Blogging and Reading Through Other People’s Eyes

I’ve never made it a secret that I love reading. In fact, I like to reveal that part of myself just as much as people like talking about their favourite football team or band. The thing with reading, though, is that people view it as weird and because I like reading I’m seen as a geek or a nerd. Not that I have a problem with this, because it really doesn’t bother me. Blogging about books, though? People find that hard to understand.

By blogging I’m taking my nerd levels to extreme heights. So, how exactly do people react?

Some people are genuinely interested and ask me questions. They ask me about reviewing for publishers and how it works, whether I get paid (I have had people ask this millions of times, and they don’t seem to understand that, no, I don’t get paid), and I don’t mind talking to people like this. It’s surprised me sometimes when some people ask and it’s totally out of character. I enjoy talking about what I do and sharing it with other people, because they’re not really familiar with anything like it.

Then there is the other type of person that thinks I’m stupid and wonders why on Earth I do what I do. And I understand completely why they might think that. It is quite a weird thing for a teenager to be doing. I put so much work into my blog and sometimes I’m not exactly sure what I get out of it. But I enjoy it and I don’t want to stop. I like sharing a part of my life with you all and I love you guys to pieces. People who aren’t a part of our community won’t realise just how amazing it is.

I want to set myself a few goals. When people ask me condescendingly if I’ve reviewed the book I’m currently reading (‘Well, I’m not going to review it if I’m in the middle of reading it, am I?’), I won’t bite their heads off with a snarky reply. After all, they have no idea what I actually do and I suppose it’s my job to educate them.

The other goal I’m going to set myself is to stop worrying what other people think. I’m generally good at doing this, but sometimes things do bother me and I want to try and stop this. Everyone has something they geek out about and my geeky thing is books. I’m not going to apologise for that, and I don’t feel I have to.

I love reading, and I’m proud to say it.

If people know about your reading and blogging, how have they reacted? If not, is there a reason you don’t tell anyone? Let me know! 

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  • Reply
    Nova Lee @ Musings of a Blogder
    11 December, 2013 at 2:34 am

    For my case, a lot of people know I blog. They don’t know I blog under a name “Nova” but they know I blog. I’m actually thinking of writing a rant on this topic. I love your discussion posts, but I do both. Rants AND Discussions. Rants are the mutated versions where I go all snarky because the topic isn’t good.

    People make fun of me for “reading”. I get called a loser sometimes. Usually, it’s a joke, but the people still mean it and it’s offensive. I didn’t know I had to be prepared for negativity. Everyone’s a jealous critic.

    So yep. For me, it’s more “jerkoffs” than “curious people.” GAH.

    – Nova

    PS: Sorry for spamming your lovely blog with my negativity ness
    Nova Lee @ Musings of a Blogder recently posted…Song Review: Wake Me Up – AviciiMy Profile

  • Reply
    11 December, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Hi Lucy! This is such a great post and I can very much relate. When people discover that I’m a book blogger, they’d ask a lot of questions! Some are very interested to know what I do–how I get books from publishers, how I balance work with reading and writing reviews, and some even ask me tips on writing book reviews. I really enjoy talking to people about it and I always feel so happy every time. 🙂
    Jesselle recently posted…ARC Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kayla Elizabeth
      11 December, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      I forgot to add this in my comment, but reading your comment reminded me! This semester in one of my classes one assignment was to write a book review, I told myself if I didn’t get a good grade on that I needed to rethink my life (thankfully I received an A, so my life is as it should be apparently LOL), but one day, while in a group studying for the midterm, we got on the topic of the book review and I made that comment out loud and they asked what I meant. So I explained that I write book reviews. All the questions that we all are mentioning were asked, but then they asked what they could do to be sure their reviews were successful. When they all told me that they did extremely well on the reviews based on what tips I gave them and how much more they enjoyed doing the assignment I was really happy.
      Kayla Elizabeth recently posted…Winter Break 2013-2014 To Be Read List/Top Ten Tuesday – December 10, 2013My Profile

  • Reply
    Chrissi Reads
    11 December, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I often get asked how I find the time to read and review. Most people I know like reading, but they don’t read as much as I do. They also seem to think I should get paid for book blogging. I have run another blog for 4 years, but I much prefer blogging on my book blog. I think it’s partly because of the community. Readers and book bloggers are awesome and they completely understand where I’m coming from and why I feel the need to review. Luckily no one seems to be mean about my book blogging ways. They just seem surprised that it’s a ‘thing’, but not in a nasty way.
    Chrissi Reads recently posted…WWW Wednesday #48My Profile

