discussion

Let’s Talk Bookish – Appreciation for Book Bloggers

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

JUNE 18: APPRECIATION FOR BOOK BLOGGERS (RUKKY)

Prompts: Do you feel appreciated as a book blogger? Who do you think appreciates the work of book bloggers the most? Do you think that bookish social media is aiding in the depreciation of book bloggers or is it supporting them? Is it wrong to want compensation from the book industry for our work?

Welcome to the middle of June, everyone! Time passes by so quickly, honestly. Anyway, this week’s topic is from our very own host Rukky over at Eternity Books!

I think generally I do feel appreciated as a book blogger. When people leave their lovely messages or insightful comments, it does spark joy in my heart, and makes me feel like an integrated part of the community. In addition to the readers, other bloggers will also visit each other and give feedback and interact with one another, and I think this also helps to create a nice sense of community that makes me (and hopefully others) feel appreciated.

As for who appreciates the work of book bloggers the most… I honestly would have to say other book bloggers. It takes one to know one right? Not that readers don’t appreciate the work, but to fully appreciate how long it sometimes take to create a post, or the thought that goes into curating content or even just posting through bad moods…I feel like I only appreciated other book bloggers’ work when I started to do more of it myself. It takes quite a lot of discipline to be a stable and prolific book blogger. Especially those of you out there with huge followings, I can imagine there’s pressure to always churn out (good) content, which is really intense!

Bookish social media I suppose is just a natural progression from book blogging as technology advances and the popular types of social media continue to evolve. I don’t think they’re necessarily contributing to the depreciation of book blogging. They may take away attention, since the trend now is to have short, punchy, clickbait titles and content for readers to consume, as the average attention span is shorter this day and age. In a way though, such social media can also be a good tool in advertising for a blog, which can be seen as supporting the bookish blogging community. Social media, as always, is just a tool, and the way it is used could potentially be used to support or detract from the book bloggers.

I don’t think it is inherently wrong to want compensation for work! Although there is definitely something to be said about the powerful extrinsic motivation of money taking over everything you do. That being said though, if a blogger were to be putting in many hours into creating amazing content that has a lot of followers and ends up making a huge impact, I could see reason for why they might want compensation from the industry. The power of suggestion and a community mindset can really push the popularity of a book up or down in a big way. I am sure that there are many books that wouldn’t have reached as much of a critical mass in popularity without these blogs spreading the word and encouraging others to read and join the hype train.

What do you all think about the way book bloggers are seen and appreciated? May I just have an overly optimistic and rosy view. Sure it may not be the forefront of social media popularity, but I don’t think it’s a dying art just yet!


discussion

Let’s Talk Bookish – “I’m Not Like Other Girls” Trope

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

JUNE 11: “I’M NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS” TROPE (Suggested by DANI)

Prompts: How do you feel about the “I’m Not Like Other Girls” trope in general? Have you ever seen the trope done well? Did you ever think you were “not like other girls” OR think that a girl you know wasn’t “like other girls”? Why do you think this trope became so popular? Do you think this trope can be damaging?

Welcome everyone to another week here at LTB! Another interesting topic this week, I think I notice this kind of trope more often in YA novels, although it does rear its head in the mysteries and thrillers occasionally too.

Honestly, I am never looking for this trope. It’s fairly overused, and doesn’t add much value to a story for me. I’m sure it’s been done well, but I think when it’s done well it becomes more of an undertone (setting a protagonist apart), rather than the usual blatant “she’s not like other girls” trope. Thinking back to my high school English days, a novel (almost?) always has a protagonist that is somehow set apart from the others – “noble birth” I think it was called back then. This could be like a special power, literal noble birth, or some sort of outcast perhaps, but either way, I hope it’s not only for the sake of being different from other girls.

I think the main problem about this trope, although this is also probably the main reason it’s popular, is kind of in the definition of what a “regular girl” is. Now I don’t claim to be a spokesperson or even a subject matter expert here, but I’m pretty sure the main definition of what a “regular girl” is supposed to be is super condescending and not looked upon kindly (e.g. ditzy, vain, soft-spoken, etc.). This should not be perpetuated at all. But again, in (at least Western) society, I am not surprised how this becomes the main view, and girls who are strong-willed, sassy, goal-driven (my fave protagonists!!!) are suddenly “different from other girls”.

