Jamie Gets Self Conscious Sometimes

I’ve been doing my whole Before & After blogging series in which I’ve been talking about the big and small ways I’ve changed since becoming a blogger. This post could probably easily fit within that series but mostly I feel like these are just my strange insecurities. I just never experienced these 2 things when I was just a reader and not a blogger that lately have been these things I’m very much aware of.

Disclaimer: I do not let these things influence my reviews or thoughts. You always have my candid thoughts here. These are just weird insecurities/self-conscious thoughts that pop into my head and I have to shake off. Also, this is about nobody nor am I saying things about people who DO these things that make me self conscious. That’s just my problem that I let these thoughts in.

1. The blogosphere sometimes makes me self conscious about liking too many books

This one sounds strange, right? I mean, YAY me. I’m reading and enjoying  books so that’s a win for me! However, sometimes I start feeling strangely self conscious about it if I’ve loved a string of books in a row because there is always a lot of talk in the blogosphere about people who “like everything” or who “aren’t critical enough” because they write a lot of glowing reviews (to which I pull out this).  A lot of times people talk about it like it’s a BAD thing that you’ve enjoyed too many books in a row which does baffle me a bit. I know I am not as uber critical or nitpicky as other readers but there are PLENTY of books, obviously if you read my blog, that don’t do it for me and you won’t find me recommending. There are not a ton of books I HATE (because I DNF them if I feel that strongly) but I do definitely have varying levels of  “not for me” to “it was ok” to “it was good” to “loved it” to “OMG PLEASE HAVE MY BABIES, BOOK.”

I’m sure there are a lot of people really DO just genuinely like most things they read or have chosen to only highlight the books they have enjoyed and can recommend and I’m sure there ARE even a few people who just write glowing reviews because they want publishers to like them (how people read/blog is not my problem — I choose to do what works for me).  I’m definitely not in either of those categories because I don’t like everything, I write positive/negative reviews and I don’t care if publishers don’t like me because I’m not reading for THEM and my reviews are for my readers.

I think, for me, I’ve just gotten REALLY good at picking up books I know I will like or  judging if I will like them from if other friends do/don’t. It annoys me when I start to feel bad because I’ve like the past 5 books I’ve read.

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Oh, the horror!

Like why should I really feel bad and afraid that people are going to be like, “that chick is SO not critical and I don’t trust her” or “ look at that bitch actually enjoying books“? SORRY NOT SORRY that I liked them. Reading is my hobby and I’m happy when I enjoy the books I read. And we know after such a long streak I’m bound to have a couple stinkers. I’m critical to a certain point, but for me,  I’m not dissecting literature. I’m telling you whether or not I enjoyed and why or why not and who I would recommend it to. I give my reasons but I’m not actively looking for things to hate about a book.

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Thankfully, I just don’t really CARE what people think about if I am not critical enough or too positive or judge me for liking the past 5 books I read…because  uhhh it’s my free time and I’m happy when I spend time reading a book and enjoy it. But I cannot pretend I don’t feel a little self conscious when I’m reading a slew of books I enjoy. Not going to lie.

2. Sometimes other blogger’s reviews make me feel STUPID

 

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Sometimes I will read a review of a book that I LOVED TO PIECES and will read a review ripping it to shreds and pointing out thing and I’m like UHHHH I never saw that or thought of that? WHY AM I NOT SMART?? Especially if they are really thoughtful bloggers and then I read it and totally actually AGREE with what they are saying I just feel so DUMB for not seeing what they saw or picking up on it. I’m like oops. I must have built a bridge in my head over that plot hole. Or hmmm I didn’t pick up on this inconsistency. Or that something wasn’t accurate culturally or historically. I feel like maybe I should have being an English major in order to keep up with some of the things people are able to talk about and pick up on in their reviews because I can’t analyze the way do — like my reviews are forever stuck in the kiddie pool. I mean, on one hand, I’m fine with it. I’m just an every day reader and my reviews are not inherently scholarly or professional. But on the other hand, it makes me question myself because WHY didn’t I see the really smart things they picked up on in a book I loved. And then I’m like WAHHH I am an unhelpful reviewer. SELF PITY PARTY. Logically I KNOW we all see things differently and bring different things to the table but I can’t help but feel dumb when I don’t see things that others doooo!