  • Reply
    Sunny A
    11 December, 2013 at 8:55 am

    So true, it frustrates me to know end when someone ask wether I’m going to review my current read or even more when they ask me what a book I’ve just started is about. But I suppose like you said, we must educate them. I’ve always been public about my blog and quite a few teachers and students at my school have seen it or know of it. But so many people don’t understand how I have time or how publishers actually send me books for free. It’s like it’s almost a foreign concept to them. But I cherish all of our wonderful community and blogging is what I love so I’m proud! Great Post x
    Sunny A recently posted…REVIEW: Just One Day by Gayle FormanMy Profile

  • Reply
    11 December, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I have the same experience most people ask about the whole publishing thing and whether I get paid (but sadly we don’t but we do get paid books which is good enough for me) and some people find it cool, interesting or weird and then there are those people who are like how can you be bothered. They don’t understand that we put a lot of effort (not me lately) but we enjoy what we do!
    Francoise recently posted…Stacking The Shelves 5/12/13My Profile

  • Reply
    Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
    11 December, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Yeah I told me friends and they thought it was so freaking cool that I blogged about books and got copies from publishers. Some other people in my class just nodded but I bet they were thinking that I was some weirdo. Meh. Stuff them lolz

    Fab post, hun! <33
    Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) recently posted…Review: Ashes To Ashes by Melissa WalkerMy Profile

  • Reply
    Ruby @Ruby's Books
    11 December, 2013 at 10:08 am

    My BFF knows I blog and she’s very delighted to ask me a bunch of questions about it. She has never asked me if I get any money out of it, thank God, but I have been asked that questions billions of times. It’s actually the only reason why I don’t tell people I blog. Answering that question and making them understand that I do this for fun is starting to bother me a little bit. And honestly, I don’t think we, bloggers, should necessarily educate them, because let’s face it, everyone has weird hobbies or strange things they do for fun. Do I ask a soccer fan why the hell do they find it entertaining? No. I just accept it as part of the person and that’s it.
    Ruby @Ruby’s Books recently posted…Blog Tour Book Review: Mad World Desperation by Samaire ProvostMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kayla Elizabeth
    11 December, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    This is a great topic. I have been creating websites since I was 11, but started a personal blog around the age of 14- I hate admitting this because it mades me feel so old, but that was 10 years ago. Way back when (See! Makes me sound old!) I used to keep my blogging under wraps. The only person who really knew I blogged was a friend of mine who I introduced to blogging. Anyone else who ever found out kind of looked at me like I had ten heads and would always say “What’s the point in that?”

    Around seventeen I stopped for a couple of years. However, by the time I turned twenty, I decided that I wanted to blog again and this time I wanted to about books. At this point I kept my blogging to myself, even with the girl I had introduced blogging to because, well, she had been a person I knew “IRL” and she would always approach me and question/argue with me over what I had said years back- that kind of put me off thinking I couldn’t be myself. And, too, with others I didn’t want to deal with the constant “What’s the point?” question.

    However, in the last two years I would say I have become open about it with a lot of people and have even inspired others to blog- not just on books, but other topics- and they are loving it. I don’t want what changed from a few years ago to now, maybe blogging is more, for a lack of a better word, accepted than it was.

    I do get a lot of the same questions that are posed here in the post and in the comments. The biggest question is “Do you make money?” or “Why don’t you start selling advertising?” I had an old book blog where I did sell advertising at one point, but honestly, I regret it. I have nothing against those who sell space for advertising, I really don’t, but it just didn’t feel right for me. So, now, when people ask me those two questions I simply answer with- I am not interested in that. And when they ask about getting paid for reviewing I answer with “I find that inappropriate.”

    Other questions I get (that is seems many of us get): How do you request books from publishers/authors? Do publishers/authors ever approach you and if so have you ever turned one of them down? Oh! And the other question is, when I explain how sometimes I get ARC (which I then have to also explain what an ARC is) is “You should totally sell those when you are done with them! You know how much money you could make selling a book that isn’t out yet?!” This I have to laugh at because I know and you guys know that isn’t right (or even legal I believe), but I forget that people who don’t do this may not know (then again, I would think it wouldn’t sound right for someone who doesn’t do this, but that is just an assumption).

