i’m alive!! in case you were wondering
I kind of took a rather impromptu break despite my grand plans for a couple of posts this week. But never fear! LTB is here and I am back once again with another discussion.
this is just so cringy, I can’t. but I’m leaving it here anyways, cause why not?
Today’s topic is: Our Responsibilities as Bloggers & Readers
I actually chose this topic during all the issues and drama that’s been happening these past two months. I actually don’t really have an answer for this, but I just wanted to talk about it.
So as you all know unless you’ve been living under a seriously enormous mountain, since the recent BLM protests and the J K Rowling issue, there has been an ongoing discussion in the bookish community on the racist, or unjust treatment of authors and readers of color as well as a discussion on separating art from the artist.
There are so many amazing discussions that really talk about this, such as Faith’s about performative allyship and anti-blackness in the community, Aditi’s post on whiteness in the community, Kay’s on reclaiming Harry Potter from the author, Chana’s on why you really can’t reclaim books, and then there have been other discussions about how book bloggers are underappreciated. Marie wrote an amazing discussion on that and Cielo actually asked people on Twitter to share how much they earn to discuss how bloggers barely get paid if they even do.
And then, I also read a discussion by Divine where she talked about how she’s trying to read more diversely and whether she’s putting in enough effort, and suffice to say, after all this reading, I’m kind of tired and also confused about what my role is in all of this.
I would highly suggest that you check all these posts out!! They are all phenomenal.
I’m a quiet person about a lot of things, and I usually just sit on the sidelines when huge issues blow up because, I’m admittedly afraid. I don’t want to say the wrong thing, and I don’t think I know about these things enough to be talking about them. But I still try to learn more so that I can be informed.
All these stats about black or POC authors getting paid less even if they are more popular, the fact that a lot of things in the bookish community and publishing industry are very white centered, performative allyship, authors doing problematic things, and trying to be diverse, but not actually being that diverse at all – it’s all just so exhausting and makes me feel like, “what’s even the point? why am I here? how do I move on with all this unjust terribleness everywhere?”
The bookish community is supposed to be a safe space about equality and love, and all that, and for the most part it is. But then things like this happen and you realize that we’re all kind of glossing over all the negatives at times.
This is not supposed to be taken in a bad way; I’m just stating what I’ve seen. This time last year, I didn’t know about these issues. I just blogged and read my heart out, and now I’m kind of having an awakening and trying to understand how I can move forward with all this.
What are my responsibilities as a blogger and reader? Because despite that naive belief that “blogging is for you, do what makes you happy”, the fact that you are putting information out there and people are reading what you have to say means that you have to be responsible about who you support and talk about.
I’ve tried to stop talking about all of the books that I’ve come to realize aren’t all that great, either because some people find the things in the book problematic, or the author has done some problematic things.
I’ve taken a step back to reexamine the kinds of books that I read. I’ve come to realize that I’m a part of the problem because I don’t read that diversely, even in the kinds of rep that I relate to.
Honestly, how horrible is this: I’m Muslim yet I’ve only read 7 books with Muslim rep out of the 178 that I’ve read. HOW??? And let’s not even get started on books with Black MCs, because only 2 are coming to mind right now.
Out of all the books that I listed as my favorites of 2019, only 1 was by a diverse author.
Since I started a blog, I’ve gone from reading just a bit of YA and fantasy, to them becoming two of my primary genres. there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not the kind of content I want to be consuming so much of
And I’m reading so many books with the same white narrative that I had to sign up for diverse reading challenges for me to even go out of my way to read more diversely.
I’m just really tired and disappointed in myself.
I’ve been doing a lot of creative-ish posts recently that don’t focus that much on actually talking about books just out of avoidance of the issue. Because I don’t know which book is problematic, or which author is problematic, and I don’t want to be talking about X book and gushing about it and recommending it, just for me to see a post three days later where someone raises awareness about the problematic things in the book or that the author has been doing.
I don’t know if I want to ignore the books that I loved but are problematic for some people or written by problematic authors all together, or if I should just quietly love them. Is it wrong for me to love them even?
I don’t want reading to be something I become paranoid about, but I have to do something to change all of this.
So, back to the main question. I think I know what my responsibility is, but my issue is just moving forward.
That went in a totally different direction than I was expecting, but I’m going to leave it here anyways. I kind of always try to be happy and cheery and be the one offering advice and suggestions all the time, but right now, I’m just not feeling cheery nor do I have the answers. And I think it’s not a bad thing to show my ups and downs 🙂
This Week’s Participants:
So, any advice/ideas? What do you think are our responsibilities as bloggers and readers? How do you find diverse books to read? Have you ever had a blogger/reader identity crisis which I think is what I’m having right now lol? And just for some happy thoughts, what did you have for breakfast? Chat with me in the comments below!