When Between the Lines (BtL) launched in July, 2009, I had big dreams. I imagined it would become as wildly popular as Avatar or Glee, or at least as widely snickered at as Jesse James, a.k.a. The Vanilla Gorilla. (I wonder, can Vanilla sign I’m sorry like Koko?) Alas, BtL hasn’t gained any celebrity at all. In fact, BtL has one (count it!) one e-mail subscriber. And that hardly counts because she has an unflattering crush on me—sorry, hotChick4books. BtL averages about 2,300 hits per month, which seems like a tidy sum. But when you factor out the lame-ass search terms like “why?” or “outhouse,” that tidy sum gets decimated, fast. But my biggest complaint by far is the excessive amount of time it takes to find people—good, funny, insightful readers—who like yarnin’ about books. It’s wreaking havoc on my reading, you see, and that’s simply unacceptable. I’m six months behind on Proust! I’ve delayed Dickens! And who knows when I’ll get to Agnar Mykle and Graham Greene. So. After a lot of soul-searching, BtL is checking into sex rehab, where it can take a good, long look at itself. Sex rehab, not isolated confinement. Which means that visitors are welcome. So if you or someone you know want to help BtL on its path to recovery, drop me a line. I’ll send questions, which I’ve patiently stored like a squirrel, and you can take a crack at them. Lastly, I’m blogging at Interpolations where I periodically share my thoughts on books and stuff.

9 Responses to Coda

  1. I certainly understand, but I’m sad to see BtL shelved. I have enjoyed the interviews, even when I haven’t made a comment.

    Kevin, thanks for the work you put into the site.
    It was a joy to read.

  2. Kevin Neilson says:

    Thank you!

  3. jasonrriley says:

    This makes me sad. BtL is one of the last best spots on the internet. I hope it has a swift recovery from its rehab, and returns soon.


  4. Kevin Neilson says:

    Wow! Thank you, Jason. A fine compliment, that. I hope your writing, your reading, your everything is going well. Best, Kevin

  5. Ali says:

    Kevin, I had tried to subscribe to your beautiful site a number of times, but I do not know why it never worked. The reason was my own computer illiteracy I guess. To me, Kevin, some of the interviews are among the best I have read in life and almost all the people I saw here are memorable and fascinating. I opened the window of my home in the east, in the land of oriantal poets. I was so lucky that your friendship, your letters and particularly your site blew such a pleasant breeze on me.


  6. Matt Rowan says:

    If it’s any consolation, I’m adding BtL to my blogroll, also, if for no other reason than solidarity. Of course there are obvious other reasons: I like the interviews, which have inspired me to try my hand at some passive version of the same sort of thing, probably conducted via email and as sheepishly / non-imposingly as I can possibly manage. Is that how it’s done? I shall find out, in any event.

    But this is good stuff. I had no idea a 19 year old who currently attends my alma mater has published a novel recently. Where the hell else am I gonna find out stuff like that? I hope, in other words, that this is not the end of BtL, which I feel I’ve hardly gotten to know at all!

  7. Colleen says:

    I’ve waited this long to tell you that BTL really as good as those above say it is. Why? Because I want you to know that just because it’s on the interwebs doesn’t mean everyone will immediately forget it was there.

    I get the workload problem, believe me. But still, I miss BTL very much.

  8. Kevin Neilson says:

    Hi Colleen, good news for you, indeed. Recently someone from a faraway place expressed interest in being featured. Of course, I have mixed feelings about it, as I’m unable, it seems, to escape the long shadow of BtL. I’ve been meaning to ping you offline to say hi but have felt sinisterly guilty for reading Thousands with an attitude bordering on peevishness. Hope you and hubby are happy and well. Cheers, K

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