Sunday 18 March 2018

Game Over for The Book Zone

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This is the post that once upon a time I thought I would never write. It is also the post that I have put off writing for far too long.

I started The Book Zone (For Boys) back in October 2009, and for the following five or so years I loved every moment of my blogging journey. I read many fantastic books that might not have otherwise found their way to my bookshelf and I met some wonderful authors, publishers and fellow bloggers. 

However, a few years ago things had to slow down a bit, and the number of posts I was writing each month had to decrease. Work pressures increased bit by bit, and as I have mentioned in a previous post, we could not afford to replace our school librarian when she retired, and so I took it on as one of my Assistant Headteacher responsibilities to make sure it stayed open and running. I hope you will be glad to hear that nearly three years on the school library is still thriving and full of students before school and at every break time. I am still pushing brilliant new books into the hands of avid and reluctant readers on a daily basis, and this is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way blogging became less of a release from the daily grind and more of a chore, and the eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that I have not written a blog post since October 2016. There are many reasons for this, some of which are personal and not for publication here. I have also been (almost) completely absent from Twitter since then (only two tweets in 2017!). However, part of me refused to accept that maybe it was time to bring The Book Zone to an end and so I never wrote this post, always believing that I would somehow find the time and the passion to start blogging again. I have now finally accepted this. 

I would like to thank all of the publishers and authors who have given me so much support with The Book Zone since it launched. It has been a genuine pleasure to meet so many of you and to geek out about the books you write and publish. At this moment in time, this is the only part of  blogging that I know I will miss (even if at the last few events I went to I have felt like a dinosaur compared with the new wave of fantastic young bloggers and vloggers that are doing such a great job of promoting books for children and teens). Thank you too for all of the books you have sent me over the years - I am just sorry that I could not read and review every one that cane though my letterbox. Thank you also to all of the readers of this blog, both young and old. Your emails and messages of support have always been very gratefully received, and if even a small number of young readers have discovered a love for reading through my recommendations then all of the time and effort has been worthwhile. Please also accept my apologies for bringing The Book Zone to a close - I know from your emails that many of you have found this a useful resource for finding books for boys to read.

So what now for me? I would like to say "never say never" as far as The Book Zone is concerned. Who knows? I may win the lottery and be gifted with the time to start loving writing about books again! In the meantime though, I am currently balancing my work responsibilities with a rekindled love for photography. Back in September I started studying a Level 3 (A Level equivalent) course in Photography as a weekly evening class at the local college and I am loving every minute of it. Until starting this course, most of my photography was travel or street art based, but I am now very excited about developing my skills at studio and location portrait photography and I have just purchased my first set of studio strobes from eBay. if you are interested I have two Instagram accounts (@djdazzler and @planetflux) and you can also find me on Flickr. Be gentle though, these are still early days :-)