Pulitzer blog’s importance demonstrated after it almost disappears

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, October 22, 2019

After a week-long scare, Leona Charleigh Holman came to terms with the importance of her blog and how it affected her ability to perceive not just the books she has been reading, but the Pulitzer Project as a whole.

As month 10 of the project comes to a close, Holman said she lost access to her Wordpress blog for about a week.

“I realized what an integral part of the project it was,” Holman said.

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While at face value the blog was merely a place to post a two- to five-sentence synopsis of the book, along with some analysis of how she thought about the work, it also served as a way to connect readers with her thought process throughout the project.

When she finally managed to get the blog working again, she realized roughly 10 weeks of blog posts never made it to social media.

“Because we live in a time where online communication is so important, I do not know what we would do without the internet,” she said.

Without the blog, she said not only would her followers not have a way to keep Holman accountable for the books she has read, but she, herself, started to lose track of which books she already read.

“The blog is a way for me to connect to the reading audience,” she said. “I can communicate my experience and build a wider network.”

It was this temporary lack of connection that helped her realize its significance.

After last month’s update that she will most likely not finish the project by the end of the year, Holman said she was asked by some people if she felt disappointed in her inability to finish.

“It was almost accusatory,” Holman said. “How do I feel? At first, it hurt my pride.”

Once she came to terms with this reality, however, Holman said she is determined to finish the project in spite of not being able to meet the original deadline.

“I will finish the project,” she said. “I will still have read 84 of the 89 books in a year.”

Holman said she will simply finish the leftover books in the beginning of 2020 instead.

“I think that is incredible,” she said. “It does not take away from the celebration.”

This month’s book club meeting will take place this evening, Oct. 22, at 5:30 p.m. at the library. This month’s book is 1000 Acres by Jane Smiley.