Transition

As I let the domain I purchased in 2014 expire, I’ve been weighing my options.

I spent most of the afternoon rereading the eight years of posts I wrote when my blog was hosted by Blogger (2006-2014). They were glorious years. I was filled with the joy of having a voice, of beginning a blog, and sharing my love of reading. I was teaching full time, my son lived at home, and so interspersed with bookish posts were many posts of a personal nature.

Then, when I went to WordPress, it seemed I fell into a crowd of exceptionally erudite bloggers. They broadened my venture into translated literature, and participating in the Shadow Jury for the International Booker Prize has been a highlight of my reading year for the past seven years.

But, somehow I ceased writing about personal things. I didn’t tell anecdotes or record many observations. I have had no witty story from my classroom in the three years since I retired. It’s no wonder my blog has become tiresome to me. It would be easy to say, “It’s because I’ve been blogging for fifteen years,” when actually, I think the truth is closer to, “I’ve been writing about mostly books for the past seven years.”

So, I’m not sure where I am as my blog loses its domain and transitions to the free site (dolcebellezza2.wordpress.com). Parts of me want to read freely, without composing a review as I go. Other parts of me are reluctant to lose the stories we’ve shared about our lives, or the casual discussions about the books we’re reading and the things we’re doing.

I know one thing: I am not brilliant enough to offer only book reviews. We have professional sources for that. All I can offer is my opinion on what I’ve read and a more frequent glimpse into the life I lead. I think I would like to share that with you, and visit you more to see what it is that you’ve been up to…

30 thoughts on “Transition”

  1. I think you should just post about what you want to – it’s your blog, and reflects your interests and passions. It doesn’t have to be all ‘erudite’ bookishness. It’s always interesting to read about the life experiences and environment of bloggers – not just their reading opinions. Keep it up!

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  2. I like to read individual opinions and reactions to various books. That’s the personal touch too. I also am reluctant to share all of my life stories, just a few some of the times.

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    1. I don’t want to get too personal, either. Yet, if I only talk books I am not sharing very much on this blog. After all, we are made up of so mu more to we read. I think one of the things that really made me retreat was all the political hubbub, in the presidential election year. My opinions are often so very different from the masses!

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  3. Bellezza, your blog is unique and wonderful. But I totally understand what you mean by “parts of me want to read freely, without composing a review as I go” because I feel the same way. I want to read for pleasure/personal enrichment, without feeling obligated to post. I also want to spend less time on the computer, although I love to write about books and connect with others.

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  4. I don’t think you have to be “brilliant” to only write about books. I hope not, anyway! I’m not comfortable sharing too much personal stuff online, esp in the blog, for various reasons, but I love reading about the different lives and the books woven info them of the people I follow. Do what you want to do, though, and I’ll look forward to hopefully reading more bits from you as you work out what to do.

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    1. I like reading about our different lives, and the books we’ve woven into them, too. Thank you for visiting and commenting as you do, Liz, and for taking time to give me your thoughts.

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  5. I solved the books vs personal dilemma by opening a second blog devoted only to books and reading. My original blog is where I write opinion pieces, travel pieces, slice of life pieces. Works for me. I enjoy your blogs – please don’t abandon the Blogosphere.

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    1. I like your solution of two blogs! I doubt I could keep up with two, as I tried that once (the second of mine was one which focused on faith called Dear God, in letters to Him), but I couldn’t manage checking two different sets of comments, etc. I like how you have one for books and one for “everything else.” A big thank you to you, too, Alison, for continuing to stop by here.

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  6. I enjoy a blog that’s peppered with life. Little stories here and there, books, observations of life. I enjoy it as long as the blogger’s personality comes through and I do get that from your writing. I say, write about whatever you want to write about. My writing from 13 years ago is quite different from now. We evolve.

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    1. It is so true how we evolve! I even find the different platforms, of Blogger and WordPress, vastly different. Not many bloggers agree with me, but somehow I seem to have lost touch with those with whom I first began blogging on Blogger…and have a new collection of friends on WordPress. When I switched to WordPress was when I really dove into the translated literature ocean…I agree with you, though, it is important that our personalities come through our blogs/posts.

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  7. I’ll echo what others have said about writing what you want to write about. I do love to visit blogs for the book reviews but of course if there are more personal posts then you do feel a bit more of that sense of community. That you’ve gotten to know one another a bit more.

