Discussions

Thursday’s Thoughts: Socioeconomic Status & The Book (Blogging) Community

Thursday's Thoughts

 

Hello, everyone! I’m back with another Thursday Thoughts. My first one was a hit and created such lovely discussion, so I’m hoping that this post does the same. Today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on a subject that’s very important to me and that I feel is often times overlooked: socioeconomic status within the book community. I’ve been wanting to do a post on this topic for a while, but was somewhat worried about the reaction I’d get. So I created a poll on Twitter asking what you all would like to see for this month’s discussion post and no one choose this topic at first (by the time the poll closed 24hours later, one person did). That was the first sign. Then I saw a tweet from one of my friends, Rommie, about how she was working on a post with a similar topic. Not only was that super inspirational for me, but it was also the second sign. The third sign was Author Carrie Ann’s thread on Twitter about her experience with socioeconomic status, books, and libraries growing up. All of those signs happened within one day, and I knew I couldn’t put off writing this post any longer.

As a kid, I lived in the library. Some of my earliest memories are of my mom taking me to the library, which in turn grew my love of reading. I have three younger siblings and two extremely hard-working parents. There were times (and still are times) when buying books was a luxury, and I never minded it because I always had my library card. As I grew older and continued to read more books the library was, and still is, my go-to source to for books. This year in April, I finally looked into joining the book community. I first looked at Bookstagram, and I felt discouraged.Β I went to Michaels to buy props with some money I had saved for my first post and thought to myself, “I’d rather be buying books than buying props to decorate books.” I didn’t see Bookstagram working out for me financially in the long run. I debated deleting my Bookstagram account after posting five photos, but I decided not to. Just because Bookstgaram wasn’t my passion or my avenue didn’t mean that I had to abandon it. Now I just post for me, to bring myself joy.

The next avenue I looked to was blogging (sorry, I skipped Booktube because I’m an awkward potato), and I knew it was for me. Not only was there a ton of writing involved, but it didn’t cost a penny to start, customize, or get to where I am now. It’s become a passion, partially because I know that it’s something that I can sustain and continue to do for a long time. I love hauls just as much as the next person, but I also know that I used to skip all of those posts because a part of me didn’t feel included. I don’t always relate to those who put themselves on book buying bans because 99.9% of the books that I read and review are from my local library. I love love love reading tweets and posts about BookCon and other book conventions, but I know that not everyone can afford to attend and can thus feel left out because I was once in those shoes, and still sometimes are. I know I still rely heavily on the library in order to have access to books, and have content to put on this blog.

Socioeconomic status is a taboo subject in society, but I don’t want it to be within the book community. It’s a topic that I believe members within all platforms of the book community should be aware of and, if comfortable, engage in dialogue about. The book community is a community that any anyone should feel that can be a part of, and all of those within the book community should strive to create that inclusivity.

Definitely share your thoughts on my thoughts (haha) and your thoughts on the topic in the comments below. Do you feel that socioeconomic status is present in the book community? Do you find it to be more present on certain platforms? I look forward to engaging in all of the lovely discussion. As always…

Happy reading, happy writing, and happy blogging!

-Breeny

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “Thursday’s Thoughts: Socioeconomic Status & The Book (Blogging) Community

  1. Socioeconomic status is definitely present in the book community which is sad. I also use the library for most of my reads and can’t possibly fathom why some people are so against it. You can read a book with no monetary responsibility! How is that not awesome? However, I recently ran across quite the thread on Twitter where an AUTHOR was shaming her readers for using the library instead of purchasing books. I thought that was absolutely appalling. I wish I could find the thread and link it here but it has been a week or two ago and I can’t seem to find it.

    Most people don’t have money flowing out of their ears for frivolous purchases or space in their home to house the books they would like to purchase. I have a huge storage bin in the garage filled with books simply because I don’t have room for them in the house. So, when I want to pick up a book, I use the library or the occasional discounted e-book. There shouldn’t be any shame in that. It is my preferred method and the one that makes monetary sense for me. Sometimes I see people’s book hauls and wonder, “Do you not eat? Do you not have rent?”

    Before I get into a full blown ramble/rant I will cut myself off. In a nutshell, I hear where you are coming from. Socioeconomic status is present in the community and it can be alienating for many people. I wish it wasn’t a thing but that is how society is built, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I understand the question, is socioeconomic status present in the book community, correctly I would say definitely yes. I read recently that one way of judging a community’s prosperity is to check if they have.
    a. A bookshop and b. A Cinema. A recent poll in Britain found that 1 in 5 families don’t own a book. I have also noticed that a lot of my students who are from predominantly poorer backgrounds don’t read. Good post, thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you wrote this post so much, because I can relate to this a lot. Growing up we really didn’t have the money to spend on books, so besides the occasional presents I relied on the library most of the time. I’m actually from a non-English speaking country, so when (around the time I started high school) I got into reading in English – as there are thousands more titles in English than in Hungarian translation – it was rough for a time, because there were SO MANY titles I was really interested in, but could only buy a limited amount of them. Thankfully, we are doing much better now, plus I learnt to pay attention to where I purchase my books from + deals and have awesome friends with whom I swap books with all the time, but I still can’t really relate to huge book-hauls. *shrugs* Which is fine!! I can afford most books I want, even if sometimes I have to wait for the discount and tend to wait until the paperback is out. I just wish this was discussed more in the community, especially because I know there are people who absolutely can’t afford any books some months. Thank you for this post again! ❀

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Veronika for sharing your thoughts. I greatly appreciate it. I’m so glad you resonated with and enjoyed the post. I wish this topic was discussed more in the community as well, so I’m trying to do my part to make that happen. =) Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment.

