Now that 2018 is well and truly upon us, I think there are some habits we should bury.
I brought a nice shovel!!
Hopefully by this point you have said 2018 at least once instead of 2017. Or! Like me you’ve skipped forward to typing 3018 which is exciting but there are not enough spaceships around. Anyway. A big part of a new year rolling in is everyone pretending to give up sugar for 3 hours and valiantly stating the phrase “New year, new me!” (I’m only a fan of that phrase if it means you’re turning into a dragon.)
But! As a bookworm, book blogger, and book screamer, * I think there are definitely some things we could all leave behind in 2017. Ditch ’em like that body you’ve been keeping in your freezer. TIME TO BURY THE BAD!
This also 100% works because I have seen the 1995 version of Jumunji and if you bury the evil boardgame nothing goes wrong afterwards. **
* My new word for when a bookworm looks at their TBR and briefly contemplates their mortality.
** LMAO BUT WE CAN TRY.
Today I’m going to list 10 things I think we bookworms and book bloggers should stop doing this year!
I have a shovel! It is a good shovel and I have never buried anything unsavoury with it before! This seems honest!
1. FEELING GUILTY FOR HOW MUCH OR HOW LITTLE WE READ.
I see people saying “Oh I’m not a real bookworm, I barely read 20 books a year.” And I’m like????? I’m sorry, did we have to apply to become a bookworm? Fill out a list of criteria? Submit moon rocks we gathered at the equinox? Bake the correct kind of cake?
WHAT THE HECK, MATE, A BOOKWORM IS SOMEONE WHO LIKES BOOKS. The end. There isn’t a number you have to reach to be a “true” bookworm.
And this goes both ways because people are always hassling me about how much I read. Did I really read it? Did I even comprehend it? HUH, HUH, CAIT? I’ve been told I read 200 books a year for the attention and to be a “wannabe”. The later is only true if it means I “wannabe a bookshelf”. Because yes.
So read 2 books a year. Read 20. Read 200. Listen up!
No guilt or shame from now on!
2. CRITIQUING #OWNVOICES AUTHORS PORTRAYAL OF THEIR OWN CULTURE.
This happens on twitter a lot and it’s so bizarre. Why don’t we just walk up to a chef who literally sets a bowl of food they’ve cooked before you and say, “BUT DO YOU REALLY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT COOKING??”
Yes the food metaphors are strong today. They rise like glorious bread dough and I cannot stop them.
One you might have seen is about Sandhya Menon, author of When Dimple Met Rishi and the upcoming From Twinkle With Love…and little internet trolls appear to tell this #ownvoices Indian author that her character names aren’t Indian but silly and made up. Wow. What if these people just s t o p. *
No more critiquing cultures you’re not part of to someone who is part of them!
* Interesting that these people don’t stomp on Four from Divergent + Mare from Red Queen + Blue from The Raven Cycle + Finch from All The Bright Places.
3. ACTING LIKE AUTHORS WHO WANT TO GET PAID ARE TERRIBLE BUCKETS.
Look the only terrible bucket are those horrible castle shaped ones that fool you into think you can make a true sandcastle at the beach but they never NEVER come out of the bucket right!! 99% of my childhood distrust springs from this.
Also authoring is a business. It is a career. It is VERY hard to support yourself with it so heckin’ GO (!!!) to the authors who can or try.
Enough thinking art isn’t worth time or money. It IS and you, smol artist, are also worth it.
4. NO MORE TELLING ANYONE TO “REREAD A BOOK YOU HATED SO YOU GET THE RIGHT OPINION.”
This one basically makes me laugh. If I hated a book, why the heck would I reread it?! What is that going to achieve?! If I had a dollar for every time someone on Goodreads told me this, I could afford to buy half of the Dead Sea.
I’m not sure what I would do with it. Probably just canoe in a very dark cape because DEAD SEA.
I did have to pull myself up about this one too! I have social anxiety, as you might know, and sometimes I read books with HORRIBLE social anxiety rep. Other times…the rep is just not right for me. Doesn’t make it bad! Or wrong! In fact, other people with social anxiety might really really feel connected to that book.
