Priorities: Reading v Writing v Due Date

Maslow's Hierarchy of NeedsNo GoodReads Reading Challenge for me this year. I reached last year’s target, again thanks to a few choice graphic novels/comic hardbacks to counterbalance doorstep’s like The Luminaries. But TB-brutally-H it felt as if I was reading to bump up the book count, with the target always to finish fast. Is that conducive to good reading? Wide reading, intensive reading, yes. Clinical, technical, checkbox reading, yes. Not so much with the luxuriating in a text, wallowing there, inhabiting it body and soul.

There’s also the twinge of cynicism I can’t help but feel about GoodReads now that it’s Amazon-owned. In that light, the Reading Challenge just feels like a prompt to buy, buy, buy more inventory.

Reading is no problem. But it’s writing I need to be doing more of. Isn’t that always the complaint? Write, write more, write about anything. To blah or not to blah. Here it comes, another blogpost about blogposts. *SHUDDERS*

It’s never a thoughtful blogpost for me. Is that a mistake? Instead, it’s the first draft brain dump. Unedited stunt writing, unexpurgated, a la Knausgård – who BTW in Book 2 of My Struggle (“A Man In Love“) is coming across as a total dick, which okay is a bravery all of its own, an honesty less glamorous than petty criminality or heroin hijinks, because let’s be honest who comes off best, the helpless addict or the father whinging about his childcare duties? So Knausgård struggles against the selflessness required to be a parent in order to pursue the erasure of self he finds in writing. Transcendence, flow, engagement… it’s all pushing up towards the point of Maslow’s pyramid. Right?

So yes, we have a baby on the way, and that was probably the impetus for this post. We’re moving, and I’m freelancing, and I still need to learn Swedish (not nearly fluent yet). And even now it’s hard enough to maintain the writing necessary to keep contributing to the Amsterdam writing group that I’m still Skyping in to. How’s having a baby going to impact that? Or will it bring regularity and order to our lives, minute-to-minute scheduling that magically *does* give me the space to write?


BokBron: time for a new name


Am posting twice weekly now, mainly on books/reading, and occasionally on related fields such as writing, languages, perhaps even stationery if I can’t shake this mounting fountain pen obsession. A new name, a new layout, but largely the same old nonsense.

The main thing was the name change. A rebranding, if you will (please don’t). There was something nauseating about seeing my name as the name of the blog.

I played with a few alternatives. Couldn’t believe no-one had thought of Bookling yet – is it a progressive verb or a gerund? A diminutive? A studious class of RPG characters? – but of course someone had thought of it before.

Booklingen, I thought, would sound like a Swedish definite form of a Bookling (“booking-the”). Thinking about it, bokhylla is Swedish for bookshelf, I could semi-anglicise it to bookhylla. Or bookhyllan (“bookshelf-the”) maybe, or bookhyllor (bookshelves/bookcase).

Still, the -hylla part seemed unmemorable and unwieldy. Bookbron, a semi-anglicised “Bookbridge”, now that was better. Didn’t someone once say that reading a great novel is like walking across a long narrow bridge into another land? No, they didn’t. That would be a terrible quote.

Bookbron was working… but using English book- kinda made the -bron part look like a derivative of bro’. Hey bro! Worse, what if someone thought it was short for Brony. Not worth the risk. So the more Swedish-looking Bokbron, then? How about Den Bok Bron? Den Bokat Bron? (“The Booked Bridge”… but in the sense of reserved.) Both too long/odd.

BokBron it is.