WOAH GUYS. I mean, WOAH. I woke up this morning to an uncharacteristically large amount of notifications on my phone and couldn’t be happier with the response to my last post. So, first of all, THANK YOU!
In case you missed it, yesterday I blogged about the echo chamber of book blogging and how we tend to cycle the same books throughout the community, and we need to broaden our scope a bit. The comments on the post and the response on Twitter were so exciting that I decided to make a list of some of the brilliant points people brought up that I hadn’t covered or considered in the post. Yes, I realize you can easily go read the comment section of my last post to see all this, but I wanted to emphasize some of the points that were made in order to continue the discussion (cause who reads all the comments on a post not your own?).
- First, Reg @ She Latitude brought up the point that what people blog about is what is available to them, and depending on what country you live in, that may be limited to the hottest titles. She said that before she moved to Austrailia, it was a lot harder to get English books, and the books they did get were the most popular titles. I hadn’t considered this, but it totally makes sense, especially considering the wide international scope of book bloggers.
- Liam @ Hey Ashers! added that when certain books get talked about so much in the blogosphere, it causes a sense of boredom while reading and writing about those books because it’s almost as if you’ve read them before. This is something that I have definitely experienced with certain titles. I feel like I know everything about, for example, Truthwitch because I’ve seen it everywhere. This has actually caused me to not want to pick it up because everyone else has read it for me.
- Eve Messanger, Silvia Reads Books, and Ari @ The Daydreaming Bookworm all mentioned that reading hyped books was useful for finding out what they enjoy/ refining their tastes and also for getting to know what the hot trends are. It is useful to know what’s popular, and I hadn’t considered the fact that these books could help you discover what you like in literature, so I really appreciated these comments.
- Both the little squid and Sammie @ Bookshelves & Biros mentioned that blogging about hyped books is good for joining and engaging with the book blogging community. This is totally true. If you want to engage with other book bloggers, it’s so easy to discuss the same books you’ve all read in order to build that community that we all love and value. I think this is a big reason why the echo chamber exists, actually.
- Krysta @ Pages Unbound also mentioned the community factor in that the reason why the echo chamber exists is that book bloggers talk to other book bloggers. We do an awful lot of “preaching to the choir” as she put it, which is what makes echo chambers echo!
- @NovelParadise on Twitter mentioned that we still need diversity in representation, too. I had said that the book blogging community does a good job of promoting diverse books, but, yes, we totally can be doing better.
- Daley @ The Invisible Moth then brought up a fantastic point that I could (and just might) write a whole separate post on: the echo chamber has an effect on opinions, too. I’m literally just going to quote her comment because I can’t say it any better:
So many times, I’ve read a 4-star review of a popular title, and immediately seen 46 comments all agreeing 110% with the reviewer. That really doesn’t help, either. It makes those of us who didn’t like that book – most likely for very valid reasons – feel like we’re not allowed to share our thoughts. If we want people to feel accepted and welcome in our online community, we need to set the standard that you’re allowed to disagree with the majority.
YAS. This is another topic for another day, but it is very important and connects back to echo chamber problem as well. I’ll hold off any more extrapolating on this one because I might just do a post.
And many, many, more of you beautiful people expressed your agreement and gratitude that I had brought up the topic. If you weren’t mentioned above, THANK YOU for your wonderful, thoughtful comments!
So what can we do?
Some others mentioned things that I think we can do to help open the echo chamber a bit:
- Hala Salah El-Din @ Another Bookish Life mentioned that we need to remember what got us to start blogging in the first place. She said how when she first started blogging, she didn’t feel the pressure of hyped books or the echo chamber, but now she does, and I feel the same. We should take a second to think about our original intents and also just enjoy it!
- Jeann @ Happy Indulgence mentioned that having co-bloggers is really helpful for providing a variety of tastes on your blog.
- Your Daughter’s Bookshelf and The Backlist Babe were recommendations of blogs that write about a good variety of titles.
- It was also recommended to search the hashtag #nonficnov for all the Nonfiction November posts this month.
In the comments:
Let’s continue the discussion because clearly this was an important topic to bring up! In the comments, it would be great if you could do one or more of the following:
- Recommend an obscure title
- Recommend a blog that covers less popular titles/genres
- Link to a review of yours of a book that you think deserves more eyes
- Continue leaving thoughtful discussions!