A Decade of Book Waffling – The Eloquent Page is 10!

July 15, 2020

The Eloquent Page sprung into life way back in 2010. I had posted a couple of reviews on my personal blog and my other half suggested I should have a bash at doing something a bit more structured. I was forever bemoaning the fact that I had nothing to occupy my spare time. Since then, I’ve spent the last decade sitting about engrossed in one book or another. Time well spent, I’m sure you’ll agree. So here we are, 772 posts later (I know I can’t believe it either), and I am still waffling about books on a regular basis.

The last ten years has seen some flattering comments and the occasional weird moment. Here are just a few, in no particular order –

I was described as ‘a genre authority’ at one point. I pondered it for a while, and think that just means I’m old and have been around long enough that people consider me part of the furniture. That’s ok. I’ll happily be that shabby looking credenza in the corner of the room.

One weird incident was when an author accused me of encroaching on their social media presence because I linked to and shared one of their posts. I’m not 100% sure they understood how social media works.

In the last decade, there has only been one book that I started reading and could not finish. I remember there was a scene so abhorrent, I tapped out at that point. It left an unpleasant taste in my brain. Everyone has limits and on that day, I found mine.

Once or twice, I’ve been offered the opportunity to write for magazines or other review websites, but after a few abortive attempts I’ve had to decline. I learned my lesson the hard way. I already put way too much pressure on myself delivering just one review a week. I’ve tried writing a few odds and sods for other reviewers, but making a commitment to anyone other than myself is way too stressful. For the curious amongst you, I can confirm that those efforts were uniformly pants. If you stumble across them anywhere on the net, I would back away swiftly for fear you might become less intelligent upon reading them.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet quite a few authors and industry types. Hell, I’ve even overcome my natural social awkwardness occasionally and spoken to one or two of them. It turns out they are all actual real people and the vast majority of them are thoroughly splendid.


The thing I like best about reading is the opportunity to escape the real world from time to time.  *gazes wistfully towards the horizon*

All things remaining equal, this little corner of the internet will continue to act as my bookish Bag End. I like nothing better than a cosy spot in front of a fire, a warm drink in hand and the company of a good book. I have no time for internet spats. I’ve seen more than a few, but they’re not my style. I often suspect that I might be considered a bit boring by some. They’re probably right. I suppose there are worse things than being considered the virtual equivalent of your favourite comfortable pair of socks.

The honest truth is I’m not really a book reviewer. Not really. I’m more of a book enabler. I’ve tried to write reviews about books I’ve not enjoyed, but I can’t. Life is way too short to spend your time reading and writing about a book you don’t like. What you think about a book is entirely subjective. I firmly believe that every book has an audience, it just might be the case that audience isn’t necessarily you. I try to keep things ludicrously simple – every post you’ll find on The Eloquent Page will be about books I’ve enjoyed.

Sadly, there have been quite a few books that I never got the opportunity to fit into my schedule. I always find that hugely disappointing. I think it is the only regret I have about running a website. There is never enough time. If I could just find a job that allowed me to read all day, paid well, and didn’t require at least a rudimentary grasp of punctuation, I’d do it in a second.

I was going to write a big list of people who I know I should thank, but it would easily run into the hundreds. Suffice to say, if we have crossed paths over the years, perhaps exchanged a word or two, then I am grateful for the experience. All these little interactions mean something to me.

The Eloquent Page is mostly a one-man band but there is one person, above all others, who I do need to thank. MadNad is my editor in chief and the centre of my existence. Without her, this little blog wouldn’t exist. I magic words out of my brain onto a page, and she sorts them in some semblance of order. Commas are most definitely not my friend.

When it comes to The Eloquent Page, one fact will always hold true; the book is the thing. My advice to any who indulge in a bit of reading – if a writer moves you, then let the world know. Post your thoughts on Amazon, register your pleasure on GoodReads, shout joyfully from the highest rooftop. I do it from time to time and you know what? It’s just about the best thing in the world. Perhaps one day we’ll meet and you’ll say “Hey Paul, I bought that story you were waffling on about and you’re right, it was great”. I can guarantee you one thing. On that day, you’ll make an old, slightly frazzled book wizard exceedingly happy

Who knows, maybe in 2030 I’ll be celebrating another landmark anniversary.

God, I’ve prattled on too much now, haven’t I? If you’ve got this far then I thank you for your patience. The Eloquent Page will be back to its usual book-focused self soon when, if memory serves, there might be a plethora of zombies. You can’t beat everyone’s favourite undead shufflers can you?

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