Thinking and Doing

Okay, so the other day I decided to change my header a bit (see it up there?). I didn’t want to change it too much, but I wanted it to be a little brighter and I wanted an image with a second Adirondack chair.

Why? Well, I am supposed to be “chatting with friends about books and life” and it occurred to me that the one chair screamed LONER.  Also, it had been a particularly stressful week when I put the header up, so you might notice the “empty” wine glass.  That drink was drunk!

This was the old one:

Old Book Chatter Header

I still like the old one, but I like the new one better. At least for now.  I had been wanting to change it for a long time so it feels good to check it off the list.

The other thing that I’ve been thinking about is that I haven’t been terribly wowed by my reading this year. I am not referring to quantity. Instead, I am referring to the caliber of literature that I’ve picked for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed several of the books I’ve read so far and I’ve recommend many to others but besides Safe from the Sea, I haven’t read any that have stopped me cold. You know the ones I mean. I am talking about the books that make you stop and think about life, love, the world, eternity, etc.

I need more of them.

I don’t want to come up with a formal plan to make this work because as soon as it’s a formal thing,  my interest wanes. So, I am going to be inserting meatier, more substantial reads in between what I’ve already promised to review. It’s what I had planned to do all this year, but somehow loss my mojo. This may mean more classics and definitely some older titles. Don’t you get tired of seeing the same reviews over and over again anyway? I know I do.

If you’ve been thinking about changes, whether it’s a related to blog design or your reading in general, what have you been thinking about doing?

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43 thoughts on “Thinking and Doing”

  1. It looks great and definitely more chat worthy. I do get tired of seeing the same reviews everywhere, but then I want to read all the books everyone else is gushing about. Vicious cycle. I think classics are the best way to break it up.

    1. I’ll still read the new stuff but it will be nice to try to get some older titles in. I am reading Anthem by Ayn Rand right now and listening to 1984 again and they are both so refreshing after a sea of newer reads.

  2. I LOVE your new header! Anything with a wine glass in it makes me feel happy. I have no blog design plans because they scare me. I suck at it, and chances are it would blow up if I tried to touch it, so there it will sit for eternity.

    The quality of reading issue I get. I do love hearing about the newest books but when you’ve seen ten reviews on it, I just shake my head and say “I can’t read this and review it and add to the pile”. This year I’ve signed up for no (or virtually no) challenges, but reading what interests me. It has been working out. I’ve been really happy with my choices.

  3. I like it! But I love the beach more than the lake, so it’s a toss up for me on which is better.

    Speaking of headers- mine is about 2 years old. I really need a new one with the baby girl in it!

    I haven’t read much meaty lately. Honestly, I can’t much remember what I HAVE read.

  4. I love the new header and I think you’re right about it. I liked the old one, too. I hadn’t given the loner part much thought until you said it here, but I think the new one is perfect.

    I’ve had a great reading year. It seems like everything I pick up has been near golden. But, I like where you’re heading with this. It would be nice to see reviews more often of older novels. I know somewhere this year there will be a month of pure Kindle reads and another of pure whatever the heck I want reads.

  5. I like the new photo, it’s brighter and I love the idea behind the two chairs.

    I do get a bit bored by the same reviews over and over again, I guess that’s why I sometimes like to slip in the “overseas” books that a lot of people don’t read

    1. I find too, that when I feel like doing a little soul searching, it’s a classic or a heavier read that satisfies me, not the current more contemporary reads. I am reading Anthem by Ayn Rand right now and it’s wonderful. Written back in 1937 and still very discussable.

  6. I love the new header. I do like the two chairs better plus the view from those chairs is great.

    As for the reviews. It’s always nice to see something new because then odds are you’ll be adding another book to your list but at the same time I enjoy seeing reviews of the same book. For me, I like it because it’s almost like a little book club. You can see if others felt the same or different.

    With the blog – well you know I’m getting mine done. I want something more permanent and one that won’t disappear whenever it feels like. lol. As for reading I had a lot of plans at the beginning of the year and got sucked into blog tours again. So much for my plans. I’m hoping to get back to them later in the year still.

    Hope you find a book that takes your breath away!

    1. The blog design thing is scary but you’re having someone do it so I’m sure it will be fabulous. Sometimes, you just don’t even know what’s out there to really make the change yourself. I don’t think I’d tackle a huge redesign on my own. I could probably figure out stuff but who has the time? Have a great weekend!

  7. I too love the new header — v relaxing — I want to lounge there and read!

    I hear you on wanting to read more organically — and more pleasurably — I’m trying to mix in unread classics and award winners with my review queue so that I’ll have something good to dig my teeth into.

  8. The old one just as good as the new one. Did you take the pic yourself? I agree with you the new is definitely brighter. 🙂

  9. Yay, the chair has a friend! I know what you mean about shaking things up. The only thing about that is when I review a lesser known book, people don’t comment as much. That makes me a bit sad. 😦

    1. You’re right. The comments don’t come in the way they do for the newer books. I think I am okay with it as long as I get my daily interaction some other way (Twitter, FB…FB mainly). If I didn’t get any comments though I would be a very sad girl. Well, I am still going to do the new stuff too. I just have to figure out how to balance it all. I got a little too swept up in review commitments these past 2 months and for the next 2 months I am sort of booked too. I sort of screwed up mysummer of reading.I am trying to save it!

  10. Love, love the new header, yes I do love beach, but I like the water and wine additions.

    I am not reading much lately, watching too much of Nurse Jackie and Shameless on SHO on demand. I am way behind on War and Peace and my book club reading. I haven’t read a wow book in a long time either.

