Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I’ve started a notebook

from the diary (1/3/89, Tuesday):

I’ve started a notebook in which I comment on books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen, plays, too, I s’pose, tho’ I hafta see one first.

So there it is, the first mention in the diary of the book log. I started Dare I Read with the idea I was going to expose the book log to the world. Here was all this writing already done. Content! as they called it back in the dizzy days of the Internet Bubble. Rainbows everywhere! All you had to do was color them in, and it didn’t really matter what colors you used. People were so desperate to get into the filmy web that anything would do. Just throw it up online and cash the checks as the eyeballs stuck.

Not that I had a mercenary vision for Dare I Read. I didn’t enable Google Ads for years. (I still haven’t made enough to get a check. Google doesn’t send you money until the ad click-thrus generate $100. DIR’s current balance? $14.04. That’s the entirety of the “earnings” for the lifetime of the blog.)

I was writing pretty regularly on my first blog LoveSettlement at the time I started Dare I Read and I wanted space between the creative noodlings and life musings of LuvSet and the book discussions of DIR. Looking back maybe I should just have added the book log to LuvSet and used labels to give the different kinds of posts their due. One blog is more work than I’ve usually managed. In 2009 I wrote all of 149 posts across both blogs. That’s respectable. But with the blogs separate the numbers come out to a less impressive 67 for DIR and 81 for LuvSet. After a big project ended in January 2013 LuvSet went into hibernation; 2014 saw only 2 posts.

My first idea for the book log was ambitious, record everything — books! movies! plays! comic books! When that proved overwhelming I decided I could still keep up the log if I stuck just to books. That is what I’ve done ever since, more or less.

On page one of volume one of the book log: Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh … OK. I guess there will shortly be part II posts on DIR for those books.


Jim Murdoch said...

I would be curious to find out how much interest Google gets from all the fourteen dollars and four cents that people have lying around in their coffers. I’m reminded of the penny shaving scam in Superman 3. It’s like the £13.13 I have sitting in my PayPal account at the moment. What’s happening with that? Someone’s making it work for them I bet and it’s not me. As far as reviewing stuff goes I’m like you, I stick to books but I’m pretty faithful in recording my opinions in Goodreads. I read 160 books last year and every single one of them got a few hundred words devoted to it. I’ve toyed with the idea of reviewing films and TV shows and comics too (I still read a few of them) but to what end? If someone asks me on Facebook what I’d recommend I’m happy to share a few lines but there’re enough people talking about film and TV. Intelligent articles on comics are another matter but I can only imagine the amount of time it would take me to write about something like 2012’s ‘Death of the Family’ storyline and I’m exhausted before I even start; just read the Wikipedia article.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

At the rate it's accumulating I will see a $100 check in ... never? But, yeah, I'm sure Google collects from the advertisers.

"Death of the Family" -- that would be the Bat Family. I don't know anything about it. So I skimmed the Wikipedia article.

I don't like giving books grades -- stars, say -- so I don't post reviews at Goodreads. But I do look at the reviews there sometimes. It's easy. If I find other pieces to read about a book -- like your blog, Jim -- then I prefer that, a less manufactured environment.