SOCIAL MEDIA

4 Jul 2016

A slightly rant filled post... Sorry!

Today I'm writing a post I really didn't want to write. Like, I didn't want to touch it with a ten foot pole, but lately I've been feeling so down about it that I had to vent, and that's what a blog is for right? I understand that to most, Bookworm Boutique is a business. But to me, the Instagrams, Tumblr, etc, they're all my personal space for sharing my thoughts and feelings about books I'm reading, businesses I love, things I didn't like, etc. Bookworm Boutique isn't just a business for me, it's the same as many of your handles, just a name.

Anyway. On to the point of this.

Shaming other readers. 

I know, I know, this topic has been done a million times over, and while I haven't personally read any out there, I'd like to say that if you've written a post about this... Good on you.

This all kind of started a couple of weeks ago when I shared that I'd managed to read eight books within six days, something I was extremely happy with (The Selection series is a great set of books to binge read if you're in that kind of mood, by the way!) It was my personal best and I think I had every right to be proud of myself. I mean, I'd been able to stay away from social media long enough to do it (something that probably deserves an award all by itself.)

After posting the stack of books, letting everyone know that I was planning on writing reviews, and thanking those who pushed me to read The Selection series I started getting some questionable DMs...

Now, I'm not going to name names in this post and I don't want anyone to feel as though they aren't allowed to say what they want and have opinions about things, but I do want the message here to be... be careful. You are of course welcome to your own opinion, but when your opinion directly hurts someone else that's when you've got to decide whether or not to share that opinion with another person.



Look, I know this seems so freaking trivial, I'm the one sitting here writing this, but arghhh. I honestly felt so angered by some of the messages I received.

I was pointed in the direction of articles and posts about people who read quickly, how they don't take in as much information as "steady" readers, and that it was silly of me to read so quickly. Honestly, I spent the longest time just staring at my screen. I'm aware that everyone who has access to the internet believes that they can say and do as they wish but really, when sending these things, did nobody sit there and think "Maybe I shouldn't send these in case they come off harsh?"

I'm the first to admit I'm a softie, I've never had thick skin. But I believe it's a cop out when people say 'Just ignore them' and 'You shouldn't take it to heart' because I truly believe those things shouldn't be said in the first place?

As a kid when my brother would drive me crazy, my parents would say it was my reaction to his actions that got me in trouble, and that always made me so angry! Why would I get punished for reacting when he was the one who not only started it, but did something wrong? My outrage, or me being upset and crying was more annoying than what was being done to me. Seriously, writing that just made me feel as though I shouldn't post this at all. It's all a jumbled mess but I'm going to keep going and maybe post it... maybe not.



Recently I decided to share my July To-Be-Read list on Instagram, something that a lot of people do, right? They challenge themselves to read a certain number of books. For me, the amount was what I consider average... 15 books. A fair few of them I have to read for review purposes. I've read 40 books this year and because I have a lot going on in the month of September I wanted to get ahead of the game by reading as many books as I could in July/August so that I wouldn't fall behind during such a busy time of year.

In a comment that has since been deleted (so people don't find it and attack the person) I was told I'm not taking books seriously enough and that I'm racing through books for the sake of it. The way it was said as well was incredibly infuriating and kind of insulting.

I quickly want to say thank you to those who wished me luck with my TBR pile... Sometimes when you've said something nice and people focus on the bad comments it can be annoying, I get that. I do appreciate you all so much. Thank you for being the sweet ones.



The backstory I've provided isn't really the point of the post... I'm getting to the point, I swear! But I wanted to share why I decided to write this post. Even though I'm 110% sure it won't make a difference and that I'll still receive these kinds of messages.

My point is:

DON'T SHAME OTHER READERS?! 

I'm honestly so confused by people who choose to do this. I joined the bookish community to restart my love of reading, to inspire me to get more of it done, to help me discover new and excellent authors, and so far my experience has been overwhelmingly positive... But these kinds of things tend to get me down.

The amount of examples I've seen of reader shaming is insane! Like the guy who said girls who wear make up and talk about books in front of the camera are fake and can't possibly love reading. What even is that?!?!?!




I want to list a few things that in my opinion, are okay to do as a reader:
  • Use a bookmark
  • Dog-ear pages
  • Write in the margins 
  • Highlight favourite quotes
  • Leave the pages as they are
  • Refuse to bend the spine
  • Purposefully bend the spine
  • Read really quickly
  • Read a bit slower 
  • Read at your own pace
  • Share your negative opinions on a book you've read
  • Share your positive opinions on a book you've read
  • Shout about your absolute favourite books
  • Keep your favourites to yourself
  • Read physical copies
  • Read hardbacks
  • Read paperbacks
  • Read on an iPad (legally)
  • Read on an eReader (legally)
  • Read on your computer (legally)
  • Keep your shelves pristine
  • Shove a book where ever the heck it fits
  • Read one book a year
  • Read 500 books a year
  • Only buy your books
  • Borrow books from a library
  • ... You see where I'm going with though, right?
All reading is good reading.