    Anyway! I will end this REALLY long comment. I apologize for it being so long. I guess 10 years of blogging has really changed in regards to being able to open up about it.
    Kayla Elizabeth recently posted…Winter Break 2013-2014 To Be Read List/Top Ten Tuesday – December 10, 2013My Profile

  • Reply
    11 December, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I can really relate to your post! Whenever I open a book at school, or I talk about reading I get quite some weird looks. That’s okay though, because its genuinely something I love to do.

    When I talk about blogging though… yeah, I get the some reactions as you mentioned above. I try not to let it bug me, because in the end they just don’t understand the awesomeness that is reading (and the blogging community!)

    I have met some people that are genuinely interested though! They are super sweet, and ask questions because they are interested and because they see that I love what I do.. (those moments are the best!)

    I’m just trying not to get ticked off by people who’re rude about it… because in the end, its just who I am and they shouldnt judge me.

    Great Post!
    Iris recently posted…Mr. Darcy and our Lacking ConcentrationMy Profile

  • Reply
    11 December, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I love this post! Most people think it’s cool that I get a lot of free books, but some do ask if I actually get paid. A lot of people also ask how I find the time. I actually put my blog on my resume and got asked about it in a job interview! They seemed really interested in it, but mostly wondered how I was able to keep up with it alongside school work.
    Ashley recently posted…The Infamous Ellen James by N.A. AlcornMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kelsey @ Verbosity Book Reviews
    11 December, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t tell people that often because I don’t want to sound egotistic or snooty or something like that. Also, because I’m not sure how they’ll react. The majority of the people who read my blog were complete strangers to me originally. I have a few close family members and one or two friends who know about it, but that’s about it. My siblings are constantly asking me if I get paid to review the books, though. That, or they start trying to tell me what I *should* do on the blog. Sometimes that’s amusing, but a lot of the time it’s annoying. Great post! Really interesting to sit here and think about.
    Kelsey @ Verbosity Book Reviews recently posted…Blogoversary Giveaway #1My Profile

  • Reply
    Hazel @ Stay Bookish
    11 December, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    THIS POST OMG! Everyone knows I read a lot but most of my close friends don’t know about my secret double life as a book blogger! It’s weird. Complete strangers who know me from my photo blog follow and know about Stay Bookish but I don’t think my actual friends do! Those who do know that I book blog think it’s generally cool but they never ask much about it. I’ve never mentioned much about getting in contact with publishers and authors either, I just tell them that I write stuff about books. Honestly, I can’t really geek out around most of the people I’m with. I’m more comfortable geeking out with you guys! Given the chance that someone from the outside world would be genuinely interested about my book blog, I’d love to give them the deets about what I do. My mom however did find about out about my blog and she said I was pretty good at it! That made me smile! 🙂
    Hazel @ Stay Bookish recently posted…{Blog Tour} Review: Finding Home by Lauren K. McKellar + GiveawayMy Profile

  • Reply
    Maya @ The Book Nook
    11 December, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    People know that I love reading – it’s pretty obvious I guess – but I don’t often tell people that I blog. Generally, adults tend to think its pretty cool that I book blog, whereas most other teens don’t really get it. Great topic!
    Maya @ The Book Nook recently posted…REVIEW: Earthbound by Aprilynne PikeMy Profile

  • Reply
    11 December, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I’ve got it both ways as well. Some people say “oh what a fun job!” But then I tell them that no, it’s not my job, I don’t actually get paid. People are stunned at this fact over and over. I’ve had people call me to ask about starting a blog because they need some extra income. And then I have to tell them there is no income unless they build their blog and can get some advertising fees. Being as I’ve blogged 5 years and have made next to nothing in advertising I don’t think it’s something that would work for them.
    I do love that books and blogging are a conversation starter. Over Thanksgiving my husbands aunt informed me she reads my recommendations and I never even knew she read my blog! That was really cool. But it seems about half and half. Some think its really cool and others just don’t get it at all. Luckily my family and close friends are pretty understanding.
    Great discussion!
    Candace recently posted…Adult Review: Must Love Otters by Eliza GordonMy Profile

  • Reply
    jayd @ books, food and other things
    11 December, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I don’t make it a secret that I love reading, but my friends aren’t really interested in blogs and stuff, so when I talk about it they don’t really ask any questions. I don’t mind though!

    I know i’m lucky that I don’t get judged or branded for what I like, but i think its mostly because of who i hang around with. And i’m in sixth form, so people are generally more accepting about these things.

