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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Soapbox: Reader versus Writer

I’ve been hearing (second hand as I’ve not experienced it myself yet) about book bloggers that are being less then amicable about book bloggers that also write.  I’ve been told some book bloggers are downright rude about it. The most common thing vented off to me is the saying, “’We’re not writers we’re book bloggers.” Which is quite fine. I have no issues with that but it bothers me that some of my book blogger friends are thinking about closing their book blog because the book bloggers are being hostile about their writing talent. 

The book bloggers shouldn’t demean those that do write. My first question is what did you learn to do first read or write? We don’t actually have one without knowing the other.  Generally they both occur hand in hand do they not? I’m still trying to figure out why it’s so terrible someone that reads is being chided for writing too. 

I am both a reader and a writer. I have no qualms about announcing it. I am a video game art and design student at the art institute of Pittsburgh. As part of my major I’m often required to create complete characters and stories for them. Why shouldn’t I write them out? What does my creativity have to do with me being a reader? I can still be creative and enjoy someone else’s creativity. It gives me a break from my own. 

There’s another thing that I want to point out. Advice. Advice from whom? From other writers. I won’t list them off as that’s not the point, but I’ve been a part of several video chats, twitter chats, blog chats of several different authors that practically all give the same advice. I even have it written in one of my autographed books as I asked what she would say to an aspiring author. Would you like the answer?

I’ve been told directly and indirectly: “Read Everything you can get your hands on.” Thus since I am now reading the way a fat man eats cake why should I NOT share what I’ve learned about reading the book? Why should I not give my thoughts on the characters and stories and what I liked and what felt off to me? Why shouldn’t I share that with others? And I would like to point out that by reviewing a book you are writing. It’s called critical writing in case you didn’t know. So now we’re down to a catch 22. 

I have no issues with book bloggers or bloggers that are writers or bloggers that do both.  More power to you. I know life was hectic during Nanowri and I can proudly say I finished my first book during that and still read and posted reviews. If you’ve got the time there’s no reason not to do everything you love to do. 

As I said before this hasn’t even been said directly to me so I’m not really taking the offensive for me. However, if it were I’d just blow off the person as a spoilsport that probably can’t write creatively and that’s why they’re downing on those that can. Honestly, are we so petty that we have to bring others down to make ourselves feel better? 

Here is my bottom line then I’ll hop off my box. I don’t think it matters whether we read or we write or do both. What matters is we have fun. What matters is if we’re reviewing it’s fair and critical and if we’re writing that it’s true to ourselves. Whether we’re the ones writing them or the ones reading them or doing both; we all love books. That’s what it comes down to at the end of the day. We’re here for love and I for one am not going anywhere. 


  1. I think you are totally right, Touya! I really don't understand why people feel the need to tear others down to make themselves feel better. It's just not right!

  2. I agree with you wholeheartedly on this. Thank you so much. A person can have multiple hobbies and things they like to do. If it just so happens to be reviewing books and writing them, there's nothing wrong with that. It also make sense because they're closely related. There's also people like Lev Grossman, he was a reviewer for the NY times and an author. He did both, and reviewer/author seems to be a more difficult position than reviewer/writer.