Bitch on the Blog

June 30, 2014


Filed under: Books — bitchontheblog @ 04:16

Aspiring novel writers please do not be disheartened.

There is a dichotomy: The older people get the more they could, if so inclined, write a good story. However, the older people get the less they read novels.

I haven’t made a study of it but hear it again and again (even, increasingly so, from myself) that the older you get the fewer novels you read. There is a good reason for it.

Leaving novels aside. Books of whatever genre:

It saddens me. Not least since a big love of my life is print. I am sick of it. Sick of it. Almost physically so. Have started weeding – big time. Next time I move house I want to move lightly. And, more importantly, I don’t want to leave my son with acres of print to wade through once I am out of the picture.

There is always an upside to a downside. I have friends on those shelves. My god. True friends who contributed to what I am today. Chiselled me decades ago and over time. And what do you know: By weeding those shelves, getting rid of the inconsequential,  friends stand acknowledged, stand out and give comfort. It doesn’t come easy to me to be autobiographical so I won’t give you names. Otherwise I might as well give you my DNA and/or an imprint of my palms or bequeath my brain to the Josephinum in Vienna/Austria. Let’s just say: My heart sings.




  1. The older I get, the more I read actually, but not novels. Fiction does not appeal to me anymore. I spend a great deal of money and time on reading non fiction as a learning process. Not to entertain myself. Most of my friends who read too are doing exactly that. One of my complaints is that more non fiction is not available on Kindle which will make storage easier for me. And other than what I write in my blog and on facebook, I have no ambitions of becoming a writer.

    Comment by rummuser — June 30, 2014 @ 06:50 | Reply

    • The saying goes, Ramana, that we all have a novel inside us. Maybe. Who knows. And even if we do it does not need to be written.

      What I do know that humans are story tellers. Whether round the fire place or on the page.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 2, 2014 @ 23:29 | Reply

  2. I’m a huge reader — fiction, non-fiction, blog posts. My books will depart from me only if pulling them from my cold dead hands, and even then, I may conjure spirits from the nether world to help me maintain firm grip. LOL.

    Comment by reneejohnsonwrites — July 1, 2014 @ 12:58 | Reply

    • Yes, I know about the desire to maintain a “firm grip”, Renee. Not so much to keep control as not to burden other people. I do have this ludicrous wish that I could help my son to tidy up after me once I’ve snuffed it. In the meantime I implore both my parents to NOT tidy away too much of their lives so I can look at them with hindsight. If what I just said is contradictory it’s because it is contradictory.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 2, 2014 @ 23:24 | Reply

  3. My experience (neither have I done a scientific study on the phenomena or lack thereof, but I could, I suppose) suggests that older people who don’t have eye issues read like Americans eat junk food–avariciously. Phil’s mom (81 and recently deceased–so she reads less now) loved fiction; my mom, almost 81 reads anything non-fiction, especially about famous people or personal stories about WWII (which she lived through in Paris). Baby Boomers entering retirement are taking stabs at writing books, but also are filling their time with reading–at least the ones I know. For those with eye problems, audio books are really popular. Hey, if there’s money to be made, there are people to fill the demand. And it’s not the young who have the money…

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — July 2, 2014 @ 17:57 | Reply

    • Dear Lorna, I wish you hadn’t mentioned “if there’s money to be made, there are people to fill the demand”. Tracey Emin’s (don’t look her up if you have the fortune to not know her name) bed has just been sold for 2.4 million Pound Sterling. It’s disgusting. Both the bed and the price.

      I shan’t go into this because I am speechless. An unmade bed with used condoms and tampons, presumably a few empty pizza delivery boxes flying around sell for all that money. If I were her I’d pull a duvet over my head and wonder what I have contributed to the world. Then I’d throw up into an (unused) condom and order a pizza. And tidy up afterwards.

      How very intriguing that your mother was in Paris during world war two. In one of your responses recently you mentioned ‘romanticizing the past’. Odd thing is there is romance when reminiscing. Only today I found myself saying to someone that an event may be awful as experienced in the moment, yet makes a great (often amusing) anecdote years down the line. Of which you are an expert.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 2, 2014 @ 23:11 | Reply

      • My novel is about my grandmother’s life in those times. I don’t romanticize them at all. I had to make up so much of the story because she kept a lot of it to herself and she is long dead. My mom only remembers what she remembers and, trust me, her memories are not fond ones.

        Comment by Lorna's Voice — July 4, 2014 @ 17:27 | Reply

        • Interesting conundrum you are facing there. Since you are not claiming to write your grandmother’s biography, “only” a novel, you are given poetic licence. Plenty of it. And that is good.

          I am fond of auto and other biographies. But I do read them with a lot of scepticism in my heart. The only reason being that I know how little we know of each other.

          Despite the fact that people perceive me as either ‘secretive’ or, more benignly, as ‘private’ I am not. I am not. Ask me anything I’ll answer. To the best of my ability and memory. And yet, there are things I’ll take to my grave. Mainly because their disclosure wouldn’t serve any purpose. And because they concern other people. Might hurt the living. Some memories are a minefield. One which I do not wish to tread.

          As I said to you – however many years ago I read your back catalogue during one long long night – I admire you for laying yourself open. This afternoon (insert a spot of self pity) I found myself in a situation which had tears of regret rolling down my face. Quiet tears. Not noticed by anyone. I looked around and couldn’t believe what I saw. If anyone had predicted this to me a few years ago … well, I’d laughed. No, I wouldn’t have laughed. I’d have shaken my head and got on with the next bit to get on with.

          Wishing you well, Lorna,


          Comment by bitchontheblog — July 4, 2014 @ 19:28 | Reply

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