Either I have the most wonderful and eclectic set of readers in the blogsophere, or authors and marketers are strange and desperate people. Or maybe both. How else to explain the odd and wonderful variety of things that people have started sending me out of the blue ever since this blog achieved its firm status somewhere between obscure and wildly popular?
As a law teacher one becomes accustomed to the piles of casebooks, hornbooks, teaching aids, and sundry possible optional readings that publishers send out twice a year in the usually vain hope that it will be adopted as class reading. But in the past year or so, the mix has been sweetened. Two PR people volunteered to send me DVDs of forthcoming movies if I would promise to review them in my blog. I declined. But several book authors have sent me books without extracting any promises whatsoever. And so far I have disappointed them all.
The reasons are various, but they almost all boil down to my not having ever had the time and energy to read the book from beginning to end. Some of the books were too serious, but not related to current work. One seemed too crazy. A couple looked like great thrillers, and are piled up with the other great thrillers I plan to read Real Soon Now. If I read the poetry book at my usual pace for poetry, I should be done well before the end of the decade. The books on torture make me too angry to keep reading. And then there is K. Anthony Appiah's Cosmopolitanism, which I did read, like very much, recommend, planned to write about at some length…and then misplaced.
But the era of disappointment is over. As of today, I have this new blog category, to cover my comments on non-work-related (i.e. other than primarily law or Internet tech) things that people send me — and that I decide I have something to say about. By posting in this category, I acknowledge that I received a bribe in the form of blog swag: a free copy of the book or (one can hope) CD or DVD. I also represent to you that the I made no promises to get the swag, not of a mention, and certainly not of a favorable one, and that I certainly will not feel obligated to post about something just because someone sends me one.
Unless of course it's very very expensive.1
Why do this now now? Well, this weekend I not only finished reading a blog swag book, but then manged not to lose it. Expect a review soon. Real Soon. Yah, real real soon….
1 This is almost certainly a joke