Hi there!! Wow it feels like it’s been AGES since I wrote my last blog post, gosh. For a few weeks now I’ve been in this weird book slump (not only a reading slump….we’re gonna get into it, dw) and I just haven’t been inspired or motivated to create content at all. And that’s fine! You don’t owe the internet anything. I always see people get super stressed out about posting regularly and always being online and ugh it stresses me out FOR them lol. But that’s a whole other discussion. Today, I simply want to touch on some things that have been going through my mind in terms of bookstagram, reading, and the book community in general. Hope you enjoy! Can’t wait to discuss with y’all in the comments xx
I’ve tried writing this a few times now and I was never happy with the outcome so…..here’s hoping I can finally put my thoughts into words that actually make sense (which, if you’re reading this, chances are good I succeeded). First off, if you haven’t read my last blog post (“new perspectives”) yet, I highly recommend you do because this is a sort of part 2 (but not really).
Recently, I haven’t been motivated or inspired to create content at all, so I’ve spent a lot more time outside of my bookstagram bubble than I usually would. And I’m so glad I did! Because it really made me realize a lot of things about my relationship with this community and reading in general. Little disclaimer: I feel like some of the things I’m gonna talk about in this post could come off as incredibly judgy so…just so you know, this is first and foremost about my experience! You do you, I’m not here to judge your (reading) habits or anything else ❤
Some background for you: I never knew reading outside of bookstagram/the book community. My friend Naz recently published a blog post which I really loved, and she said she wanted to reignite her love for reading and that being so caught up in the community sort of made her forget why she loved reading so much in the first place (Naz pls correct me if I’m wrong lmao). Reading that, I realized I never really felt that. I was never really a reader, aside from one book here and there. I discovered reading through booktube a little less than 2 years ago, and I’ve been part of the book community ever since. There’s no reading outside the book community for me. And while I absolutely *love* talking about books online and having my little community, it’s also incredibly draining. I really wish I could relate to what Naz was talking about in her post, I really do! Reading has always been linked with “””work””” (not really but I don’t know how else to put it) for me, and after all this time on bookstagram, it’s finally starting to get to me. I’ve put so much energy into the book community that I’m just burnt out at this point. And now I’m on a mission to see reading separately and just treat it as a hobby!
I come from a family of readers, but I guarantee you, none of them know that things such as bookstagram actually exist. When I first told them about a readathon I was participating in at the time, they were like “what the hell are you even talking about?” lmao. And you know what? They’re having the best time reading. No “shit, I haven’t finished a book this month yet!”, no “I’m so behind on my Goodreads goal, fuck!!”, no nothing. Just pure enjoyment. I mean, that’s the point, isn’t it? Seeing so many readers online be so stressed out about their reading (which, different things work for different people, you know the drill) makes me feel stressed out as well LMAO.
The funny thing is, I used to be one of “those people”, always stressed out about numbers, goals, everything. I also had some serious issues with being a “critical reader” (whatever that is, really) and trying to come off as a “critical reviewer”. I used to think I was *so* much better than everyone else because I didn’t just throw around my 5-star-ratings (thinking back on it makes me cringe so hard lol). But, fun fact, you’re allowed to love all the books! Not being a “critical reader” doesn’t make you less of a reader! In fact, I believe that simply reading for enjoyment without feeling the need to analyze every little thing that might be wrong with a book is actually the way to go (at least for me personally). Yeah, I like a good rant review from time to time. I’m not saying you aren’t allowed to dislike books, because I do that a lot, actually. On that note – if you’re not enjoying a book for whatever reason……D N F ! ! ! (I’m very passionate about DNFing books lol). I’m not here to tell you what and what not to do, I’m really not. I’m just saying…..maybe take a step back, just like I did, and see what happens!
So, yeah. I’m over being a “critical reader”. Honestly, I’m even over this community as a whole a little. I know it sounds dumb – but everyone’s just *so* obsessed with books/reading I just– I don’t know. It makes me uncomfortable and I’m so tired of it. I’m so tired of the way everyone talks about books (as if numbers were more important than actually enjoying what you read, etc.), I’m so tired of seeing everyone nitpick every little thing about every damn book (especially concerning romance, I’ve been seeing a LOT of that on my timeline recently and I’m just like…..simply don’t read romance😭 anyway), and I’m especially tired of being bombarded with all this content loaded with pressure, forced negativity (i mean, like, purposefully picking up books you know you’re gonna hate……you know what I mean) and wannabe-edgy opinions. Y’all know, I’m not one for ~positive vibes only~ or any kind of BS like that. But sometimes I just wish people (especially in the book community) would be less focused on coming off as “different” or “cool” or whatever they think they’re doing and would spend a little more time on what actually matters. No, you’re not cool or edgy because you hate a popular book or you only give out low ratings❤️ (I could talk about this for AGES but this behavior, especially when it comes to books like ACOTAR or the like, REEKS of internalized misogyny and it’s not cute). I hate to say it, but I’m fucking fed up and every time I open bookstagram, I scroll through 5 posts max and close the app again.
I guess what I’m saying is…..don’t expect any kind of content from me at the moment?? I hope that curating my little virtual space on instagram and taking a step back for a while will make me excited about bookstagram again. But until then, I’m just gonna chill, read some (romance) books and enjoy my fucking time. There are literally people out there trying their best to make you feel bad for liking something? EXCUSE ME??? That’s just not what I’m about. I mean, none of this directly affects my life and it’s not the big deal I’m making it out to be with this post. I guess I just needed to blow off some steam lmao, you know how it is.
Well, this got real aggressive real fast. Just know that I’m first and foremost roasting and calling out my past self with this post hahah. EMBERAZZING, oh my. Anyway – I probably didn’t even scratch the surface here because uni is currently frying all my brain cells, so I really can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this topic chat about your own experiences with bookstagram/the book community! I only have my own little perspective to go off of, and there are SO many sides to the book community that I will never be able to touch on. So, that’s it from me I guess?? See you (hopefully) soon, my fellow gentlefriends ❤