Library Reviews would have sunk down into the annals of the Internet, if it wasn’t for the additional content. I’m also very happy to say that Ove and Cara have decided to stay, despite my intentions to resume the one-man-circus. Between each other they will share the Tuesdays of each month and keep you in the loop. 

So, what happened during my hiatus? I had a wonderful period, in which I didn’t read. Instead I watched movies, wrote or lazed around. I know it’s blasphemous to say, but the saying that too much of a good thing can be bad is valid, especially when one decides to match the Book Smugglers in productivity. I needed detoxification. Not so much from the reading itself, but from the psychological association that I would have to sit down, dissect the book and do it as soon as possible. It’s exactly this assembly method that causes reviewers the burnout. There is the self-imposed stress from staying relevant, from reading fast enough, from providing texts that are worthwhile to read, from avoiding repetition. The hiatus helped me slow things down and learn moderation. Oh, so very clichéd Zen, but ‘quality over quantity’ is a pretty sweet mantra to follow. 

Another one of those clichéd lessons I learned is that books don’t matter. No, wait. That’s not what I mean. Review copies don’t mind. There, that’s better now isn’t it. It’s not all that impressive to receive the latest and hottest. Flattering, yes. But pointless, if I can’t savor each and every one. The world is stuffed with books and sadly, my lifetime is insufficient to read all, so why not read for the act of it. Sounds simple. Sounds obvious. But it’s not like it, when you start collecting the ARCs and make commitments for guest reviews. Plus, I have to say I enjoy the reviewing world because it brings me close to the publishing industry. It’s all about the people and the journey. The rest is inconsequential.

In tone with my new Zen-ness [yes, I invented the word] Temple Library Reviews is changing its mission statement. Or it’s going back to its original purpose, to act as my reading journal, to chart through literary jungles. Only now I’ve decided to stray from the shiny and new. I’m interested in the old and forgotten. I want to experience the short form, the in between form, other mediums and other genres. Yes, Temple Library Reviews will continue being a haven for the SFF media, but I will allow myself some transgressions. 

Temple Library Reviews is dead. Long live, Temple Library Reviews


Ana said...

Welcome back Harry! I love the new template!

Harry Markov said...

Thank you, thank you. It feels good to be back and rocking it. :)

T.S. Bazelli said...

I also love the new template. I think it goes well with the new direction you're taking this. Looking forward to what's to come!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome back! I can only imagine the pressure associated with reviewing. It would become a JOB, and even the greatest jobs ini the world lose their shine after a time.

Harry Markov said...

@ TS: I couldn't have achieved the new template without the color coordination of an artist friend of mine.

@ Alex: Thank you, Alex. What's a lot worse is that this is without pay, so it better not lose its shine. :D

ediFanoB said...

Welcome back Harry!
The new template is dapper and fits to the new direction you want to go.

To be be honest I know from my own experience that to maintain a blog with quality content is often more like an emotional roller ride than then just plain joy.

And I hope you you will enjoy what you do.

Harry Markov said...

Definitely a rollercoaster... It's hard for a one man show, so this is why I am keeping my helper's along for the ride. This oughta help with the stress.

Mark David said...

Hello Harry! It's been a while since I've been here and I must say that I like the new look :) I, too, have gone on hiatus recently. It's perfectly alright. We all need a break every once in a while. And I think it's one good way to recharge our batteries.

Harry Markov said...

You, too. Good luck on the road to self-discovery. :)

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