Essentially bookstagram = books + Instagram, but with a lot more subtlety than just that phrase. I actually have an Instagram account, but I'm definitely not very successful at making it bloom.
Do you ever have that feeling where you think that various things in blogging are sucking you in?
So, here's the thing. I know that I can be a better blogger. I know that I can be a better booktuber. I know that I can do so much more with everything book-related, but to do so is falling into that pit.
When I was in high school, I read about a character who had learned a language by reading a translation of one of his/her favorite books (why do I want to say this was in a Sarah Dessen novel?). Teenage me thought: omg yes! And bought "Harry Potter et la Coupe de Feu" (HP#4). Sadly, I guess my determination to be better versed in French was not that strong. Still on my TBR.
I could be better at blogging in so many ways. I could do what others have and post less so that I'd comment and interact more. I could take any one of the ideas I've had for infographics and follow through, or hey, what about all those discussion posts? I have so many ideas for how to improve this blog and get it to a place where I'd feel more invested (really, it's quite remarkable, the spreadsheet full of ideas), and the same goes for booktubing, especially on the interaction. I had a lot of ideas for videos I was going to film, and I was commenting on different videos and trying to interact with different people I'd subscribed to, and then March came along and I fell behind in everything, and now I find these doubts that I have increasing more and more.
I don't know that I want to be better. To be better is to work harder. To work harder means more hours spent on this hobby. Is it worth it? If I'm having that question, should I even be blogging?
A friend once asked me what I would recommend to her coworker, who liked The Hunger Games and Divergent--up until Allegiant. I told her the Legend trilogy, and apparently the recommendation was a success. As for me, er, I may need to actually read/finish Champion. Have you ever recommended a series without finishing it all the way through?
An example of this is actually bookstagram. I really like and admire photography. I've always regretted not taking more photography classes (the only one I really took was in high school, at my local college, and it was mostly about Photoshop. For my surrealist collage, I had a chicken on a wall fighting against a giant robot astronaut looking dude amid plumes of colorful smoke (y'all I was such a deep high school kid, what can I say?).). I could probably find some good guides online too -- and I want to, but then it's that rabbit hole. Am I doing this for my general knowledge in photography or am I getting caught in that blogging spend-all-the-time-here phenomenon?
It's actually fairly recent that I even have a few bookstagram photos. I took some photos while I was home in March/April because I figured, okay, maybe I'll actually try for once. I've seen people taking pictures with books in nature, and here there are some nice spots whereas I'm much less likely to do any of this once I return to NJ.
Except I don't really know what I expect(ed). So I took some pictures. It made me a little happy to take them, but I'm also real lazy sometimes so I don't know that I would do it again. (Did I care enough?). So then, what does it matter? Was I, like, expecting more likes and followers? Who am I asking for validation? This is my major issue with most social media. This is one of many reasons why I don't like it - I don't need validation, and it brings out parts of me that I don't like, that start asking these questions and yes, I was a shy child, so of course I'm start getting obsessive over whether people actually like it blah blah blah blah.
Whenever someone claims that boys don't read YA, I think of The Sky Chasers by Amy Kathleen Ryan. When @clublohi and I visited the Strand a couple years back, our friend, Ben, was very bored. In general he's restless and put him with two bookworms in their version of paradise? So, when he sat down next to me and started to leaf through the books I was considering, I let him. But Glow wasn't just a leaf through. He read it all as soon as he could and kept pestering me for Spark. I understand his fervor. These books are highly captivating science fiction. Still need to read Flame, book 3; but this trilogy is definitely a standout for YA sci fi.
So really, why the fuck do I care?
It's like with those MBTI infographics. To this day, they're one of my most popular features here. People still comment on that post, sometimes telling me that I'm an idiot and that of course blah blah isn't an INFP and the like. And I like that I made something pretty and discussion worth. But it also took over eight hours to create, and what does it matter? Was I really doing anything I would actually admire - I mean, some of the people who focus on those MBTI infographics do the exact opposite of what I'd hope, and like, actually focus only on the label and get sucked deep into that. And so why does doing that matter? Why does a review matter? Yeah, I like making graphics, and yeah, MBTI had helped me at one point in my life, but is it all really worth that much TIME?
Six YA books that are unlike any others I've read (though I'm sure there many other Unique YA books - these were just the ones I immediately saw on my shelf). Chime: writing style, premise, everything. Queen's Thief: MWT's experimentation with different povs in a fantasy epic (and not alternating - I mean like writing a book about a king from the perspective of his guard). Fire: high concept character driven fantasy. Anna: most other YA horror went the route of Miss Peregrine's; Anna def still holds reign over paranormal. Scorpio Races: like Chime, but with a bloody horse race and magical island. Stolen: 2nd person + actually evoking an *experience* rather than flat out stating that it's a book about Stockholm syndrome.
This is why I sometimes don't post bookish rounds every week. I get annoyed with myself. I mean, I do it for myself, all this bookish news and trying to keep up with it, but also have the benefit of others looking at it. But still you've already read about my time constraints.
Do you ever get these doubts? Do you ever consider cutting back? Sometimes I think the issue is that I'm so spread out in different areas, but I think that it doesn't really take me that long to link posts and reviews to Goodreads, Booklikes, Pinterest, and the like. Cutting one account there is nothing, since my major "engagement" with people is here, at the blog, occasionally on twitter or other accounts, and often through email. And sometimes there's that voice that says, hey, you don't need to do this. You can still interact with your friends - the ones you've made while here - without really needing to do any of this. Except that also triggers the part of me that's like: you can't quit no no no!
So, that's where I'm at. Ha, how about you?
(these are the moments when I'm like, god, being a perfectionist sucks.)