The Eloquent Page – The End of the Road

April 3, 2024

I’ll admit I’ve been doing some heavy-duty procrastinating in an effort to avoid writing this post, but I can’t put it off any longer so here goes…

After nearly fourteen years of waffling about books and how much I enjoy them, I’ve decided to shut up shop and move on to pastures new. Over the last twelve months, it has become increasingly apparent to me that my book reviews are no longer of sufficient interest to the book-reading public, based on website hits.

Jim McLeod, my bearded bookish brother from another mother put it far better than I ever could.

…I’m going through the same thoughts. Not to bash the tikers and insta lot, but I have a feeling that the days of well-thought-out written reviews are over. It feels like authors and publishers are more interested in buzz than reviews”. 

Times change, I get it. No one to blame, just the nature of things. I dont think my particular brand of literary enabling is the done thing any more and you know what? That’s ok.

Some real-life changes have also made it increasingly difficult to devote as much time to The Eloquent Page as I have done in the past. I went out and got myself a promotion, so that is going to require more of my focus. I was planning on a couple of final reviews but realistically I don’t think they’ll happen sadly. Much as I might wish it, logistically, it’s just not going to be a viable option.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be tidying everything up. I might take a copy of all my reviews for posterity’s sake. When I reach my dotage it will be nice to look back on it all I think. From June (when the web hosting expires) The Eloquent Page will, like Galadriel in Lord of the Rings, diminish and go into the West.

Though I’ll not be reviewing anymore, I’m never going to fall out of love with the written word. When I do get the opportunity to get some reading for pleasure I think it’s about high time I revisited some old favourites.

The one glimmer on the horizon is that my sporadically updated personal vortex of chaos will remain open*. C’mon now, I’ve got to have somewhere online where I can write rambling tirades about everything I dont understand any more.

Who knows? If the muse takes me, I might even review the odd book there from time to time in the future.

I’m also still going to be around on the socials.  Pretty much everywhere that you see @PabloCheesecake, that will still be me. The only exception is my account on X (Formerly Twitter). The account still exists but I’m not a huge fan of fascists/bigots/assholes so I tend to give it a miss nowadays and I don’t bother posting there.

Now, before I shamble off into the sunset, there is just enough time for a few thanks here and there…

Firstly, to those of you who have popped by the site from time to time. I never really expected much of an audience, but I know there are few of you. Hopefully, some of you out there in Internet land have discovered a book or two after reading one of my reviews. That would be nice. I think that’s all I ever wanted really. Thanks for the love. Everyone I’ve met while running the site has been thoroughly lovely**. All the authors, fellow reviewers, and publishing industry types have been more than generous with their time. Various cons I’ve attended over the years have been great fun. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve not ever fallen foul of trolling or the weird vitriol that other reviewers have experienced. I do count myself extremely lucky in that regard.

The greatest thanks of course is reserved for my wife, Nadine. For years now she has taken my often incoherent ramblings, given them a good shake and reordered them into something that resembles a well-considered opinion. She’s watched me agonise over every word and has always been the one there to pick up the pieces. I would be utterly and completely lost without her.

I guess that’s about it. I’m all but done.

If you’ll indulge me but one moment longer, to paraphrase a popular intergalactic physician – I will not forget one word of this, not one book, not one line. I swear. I will always remember when The Eloquent Page was me.

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Paul (@PabloCheesecake)

*I do have to move it to a new web hosting service so it might be offline for a bit.

**There was actually one thoroughly unpleasant person but I genuinely cannot remember his name. I do remember he was an arse though.

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