I’ve been reading with great avidity for several years. I try to read a book each week. After finishing one, I decide on a star rating and publish a review on Goodreads. Sometimes I’ll use that review box as a creative writing prompt, often, my reviews are orthodox and sterile. Annually, I’ll pen a year-end blog post and promote that to my family and closest friends. My activity on Goodreads has otherwise remained separate from other aspects of my life. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed an uptick in interactions with my content despite the fact that I’ve been reading less. This has piqued my curiosity.
Right now, I’m waiting out the remainder of my non-compete before starting my new job. The last few months have presented an amazing opportunity to see the world, catch up with old friends, and reflect on where I am in life. A major part of who I am today is my love for books; I cherish this hobby. I credit having read Flash Boys and other Michael Lewis novels with helping me land the interview that led to my first job. Reading has enabled me to pursue higher echelons of achievement by simply showing me that those things existed. It has kept me curious, entertained, and grounded while the world around me has often been in a state of flux.
Visitors to my college dorm room would often want to talk about the books on my shelf. I thought that it was merely a coincidence that I had ended up with friends who were intellectually curious. But, over time, I received more and more attention from people who I considered unlikely to want to know what was worth reading. On Goodreads and in the office, I’ve made friends simply due to shared interests in literature. It’s felt like a secret club. A fraternity that has brought me closer to people from all walks of life.
As the sun sets on my period of garden leave, I’ve wondered if there is a way to reach a wider audience. To inspire people and help them find purpose much as I did. Both to aid those who use literature as an escape and those who read in order to enhance their reality. I’m already quite good at the hard part–reading books quickly and writing reviews that folks want to read. Now comes the leap of faith: I am starting a book blog here on my website, and I’m calling it The Weekly Review.
It feels right. I want to challenge myself to read more, explore more, and think and write and achieve in ways previously unknown. As I’ve researched popular Goodreads reviewers, I’ve found that many of them focus on the young adult genre, writing reviews that scarcely contain complete sentences and that are punctuated with animated GIFs. I have no doubt that a different audience–my audience–exists. I don’t care if it pales in comparison to the base of people who would rather read Erotic Fiction. The only questions on my mind are how far I can take this and how much I will be able to improve my writing and analysis when people might actually be holding me accountable.
It’s been said that my generation doesn’t appreciate literature and that our attention spans are nonexistent. Reading has always given me solace and a sense of empowerment in a world that is too busy. It would be fierce to claim this as a crusade against the status quo because it’s just my attempt to reach a broader audience while not sacrificing what I love the most.
By the time you read this post, I’ll already have refactored and posted over one hundred reviews from Goodreads. I’ll have a new layout here and will have made some progress on consolidating my audience from various corners of the internet. Keeping up with my current reading frequency, I should be posting new reviews once per week. This is why I’ve named it The Weekly Review. Thanks for reading.