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How do you feel about being a book blogger—especially offline?

Bookish Verbosity is a non-regular feature at AEROPAPERS where I talk about topics that are related to books, blogging, and the book community.

I was about to write this post prior to reading Shanelle’s post today. I never thought that it is important to tell people that you’re a blogger if it’s not necessary (subjectively speaking). Like on book signing, I don’t feel like telling people I’m a book blogger because (1) I see myself as a relatively small blogger (2) like I said earlier I deemed it unnecessary. To be perfectly honest, no one outside of my two sisters knows I blog. Oh, let me rephrase that, no one knows that I blog, I design, and pretty much what I do on the internet (sans the two sisters).

Why is that? I don’t know. I guess there wasn’t an event that need for it to be brought up so it never came out. I’m also very private person so I don’t share a lot of things about me (even though I’m very passionate about these hobbies) unless it’s within the topic of conversation (which is never). People just knew that I’m very good with computers and that’s pretty much it. I’ve always been Mitchii online, and Cecille is my offline persona. They are (gawd, I’m now referring myself to two separate persona) pretty much the same person, both shy but the me online is more open.

It’s not that I’m not proud of what I do (because I do!! I really, really do!). There were times I overheard people in the bookstore telling the other they were excited to read the sequel, while me on the other hand, had already read the book they were excited about. And on those occasions I realized the privileges I get as a book blogger. And it’s humbling feeling. I’m really thankful to be part of this community.

Yet, I still sometimes feel undeserved of the title. On my early blogging years I refused to coin my post as “reviews.” It sounds so professional and mine were not—even close to that. There’s also something about the label ‘book blogger’ that sound so influential and well, professional, official (especially if I mention it offline). And for someone who do this for the heck of it (because it’s fun to do and doesn’t care much on other things) I feel that I’m giving injustice to those who thrive so hard to leave a mark on the community. And actually doing pretty stellar job with it.

So I’m  pretty much satisfied with where I am now. I’m still uncomfortable telling people that I am (for some reason which I think is just a preference. Not sure though, I haven’t deduced it yet, haha!) a book blogger offline. Maybe there will come a time but for now, not yet…but who knows, right?

How about you, do people (family, friends, classmates or anyone offline) know that you are a book blogger? Did you also feel undeserving to be called book blogger in some occasion? Why? Care to share it with me? :chup: @.@

2014 / 04 / 04

28 Responses to Bookish Verbosity: Keeping up with the label.

  1. Catherine says:

    This is a really interesting post. I’m the same way. The only person who knew I blogged up until recently was a blogger herself, but I did slip up and tell a couple of my other friends that I blogged, too. For some reason, it seemed really embarrassing. I consider my real-life and online personas to be the same in my head, but they’re really not. Online, I’m a lot more… bubbly, I guess? It really feels like a community where everyone uses lots of smiley faces and exclamation marks, while offline? Not so much. Blogging is also a very personal thing. I’m passionate about books and writing, but a lot of people outside of a community view passion as a bad thing (which I hate, but it still happens.)

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Me too. In some ways, my offline and online persona have different personalities. Like you, I think I’m bubbly online but offline I tend to be this quiet, shy person.

      I get what you mean, sometimes people asked me why I’m invested so much time and effort (even money) to a hobby. They’ll never understand the fulfillment I get when I do what I love (regardless of the result). Thank you Catherine.

  2. Hazel Ureta says:

    Some of my friends and family know about my blog but I’m not very comfortable sharing it with people unless they’re bookworms or fellow bloggers and could understand my ways haha. I usually say ‘i have a book blog’ instead of ‘I’m a book blogger’ cos I feel like using the title is too official and just a tad bit flaunty, if you know what I mean. Very thought-provoking post, Mitchii! :)

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I’m liking that approach, I’m little intimidated using that term so I don’t use it hence people not knowing this side of me. But thanks to you, if if it came up, I’ll just say, ‘I have book blog.’ It sounds more casual. Thanks Hazel.

  3. Only one person in my offline life knows the URL to my blog (and that’s my mum). But she never visits it or anything, haha.
    I have told other people that I HAVE a blog, but not what it’s called, or where to find it. I feel like my book blog is really *mine*, you know? And I don’t want to have the pressure of knowing or wondering if people I know in real life are reading and criticising the things I do on the blog. I like knowing that the only people who are reading my blog are the people that are the people I want it to reach, i.e. book bloggers/book lovers.
    Since no one I know in real life loves books half as much as I do, they probably wouldn’t be interested in the fact that I blog, anyway.
    As for book signings … I went to one recently, and I just mentioned in passing that I got a review copy of the author’s novel, and then she asked if I had a blog. I wouldn’t have just told her. I don’t really know why … I just don’t think that I am really important enough as a book blogger to tell authors about it, haha.
    But a publicist actually recognised me as a book blogger. She knew my face! That was like, the best moment ever. :D

    • Mitchii G. says:

      My mom didn’t even know this side of me, although she does know I’m a big bookworm because of all the books in the house (well, you can’t hide that, haha). And my mom reads, too, just Filipino romance books, though. And that’s so cool, some people from from industry knew who you are. It is indeed a huge moment!

  4. Sophia says:

    I tell a good many people that I have a book blog, but only if it comes up in conversation – I’m not going to flaunt it in their faces or anything. And as Hazel said below, I also say “I have a book blog,” not “I’m a book blogger.” I don’t DEFINE myself as a blogger – my blog is just one part of my life (a big part, but obviously not 100%). I also usually follow up “I have a book blog,” with a slightly apologetic “It’s just a place where I ramble about books and anything to do with literature.” Though I know it’s nothing to be apologetic about. :-)

    • Mitchii G. says:

      It will never happen to me since they aren’t bookworms. I think I’m liking that approach, instead of I’m book blogger (it sounds so official to me). Thanks Sophia. :D

    • Sophia says:

      Oh no – you don’t have book-loving friends? I feel so bad for you :-( I hope you get some eventually – it’s slightly different discussing books in person than it is online (though both are great, of course).

