I may have been away but I’ve anticipated the announcement of this year’s winner. Which obscure writer would it be? Would there be a chance that this year’s winner is someone I’m familiar with? The announcement, which I streamed from one of my breaks at the office, was first read in Swedish. I heard Bob Dylan’s name. Surely, that wasn’t happening. Bob Dylan’s nomination and frequent appearance at betting lists has been a long-running joke, yeah? So when the announcement was read in English, it was indeed happening. I closed the video without bothering with the cryptic citations and turned to the shit bowl that is Facebook.
There are moments when I feel that I’ve lost so many friends since my reading took a backseat. That or I’ve been practically away from social media. Limiting social media presence made me feel more liberated. I got rid of the need to take pictures or to compose pieces for the purpose of posting them on whatever, or all, outlets available online. But that took a backlash. People don’t know that I’m still around because hey, they don’t hear from me and thus, I get this feeling of displacement and irrelevance.
I’ve started reading books again and I have audiobooks to thank for it. With audiobooks, I can now play games while listening (grinding doesn’t require mental powers). And if you’re curious what audiobook I listened to since my reading hiatus, it’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix narrated by Stephen Fry. And no, I didn’t pick it up because of The Cursed Child. I picked it up because of my book challenge. The book bingo, remember? It’s for my Fantasy square.
And it has been four weeks. I thought I’ll be able to pick up something after a week, after arranging my books, after finally settling in. Still, almost a month later, nothing. Granted, I had a lot of things going on for the past couple of weeks (particularly social activities with old friends). But I should have been able to read at least one story from the collection that is still in my currently reading shelf, right? To be fair, I read four short stories for our July book club discussion. And that’s it. Nothing from my shelf.
I went apartment hunting with an old friend last Friday and we found this nice cozy place. It’s not accessible to the modern urban centers but it’s also relatively cheaper. I didn’t plan on moving out this year but my superstitious side tells me that I should. In my current boarding house, a couple of troubling things happened. Last year, a young man, in his early twenties and recently married, died in his sleep. He lived downstairs. Earlier this year, my room-mate was afflicted with a terrible illness. I talked him into flying back to his home town to recuperate.
I’ve been listening to Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman’s podcast, Books on the Nightstand, ever since I learned about podcasts. They host a weekly show that talks about various bookish topics with recommendations on the side. I religiously download the latest episodes when they drop, so when I got to the episode titled the End and the Beginning, I felt a little anxious that I didn’t bother listening to it and the couple of episodes that followed it. But Book Riot talked about it in one of their recent podcasts, which confirmed what I thought the episode is about. Yes, one of my favorite bookish podcasts will be in an indefinite hiatus. Basically, it means that it has come to its end.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog lately and how it has come to this. I don’t even know what I mean by “this.” Suffice to say, it’s not something that I had in mind when I started a few years ago, when I separated my book posts from my personal blog (now only accessible to me). I wanted this blog to be a book with regular posts: regular reviews, regular discussions, regular reports, memes, contests, etc. It didn’t turn out that way. There has been nothing regular in it despite my internal struggle to keep something regularly running in it.