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    1. Community seemed to be what it was all about in 2006! At least for those first five years (06-11). And then I worried that I was speaking too much of my woes, and who really cared anyway? Now I’m almost so exclusively books that I wonder who could care about only that…striking an appropriate balance, as is true of so many things in life, is what seems to be the answer. I love feeling like I “know” with whom I blog, and you have been a faithful friend for many, many years, Iliana.

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    1. I think the key word there is “personal.” That is one thing we bloggers can offer that the New York Times Book Reviews cannot. And it is so very important to know how ‘real’ readers relate to a book, not those who are paid to review them.

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  8. It’s a brave decision, but the right one for you at this time obviously (and will save you those webhosting fees!). I’m lucky in having another outlet for less personal / more polished book reviews In Shiny New Books (where we’d still welcome you should you feel the urge) so I like injecting the personal into my own blog reviews. I hope that you feel the freedom to write about what you want when your blog moves. Fingers crossed for you.

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    1. Well, the decision either came from bravery or exhaustion. 😉 It is wonderful that you write for Shiny New Books, and I’m touched that you would still welcome me. (I think the “problem” was that so few books were available to me in the States to review, but if you have something that I could review for you, I would love that!) Freedom to choose what to read, and what to review, is indeed the best.

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  9. M, write about you, your love of books, and whatever else catches your fancy. Just know that we will keep reading and enjoying getting to know you even more, and your thoughts on all of the wonderful books you read. xx

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  10. I’m a great believer in doing only what makes you happy. I see many bloggers writing about their family, others do only book reviews, still others do reviews and memes and list kind of posts. You get to decide what mix you want in your blog since there is no all-purpose recipe.

    I wouldn’t worry at all about not being a “professional” reviewer whatever that means. The fact your reviews are a personal reflection is why I visit!

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    1. I am so glad that you visit, Karen, and that my posts/reviews are a personal reflection. It relieves me that you find them a personal reflection, and that you do take the time to visit. Xo

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  11. There may be a few people out there who when it gets down to it want to hear about the books. Maybe just one person.

    Still, how exciting. Launch yourself on a new adventure! A blog – by which I just mean, really, writing – is great for new adventures.

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    1. “Maybe just one person.” 🙂

      Let us hope at least one wants to hear about books!

      A new adventure…that’s a good name for simply switching URLs. Do come visit me, though, Tom, at my address in early August. I would miss you so much. (In fact, you can even enter dolcebellezza2.wordpress.com now, and it will take you to this exact spot as .net is linked here.)

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  12. I have to confess that I miss your personal blog posts. I remember when I first landed on your blog and enjoyed reading about everything from lipstick and perfume to your family and travels to the lake. I know you are no longer teaching, but the stories of your classroom were also very enjoyable to read. We don’t have a lot in common when it comes to the books, but I still like to read your reviews to see if one might spark my curiosity. As others have said, this blog is yours to do as you please, but I would happily read any personal post you care to share with your readers. 🙂 xoxo

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    1. Ah, Lesley, my very first blogging friend! Remember those early days, when we found each others’ blogs so very in common with one another?! At least in terms of what we were reading; I know you never loved lipstick as much as I did, or taught in an elementary classroom. But, you had Barnes and Noble stories, and bike trail stories, and kayaks and cooking and…

      I think I shifted, took a significant turn, really, when I jumped to WordPress. Somehow, my affection for translated literature TOOK OVER, and I found myself writing about little else. (Plus, I was a little shy of perhaps speaking too much of my personal life.)

      I think now, in this rumination that I’m currently undergoing, it IS time to find the balance between review and anecdote of a personal nature. You, of all people, deserve my most heartfelt thanks for hanging around lo these fifteen years! ❤️

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      1. Wow. Has it really been 15 years?! Goodness. I’m still using Blogger, so I can’t address the WordPress issue, but I don’t see why it should matter which platform you use. I feel those who are interested will follow/comment, regardless of their blogging platforms. Just my two cents. I love hearing about your life and miss the interaction we once shared. Here’s to the next 15 years, my friend. xoxo

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        1. You were wise to stay with the same platform; I can’t believe that a girl who craves constancy as much as I do has switched back and forth between Blogger and WordPress! In the process I feel like I have “lost”:friends, and certainly I have lost some posts. All of the ones I’ve written here, since 2014, are not on the Blogger site. You are right that it shouldn’t matter, but somehow, it has affected my commenting/visiting. Of course, the political hullabaloo had something to do with that, too. It was hard for me to see several blogs I love profess such liberal viewpoints, while mocking the conservative ones. Well, that aside, I miss blogging with YOU, Lesley, and I am “coming out of my hole to examine the sky” once again.
          I will pick up the interaction once again.❤️

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