I’m so glad we had this time together

Me and Dakota back when we started out at Ready When You Are, C.B.

I confess that I have been thinking about exiting the book blogging scene for some time now, maybe even a year if I’m honest.

When I started doing this, quite a few years ago–over on Blogger at Ready When You Are, C.B.–I more-or-less planned on ending the blog after Dakota, my Basset hound who was a regular feature there, passed on.  How could there be a Read When You Are, C.B. without her?

But, after many years, many challenges, many read-a-longs and give-aways, many ARC’s received and read, when Dakota died the blog kept on going.

Eventually, I got up to 350 visits a day, too, which I thought was pretty good. Ready When

You Are, C.B. even got a mention in The Guardian.

It was fun.

Then something happened and my traffic at Blogger vanished; my stats dropped to 20 visits a day and the comments disappeared nearly completely.  I’ve still no idea what went wrong, though I suspect a change in Google’s mysterious algorithm brought about disaster.

So I moved to WordPress which lots of folks were doing at the time where I  James Reads Books has been running along for several years now.  On a good day I get 100 visits, but I’m not really about visits.

Don’t we all say that?  We don’t care about traffic.

That’s both true and not really true.

I’ve not been focused on stats here, not much anyway.  I’ve just been keeping a little record of my reading.  Spending an hour in the coffee shop a couple of times a week writing up quick reviews of books I liked.

tbr dare 2014
One of our more popular challenges, the annual TBR Dare.

I used to spend hours and hours on a review.  Editing over and over again. Really working it.  But lately I’ve had a one draft, one edit and done policy for the most part.  This is not to say that no thought has gone into writing for James Reads Books. Thought has gone into this blog, but not nearly as much as once did.

And, over the last year my interest has started to seriously wane.  I’ve started to dread having to write up a review and to resent how much time I spend in front of screens overall when I could be in my studio making something.  Just how long should this go on?

Many of the people who were blogging when I started have moved on to other things.  So many that I’ve started to wonder if I’m the one who’ll have to turn out the lights when I finally go.

So I think the time has come to say goodbye.

I really have enjoyed getting to know all of you over the years.  We’ve been through a lot together, some of us. Dating, marriage, childbirth, some no so wonderful events, too.  We really got to know each other pretty well in quite a few cases.

I wish you all the best.

If you’re ever in the Bay Area and want to meet up, drop me a line.

And you never know.  I may even return to blogging someday. Maybe after I retire.


44 Comments Add yours

  1. Rohan Maitzen says:

    I’m sorry to see you go but if you are dreading rather than enjoying posting, I certainly understand why! All the best to you in 2018 and after.


    1. Thank you. I will still be on Twitter, probably posting little reviews. After over 10 years reviewing everything I read, it will be a hard habit to break.

  2. writerrea says:

    I’m sorry to hear this, but I understand. Maybe now we’ll see you more often on Twitter? 😉

    1. I did remove Twitter from my phone, part of my overall plan to cut back on screen time. But I’ll still be there.

  3. Lisa says:

    I’m sorry to read this. I had a long break myself this year and have just started posting again, but not with the same energy. I’ll miss hearing about your bookstore visits & your new discoveries.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. I’ll most likely continue to post bookstore photos on Instagram.

  4. I understand. I have been told to start my own blog but a friend who has one, has been struggling for three years. She now has grandchildren wants the time to spend with them, So she stopped doing reviews and just offered cozy books in contests. She used to have a large variety of genres but it got to be too much work. She had guess reviewers including me but even that was not enough. I wish you well. I want you to know that I have enjoyed your posts so much!

    1. I’m glad to hear you have enjoyed this little corner of the internet. 🙂

  5. Thank you for the thoughts on books that you’ve offered us… I just started following you a year or so ago, and I’ve enjoyed your reviews. But I certainly understand the desire to do other things! Have fun creating in your studio and best wishes!

    1. You are welcome. I’m glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed this site.

  6. Sorry to see you go! I’ve enjoyed your blog and reviews over the years. All the best to you in the future!

    1. Thank you.

  7. Teresa Camajani says:

    ok, but you are still going to come to the city and have lunch with me, right????

