Thursday, February 8, 2018

On Book Blogging

A lit candle placed perfectly just below the edge of the frame. Book jackets strewn to the side in a carefully-curated "careless" fashion. A cup of tea, half finished because you forgot to take the picture right away. Some interesting fabrics: a tunic shirt from American Eagle, scrunched up meticulously; a piece of fuzzy fabric that you purchased to make a Hobbes costume for Halloween (your boyfriend went as Calvin). And of course, la pièce de résistance, the open book in the center. 

These are the elements of a book blog post. Instagram is heavy with the scent of these candles, overloaded with the weight of these mugs. Creating these adorable, well-curated layouts is, after all, enjoyable. The outcome is aesthetically pleasing, but the manufacturing is just that: manufacturing. 

It's all human-made. 

No one in their right mind would actually read a book like this. Social media gurus of the book blogging world position these photos every day, somethings more than once a day, and compile feeds all within a single color palette, or all featuring the same brand of sponsored teabags, or all with natural lighting, or all with the book blogger's funky socks in the corner of the photo. It's interesting to look at and it feels like a positive community to be a part of, but the amount of work that goes into maintaining a book blogging brand is egregious. Many of these people are paid through advertisements to perpetuate their bookish personas, and that's all well and good...  

But that's not what I want to do. 

I tried that game. ReadingHannah started as an Instagram that was meant to earn me some followers who would appreciate the twenty minutes I spent searching my college apartment for good lighting, who would think it was neat that I could so nicely balance a Potter book open. I wanted advance reading copies from publishers and a deal promoting book crates or candles or anything at all, because it's nice to feel like you've got the savvy to influence readers. 

As I write this, my Instagram page is comprised of 22 posts, all sparse and random and overall not up to par with the community that it sits in. But this is not the future of ReadingHannah. My goal in maintaining this website is not to earn a following of people who like how nice my camera is or how daintily I can arrange a hardcover; instead, I hope to interest you in the content of my posts. I want to review books honestly and with the fervor (or lack thereof) that they each deserve. I also want to hold myself accountable to reading books for fun. My academic life immerses me in Shakespeare and Greek tragedy every weekday, but I have a bookshelf loaded with unread beauties that have been staring me down for months now, and it's time to give them a chance. 

You'll notice that there are some posts dating from before January 2018 (when I bought the domain and started the website). These are reviews that were posted on my Goodreads account and that I found to be of high enough quality to include on ReadingHannah. I hope to load these pages with as many reviews as I can muster, and to keep up my own veritable persona. Vibrant. Truthful. Punny.

Perhaps I'll still take some time to arrange books prettily, but overall I would rather dedicate my spare minutes to the act of reading itself. I'll also write the occasional blog post about my general literary well-being. 

If you've made it this far, thank you for reading. 

'Til next time. 


No comments

Post a Comment

© ReadingHannah | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig