Slowing Down

Hey friends,

I’ve been active in the online book community on and off for almost a decade. Like many other people, I found a community of liked minded people. I got super excited for this new community and new found hobby and threw myself into the hobby with reckless abandon. See: The Cheap Reader

It was great! Until it wasn’t. Feeling the pressure from myself and the need to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ was exhausting. The hobby I enjoyed because too much so I stepped away.

Not from reading though. Never from reading. Books are always there and don’t demand much from you.

Well with a few years away from the pressures of the online book world, I discovered a new corner of the internet: Bookstagram.

This was perfect for easing myself back into the online community! I could snap photos of what I was reading with a little blurb (no need to write up entire blog posts). It was easy to squeeze into my life.

It worked. I was hooked…again. That bookstagram was followed by me dabbling with other spaces on the internet. Blogging again. Booktube (too much work). Booktok (fun but short videos take a surprising amount of time to make). Pinterest. Goodreads (still the best for me and the one I’ll keep no matter what).

The past few years have been great. This new step in the online book community was different than the one I left behind years ago. Different doesn’t always mean bad though. It’s interesting to see readers on different platforms with different materials and different tools. This new focus on visuals more than writing was the most fascinating part.

I’m starting to feel that burnout again though.

Maybe it’s pandemic burnout. (If you’ve been in a customer facing position over the last 2 years, you get it)
Maybe it’s aging out of some of the online YA book community. (I am in my 30s now)
Maybe it’s growing tired of the materialistic nature of the online book community. (Pretty books are nice but when there’s more talk of how many copies of book you’re getting rather than how you enjoyed the book is really odd to me.)
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m not reading the same books as the people I follow online. (Still loving mystery and thrillers right now)

Whatever it is, I’m just blah. As a result, I’m slowing down.

Does that mean I’m going to stop posting? I don’t know. Right now that means I’m going to take it easy and post when I have things to say or share. I just don’t have the urge to hustle and work on posts just to have things to post. I have posts scheduled on and off for the next few months.

I hope that love of reading never goes away. That’s a big reason I’m stopping while I’m ahead of hating it.

I’m still here lurking around. I’ll be back when I’m ready. I hope you’ll be here whenever that is.

Alison

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10 thoughts on “Slowing Down

  1. I work in customer service and I understand that feeling of burnout right now, before the pandemic it felt like some didn’t respect us and what we do, and now it feels like that number has grown and you’re often getting yelled at for decision that are made so far up the chain you have no idea whose making them.

    The online book community is also a hit or miss, to me it can feel a bit cliche-y at times, and there is a ton of pressure to be up to date with books and your purchases. I’ve stepped away a few times too and always found my interest burns brighter afterwards again, hopefully the same will be true for you! If not, look after yourself, change isn’t always bad:)

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    • That ‘We’re so grateful you’re here’ phase of the pandemic didn’t last long before diving headfirst into the ‘I hate the changes you made to stay open & it’s all your fault’ part of the pandemic. It’s exhausting.

      Thank you so much for the kind words.

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  2. I hear you! I feel like a lot of the books I am reading now are not books others are reading. And a lot of the bloggers I am following have either switched over to books I’m not interested in (I guess we’re all finding new reading tastes!) or aren’t posting at all. (I’ve actually been reading more mysteries and thrillers lately too for some, reason. I don’t know. Maybe it’s the intellectual component of trying to figure out whodunnit along with the comfort of knowing this fictional thriller is going to end–unlike the scariness of real life.)

    I do think the pandemic has a good deal to do with this. It’s physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting to try to figure out how to navigate the world as safely as possible each day. And you mentioned customer-facing jobs. I genuinely feel like people are meaner out there! You’d think that shared trauma would bring us all together, but then you read stories about stuff happening on airlines and…wow. It’s like we’re experiencing a mass mental breakdown as society.

    The materialistic of book blogging has been there for years, but I think it probably did rise along with Bookstagram. I remember the days back when book bloggers often didn’t even have pictures on their blogs. Not even the book cover. Just a text review. How things have changed. I try to stay away from as much of that as I can, but it helps that I don’t really do much with our blog social media.

    All this is to say–I understand the need to step away! I hope you end up feeling refreshed and ready to take on something new and exciting–whether it’s more book blogging or something else!

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  3. This is super relatable and I hope you find the best fit for you! Here’s to talking about the books we love and WHY, not about how many copies we ordered of the current hyped book.

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  4. I really enjoy your blog and voice here so I hope you’ll pop back in when it suits you. I hear you on a lot of points that you outlined. Especially, the customer facing one because it definitely seems like people got a bit meaner out there.

    I am definitely feeling that pressure to post and sometimes, it feels like nothing I share is good enough even when I can manage it. I try to focus on just doing it for myself rather than for others but it gets hard. Be well, Alison!

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  5. I’m 30, and definitely feeling this. I’m on Twitter, and recently took a massive step away from the bookish community on there, who I’ve realised I don’t fit in with and aren’t good for me, mentally. Now I’m trying to find my place in the book world again.

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