So take a breath. Take a minute. Analyse if it’s problematic or just not relatable to you!
This goes for any minority experience, okay. Let’s eat an ice cube * before assuming that everyone with autism or an amputee or who has bipolar or who’s on the lgbtqia+ spectrum or who’s black will have the SAME life experience. Because no.
* This is me trying to say “CHILL OUT” creatively because for some reason I’m thinking about Antartica a lot today and I want to make an igloo and name a penguin Paul.
6. NO MORE JUDGING ADULTS FOR READING YA.
This comes so up so much!! I talk about it so much!! I’m very passionate about it because I see adults being told they don’t belong in a YA book community because it’s for teens. Actually YA is for readers. Its first priority is teens, for sure!! Teen voices are important. Teen voices should be heard. But YA is for DRAGON SPAWN.
I mean: YA is for anyone who wants to read it.
Can we stop all this censorship!??
7. NO JUDGING PEOPLE WHO BUY TONS OF BOOKS.
Yes it’s a lucky privilege to be able to afford books, but instead of assuming someone is rich or selfish can we consider:
- it’s actually none of your business if someone else is buying lots of books (!!)
- so you can’t afford it (THAT’S OKAY!!) but look! these people are buying the books and showing the publishers they want more like that! There is literally no downside to someone else buy tons of books!! they buy books = publishers pick up more authors.
- lots of people budget their money differently. I, for one, have been wearing the same jacket for 11 years.
- (It’s a nice jacket okay. Lots of colours. Also I don’t grow.)
- you went out for dinner = that person bought a book
- try to adjust perspectives if seeing someone with a big library makes you angry
8. TIME TO BURY THOSE SKELETONS IN YOUR WARDROBE AS WELL!
I mean, only if you’re cleaning the closet. It’s 2018! New year! New clean wardrobe! Brush out those bones and get ’em buried in the back yard, probably at night by the light of the blood moon and wear good shoes and don’t wreck the rhododendron bush. *
Wow you come to Paper Fury for such good life advice. Self five.
* I just want to put it out there that the same person who wrote the word “rhododendron” also probably wrote fantasy and keyboard smashed all their names. And yes I realise it’s like an ancient Greek word but DON’T SPOIL MY BACKSTORY HERE.
9. NO MORE AUTHORS GETTING INVOLVED IN BOOK BLOGGER’S REVIEWS.
As someone who is LITERALLY watching their ARCs make it into the wild (holy heck hold me I’m freaking out), I totally get why this happens. I also wish it wouldn’t! And there are a lot of bloggers out there who still think authors should “learn from their critiques in their reviews”…ah ahhaah haha no. Do not think that way.
Reviews = readers.
Authors = dark cottages in the witching woods.
Everyone needs to stay out of each other’s spaces. I’ve already heard of several authors harassing book bloggers this year (IT’S BEEN LIKE 2 WEEKS, PEOPLE). I truly get the pain of having your book misinterpreted, but it doesn’t MATTER!!! Let people think how they think. Authors should just go write another book and book bloggers should just go write another review.
Occasionally glitter should be thrown and Mad Hatters tea parties should be had and 12 croissants should be put in pockets.
But otherwise. No.
10. TIME TO BURY THE IDEA THAT I’M TERRIFYING AND HAVE POINTY TEETH AND WILL BITE YOU.
Look I do NOT bite! Except on Tuesday afternoons and like, maybe, between 11:30am and 12:00pm on weekdays because I get very hungry and lunch never comes soon enough.
I’m not scary, my little mortals. * I know I might seem a little intimidating. I know I have a big blog and have a book coming out and those are intimidating things and then top it off I’m also 5’1 tall!! I’m terrifying!! No one asked for this!!
But hear me out: I’m a dork who likes books and gets anxious and makes sandwiches backwards sometimes and can’t pronounce the word “gnat”. ** So come talk to me! Ask me questions! I promise I won’t bite and I blog to chat with you so here we are together. Isn’t this nice.
* Probably calling you “mortals” doesn’t help me trying to be less-scary-and-more-relatable here but I GET STICKERS FOR TRYING.
** I don’t like that the G is silent. That seems unfair. I say it with the G.