    • Mitchii G. says:

      That’s what the internet for, haha. Maybe one of the reasons why I blog. But almost everyone in my family read so that compensate for the lack of bookish friends. :D

    • Sophia says:

      Oh that’s good… see, I’m the biggest reader in the family. My sister reads some too, so that’s all right, but my parents barely read any sort of fiction. My dad reads newspapers and my mom reads books about Jesus, gardening, and health. :-)

    • Mitchii G. says:

      At least they read, that’s still a good thing. I love it when a book turned into movie and you were like, ‘I read that already,’ haha. You were the only one in the group who knew what the story was all about. xD

    • Sophia says:

      Haha that IS awesome :-) But with me, that usually doesn’t happen because most of my friends like the same books I do. But when I get a movie to watch with my family, sometimes my dad gets pissed because I’m commenting on all the ways it’s different from the book and he just wants to watch the darn movie without all my literary commentary. :-)

    • Mitchii G. says:

      It’s the opposite for me, I have to shush my companion to stop asking me questions bcos I’m watching, LOL.

  5. Nearly all my friends know I’m a book blogger haha and I love it when my friends come to me for book recommendations. They might not understand what it means to be a book blogger at times but I quite like being labelled as a book blogger, I mean this is something I love doing and I’m happy to be identified as someone who loves books :) I used to keep my online life very private from my offline life but now it’s completely different but I can definitely understand why others, like yourself, prefer to keep it private.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      That’s nice but my friends aren’t bookish so maybe it’s the reason it never came up. But I don’t know, I’m still uncomfortable telling them this side of me. I wish I have that kind of…confidence to share them my hobbies. :D

  6. Everyone knows I’m a blogger and they weren’t that surprised, seeing my love for reading and writing. I know I’m not professional, but I’m still proud of what I do and I do feel I’ve “earned” the title of ‘reviewer’ :D

  7. Heh. I definitely understand how you feel Mitchii! xD Up to today, it gives me this itchy feeling when someone asks me about my book blog (like my form teacher!! :O And she wanted me to expand it to the school community and I was all “whaAAT?” but anyway that’s a different story :P), especially my family. People tend to judge when they know things, and it gets to me sometimes that a lot of my family members don’t approve of what I’m doing, especially my mom! xD But sometimes it’s fun to tell my friends that I’m a “Reviewer” and I love it! It’s like my part-time/full-time job, and it’s what I’m seriously passionate about! It’s also fun when my friends come to me and ask me for book recommendations! But there was this point in time that “blogging” was pretty silly because they would give me queer looks and say “so….. you blog? About your life?” and I’d smack them and laugh and say, “no, silly! Not about my life!” because that would be pretty strange :P But when I walk into a bookshop and see all the titles I’ve already reviewed or the new arrivals that come in, and I can recite all the authors and their other works, I take some pride in that as well! ^^ But for now, like you, I’m satisfied with where I am, and I don’t really need for any changes! :)
    Wonderful post, Mitchii!! <33 *HUGS*

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Once my hobby brings some sort of pressure, it sucks the fun out of it and makes me dread doing it. So I’d rather do it with no big responsibility.

      Haha, I know the feeling, when I see the books I already read (and even reviewed) I smiled. I’m thankful that I was given the privileged to read before everyone else does.

  8. Yes! I feel you! My parents know because well, I get a bunch of mail haha. But I don’t think they quite understand what I do. And then some of my close friends knew because I’m always answering emails and stuff at school. If my friends weren’t overly curious and always starting at my phone (which is completely rude and I hate it) I probably wouldn’t of told them. Like you said, it’s not that I’m ashamed of it, I just feel uncomfortable. If the people around me were more accepting, I’d definitely let everyone know but it’s more of a guilty pleasure for me. :D

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Yeah, we’re not embarrassed or anything like that, we’re just uncomfortable.I’m not sure how will they feel or think about telling them your hobby. Thanks Laura!

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  11. Rinn (Rinn Reads) says:

    I know what you mean! As Laura said, my family know because of all the post I get through blogging. And they’ve checked my blog out a few times but I’d rather they didn’t look at it all the time, so it’s okay.

    When my colleagues ask me what I’m doing on the weekend, even though they’re sort of aware of the fact that I’m a book blogger, I don’t really fancy saying ‘reading and writing posts’ =P I dunno, it just sounds… kind of pretentious when you say it out loud, even though it really isn’t!

    And you’re totally right about the privileges. It’s weird thinking ‘I’ve already read that’ when it’s not even officially published yet.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Right, sometimes I feel like I’m bragging if I told them about me being a book blogger and getting some perks of being one, even though we really have no intentions to brag about it (just sharing the experience). It’s why I’m reluctant to tell people about it.

      It’s weird, right? When I see the book I’ve read months ago, I was like ‘oh it’s already out?’ it always never to fail to make me smile. Thanks Rinn.

  12. Pretty Little Reader says:

    My husband and my best friend know, but that’s about it. It’s just not something that comes up that often in my day-to-day conversations with people. Some people at work know, but they describe it as me “writing about books”. I don’t think any of them truly understand what it is that I do, how I spend so much time doing it, or why I bother! Haha

  13. Sophia Lin says:

    I’ve told my mom about it, but I don’t think she even cares (she cares about money, ha) and calls it childish. >_< I did tell my speech class because blogging IS one of the items that describes me, but most didn't care, which is fortunately a good thing, lol. But some of my close friends and school librarian do know.

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