Well, it’s been quite some time since my words last graced the virtual pages of this website. But here words are, and with them comes the affirmation that RobAroundBooks is back in business. A lot of water may have passed under the bridge since I last spoke with you – and indeed many books have been read – but rest assured I return with the determination to get RobAroundBooks back to the hub of literary activity that it once was.
How do I intend to progress? Well, I had thought about paring down my operation to focus on only one or two areas of interest, but I decided in the end that everything I already choose to focus on is close to my heart, and I couldn’t bare dropping any of it. Therefore, despite having to continue to spread myself wafer thin, I will carry on covering the same wide-ranging areas of literature that I have previously (as denoted by the section links above), but with the intention of providing more uniform coverage across the board.
The big announcement however, is the inclusion of one major new area of focus – that of travel writing. Travel writing – and especially that of the classic variety – is and always will be a primary passion of mine, and quite why I haven’t included a section on the topic from the start is beyond me. I’m including one now though, and it may come as no surprise that the onus will be more on the classic forms of travel writing rather than the contemporary. Plenty of surprises and many journeys lay ahead – both virtual and physical, I hope – so watch this space.
Along with my own style of ‘reviewing,’ friends and regulars will know that I have a bad (although I like to think, good) habit for launching new reading projects, which often appear to set out with best intentions but quickly seem to fall by the wayside. However, despite appearances I never launch anything without the intention of following through, and so as I relaunch RobAroundBooks I’ll be rejuvenating all of the reading projects that I’ve previously launched, while no doubt adding a few more as time progresses (see, I’m incurable :)). So, expect to see a focus returning to Chekhov, Maupassant, F Scott Fitzgerald, Knut Hamsun, Morley Callaghan, and Joseph Mitchell et al. and expect to see in the coming months new forays into the wonderful literary worlds of André Gide, Martha Gellhorn, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Marcel Proust, the literature of The Belle Époque etc. etc.
And talking of new forays, I am also planning to launch two further websites in this new year, dedicated to specific areas of literary interest. I have the mechanics in place for these websites (including dedicated domains), but I’m currently working on better populating these websites before launch. More on this when I’m ready to go live with these sites.
The other big aspect of RobAroundBooks of course, is social media. And I may find myself not quite enjoying the throb of intercourse that was once prevalent on these platforms – not helped in my case by being largely absent of late – but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed or improved upon with a bit focus and innovation on my part. So, among other things, expect to see a return of my #MaupassantMonday, #ChekhovTuesday, and #typetweet features, together with a number of new innovations and hashtags, all of which I hope will help to promote discussion and interaction.
As far as interaction goes – on a more intense level, at least – moving forward I think it’s this website that’s going to continue to offer me the best opportunity for engagement. People operate websites for many difference reasons, and while encouraging others into literature will always be the raison d’être for RobAroundBooks, my other primary motivation lies in being able to widely and exhaustively discuss all aspects of literature with as many beautiful minds as possible.
And so as I press the resume switch on this website, I look forward to not only reacquainting myself with the dearest of friends who have always stood by me, but to forming new friendships with new literary companions. Of all that I have missed in my absence, this is perhaps what I have missed the most. Onwards then to literature my dear friends, and beyond!