Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Future of The Zealous Reader

Hello everyone!

After a very hectic first term of university I've sat down to write about my blogging hiatus and the future of The Zealous Reader. I'd appreciate if you would read about my dilemma and help me decide what to do next.

I planned for a brief 2-3 week hiatus in late August so I could pack, move, and settle in to university life. Unfortunately by the time I was settled in I had no time to read, let alone review and actively participate in the book blogging world. I've only had time to start using Goodreads again in late October. While my academic schedule will be lighter for the winter term I don't want to commit to something only to disappoint once projects and assignments pick back up again.

One main reason for not reading is a lack of motivation. I look at my bookshelf, at the library, at other blogs, and wonder how people can read a whole book. Are you serious? I used to read 3 per week and now the thought of reading just one seems like it will take months. I've managed to read a few non-fiction books over holidays but my only foray into fiction since university have been my novels for English. Jane Eyre, anyone? 

Another main reason for not returning is embarrassment. I left all my followers with no warning or explanation for months. Though many of you have said it's understandable and it happens to most bloggers, I feel like such a disappointment. What book blogger doesn't have a drive to read? Before I left for hiatus I wanted to redesign my blog because I felt it didn't accurately portray my reading style or what my blog was about, but now I have no funds to help with this. I feel like even if I started up the blog again, no one would read it because it doesn't look up to par with the other flashier sites. 

I considered leaving the blog alone till the summer and running it from April to August every year but I don't see my motivation for reading returning. Also my schedule will possibly be even more hectic with work and theatre, and that would be even more disappointing to have all this hype only to disappoint again.

Another option is to start blogging again in January with a new focus. A lighter emphasis on reviews that means I can read what I want, when I want, with no pressure to be on a deadline. Guest posts, interviews with other bloggers or authors, reading lists and recommendations, advertising lesser known titles and 2012 debuts. An easier blogging schedule so I can post 1-2 posts a week with lighter content. I only wonder if anyone would read that and if it has a place next to all the other big-name bloggers who mainly focus on reviews. Would anyone read mine?

So here I am at my fork in the road. I think the best decision will come from you, my followers and readers, since you are who I blog for and you are who I am to impress. What do you think I should do? 

Option 1: Stop blogging. Remove the URL. Say goodbye to the blogging world formally. Perhaps start again sometime in the next few years when I have more time.

Option 2: Summer blog. Plan to run the blog from April to August, reading as much as I can and reviewing all the time. Hope that my followers won't leave during the hiatuses. 

Option 3: Start blogging again in January but with no reviews or reading lists. If I happen to read a book I'll review it but no pressure to read every book on my shelf. Instead a focus on book recommendations, interviews with authors, guest posts with other bloggers, advertising 2012 debuts, etc. 

Comment below, write me an email, send me a tweet, let me know which option sounds best for you. Feel free to elaborate! I want this blog (or lack of) to serve you the best. 

Thank you all so much for your continued support and following. Hoping you're all having a wonderful holiday season!