    Happy Mothers Day!

    1. I thought I’d get some reading in this weekend but I spent an entire day watching movies (back to back). I watched four, then tried to read a bit but the reading mojo just wasn’t there. I gave into it and just lounged around. I’ll make up for it this week. Hope you had a nice weekend!

  11. I like the new header, but preferred the beach. Like you, I haven’t been blown away by many books this year but the ones I loved were just great. I do like the idea of adding older titles to my summer reading list .

    1. I like the beach too but I was having trouble finding a beach pic I liked. I haven’t thought about my summer reading list yet. Not seriously, anyway. I guess I should do that but the weather has been weird and I haven’t felt it coming.

  12. I like the header!
    Interesting you should mention the thought about the same old reviews showing up time after time. Personally, I always feel behind the eight ball on new releases as I don’t received a ton of review books–and frankly, I have shelves and bins full of older books to get to, but I am always afraid people won’t want to read those reviews!
    My reading this year has been fun–not necessarily “wow”, but enjoyable, which was my goal after last year when I was feeling a self imposed stress over all my challenges. I am taking it much more relaxed and I think part of this has been successful due to my Kindle.
    Have a wonderful weekend and Mother’s Day–
    *smiles*

    1. Yes, I’ve noticed that you’ve been reading more for pleasure. That’s great. With all you have going on, the stress of what to read is not something you want to add to the pile. I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  13. Really liking the new header!!

    My changes are being kinder to myself about not reading so much. It’s a busy year with thesis writing and working and wifing (being a wife requires more work than people ever told me!! ;)) so I’m reading far less and being choosy about what gets in. Also, I’m allowing myself more fun reads – I love my literature but it doesn’t all have to be essay-worthy 🙂

    1. Does your husband read? Being a wife is a lot of work but if your husband reads, at least he “gets” it when you sit there with a book. My Hub doesn’t. He thinks reading is the most boring thing on earth and gets irritated when my nose is in a book. But you know what? I work full-time like him and I can spend my free time the way I want.

  14. I noticed the change immediately 🙂

    I think change is important, keeps us on our toes but you probably knew I would say that (I’m constantly moving things from room to room in my house, tweaking my blog, etc…)

    last month I made is big change to my blog, for about 2 days. My husband took one look and hated it…. I wasn’t happy either so I bailed on the new design. That’s okay, I tried something.

    1. The Hub gave me a little bit of grief about me changing the header. I don’t know why because he never reads my blog. I must have missed your two days of change. A lot of folks change their blog template every month. I don’t think I could do that. I like to stick with what works but you have to change stuff once in awhile or it gets stale.

  15. Love the glass of wine touch 🙂

    If you find a good solution to the quality problem, please share! I think a lot of us have it. I liked what Jackie over at Farm Lane Books is doing with her Read or Reject posts.

    1. Thanks!! I want it to be easy to read, first and foremost. How is the weather up by you? We are still cold here in So Cal. It was cold and windy yesterday for Mother’s Day. We had a BBQ but couldn’t sit outside, which was sort of a bummer.

  16. I meant to tell you that I liked your new header design…. It makes me think more of friends & chatting…I really like the water here, it makes me think of warm, breezy, care-free summer nights when I was in HS and college

    I’ve been feeling a little unenthused, recently, about the books I have to read. I started out this year planning to read many of the classics I haven’t read yet. Then I got caught up with reviewing books which I’m generally enjoying but I didn’t want to take up all my reading time that way …silly me!

    I am going to pick up & read Safe from the Sea in the next month or two and I hope it really impacts me & makes me think. Infinite Jest wowed me but more in the way it was written not so much in the way I view the world & life. I started reading Alice Munro’s Stories of Girls and Women hoping reading some authors I’ve wanted to for a long time might excite me more. And I have The Bone People on my night table. But I just feel “eh” about it all!

    I’m creating a blog for my cats on WordPress and have decided to move my blog to wordpress, too, sometime in the next few months….

    Do you have any specific books in mind that might really impact you, stop you cold?

    1. I can’t wait for you to read Safe from the Sea. I never know what book will impact me, but in the past, most of the time anywayit was a classic or a book that was shortlisted for an award somewhere. Usually not the winner but one of the runner-ups. Knowing this, I will probably be reviewing some of the books that did not win. I am reading Anthem right now and it’s impacting me in a way that I was not expecting.

  17. I love the new header…and the wine glass…I change my blog all of the time…it is the teacher in me changing bulletin boards!!!

  18. I love the new header! I like your thought process about it and it does fit your blog description better. I do want to pull up a chair and just talk books. I’m always coming up with new ideas for my blog…I still don’t like my header but my graphics skills are so limited. At some point I’ll work on it. Hope your reading gets better and you find that special book that rocks your world.

  19. Yes, yes, yes –love the (2) chair header, and yes, yes, yes, I do get so sick of seeing the same books reviewed on loads of blogs.

    I am trying to be a bit different as well, but every now and then there is a new release I MUST read, even though everyone else is reading it as well…oh well…

    Hoping your MOM’s day was special as well.

  20. First off, I love the new header. The old was was lovely but the new one fits a bit better.

    And second, I really think I need to read Safe From The Sea. I almost picked it up at BEA last year and have been kicking myself ever since. It sounds like an amazing book.

  21. You must be a computer whiz… I wouldn’t know how to do it, although I know it could be very easy if you only knew how. Anyway, this is lovely, your new header. An apt illustration of the old saying: “A picture speaks a thousand words…” Chatter indeed.

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