A few weeks ago I wrote a post about whether it is a book bloggers responsibility to promote reading, and if you want to know my thoughts on that, go read the post! but I also promised to write a post about book bloggers responsibilities in general, and this is that post. What are a book blogger’s responsibilities? After all, this is something we do by choice; not just reading, but reading and then making things out of it. Do we have any obligations? And what does that mean for me?
- First, to be critical
When I read a book as a book blogger, I am far more observant, not just about what the author is saying, but how they are saying it. But this isn’t to write an essay: it’s to understand why we love or hate a book, and why other people might feel the same way. Book bloggers should read critically so they know why a book does or doesn’t work, and can talk about it accordingly.
- Second, to be enthusiastic
Whether it’s your hate of a particular character or swooning over words or hyperventilating when you find out your favourite author is releasing something new, being a book blogger means you have a responsibility to be really into books. That’s probably why you started blogging.
- Third, to read books
Obvious, I know, but you’re not a book blogger if you don’t read. There isn’t a set number of books you have to read; you could read all Goosebump books or spend a whole year talking about different aspects of one book; it doesn’t matter. But it is hard to blog about the existence of books without reading them. When you read a lot, you sometimes have to choose, because not every book can get the same amount of time. But you still need to read.
- Four, to believe you have something to say
Maybe all you have to say is that you really like one particular book, or that you wish two authors would write a book together, or that another book made you angry. Whatever it is, however you choose to say it–with words or pictures or emojis or punctuation marks–you have chosen to engage with a book. You have hosed to give it more times than just your eyes on a page. You have made something–a community or a photo or an idea–out of it.
I’m starting to sound all sappy and I hate that. I have a bit of an allergy to sentimentality, and this is made harder by the fact that since university started I have been struggling with how to prioritise reading different kinds of books, and doings social things, and occasionally attempting to earn money, and do other kinds of writing and blog. I think that ultimately, book blogging has no rulse: you hold yourself accountable. You decide how much to read and how and where to talk about it, and when to stop, and when to start again. I am very glad that I am a book blogger, and I can’t imagine that changing in the near future.
This blog that Shar and I built has somehow become something of a community, and it has taught me lots and kept me interested in reading. At the same time, book bloggers have a responsibility to have lives larger than their blogs: spaces to read beyond bookstagram aesthetics, spaces to think beyond the drone of Twitter, spaces to be beyond the reach of the bookshelf. I understand books because of who I am, and who I am is not just what I read and what I think about it, and if that means that I need to spend less time blogging and reading blogs, then I guess I must accept that.
Lol this post did not go in the direction I was expecting! so tell me: are there responsibilities I missed? how much would you pine if I were to post less (lol)? and what have you been reading lately?