What I have learned from Booktube and Book Blogging

Yesterday WordPress politely reminded me that I have been on this platform for 7 years! I feel like such a blogging grandma! As you may have read, I have written about my own struggles

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Yesterday WordPress politely reminded me that I have been on this platform for 7 years! I feel like such a blogging grandma. As you may have read, I have written about my own struggles with finding my voice, my love for books, sitting in Nairobi traffic jam, conquering my own fears, being blown off, the power of one’s inner circle and started Readers’ Nook. But I have also had those times when I  was heavily self-editing myself and resisted to hit publish and let the posts stew in the drafts tab. Then I got overwhelmed with grad school and adulting and forgot my ‘why’ for blogging when I first subscribed to WordPress 7 years ago.

In 2017, I re-discovered Erin Loechner, founder of Design for Mankind and author of Chasing Slow (which I am yet to get my hands on; this has to be remedied soon). I resonated with her post on how her blogging for different reasons at different points of her life which helped me to make peace with how I handle information overload while I find my own blogging rhythm.

Also following book bloggers and the booktube community has made feel less alone.  Ok. So what’s booktube exactly? Booktube is a portmanteau of  Book+Youtube; in short, this is a  community of people on Youtube who primarily share content on books.

Back to feeling less alone, having  binge-watched so many booktube videos I discovered that there’s a community of like-minded people out there who don’t think that binge reading with a cup of tea or coffee is weird. For Kenyan readers, you can probably relate to the comedian Prof. Hamo… who is fond of using the line “In my book! on …”,  which comes to mind every time that I use the line ” Have you read this book… by…”. I have to catch myself when I find a person of similar tastes and interests. But I really get even more excited when other people make their case on why they liked or disliked a particular title. It feels really good to find people who understand the euphoria of owning books or getting bookish mail and the possibilities that they possess. They understand your references to a particular book and they are eager to recommend various titles that you might also enjoy.  I have found Booktube to be that safe zone where I can get people’s opinions on various titles and make friends from all across the globe.

I have come to accept that e-readers and audio books are not evil. I am one of those people who for a long time argued that listening to an audiobook does not an equal reading book. I mean, I love the smell and feel of (new) unread books just as much as a next bibliophile. But the more that I watch book users, I am convinced that they are not evil. Holly of Holly Dunn Designs constantly makes the case of listening to audiobooks and podcasts. Ashley of Climb the Stacks has great recommendations for where to begin with, audiobooks. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I am yet to listen to my very first audiobook. Hopefully, 2017 will be the year.

Read. Research. Digest. Enjoy. This is a continuous process. I have been challenged to learn the difference between character-driven and plot-driven stories. One, two and three-dimensional characters.Probably, my high school English teacher must have mentioned what they meant, but that was like eons ago. Being a logophile, I  was ecstatic to learn to how to pronounce the names of various authors who I commonly come across thanks to Amanda of BookRiot’s video on commonly mispronounced authors (pt 1 and pt 2, highly recommended) and Olive for the Russian ones. I can’t lie. I definitely feel empowered.

Needless to say, I do not dissect every book that  I read.  But I love having the backstory or at least a better understanding of the circumstances that influenced the author and appreciate his/her art.

It was a such a relief to know that you don’t have to love every Pulitzer, New York Times, Best-seller that was ever published. Before, I  thought that I have to read all  American and English classics in order to be socially acceptable and that I have to love every one of them. Obviously, this is absolute hogwash. Practical example: You all know that one of my 2017 goals is to read more African literature. So at the beginning of the year, I picked up Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God, which is one of his more well-known books. The book is quite short that I could probably finish in a day, I just could not get into the storyline. I blamed it on my high school experience of attempting to read it Swahili translation…all I can say is that it did not go very well and I was scarred for life. So I ended up DNF-ing it after carrying it around for a couple of weeks.

One reader’s joy is another reader’s horror. More specifically, just because the whole world loves a particular book does not mean that I can’t have a different opinion.

I would be curious to find out what you have learnt from following people on Booktube or Book Bloggers. As always, let us continue the conversation in the comments section below.

So here’s to another 7 years of being online!!!

 

Photo: Unsplash

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One Response to What I have learned from Booktube and Book Blogging

  1. Diana says:

    Congratulations and I wish you many more wonderful milestones. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I like what you said about the ‘terminologies’. I also learned most of them along the way. I used to say, this books focuses was too much on the characters…mh character-driven is shorter lol.

    Audiobooks and booktube are still new to me. And bookstagram but maybe this year I will discover them.

    Liked by 1 person

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