 

I HATE that sometimes I get self conscious about these things when I know logically it’s so dumb and I never ever thought about these things before I blogged . Has anyone else ever experienced these things or am I just really too self conscious? THANKFULLY I just THINK about these things and don’t let them really affect me. I AM JUST SILLY AND SELF CONSCIOUS SOMETIMES!!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this! I totally understand what you’re saying here and have even struggled with these feelings of self consciousness myself. Mostly with the frequency (or lack there of) of reviews/posts. It’s hard to not compare yourself to others, even though we know its not beneficial or helpful. So, I’m there with you! 🙂

    • It really IS hard not to compare no matter how confident I feel and how I logically know we all are all different! And I have really gotten over my fear of not posting a lot but I have SO been there. I hate that we feel like we HAVE to post every day — a lot of other blogging niches don’t have that pressure to post EVERY day. I mean, some do but a lot really don’t.PLUS if we all posted less maybe we would not be afraid of our Readers haha

  2. I feel this way sometimes as well. I would read a review of a book and think “huh, I didn’t see it that way. But that’s cool that this person picked this up.” Like you said everybody reads different and that’s what makes reviews interesting since people pick up on other things. I laughed at your English Major comment. I used to be one before I switched to history and I know I didn’t enjoy books that much when I was asked to rip it apart and analyze every single thing in it. I’m just not that kind of reader. There are some works that I like thinking critically about, but there are others where I just want to absorb the story and be in my happy reading place. It’s okay to feel self-conscious 🙂 I think all of us are at some point. I really do admire you for being comfortable in your own review style!

    • I’m not that kind of reader either. I wish I could be in some ways but I’m not and it’s not fun for me to try to be that way.

      And thank you! <3

  3. Wow. You have taken my two of my biggest blogging insecurities and described almost exactly how I feel! I like most books I read and it makes me happy, but then I see some people saying they don’t like seeing so many positive reviews. I don’t let it get to me either. I also get insecure about my posting frequency. I’ve been working six days a week, so my blog has been suffering. :/

    Thanks for posting.

    • Makes me glad to know I’m not the only one that has to battle these insecurities. <3

      You gotta do what works for you and makes you want to keep blogging whether that is posting certain types of reviews, reading certain books, posting x amount of times, etc.

  4. YES! I definitely get that!! Lately I have been on a really good reading streak – basically the all of 2013 has been wonderful (except for one or two) and I’ve caught myself thinking hmm… maybe I should read a book I know I won’t like just to break it up again. But then I’m like uuhh NO.

    On the whole academic front, I’m studying an MA in English Literature at the moment and my reviews are FAR from scholarly. Blogging is a way to vent and gush, not to critically analyse. To me, anyway :).

  5. I totally agree with you! I’m still fairly new to blogging and finding my stride in my reviewing style. So far i’ve only done a few reviews of books that I didn’t like, and I tend to read a lot of books that I love! So it’s hard finding a balance. Thanks for putting all my thoughts in words so perfectly. Great post!

    • Thank you, Alyssa! You will hit a stride in your reviewing style! I changed mine a few times and tweak things still! You’ll find it! 🙂

  6. I totally know what you’re saying… I’m one of those happy bloggers actually…
    Most of my reviews are full of positive stuff about the books I’ve read. Truth is, when you’ve been reading for a long time, you know your own likes and dislikes. So, it’s not a bad thing (I think). In my opinion you just know yourself better than other people do 😉

    And the other thing… I for instance love your reviews, because they’re honest and pretty funny to read. (Some of my reviews carry the ‘smart’ stuff, but most of them I spent describing my feelings about reading a book). Reviews are your views on books and to tell you the truth, I thing you do a dang good job doing just that!

    Xx Iris

    • No shame in that! One of my blogging bffs has chosen to not post reviews of books she hated or didn’t like and I respect that! I personally wanted to include both and I love that we all choose what we want to highlight and what feel’s comfortable to us. And it’s so true…since blogging I’ve gotten BETTER at picking out books that I know I’ll like or ones that people I trust really loved and say would be ME books.

