Responses to “The echo chamber of book blogging” – let’s continue the discussion

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!

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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?).

Brilliant thoughts:

  • 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 MessangerSilvia 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:

  1. Recommend an obscure title
  2. Recommend a blog that covers less popular titles/genres
  3. Link to a review of yours of a book that you think deserves more eyes
  4. Continue leaving thoughtful discussions!

 

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14 thoughts on “Responses to “The echo chamber of book blogging” – let’s continue the discussion

  1. Sammie @ Bookshelves & Biros says:

    Yay! I’m so glad your post got such an awesome reaction – it most definitely deserved it. I totally agree with the point someone made about not feeling like you can dissect/disagree with positive reviews of hyped books. Going against the crowd is always hard! For books that I think need more eyes, I would wholeheartedly recommend The Deviants by C.J Skuse and The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter-Hapgood. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hilary @ SongsWroteMyStory says:

    I had missed your first post, so I’m so glad I caught this one! This is such an important thing to talk about. I’ve definitely noticed on my blog that lesser known books don’t get as many views. It’s frustrating too because there are so many amazing books that just aren’t as popular as others.

    As far as lesser known books go, The Quantam Door by Jonathan Ballagh, Ghost Bird series by CL Stone, and Frederik Backman are favourites of mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews says:

    It was such a brilliant post! I’m not surprised that it got such a brilliant reaction. I’m loving reading everyone’s discussions. There’s so many Australian YA books that I wish had more attention like The First Third and The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis, but the worst thing is how hard it is to access the lesser known Aus titles because of copyright issues. Otherwise a more recent, accessible, read is definitely Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. daleydowning says:

    Less popular titles that I enjoyed (and wrote reviews on):

    Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
    Under the Egg by Laura M Fitzgerald
    The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie A Noble
    Jackaby by William Ritter

    Also, I did a whole series of posts on the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. This is a MG series that packs a big whallop and I think most parents should read it, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. saraletourneau says:

    I just found your blog through Pages Unbound, and thought your “echo chamber” post was fantastic. I’m not really a book blogger (I’m actually a writer who blogs about the craft of writing, literature, creativity, and other things), but I do talk about recently read books now and then and follow several book blogs. And I see the “echo chamber” effect, too: Popular books tend to steal the spotlight from lesser known books, and that’s often a bit sad, especially a lesser-known book is REALLY good.

    And there’s a double-edged sword to the echo chamber for writers who follow book blogs. On the plus side, you learn what’s popular (like some of your other readers pointed out) and what you might want to read to see if it could work as a comp title for any stories you query to agents. On the negative side, I’ve learned that not all of the popular books / series appeal to me, so I tend to stay out of those discussions. If I were a book blogger, maybe I’d feel differently about that… but since that’s not my primary blogging purpose, I stick to talking about books I like or have had a profound impact on me. And if my comments inspire someone to read a less well-known book I enjoyed, then I’m happy. 🙂

    One less popular title that I recently read and have been recommending to people is Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley. It’s a YA steampunk murder mystery set in a world inspired by 19th century South Africa. So it tackles diversity in a natural, intelligent way, and it’s also the kind of YA that could appeal easily to adults. Plus, the WORLD-BUILDING. 😀 So definitely check it out if you can!

    Liked by 1 person

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