This trope can definitely be damaging. I imagine that girls (and non-girls!) of all ages will be reading such novels and assessing themselves according to what is being portrayed as desirable or non-desirable. There is something to be said about being unique and your own person, but I don’t think it’s that necessary to define yourself by how you compare to others. I feel that that could possibly lead to unhealthy mindsets.

Is there even really a real thing called a “regular girl”? I feel like society arbitrarily defines what the average girl should be like. But I seriously doubt that if we assessed the traits of everyone on earth and put them on a scale, that we’d come up with any standards of what a “regular person” should be. As unhealthy as toxic masculinity is towards boys, I feel like this “not like other girls” trope could also cause the same damage. Obviously it doesn’t necessarily cause damage, but I think there is that danger when the trope is so widespread.

What do you all think? Am I just overthinking it? I don’t personally hate the trope or anything, it just doesn’t feel like it adds much value for me, and I don’t try and compare people to what I think they “should” be. However, I do really enjoy reading books where the female protagonists are “not like other girls”, haha! That doesn’t mean I have anything against the characters that aren’t though. But see where that distinction is? By putting one type on a pedestal, you inadvertently push down others, which I think is where the danger lies.

Do you all agree? Or maybe I’m just a bit over-sensitive. Let me know in the comments below!


discussion

Let’s Talk Bookish – Why Do People Lie About Reading Books?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

JUNE 4: WHY DO PEOPLE LIE ABOUT READING BOOKS? (SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)

Prompts: Some people will say they have read books when they really haven’t; why do you think that is? Have you ever personally lied about reading a book? How do you feel about people who lie about reading books? Do you think there’s a certain type of book people are more likely to lie about reading?

Welcome to June’s LTB, everyone! This first topic is certainly an interesting one, though admittedly not one that I think about often. I didn’t even know this was really a thing, since I don’t usually question the truth behind someone claiming to have read a book.

I have never personally lied about reading a book, and I’m not sure just how often this really happens. However, I definitely remember times where I claim to have heard of a book, when I really haven’t. I don’t really do it on purpose, but some titles/author names are familiar and I forget if I have really heard of them or not. Either way, I find this affirmative response to be more encouraging to move conversation forward, which is why I usually choose to say that I have heard of the name before. This, I totally understand in conversation, as it doesn’t really matter whether the listener really has heard of it or not, it’s just a tool to move forward with the conversation.

All this being said, I don’t (or try not to?) lie about having read nor having heard of books/authors when it comes to something like an online blog post (outside of a conversation), as I find this to serve little purpose. When would it be necessary for me to do so, anyway? I think it’s okay not to have heard about something, and to admit that – nobody’s perfect!

I don’t think it’s the greatest sin to pretend you’ve read something when you haven’t, or honestly, when you thought you’ve read something that you really haven’t. That’s happened to me before! When you hear about a book so often (sometimes part of its plot), until you think wait, didn’t I read that already? Yes, I totally get it. I don’t think there’s too much harm in this kind of white lie usually, depending what the intentions are. Besides, if one is always lying about books they (haven’t) read, I think it becomes pretty obvious after a while.

I think people will most often lie about having read “classic” literature, likely to feel or seem more well-read. Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, Little Women, Shakespeare, etc., these are often books that many well-read people will have already read. Just to “fit in”, or to seem more educated, I believe people would be willing to fib a little and say they’ve read those before. Honestly sometimes I can’t even remember which of Shakespeare’s plays I read in school, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I thought I had read Romeo and Juliet (gasp, I haven’t).

What do you all think? It doesn’t seem like too big a deal – I struggle to think where such a lie could really harm or cause damage in any real way. It could be a slippery slope to other lies and deception, but in and of itself seems relatively harmless. In fact, it seems like more harm to oneself than anyone else, no?