What Not To Read, And What To Read

We are spending the weekend with friends near Bristol.

[Photo by me, Tyntesfield, Bristol, England, 2019.]

Yesterday we visited an historical property owned now by the National Trust: Tyntesfield.

[Photo by me, Tyntesfield, Bristol, England, 2019.]

Yes, and what a library it has!

[Photo by me, Tyntesfield, Bristol, England, 2019.]

My dream.😂😂😂😂

* * *

I had come to dislike Twitter and had largely stopped using it. The main reason I suppose was my original account had become a “mishmash” that no longer served my purposes. But I didn’t want to “unfollow” most everyone – some from as long as a decade ago – on it just because my interests have since largely “evolved,” or suddenly to start tweeting “differently” and annoying old followers. I decided instead simply to “lock” that old account and leave it and start from scratch with a new one: if anyone “over there” was still interested in me, they could find me here at my web site. I posted this on my Instagram earlier yesterday saying so:

View this post on Instagram

I want to give Twitter another chance. I thought the best way to do that is to create a brand new Twitter account – rjnellowriter – devoted primarily to *writing,* books*, and *travel*.👨🏻‍💻📚✈️ Similar to here on Insta. I'm slowly working through my "old" Twitter account locating you all if you followed me. You may not have noticed that (or you may have noticed and you really wish I would just go away😂). Also, if you have a Twitter account I have never followed and you follow me here on Insta, if you follow me on my new Twitter above I'll follow you back.🤗 . Have a good weekend, wherever you are. Me? I'm near Bristol for a few days.😊 . #socialmedia #writers #travel #books #Twitter #England #followers #reading #writing #fiction #authors #tourism #friends #housekeeping #expats #refresh #reboot #newlook #new #life #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram

A post shared by R. J. Nello (@rjnello) on

If you are interested and you have a Twitter, if you want follow me on my new Twitter account – @rjnellowriter – I’ll follow you back.

* * *

Not long after posting that, I saw this pop up in my Instagram timeline from some writer/book blogger/filmmaker (I had by now I admit lost track of what she claims she does) I now used to follow:

[From Instagram.]

Read that masterpiece again. The nature of those who follow her and whom she also follows are essentially a problem for her now. I am a problem, I see? Okay, fine, I resolved that issue instantly. Within seconds I unfollowed her and also removed her as a follower of mine.

I’m pretty sure she had followed me first and I followed her back – about two or three years ago. I’d thought she was interesting. And I have liked her posts now and then.

I also make it a personal rule given how nasty social media now can be, NOT to like, and certainly not to comment, on what I consider contentious and divisive Instagram or Twitter posts; and that is entirely my social media right. So when, for instance, earlier in the year she hurled one at us, I was underwhelmed to say the least and almost unfollowed her; but I never unfollow over reading a mere brief difference of opinion and/or worldview as long as I am not enduring a daily diatribe of that sort of stuff. In short, I won’t argue; and if I feel I’m being “pounded” I just disappear eventually. 

But that Instagram post yesterday hit this particular nerve: I won’t be lectured that I MUST comment on this post or that post and be threatened with being unfollowed if I don’t. I wouldn’t put up with that cr-p even from someone I know in person. (“You better call me to keep a connection between us or I’ll delete you from my phone book.”) I sure as heck won’t endure similar nonsense from strangers on my social media.

As we all do, I like and I comment when and if I feel I want to. She has shown nil interest in me in longer than I can remember, yet I didn’t hold that against her. She had obviously followed lots of people over time to try to attract followers, and now that she has five or so thousand she declares she doesn’t care how many followers she has? Right. When I checked back this morning just to gauge the reactions, I saw pretty much what I expected: mostly obsequious comments (“Please don’t unfollow me!”) and even some weird praise; and those are nearly all pathetic and clueless reading. Uh, huh, so making that demand of her followers was not about her ego?

A little advice: never treat followers that way and don’t make such demands of them. “I don’t want to seem harsh,” she writes there. No, she doesn’t seem harsh. Rather she reads as self-absorbed and tiresome.

There are gazillions of far more interesting people out there to follow…

* * *

And there is also lots more interesting reading too. At that Tyntesfield property’s second-hand bookstore, look what I also found for £1.50 each:

[The Europeans, by Henry James, 1878. Photo by me, Bristol, England, 2019.]

Oh, that’s a laugher.

[The Europeans, by Henry James, 1878. Photo by me, Bristol, England, 2019.]

I have James’s The Europeans already on my Kindle. But a print version of the short novel is a nice to have.

[Tender Is The Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1934. Photo by me, Bristol, England, 2019.]

When next I saw that, I thought: “I’m definitely having this.”

[Tender Is The Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1934. Photo by me, Bristol, England, 2019.]

I have never read Scott Fitzgerald’s fourth and last novel to be published during his too short lifetime. At its release, like The Great Gatsby nine years before, Tender Is The Night was not a commercial or contemporary critical success. Fitzgerald died only six years later at age forty-four.

He died apparently also believing himself to be a failure.

Sadly, if only he had known how fundamentally wrong he was… and how wrong in the much longer term those contemporary assessments had been.

* * *

Have a good what’s left of your weekend, wherever you are.