I’ve been finding recently that I think a lot about the bookish community – whether it’s Book of the Month, Goodreads, #bookstagram, or here in the world of Book Bloggers. If the goal is to read books, why do we spend so much time taking photos of books and talking about them and all these other related activities? I definitely feel the pressure to read as many books as I can, which is usually around 40 per year, so why am I spending so much time scrolling through bookstagram or taking the time to write down my thoughts in a book review?
I think the answer is threefold –
1. We read to make connections – with the characters on the page, and the places their describing. So it makes sense that with such a desire for connection, that would extend beyond the page, and to each other.
2. We need inspiration! Sometimes you’re just not reading a great book, and it’s easy to put it down and forget about it and, honestly, forget that you love reading. But a solid scroll through some of my favorite bookstagram accounts can fire up that feeling about reading that I knew I always had, and be just what I needed to get me to open that book again.
3. We need to process these emotions! The #1 reason I started a blog was that I realized I was literally putting one book down, and picking the next one up. They were blurring together, and I wasn’t taking the time to process how they made me feel because I didn’t have a medium to do so. A lot of books deal with really tough issues – like abortion, and immigration, and metal illness – and I think its important for us to read these books and think about these issues, and it’s great to have a community to do so!
For about half of August, I didn’t have my phone, which made me think a lot about if I was just addicted to #bookstagram and if I should go back to it when my phone was returned to me. Somedays I really missed the bookstagram community, and some days I didn’t, but I did realize that my motivation to read was slightly lacking. I wasn’t seeing my “friends” getting excited about books, so what did it matter if I kept going with The Alice Network. Obviously, this isn’t a life or death situation, but I came to the realization that a bookish community in any form is important to me.
So what now? 1. I’m going to keep blogging and bookstagramm-ing. 2. I’m starting my own book club in San Diego (more on that on a post to come, but spoiler, I’m really excited!)