I generally have a fully functioning Drama Detector that allows me to spot drama at 200 paces, thus enabling me to promptly turn and flee the other direction, happy to remain in my own little world of bookish happiness. But the drama and criticism lately has gotten so out of control that even I am aware of it.
But I don't want to add to the drama! I want to treat it like the giant steaming pile of crap that it is, take a large step aside, and move right along our merry way.
BOOKS ARE AWESOME, Y'ALL.
And so is book blogging.
Yes, there are always some negative aspects. Minor bouts of follower envy. ARC-rejection depression. Etc., etc. But one thing that should never happen is the members of the book blogging world turning against each other. Rather than helpful advice posts (which I love) that can be read, adopted, or ignored at the reader's will, individuals are being attacked for how they run their blogs.
Is it their blog? Um, no. It's yours. There are no stone tablets with RULES 1-43,782 ON HOW TO BLOG THE "RIGHT" WAY carved into them. If you want to do something a certain way, do it. (Obviously, don't plagiarize. Be yourself, people. Credit if you feel an idea is too similar to something you've seen elsewhere. Pretty simple.)
One of my favorite things about the book blogging world is all the diversity! If everyone read the same books and wrote their reviews in the same style, there would be no reason for a book blogging community. Rather than 100+ awesome blogs, I'd probably follow 4 or 5, because that'd be all I needed. WE NEED THE DIVERSITY. We need those awesome English majors who can dig into a the subtext and symbolism like no other. We need those reviews filled with flaily GIFs because sometimes I'm so happy when I finish a book, I can hardly find words for it. And it's nice to know others feel the same. We need people to focus on all different categories, genres, and subgenres. We need those people who highlight things in brief lists, who go into depth about the world building, and who comment on which authors write the swooniest kisses. THESE ARE ALL GREAT THINGS.
There are always going to be those people. Trolls, haters, people just looking to feel better about themselves by acting the expert and putting someone else down. Hand them a stepladder to enable them to climb down off their soapboxes and high horses, and move on with your life. You are awesome. You're promoting books. Isn't that why we're all here to begin with? We love books. We love reading. We want to talk about it to others and proclaim the wonderfulness of Lisa Kleypas and Tahereh Mafi and Jill Shalvis. We want to warn readers about that one book that severely disappointed us. We want to spread the love and awareness of books and reading, promoting various authors and genres. And that is a worthy thing, my friend.
I love so many things about this community. I love interacting with people who actually get my book obsession. I love talking to people who read romance (especially historicals), because I don't get that very much in my everyday life. I love that there are tons of people out there who don't judge 20+ year olds for reading and loving YA. I love the generosity. I love the enthusiasm. I love that I went into it for discussions about books and found that there are people out there who share my love for Friends, Phantom of the Opera, Doctor Who, and any of my other random and crazy interests, TOO.
The book blogging community is a friendly, diverse, hilarious, sarcastic, generous, creative, bright, straightforward, genuine, interesting, caring, beautiful, flaily, intelligent, understanding, wonderful group of people with one common goal: to share our love of books and reading with the world.
Bottom line? As I said in my comment to Jamie's post, "Books are awesome. Bookish people are awesome. Spreading the bookish love in any way possible is awesome. And anyone who seeks to bring us down off our cloud of reading-induced awesomeness just needs to GTFO."
I love books! I love saying that I am a part of the book blogging community and feeling that sense of pride and happiness that goes along with being a part of such a fantastic group of people. And I hope to continue to be able to do so for a long time. ♥