    1. Of course.

  8. Teresa says:

    I’m sorry to see this, but I firmly believe that when blogging ceases to be fun, then it’s time to stop. If you’d rather be making your beautiful art, then that’s what you should be doing. I do hope to continue seeing you around on Twitter, though!

    1. You will. Twitter still continues to be fun. 😉

  9. I am heartbroken. I love your posts. It is understandable though.I almost gave up but have now revamped my ideas into more chatting about books I have read and travels and walking with my camera. I will miss hearing about your books and your students and your weekend trips. Hope you are on Instagram so we can see your art and travels. All the best for 2018.

    1. I am in Instagram. I’m planning on posting artwork there.

  10. Marilyn says:

    I will miss your postings – you were a great source of books to read when I was in need of something new. I could always count on your selections for being thought provoking. But I can understand wanting to take time to do other creative things!

    1. I’ll probably still post favorite new books on Facebook.

  11. I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve had to take some breaks over the years. I took several this year. Sometimes life is so full we have to set something aside. If working in your studio brings you joy, do it. Best wishes in 2018.

    1. Thank you.

  12. Teresa Camajani says:

    I also want to say that you have taught me quite a bit about HOW to read. I read books all the time, but so many of your reviews/posts/analysis of books showed me how to do it better. For that – and a TON of other stuff (!), I thank you.

    1. I am quite humbled. You’re welcome.

  13. Richard says:

    Thanks for all the good reading and the good vibes here over the years, James. While I’ll miss your blogging presence, I can relate to the waning interest levels in this pursuit and hope that your decision will free up more time for your studio interests or otherwise prove rewarding to you. In the meantime, all best wishes to you going forward.

    1. You are welcome for both the books and the vibes. 🙂

  14. Sorry that you’re leaving the blogging world James, but totally understand how you feel. Funnily enough, I’m expecting to increase my blogging this year because I took early retirement in 2017 and now have the time! Hope you have a wonderful year!

    1. Early retirement. How jealous am I? I am keeping the blogging bug around for possible use in retirement.

  15. Liz Dexter says:

    Sorry to see you go, I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. Are you still going to read other people’s blogs or just go go go? Best wishes for happy times ahead without the dread of blogging.

    1. I have not been a very good blog reader for quite a while. I will most likely continue to drop by via Twitter, where I do follow quite a few blogs.

  16. Jay says:

    Sorry to hear this, James, but best wishes going forward in other areas.

    Your blog enriched me and led me to read or discover many authors I wouldn’t have otherwise. I thank you for that.


    1. I think we all appreciate knowing when we have steered someone to an author we like. Thank you. I’ve enjoyed following your short story reading over the years, too.

  17. Rob says:

    Sorry to see you go! I’ve really enjoyed your blog over the years. Will definitely return if you start writing here again in the future.

    1. You never know. I’m not deleting this blog any time soon.

  18. Library_Jim says:

    Good way to do it. Great, great work here over the years. It’s been years! And yours was always the most eclectic and personal blog I can think of. I love your writing, your art, your critters and your dares. I hope you still stay in contact on Twitter and/or instagram if you’re on there. Even if it’s just snarky comments and book recs and pictures of book store hauls and quirky art I’ll be there following along. And if you ever find yourselves in the Atlanta area drop ME a line. Thank you for everything.

    1. Thank you. I don’t have an exact figure, but it has been over ten years. That’s a good long run.

  19. BookerTalk says:

    We’ll this is unwelcome news for me anyway though I do understand your decision. Why push yourself to do something you are not enjoying? That way madness lies.

    1. Especially if it’s not making any money. ;-).

  20. Sorry to hear this James, but completely understand your decision. I’ll keep your blog in my feed in case you decide to make a comeback after retirement. Wishing you all the best!

    1. Thank you. You never know what retirement will hold. Or next year for that matter.

  21. Jeanne says:

    I’ll miss you.

    1. And I you. Thank you.

  22. alison41 says:

    Aww, I’ll miss you but quite understand. You’ve explained yo9ur decision – not that yo9u had to, but thanks for the courtesy. You introduced me to Asemic Front, and Mail Art, for which I thank you. Wishing you a wonderful, creative year plus health and happiness.

    1. You’re welcome. Do try some Mail Art sometime. 🙂

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