“A literary sanctuary unlike any other” … Time’s Flow Stemmed approaches its 8th year

“To me, it is a literary sanctuary unlike any other” an anonymous reader told me in a comment this year. How long to bask in the light of one little phrase?

When in January 2009, I issued my first Time’s Flow Stemmed blog post I had little idea how long this adventure might last. Most blogs are fleeting and fragile, like the lacy tracings on the window on a frosty morning. This was my third attempt at blogging and I assumed it would once again be a transitory initiative. As for readers I expected no more than a few indulgent friends who would soon weary of my ramblings about books.

I set out with some clear intentions:

  • This blog is literary meaning I talk only about books. I’ve strayed from time to time but always found my way back.
  • I write about my reading experience, not try to write reviews.
  • There would be no advertisement or free books accepted from publishers. On a few occasions I’ve bent the last rule to include books I would have bought myself.
  • I’d rarely write negative reviews because I don’t finish books that fail to move me in some way.

There have been some pleasing moments along the way. Time’s Flow Stemmed has grown to over 1000 posts in 7 years. WordPress issues an annual report: today I learnt that on average 140 readers a day visit the site. A great deal more than I ever expected!

This year has been busy away from the blog, engrossed in building a business that has nothing to do with literature. Unfortunately I’ve never managed to find coexistence between my need to earn money and my love of literature. Communication tailed off a bit this year and is likely to change little in 2016.

Although I’ve posted some personal pieces here, it isn’t a diary, more a chronological journal of my reading passions. It is also a sincere attempt to engage in a conversation about literature, whatever that is. I don’t find many people in my social circle that share my heterogeneous literary tastes, so it’s been a tremendous pleasure to have these conversations here, on social media and in person, in London and other cities all around the planet.

Thanks for reading. Please forgive this indulgence. Speak soon!

24 thoughts on ““A literary sanctuary unlike any other” … Time’s Flow Stemmed approaches its 8th year

  1. Indulgence forgiven! I like the nice clean new look. A fine way to mark a milestone on a voyage through good books, shared wisdom, and the company of those who appreciate the value of the written word. I look forward to seeing where your literary wanderings take you this year.

  2. It’s been more than the simple pleasure of reading to find this blog. It’s been a source of knowledge, information, and further meditations on reading, literature… I have become a better reader since I follow this blog. Thanks,

  3. How you write about your reading experience is a constant source of interest and pleasure for me, I feel very fortunate to know you. I always follow your reading with great curiosity, and you’ve inspired so much of my own. Best wishes for 2016 and the books it may contain!

  4. I hope earning a living doesn’t slow down the blog flow too much; my only other guru, the redoubtable David Auerbach, seems to have stopped completely. I value your regularity and your brevity. That’s not meant to be a back-handed compliment; you have a gift for getting across the gist of a book in a wonderfully concise way.
    I also love the sense of a coherent personality in the readings despite the heterogeneous selection: I don’t think your taste in literature is the same as mine, but I think I can usually tell if I’ll like an author from your comments. Many thanks for many reading routes.

    • Thanks John. I am delighted that you find the visits here worth your attention. I think David Auerbach’s writing is now mostly for slate.com but I miss his posts from waggish.

  5. Anthony – Congratulations on another year of blogging, and all best for 2016! It’s always an immense pleasure to read your posts – your anonymous reader’s comment is spot on.

  6. I think on your blogiversary you are allowed indulgence 😉 I am late to the party but I offer congratulations nonetheless. Well done on 8 years. I hope there are many more to come!

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