I took some time over the past week to do some thinking about some directions for “Bob on Books” in 2015. Looking back at a similar post from the past year, I was able to do some of the things I came up with and also saw the blog go in some totally unanticipated directions. I suspect this year will be the same, so no guarantees but here is what I’m thinking:
- Reviews: I will continue to review what I read and what interests me. At the encouragement of my son, I will probably throw in a few more graphic novel reviews –this is obviously a big segment of publishing and one that I find more intriguing than I thought I would. I also want to try to review more new books but look for me to weave in some old stuff that I’m interested in as well!
- Interviews: This is something I want to try this year, particularly in conjunction with reviews. Some of the authors are people I know, or might like to, and I hope in at least some cases that this personal touch might interest you in their work. I’m also thinking of throwing in a few interviews with bookstore owners (particularly independents), perhaps someone working with libraries, and maybe others connected to the world of books.
- The Reading Life: In case you haven’t noticed, I think reading, and engaging the world of books, is one of the things that can be life enriching. I want to continue to look for new slants on reading, perhaps profiling some other famous readers, as I did Teddy Roosevelt this year. As there are new technological developments that affect reading, I will explore those as well.
- Bookstore Reviews: As time permits, I want to do something I tried last summer which is to review bookstores I visit. I might try to extend this to some online sources as well (though not Amazon, of which I think we probably all have our own opinions!).
- Book Lists: I will do several kinds of things this year. I love getting folks together to share their favorite books and will probably do a few posts passing these along. Each month, I will post my “The Month in Reviews” list which will have all my reviews of the past month. I will also do some “category” lists of books I’ve reviewed in different categories. And look for my own “Best of the Year” post at the end of 2015, Lord willing. I’m looking forward to finding out what books I really like as well!
- Posts on other things besides books: Oddly enough, these have been some of the most viewed in the past year (see my Bob on Books Top Ten Posts of 2014). Some of this is plain unpredictable–sometimes I just find something I want to write on and people really like it–or not! I plan to continue regular posts on Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown into the spring, which would cover a year. After this, I may post more occasionally, depending on how many new ideas I get for this series. I also will continue posts connected with my church’s Going Deeper blog, which are every other week reflections on our pastor’s messages. And look for some posts on themes related to higher education as I do some research on “the changing university” over the next six months, related to a presentation I will be giving this summer.
- Blog appearance: I will continue to tweak the appearance of the blog including categories to make this more usable–feedback from those of you who follow (no spammers please!) is welcome! At some time, I might even explore a face lift!
Blogging is social. I would love to know what you think of these ideas and wouldn’t mind hearing those “I wish he would write on…” ideas. The common thread for me that holds together the different things I write is engaging with others about the good, the true, and the beautiful as we encounter this in the experience of books, reading, and life. Your engagement with this blog is what makes writing a joy. I look forward to more of that in 2015!