      Like

  4. I empathize with this. I can’t afford any of the book related things going on, not even books themselves. I can’t engage in certain discussions due to not having the knowledge or understanding of things like other book bloggers might. I can only say this for the book community.

    We don’t have things where and near I live to push me into good things, only the bad; so it’s hard to try to get with the book blogger program. Sucks, but life goes on. Can I reblog this?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can completely relate. Most of my books now are from Netgalley because I couldn’t afford to keep buying new books and subsequently I had to compromise and train myself to like reading ebooks but the library is my favourite place in the whole world (aside from a bookshop). great post btw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your thoughts. I’ve gotten a range of perspectives on this topic, and that’s been super awesome. I’m still training myself to like reading ebooks as well, but I love the library.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am really bad. :S I use the library, visit at least once a week . . . but I still buy books. I don’t do book hauls though, I’m too lazy for that now. I kind of just do my own thing, and haven’t really thought about socioeconomic status being a big thing in the book blogging community. If there is, I’ve been turning a blind eye to it.

    Cass @ Words on Paper

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Breeny! This is such a wonderful topic! R really don’t know if it’s taboo or not, but I see why you did this post and I couldn’t agree more! You really need to have the money to buy books. That’s why I love Netgalley and Edelweiss so much because you get to read the books you like without paying or waiting for them. I live in Europe so my library just doesn’t have all the English releases, yet. Buying lots of books is expensive and I usually use books I have at home for Instagram. Though I do have about 30 or so so I do have a few πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So glad there are some posts about this !!! Yes I think it’s present in all online platforms – any kind of blogging or youtube related work it’s evident who has access to more expensive materials and equipment and who doesn’t. As always in our capitalist society people with money have the greater advantage. Thanks for writing a post about it x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I used to live in our local library growing up. Library cards were free for kids in the Netherlands, so it was the best we could do. Every once in a while, I would get an actual book, which was amazing.
    Now, I don’t have to worry about money as much anymore. I suppose I could buy the props for Instagram or even a lot of the books I wanted new. However, because of where I come from, I don’t see the point; it’s frivolous. I’ve never bought something purely for Instagram. Most of my books, I get second hand. Whether from a store or from some giveaway page on Facebook. Only when I really want to read a book, I buy it new myself. I keep track of how much I spend on books throughout the year, so far I’ve spend a little over €90,- for 65 books. Most of those free or from a second hand store.
    I cannot get too many books from the library here. I’ve moved to Germany and they only have a very small section with foreign language books. Most English best sellers only come to the library years later, don’t even get me started on Dutch books. I prefer reading the books in the original language (when I can), and I have the money now to do so.
    Still, I prefer going through random selections of books in second hand stores or second hand book fairs, I suppose it reminds me of the library in that way.

    Yes, I believe there is a lot of money being spend frivolously (even on books), however, people are allowed to spend their money the way they want, even if I never would. Seriously, what’s up with all of those bookish items? πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m glad you spoke about this! I don’t usually buy enough books as well, preferring ebooks to avoid shipping costs and stuff (as I don’t get all the books where I live). And I totally agree on the bookstagram front! For the brief period when I had a bookstagram, I made all the props myself by origami and I used things I already had. But not having many paperbacks and merch (which is super hard to find unless it’s HP), I couldn’t get much attention. It also took time to grow, and the new algorithm was working against me so I eventually deleted the account. It doesn’t matter much in blogging, though, and I like that. Even with booktube, better quality videos are better which require equipment and I’m also an awkward person who will NOT be good in front of a camera. Blogging suits best πŸ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a great post! Socioeconomic status is definitely present in the book community! Although I’m far from being poor (and very grateful for that!), my main source for books, like you, is the library. I’m too young to get a job, so all my money for books comes from birthday or Christmas presents. I read way to much to be able to afford to buy all my books. I don’t really have a problem with this as I love the library and I don’t have enough room anyway, but sometimes I do feel excluded when I see people in the book community with 20+ books they buy each month. When it comes to conventions, my problem isn’t the money, but the fact that I’m international.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I use the library for the majority of books I read, as well. Now, I do actually OWN a lot of books–but they’ve been gifts, purchases for school assignments, cheap books from library book sales $1 book bins at used bookstores, etc. I don’t actually spend a lot of money on books each year, though I’m sure people come to my apartment, look at my shelves, and assume that I do. My co-blogger and I post often about how much we use the library, and I’ve also talked about how the majority of my Instagram photos are of library books, as well. I know some people really do feel they need to own tons of books to be a “real” part of the community or to be “successful,” and I really hope we can all continue to combat those impressions.

    Like

    1. The majority of the books on my instagram are from the library as well. And hopefully this post will help combat the impressions that you speak of, because I definitely think they’re present in the book community. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah, this is such an important topic! I used to visit the library ALL the time when I was younger, during the summer I’d probably visit a couple of times a week. My parents aren’t really big readers, and they couldn’t afford to buy many books for me (I’d only receive some for Christmas and Birthdays). This continued all the way up until I started earning my own money and could buy my own, but even then I bought only 2 or 3 a year.

    I will admit that since starting a bookblog I have been buying a stupid amount of books- definitely not for blog views (my blog is still relatively small), but I just felt I had missed out on so many good reads within the blogging community. I also couldn’t visit the library to get my hands on them as it was closed by the time I finished work. If I could visit the library a lot more I think I would, as it is so useful!.

    Your socioeconomic status definitely shouldn’t affect a book-lovers hobby, or a bloggers passion for books. There is certainly no shame in borrowing books, or buying discounted titles. Actually I think it is a pretty handy way to try books out- if you don’t like a book it wont have to clutter up your bookshelf, as you can simply return it to the library.

    This is a very informative post, and I hope it stops people feeling so concerned about their book-buying or book-borrowing habits. At the end of the day, books are for everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s