18 May 2015

In retrospect: Censoring myself


As soon as you start your book blog you are part of this at times wonderful and at times frustrating world of book blogging. You start to connect with other readers and especially with other book bloggers. You share opinions on books on your own blog and as comments on others. You use social media and book sites to talk about books, to rate them, to recommend them, to review them. All of  this can be wonderful, but I realized that it can also lead to censoring yourself. 

Let's say I loved reading a certain book, of course I will say so on my book blog because that's what I do as a book blogger. But then I'm becoming more and more aware of the fact that other readers and book bloggers regard the book I enjoyed as trash and that readers who enjoyed the book are seen as weird (weird can be so good!). Will I in the future keep quiet about my joy for the book, will I censor myself because others are so vocal about their opinion? And when I read a snarky review on the book on a book blog I usually like, and once again the book is trashed and some incorrect stuff on the book is said, will I keep quiet or correct the mistakes and stand by my opinion? 

Some time ago there was one situation in which I kept quiet and I'm still annoyed about it. I'm annoyed that I let bookish snobbery silence me, that I wasn't strong enough to stand by my opinion. It's not about starting drama with other readers and especially bloggers, I just want to feel comfortable about voicing my honest opinion on a book I enjoyed but others didn't or vice versa or whatever the discussion is about. I don't want to censor myself to belong to a certain group of people. I don't want to weaken my opinion depending on where I comment and what the blogger is saying about a certain book or other things. I always voice my opinion in a nice and polite way and will continue to do so, but I will not hold back with sharing my honest thoughts on books and will not support people who try to make other readers feel bad about their opinion. 

Nowadays I no longer feel the temptation to censor myself, I stopped interacting with people who are bookish snobs, I only follow bloggers who respect other opinions.
I think it's crucial that different opinions on books and book related topics are appreciated in the book blogging world, that we don't limit which opinions on books are acceptable, that we don't shame readers for their opinions, that we don't give some book bloggers the power to determine what is acceptable and what isn't, that we don't become the worst kinds of bookish snobs ourselves and make book blogging an restrictive experience. 

12 comments:

  1. I think as a blogger you shouldn't compromise your beliefs in what you're writing about. As someone who does a lit degree I'm surrounded by book snobs who would utterly scorn 90% of what I read in my free time, but in the end why blog about things that are dull or tedious for you?

    Steph - http://the-darkness-will-never-win.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. So true, bogging about things you are excited about is so much nicer.

      At university I was also surrounded by many people who would scorn my books, after a few frustrating discussions I realized that you can't win with bookish snobs because they are not interested in different opinions, so I stayed away from these discussion and was more relaxed because of it.

      Happy Reading!

      Delete
  2. I'm brand new to book blogging but would like to think that I'll be tough enough to stand by my opinions but also be open to others. I think people tend to forget that the reason life is interesting is because we are all different.
    Glad you now stick by your opinions and don't censor yourself!
    If everyone was the same then life would be very boring!
    x

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    Replies
    1. So true, just imagine we all would enjoy the same books, life would be so boring and especially book blogs would stop to be interesting! We need to remember that there are rarely right or wrong opinions on books.

      Happy Reading!

      Delete
  3. I do agree with you, just state your own opinion. And yes, it hurts when a book you totally loved is being trashed. For me, a reason to unfollow somebody, as it happens in a mean way. An opinion of why they did not like it, is something else completely, and of course it happens. And that is a good thing. If we all liked the same books and things, the world would be a boring place.
    But I do not confront somebody about their opinion or review or post on Facebook or something. I am absolutely not interested in creating or being part in a conflict. If someone attacks me over my opinion, well, I just ignore and delete it, although it does upset me.

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    1. I'm usually the same, I only follow bloggers that manage to write their reviews, positive or negative, in a respectful way. I have never been a fan of mean and snarky reviews, staying away from them makes everything better for me.

      Happy Reading!

      Delete
  4. Im realatively new to book blogging so haven't come into any drama yet, but I think if you can't voice your true opinions on your blog then there is no point in having one.

    http://sundaysandink.blogspot.com.au

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  5. I find myself censoring myself at times when it comes to opposing reviews, especially when it comes to positive reviews for books that I didn't enjoy. I think that it all comes down to so many people in our world being oversensitive and then taking things personally. The book community is not exempt from that, and sharing thoughts causes hurt feelings, which causes drama; when it should do nothing more than spur an enlightening and interesting conversation.

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    1. So true, I think it's even worse when commenting on a review that destroys a book, can you imagine how people would react when you commented that you enjoyed the book and also said why? I think a look of reactions wouldn't be that nice.

      Of course we are all a bit sensitive when talking about books we have strong feelings about, but shouldn't there be room for all kinds of opinions as long as they don't belittle or insult anyone? Shouldn't we be happy about honest conservations instead of creating drama and going after people who don't share our opinion? Sometimes it's very frustrating to see when especially big bloggers create drama instead of open discussions, I guess drama sells better.

      Happy Reading!

      Delete

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