  • Reply
    12 December, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Surprisingly, I haven’t encountered people who ask questions about book blogging or any of that. It’s probably because I don’t tell them I’m a book blogger. I don’t know how any conversation would move into that since I’m awkward when I talk to people. And usually, those people aren’t into YA books which totally sucks. They are totally clueless about what I’m talking about which saddens me.

    With the friends who do know I book blog, they’ve been really supportive. They don’t judge me and they think it’s really awesome.

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Booktastic Reviews
    12 December, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    My friends know I blog and review books but don’t make a big deal out of it. One of my friends even asked me if I’d review a book for their mum’s library… But I don’t like telling anyone outside of my friends. For some reason I just feel like they’d pepper me with questions I just wouldn’t be bothered answering… And my elective teacher once asked if any of us had blogs and I didn’t raise my hand. But that was because she was going to show it to the class, and I feel my blog is just a little bit too personal for my schoolmates to be snooping around.

    Great post! 😀

  • Reply
    Georgia Walters
    13 December, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    This was a brilliant post! It’s so true. My experience with people asking me is awful, though.
    Since January when my blog *properly* got going, I started bringing in my proof copies of books to read at school, and people obviously would ask how I got one, and I’d tell them. They’d be all interested and as few people were really cool about it, asking all about my blog and can they have the link and everything. That was awesome 🙂 But there are some awful people in my form! They used to grab my proof copies once I’d told them it’s not out yet. They’d run around the classroom shouting about it and there’s a particular group of boys who liked to try and rip pages out. I reckon they were jealous. They hate reading,. but maybe they were jealous I was able to get something before them. Either way, up until about August, I was bullied because I was so “neeky” that I’d get books before they were even out. But those people tend to ignore me now! I still don’t really talk about my blog to people in school, really. Apart from my form class, only my English teachers know about it!
    Georgia Walters recently posted…Spotlight on Steampunk: On my TBRMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debbie @ Snuggling on the Sofa
    13 December, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Great post Lucy! I don’t really tell anyone IRL about my blog. When I have, I always get asked about free copies/if I get paid. And people always make the assumption that it makes me a recluse >..< And also, people want to see it, and I dislike it! I'm not sure if I'm embarrassed or what, but I just find it a bit strange.
    Debbie @ Snuggling on the Sofa recently posted…Publishers 2013 Wrap Up: Hodder Children’s BooksMy Profile

  • Reply
    Weekly Rewind – December 7-13, 2013 | Something-Beautiful.org
    14 December, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    […] » Blogging and Reading Through Other People’s Eyes @ Queen of Contemporary : This is an excellent post that has much discussion within the comments on how (book) bloggers deal with people knowing (or not knowing) they blog and what kinds of questions are asked in regards to blogging. […]

  • Reply
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain
    14 December, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    It’s so awesome that you’re okay with people asking you about blogging and how you’re open about it. I find that I don’t openly tell people that I blog, but people can find out if they looked at my Twitter bio. I don’t know, I’m always really scared that people in my grade are judgemental and I have this paralyzing fear that everybody hates me so it does get to me in the end. I seriously admire you, though, Lucy, for being able to not care what other people think. (I’m pretty sure other people have made fun of me for singing on YouTube even though I’ve pretty much stopped because I feel like my covers were never that good anyway 🙁

    Fantastic post, Lucy! I really hope that one day I’ll be able to openly tell people what I do as a hobby and maybe while I’m at it I’ll also be able to get over my singing stage fright!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    15 December, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I think I’ve told 3 people about my blog: my parents, who think it’s the bees knees, and the head of the marketing department where I work, who gets it because she’s in marketing. Nobody else knows because I like to keep my worlds separate. Most of my friends maintain blogs on topics that interest them, so I don’t think they’d approach me with questions or the skepticism that you’ve been approached with.
    Jackie recently posted…Teaview: I’m not nuts about Almond TeaMy Profile

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    29 December, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Most people don’t know and I don’t tell them because I just enjoy doing it without having other people’s opinions involved 🙂 I let my writing buddies know *sometimes* that I blog…but for the most part blogging/writing reviews is just my hobby…I do it to share ideas about books with the world and to vent about how books effect me.

    I don’t think books as a very nerdy thing because…they’ve always been a major part of my life.
    Bri recently posted…2014 TBRMy Profile

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