On the Direction of the Blog: Introducing Book Reviews

So, it’s at the point where it’s worth my ruminating on the future and potential continuation of this blog. I once read somewhere that a staggering percentage of blogs never proceed past the third post or so. I believe that I’m roughly straddling that line.

None the less, it’s fair to say that in many ways my past efforts have resulted in failure. I had originally planned to post something once a week. Something accessible but engaging to anyone with an interest in the ancient world with some precursory reading attached below. It then moved to fortnightly and then monthly before the Pierian spring ran dry…

Another criterion was the idea that anything I’d write about would be in some way topical. I wrote on accents having had a recommendation to do so, on Classics and MMA due to kerfuffle over Meryl Streep’s comments and the very first post, indeed the creation of the blog, was in response to tittering in the twitterverse over the infamous Who Killed Homer?

This contemporaneity was in fact my favourite aspect of writing these nugatae but it’s also been the anchor around the crocodile’s neck. I just don’t write fast enough, given my present time constraints, to post on time. My hard-drive is littered with half written posts. For example, a few weeks back you might recall the interesting debate about changes to Greek educational policy. Certain comments were being made regarding how even under the junta the Classics were respected. So I drafted a quick excursus, an historical overview, on the attitudes of Greek governments to the Classics over the past decades with the overarching idea being to talk about the symbiosis between politics, education and the classics.

By the time I hit the 80%, the time had passed for it to be of any interest. Ah well. That’s not to sound defeatist, my personal aim for this blog was to learn how to write at a faster pace and in a non academic mode in order to support other writing ambitions.

Clearly then it’s a case of either giving up entirely or rethinking how I go on.

Which is why I think I’m going to be moving on to doing some book reviews. Of a sort. I’m not interested in doing the whole ‘bookblogger/booktube’ thing. I think that any book I ‘review’ will serve as a jumping off point for a more wide ranging discussion of some aspect of the ancient world. So I’m not necessarily aiming to actually review books. Moreover, I’m hoping that as I pick up the pace these sorts of posts will be very few and far in between.

I must admit that I largely read academic books and that nowadays not all of these are Classics. When it comes to Indology, Assyriology, Egyptology etc I’m obviously commenting as an interested amateur, an outsider. That said, I also read a lot of trade books (publishing speak for anything aiming at a broad, general, readership) and the occasional novel.

Between that and hopefully easing up on the need to quickly tap into current discourse, I hope to get this blog moving again.

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