Discussion: the Pro’s and cons of the book community

I am pretty new in the whole book community, but not new enough to not have a clue as to what it’s about. In every community there are a lot of things that have a positive effect on the people involved, but at times there are also slight downsides. Though I’m not claiming these pro’s and cons are true for everyone in this community, they are true for me. I am very curious as to how others see these pro’s and cons and if they can relate at all.

 

Here it goes:

 

Pro’s:

  • Finding out about new books: I am so much more up to speed about all the new books that are being released. But I am also becoming very aware of other good books floating out there. There is this huge community of people being excited about books on Youtube and blogs, and they are all reviewing books and showing all the new ones they have bought and cover reveals and all of that fun stuff. It just gets me so excited about books.
  • Branching out into new genres: Once you have found someone (or more than one person) who’s opinion you trust on books, you can see what they have to say about books that you would generally not pick up by yourself. Say you never read historical fiction, but this person whose opinion you value and very often share really loves a certain historical fiction book. That might make you go and read that book anyway and you might love it as well.
  • Sharing the love: When I have just read a book that has completely blown me out of the water, I want to talk about it. I just have to share my opinion on the themes that were brought forward and how great the character arc was and what a giant plot-twist that was towards the ending! Being a part of the book community makes this much easier because you have a book-loving audience, ready to hear what your opinion is.
  • Discussions: This actually builds on the previous point. Once you get to talking about a book you are very passionate about (whether it be in a negative or a positive way), it’s always a lot of fun to see how other people felt about this books. More importantly: why they feel a certain way about these books. The book community is just a great place for discussions or conversations about books to start up and get the juices flowing.

Cons:

  • Finding out about new books: Wait, wasn’t this on my pro’s list as well? Yes it was. does this mean that I don’t really consider it a pro? No. I just think that this pro just has a flip side. It’s great to find out about all these new books that sound amazing. You know what’s less amazing about that situation? The knowledge that I don’t have the money to buy all the books that i want to read. Have you seen the size of my to-read list on Goodreads? It’s huge, I have over a thousand books that i want to check out. How will I ever get around to reading all of those? I live in a country where English is not the native language, so this also means there aren’t that many new English books in the library, so that’s not really an option. Neither is buying all these books. Yet I want all of them! How do I even start choosing which book I want to read next?
  • Reading guilt: I’m not going to go in full-detail here, because I might want to have a full discussion on this in the future, but I did want to include this on the list. So I have this blog, and I review books for that blog. Great right? Most days it is great indeed. Except for those few days that I don’t really feel like reading or that I don’t exactly have a lot of time on my hands to read. That’s when the reading guilt kicks in, I should be making time to read, I should just be reading right now.  Especially now that I am receiving e-galleys to review (which is a great way of getting free, new books), I sometimes feel bad that I am not reading one of those books but one of the ones that I bought myself. Just because I feel like I owe them that review, and preferably as soon as possible, because they sent me the e-galley for free.
  • The size of this community: Let’s face it, this community is pretty big and growing ever bigger still. And though this definitely has it’s upsides (there will always be someone who likes that one book you really like but everyone seems to hate) it also makes it hard to find people sometimes. The more people there are, the harder it will be to find your blue fish, that one person who likes exactly what you like. Add to that the difficulty of being found by likeminded readers, willing to share what they think and feel. because though there are plenty of fish in this book community sea, a lot of those fish don’t seem to be the talking kind, especially not in these waters it seems. I’m not saying that I’m only reviewing books and all that just to get a response from people, but a little bit of feedback every now and then wouldn’t hurt, right?

 

So, how do you experience this community?

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15 thoughts on “Discussion: the Pro’s and cons of the book community

  1. I think a lot of bloggers face some sort of book guilt at various points in their blogging career. The key is always to step back and find balance, to remember that reading is supposed to be fun. I think having a co-blogger really help, because if one of us gets busy, the other can handle the blog for awhile and keep posting. Even if you don’t have a co-blogger, though, it’s always worth remembering that you don’t need to post incredibly often to get followers, and if you do need to take a break, you won’t lose followers. As soon as you post again, that post will be in our feeders/emails/etc. and we’ll read it! :D It’s also a good idea to think about how many books you can realistically read and try to limit requests for book even though so many books look so good and we all want to read them NOW!

    This is a great post. I think it gets at a lot of the ups and downs of book blogging.

    • I have indeed picked up on some book guilt with some other bloggers themselves. Thanks for the advice :) I am still kind of finding that balance for myself, and I think I’m nearly there.
      I have also realized that I don’t want to force myself to read this many books next year, just because the reading has become a bit less fun at times because I really have to push myself to do it. But these discussion posts really help me to stick to my blogging schedule, because I really couldn’t review books for both posts every week at this moment. The problem with the discussions is that I get very little response, and that’s not how a discussion is supposed to go. But, thanks to you, this discussion is taking lift-off, so thanks :)

      • I’ve gotten rid of some book guilt/envy by realizing that the newest books are not often the ones that get the most comments, at least on my blog. People are more likely to comment on a review if they’ve read the book, too, since they have more to say about it, so while having ARCs might make me look cool, it doesn’t always aid discussion.

        It’s interesting your reviews get more comments than discussions! I usually find it’s the other way around, since almost anyone can have an opinion about a discussion (your post here should resonate with any book blogger!) whereas they might not know about the book being reviewed.

        • I never said I get more comments on reviews than on discussions. I just don’t have a very active reader base it seems.
          And it is very logical that you get more response about books that have been out longer because people have read them. I think that thought will also help ease my book guilt a bit, thanks!

  2. Great post, another negative is some of the drama-rama that goes on around books. I’ve seen discussions that turn ugly and I want no part in that.

    Totally agree that finding new books is a positive and a negative. I want to read all the books but don’t have all the money or all the time! And yes as a blogger you feel guilty when you don’t feel like reading. But that’s life, some days there are better things to do.

    • With the drama-rama, do you mean that readers amongst themeselves will have discussions about the books they have read?

      And indeed, sometimes you do have better things to do, but sometimes I don’t yet I just feel like doing something else. Sometimes I think this makes me a “bad book-nerd” even though in reality I know that as long as I love books that’s all that matters.

  3. Oh and for me personally, discussion posts get more comments and are a great way of interacting and making connections with your readers.

    • Don’t worry, that’s not a bad thing at all. When I’m being perfectly honest I have to admit that I only reply to discussion or anything really if I feel like it hit home, or if I have something of use to say. It feels useless to say. Yes, I agree or whatever on these things, so in those cases I just don’t say anything.

  4. I have book guilt in by how sucked in I get to books and tend to neglect other things around me (chores, husband, etc.) I guess that’s true with any addiction. I’m addicted to the 1-click button on Amazon and use it WAY too freely. I try to find most of the book freebies, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. :)

    • The 1-click button is horrible indeed! It holds so much power over me! I just want to keep clicking it everytime I find a new book to read, which is very often.

    • Definitely love! And of course I really like it too, because who doesn’t like to have a group of people who understand how you feel about books!

  5. Pingback: 2013 in books | Rantings, ravings and ramblings

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