Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why I'm Not a Book Blogger

This is week is book blogger appreciation week.  I didn't sign-up to participate "officially" because, well, I don't feel that I've ever quite fit into the book blogging community.  Not REALLY.  To be honest, my book posts usually get the fewest hits.  I tell myself that I really need to get out there and...

  • blog more!
  • comment more!
  • do giveaways and challenges and read-alongs and events!
  • start a facebook/tumblr/twitter/flickr just for the blog!
  • ARCs!
  • Ads!
The truth?  I don't really want to do all of these things.  I may do a some of these things some of the time.  My Charles Dickens month was packed full of giveaways and I  had comments out the whazoo, tons of folks reading, I was in nerd heaven.... but it exhausted me.  I felt pressure -- mostly from my perfectionist self -- to keep going.  I don't know how others manage, but I didn't have the energy to sustain being an active book blogger and have time to read all the books and then have time to review them all on the blog.  Reviewing all of the books became a drag as well.  And I what about all the other parts of my life I want to share: children, baking, stitching, overall nerdiness? 

What I've realized is that I'm an introvert blogger.  It is exhausting to try to "socialize" all the time.  There are some extroverted bloggers I love.  They post a great deal -- and it is all wonderful stuff -- and their involvement in the book blogging community is amazing.  I'm not saying that they are wrong and I'm right... it is that they are different.  In fact, they may be introverted in real life, but their blog allows them to open up in a different way.

I stepped back from labeling myself a book blogger for several reasons besides the pressure.
  • advertising pressure:  I really don't want ads on my blog was a big reason; BlogHer is not for me.  No ad swapping. No sponsoring each month. 
  • comment overload:  I want people to comment -- mainly to know that there are "kindred spirits in the world -- but I was overwhelmed with the number of comments I had on a few of my posts.  More than 10 and I'm dizzy.  I can't imagine contacting all of these people or responding.  I didn't want the pressure to comment on every post I read. 
  • the pressure to return the favor:  I try to comment only when I really have something to add to the conversation or the post has impacted me.  If I add something to my TBR pile based on a book review I post.  If I had a similar breastfeeding experience I post.  If I want to try that recipe because it looks wonderful I post.  If my only response is one generic exclamation then I abstain from posting.  When someone posts on my blog I always check out there blog, but if I see if is mostly romances or paranormal teen lit or something else that doesn't tickle my fancy, I leave a comment, but I don't follow their blog.  I think this harkens back to my desire to only say things with meaning and this reflects my introverted personality.  Let me get something straight... once I know you and I like you, I will talk your ear off (or comment your blog to death)
 I'm comfortable with where I'm at as a "life" blogger.  I do admit, though, that I feel a bit like the awkward geek at the 6th grade lunch table.  I look at the camaraderie among most book bloggers and I'm jealous.  On the other hand, I've seen people get ugly, hurtful, and judgmental over book blogs and I've avoided drama and hurt feelings as well. 

I have a deep affinity with book bloggers, they are my people.  They read.  They love to read.  Literature lights up their world.  

Cheers to book bloggers and non-book bloggers alike.  I believe there is a place for all of us in this big ole world-wide-web world.  Happy book blogger appreciation to all the book bloggers and happy non-book blogger appreciation to all the other awesome blogs. 


Melissa said...

So, um ... does it help a bit that I named you as one of the bloggers I appreciate in my BBAW post? :)

(I can relate to so much of this post, BTW ... hence the above. :)

Fanda said...

Amanda, it's an honest post, and I like it. But I think, a book blogger is someone who loves books and want to share their reading experiences. A blogger has his/her own way to manage the blog, to decide how often they will post, or whether they will return the visits of all visitors. Don't let those give you a burden to blog. Do what you like with your blog, comment to other blogs only if you cant to say something, or follow them if you really want to keep updated about their posts. In short, it's our blog, and it's up to us how we manage it.

Thanks for visiting and commenting at my blog :) About the Classics Characters, you are always welcomed if you want to share/post yours. I host a weekly meme called Character Thursday, so if you're interested, you can post yours on Thursdays and just add the URL in the linky. But of course, it's up to you, don't feel under-pressured... :)

Jillian said...

I am an introverted blogger. I try to find a balance, but I totally get what you are saying. I see no reason to wear myself out over blogging. I'm just around when I'm around. :)

Yasminselena said...

As a writer I was curious when I saw this post linked on Twitter, but having read it, I think really you're just looking to be sincere and true to yourself! Sometimes cutting through the crap and the guilt to achieve that can be harder than it seems.
Completely unrelated example, but I turned down a group dinner invite with old friends for a birthday party because the venue had foie gras on the menu. It's procured from geese in an amazingly cruel way. I felt guilty about it but it felt like the right thing to do. And I'm an extrovert by the way!

Sara C said...

Love the honesty of this post, and it doesn't hurt that I agree. I don't have much of the normal activity (readalongs, giveaways, etc) on my site, and I am in this spot right now where I'm warring over how much to change and how much to stay right where I am. Thanks for giving me more to chew on.

Debi said...

Oh my goodness, but you are a woman after my very heart!!!! I deliberately don't call myself a book blogger either...and by having long ago shed that label, I feel so much freer. And wow!!! Someone else who feels like I do about comments--it's not that I don't love them, I do. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to say something to me. But I just don't live for them. Doesn't bother me if I get zero on a post--I'm blogging because it's fun for me. And I get that same overwhelmed feeling you described if I get more than a handful on a post. Anyway, I'll shut up now, but it was just so nice to read this and feel maybe not odd after all. :P

Amanda said...

Hey! Thanks for the feedback everyone. It is nice to know that all my "bloggy friends" are so open minded and that there are even a few "kindred spirits" out there!