I know many people say things with the purest intentions, it's hard to know what might upset another person and what might be misinterpreted... This isn't the case with the comments and DMs that I'm talking about. Some were particularly vicious and unnecessary, and just to be clear, I'm not aiming this at people who didn't DM me, and only at that ONE comment.

This all seems so ridiculous, I can hear people now "What is wrong with this girl?! All this because she got a few nasty DMs because she reads too qucikly?!" I hear you! I'm saying that to myself right now. But this isn't about that. It's about the shaming I've seen *everywhere* and the backstory was to explain what the final straw was in writing this post.

I'm going to leave it at this... When you go out with your friends or family, are there things you'd like to say, things you think, but that you choose not too because you're not sure of how the person you're speaking to will take it or how they react? That should be the way you deal with the internet... Because the person behind a bookish account, or any account, is real, and has real emotions.

Let's just let people love their books the way they want to, okay? Let's say "Hey! Good on you!" to those who complete their TBRs and "Don't worry! You'll do it next month!" to those who almost do. For a lot of people, being in the online book community is about not having anyone in real life to share your bookish obsession with, and I'd hate for anyone to feel uncomfortable in the community because of the way they choose to read!



I hope you guys enjoyed this post and that nobody ends up offended as that certainly isn't my intention and never will be. Feel free to pop your opinions and experiences on the matter below if you'd like to chat about it! I absolutely love hearing from you all!



8 comments :

  1. I love this post! I have experienced minimal shaming in the online book community, either in the form of "you read too quickly" or "how did you dislike that book?" and I agree negative comments can stick with you.

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    1. Hey Jennifer! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this rant, haha! I've been seeing the same lately, one of my friends was sent a really horrid message because she said she didn't like a particular book. I was honestly just shocked!

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  2. I really like how you addressed this topic! You have every right to be upset because of the messages/comments you got. Shaming other readers is definitely a problem, I constantly see people doing it. Sometimes I kinda feel pressured to read a lot more, because some people give off this vibe that you have to read a certain amount of books in order to be a real reader and that definitely bothers me! Also this part of your post is so accurate, I often felt/thought the exact same: "As a kid when my brother would drive me crazy, my parents would say it was my reaction to his actions that got me in trouble, and that always made me so angry! Why would I get punished for reacting when he was the one who not only started it, but did something wrong? My outrage, or me being upset and crying was more annoying than what was being done to me." I hope people will be more careful with their words in the future!

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    1. Hi Jule, thanks for commenting on this post! Goodness! I didn't even realise that people pressured others into reading more, what would even give them the right?! Whether you read one book or 60 books a year, you're a bookworm.

      I hope people are more careful too but as long as we spread the kindness we can at least counteract some of the silly things people say :)

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  3. It's ridiculous that people are shaming you for reading quickly! Read as fast or as slow as you want and be proud of your reading! I, personally, am jealous that you can read so quickly. I used to be much faster but life has started to take up more time. I'm so sorry people on the internet are jerks sometimes and I hope that, even if you can't put their thoughts away now, in a few months it will all just be a faded memory.

    Also, I totally get the sibling thing! I still get in trouble for reacting to things my younger brother does and he gets away clean. It's frustrating and a little rage-inducing honestly.

    Hopefully things start to turn up for you and all the haters disappear. Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Hey Sam! Couldn't agree with you more to be honest, it's a ridiculous thing for people to shame anyone over!

      Hahaha, I think we're all victim to siblings getting us in trouble, it's something that sticks with you longer than you'd think.

      I hope you have a good week as well, thanks for commenting :)

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  4. They was you ended your post, this:
    "For a lot of people, being in the online book community is about not having anyone in real life to share your bookish obsession with, and I'd hate for anyone to feel uncomfortable in the community because of the way they choose to read!"
    That tied together your entire post so perfectly for me. My friends in my daily life are nowhere near as obsessed with books as I am, so bookstagram, book blogging and all that good stuff is pretty much the only way I get to connect with other book obsessed people! I'm so sorry people shamed you for reading so quickly because I am exactly the same way when it comes to a good series or good books. There was a week in june where I easily blew through 5 books and there is no reason going through so many books so quickly should be considered a bad thing. Everyone reads at their own pace and no one should be judged for the pace they read at or even for what they read or how they read.

    CassieRose @ Reading Among The Stars

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    1. Aw, I'm so glad I could tie this post up nicely for you! Honestly, I don't think I could keep up reading 8 books every 6 days but the series was pretty captivating and that's definitely the only reason I managed haha! Thank you so much for commenting :)

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