The Mountains of Instead

Championing fiction as an escape from pandemics, politics and bad TV.

Public Service Announcment: The Times They Are A'Changing...

The Mountains of Instead is now over four years old.  Really. I'm quite surprised that it's still here and even more surprised at the satisfaction, pleasure and friendships starting and maintaining it have brought me.  BUT (and, as you can see it's a BIG but) my life is very different now to when I started this blog. Back in 2010, I was the single, stay at home mum of a two year old and had, if not limitless hours, then plenty of time on my hands to devote to reading. Vitally, my idea of a To Be Read pile was the two or three books I had sitting by my bed.


Things are very different now.

Today, I work part of every day (bar Sundays) in my local library (and yes, working in a library is every bit as good as you might suspect), am half way through studying for a degree in English Literature and about to start working towards my CILIP (Chartered Insitute of Library and Information Professionals) accreditation and chartership.  Additionally, and more importantly, I now have an awesome six year old who is at school most of the time and who I like to spend quality time with whenever she is not.  


She's a reader too and I'd like to spend a lot more time reading with her.  Finally, I also attempt to have a life with friends and wine and sunshine and lollipops.  

So, where does that leave The Mountains of Instead?  Well, recently, it's left them a little neglected and that is largely to do with the afore-mentioned TBR pile.  This pile no longer sits at three or four, or even twenty or thirty.  No, my TBR pile is in the hundreds.  

I have book that I have bought, books that I have been given and books that have been sent to me from the loving hands of many generous publicists.  They sit on my shelves and cry out to be read.  And I sit looking at them feeling completely overwhelmed. Recently, reading has felt like an obligation; a chore that has to be time-managed and spread-sheeted and approached with a strict running order in mind. Well, no longer - for I HAVE HAD AN EPIPHANY.

I was looking at my pile of gorgeously unread books and realised that I could just start at one end and work to the other.  Or just pick whatever took my fancy.  Or *whisper it*, ignore them altogether and re-read an old favourite.  In short, I could read the way that we are meant to - for fun and in almost total ignorance of publication dates and obligation. Seems obvious, doesn't it?  But I am sure that I am not the only reviewer who who has felt that sense of obligation and I am sure that I won't be the last.

Personally, I'm going for a solid start-at-one-end-of-the-shelf and work to the other approach and I'm pretty excited about it. The first few books are things like Catherine by April Lidner, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and Say Her Name by James Dawson - the latter because I have started to place the new books that I have received at random throughout the TBR shelves instead of keeping them all at one end.  I've also got reviews written up for #Scandal by Daisy Ockler, The Taking by Kimberley Derting and Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan.  I still want to review and I still want to talk about these books, even more so because some of them have been languishing on my shelves for too long.  And there are so many that look good.  

Readers, I hope that you like this slight change to the scheduled programming - I honestly think it will add some much need variety and energy to MOI.  Publicists, thanks for sticking with me - I'm still happy to accept books for review although it may take me slightly longer to get to them (although I can always be swayed by the right title!) and you can expect to see some of your older titles high-lighted, too.

Ultimately, this new approach has made me feel excited about reviewing again, rather than obligated and I hope that shows over the next few months.  Now I just need to strategise about the state of my eGalley TBR.



CarlyB said…
Great post, Sya! I know exactly what you mean about feeling obligated to read and post a certain way, and I think it's a total inspiration killer for bloggers. I was feeling really down on blogging until I decided to just do whatever the hell I fancied, and since then I've loved blogging so much more.

Really looking forward to your new posts :) x
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