The group of bloggers with whom I am associated have been (slavishly, I would call it) following the lead of our eldest and wisest member (William Wildblood) in putting up recent self-photos so as to emphasize the anti-anonymity stance we all hold in a world of masks and anti-human PSYOPS.
So Don't Blame Me for the hideous picture over there* - it is a screen capture thingy from a Youtube interview I did with Keri Ford. There is a bit of vertical stretching type distortion, which makes me look somewhat thinner than IRL. The annoyingly opinionated facial expression is, however, accurate - sadly.
The background is my 'study' - i.e. the room dedicated to storing my books (as opposed to the other rooms having other primary purposes which have a lower % of book cases, or mostly books belonging to other family members)...
For years, I never threw out any books; but dragged the increasing accumulation from flat to flat - but when I got married, and we were both keen readers; and then had kids, who were keen readers - we got to the situation when we needed to get rid of books in order to keep getting books. Since when we have disposed of hundreds - especially (not very good) novels; one way or another.
One excellent way is to pack hundreds of books tightly into boxes in the garage or attic, in totally inaccessible piles; then after several years when you have forgotten about them or not really needed them - they can be given away (if you can find anyone to accept them, which can be difficult).
But the study does not contain my most-used books; which is the Inklings section; which is downstairs. It is amazing how often I take-down and refer-to these volumes - especially those by and about Tolkien.
In recent months I have found myself drawn back to Tolkien yet again. This is quite spontaneous - and rather absurd. Why am I listening to the audiobook again, while reading relevant sections of the History of Middle Earth?
Why did I dig-out my strange Tolkien Tarot card game by Peter Pracownik? - which is dated 1996, but has a style like the early 1970s, when I was starved of Tolkien material and had seen no illustrations except a strange poster set on sale in a hippy shop on Park Street, (Bristol) - where I examined the thumbnail illustrations of the posters.
The matter of Tolkien material is illustrative of the changes of the past fortysomething years. I was terribly short of Tolkien material as a maniacal 'fan' - owning just a handful of books - and unable to afford the hardbacks with the proper maps. Indeed, Tolkien published only a few books (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and another three short volumes); and there was not even a reliable biography to inform people about his life.
To be a Tolkien fan in those days was to be like a monk in a Medieval monastery - poring again and again over the very few available manuscripts. And like the Medieval scholar, this involved a fair bit of hand-copying and commentary. I have kept some of the old copies I made of Tolkien's letters, calendars and the like - from Appendices absent from my paperback LotR but loaned from the library.
The 'commentaries' were my own attempted expansions of the world; such as little illustrations, a short story, a couple of song settings, poems, inscriptions on my possessions; and even 'automatic writing' by which I generated by own Tolkien-runic name. All these entirely for my own consumption; since I knew of nobody else who was interested to anything approaching the same degree as myself.
So - interest was maintained by going deeper and deeper, and alone.
Nowadays, of course, the Tolkien related material is in effect unlimited. So while I was narrow and deep (and, since the material was finite; the only possible direction was to cut deeper and deeper). By contrast, modern fans are broad and shallow; and maintain their interest by a constant infusion of new material from fan-fiction and fan-art shared in a vast community online, and from all over the world .
Yet, the situation of these times seems to call for something more like the Medieval/ Seventies narrow-and-deep approach than the millennial breadth and novelty - because the Tolkien communities are now all corrupted by, converged-onto, Leftist politics - ever increasingly so.
Such that mainstream Tolkien fandom and scholarship alike have become basically anti-Tolkien in their stance; in a way exactly analogous to modern Christian churches.
Thus Tolkien is used to pursue Leftism; so that those who are in the mainstream of Tolkien studies are all a sub-part of that Global Establishment agenda - with exactly the same agenda of antiracism, sexual revolution, fake-environmentalism, and the like.
(I fully expect soon to stumble-across blog discussion, papers, special issue journals, conferences, and academic volumes of multi-author essays on the theme of 'Tolkien and the Birdemic' - but I will not go out of my way to find them!)
In other words, Tolkien fandom is a world best avoided!
So - I am finding myself increasingly (and almost irresistibly!) drawn back (or forward, since it is conscious and voluntary) into mulling-over the same old few books, for my own purposes - a process of cyclical rediscovery and deepening.
You might try for yourself such a strategy of narrow-and-deep attention; but applied to whatever author (or other equivalent) that you personally have been spontaneously engaged-by.
*Note added - Don't know about you, but I can't stand that seeing that picture of me every time I look at the blog. It has to go... Now replaced with a less aggressive one of me from 2019; on a walk in Spain.