      And thank you! 🙂

  7. I tend to worry that I’m too honest in my reviews if anything! I don’t want everyone to think I’m some jerk who hates everything she reads. And, if it makes you feel less self-conscious, I read your reviews because I’ve *noticed* that you’re balanced. I love this site. You like what you like and you don’t like what you don’t like, and that is good. 🙂

    I only get annoyed when I read a blogger’s site that’s *only* four and five star reviews and flailing and OMG BEST BOOK EVER on every single book. I mean, maybe they really do love everything about everything they’ve ever read with a cherry on top, but that doesn’t encourage me to trust their judgment. And even then, it’s none of my business why…I just tip my hat and spend my time on other blogs that suit me better. Like this one!

    • Haha I love that you pointed out the opposite because I’m sure you aren’t alone in that! I DO feel really bad when I’ve been reading a lot of ARCs and I don’t like them because they are way riskier for me than books I own because I probably bought them off of a recommendation that someone personally gave me. I think that is why I try to read and ARC and then an “older book” so that if I read a string of bad new releases that I’m not so freaking negative in ever review. So I totally get the other side of it though that happens not as much.

      And that really does help 🙂

      Yeah, I totally have friends whose blogs I love that have chosen to only post positive reviews and it doesn’t bother me that they do that bc I have grown to KNOW their taste because we also talk about what they don’t like privately. I think it is hard to get a sense of taste if you don’t know them and they only post positive. BUT if someone wants to keep their site just about books they personally recommend I totally get that too! Just not what I personally felt like I wanted to do here when I started out.

  8. OMG YES. I sometimes think about that, like, “Will people trust me when I love a book because I at least like 98% of what I read?” But then I think, well, I’ve been reading for a long time. And I know what I like and what I don’t, and so I don’t read the stuff I think I won’t at least like. Sometimes I get surprised in a bad way (today’s book, for example) but by and large, I know my taste.

    Sounds like you do, too. And that’s a good thing. 🙂

    • Haha I hate when I read a book that I’m soooo certain I will LOVE and everyone else thinks I will love and then I don’t. lol. I’m like WHY DID YOU FAIL ME, BOOK?? WE WERE SUPPOSED TO GET ALONG!!

  9. This. Absolutely this. You somehow have to let those things go and just be you, but I totally get it! I feel both of those things, but especially #2. I’ll read other reviews and wonder why I didn’t feel that way or if I even read the same book sometimes. LOL It’s hard, but you just do you. :o)

    • Yeah, I think I’ve definitely succeeded in at least not letting those things influence me and it stinks when they creep up on me and I get all self conscious! I’m like NO NO GO AWAY I LIKE WHAT I DO HERE!!

  10. You’re the cutest. No really, you are.

    • lol thanks! Glad my insecurities are endearing 😛

      • I say it because you have the same ones I do. I spend most of my days feeling like I’m on the outside looking it. I didn’t mean it meanly! WELL NOW I FEEL LIKE AN ASS.

        I should come with a warning “I am Chandler. No helpful comment here.” 🙁

  11. Thanks for putting your thoughts out there and starting this conversation. It was interesting to see your perspective. I hadn’t really considered feeling self-conscious about liking the majority of what I read I just assumed most people would like to enjoy most of their reading! I think it really comes down to why you blog or why you choose to read certain types of blogs, and people have different goals and different perspectives. Some people blog just because they love books and want to talk about them; some people blog about books because they are writers and so they are breaking down stories and looking at the nuts and bolts more deliberately than a casual reader. Some people blog about books as a form of cultural critique, and these might feel more academic. Some people have a professional interest in books, like librarians or booksellers or those who work in publishing, and so they are interested in the appeal factors of a book beyond their own personal opinion so that perspective is going to be different than if they were just a casual reader. I read a ton of blogs that all have different styles of blogging, but they have one thing in common: they write with honesty and integrity. I think those are the two golden rules, and as long as you are following them, there’s no reason to be self-conscious.

    Happy reading and happy blogging!

  12. Yes, this!!

    I feel the same way sometimes, but I just remind myself that OF COURSE you’re going to like most of the books you read. There is a reason you picked it up, and that reason is probably that you though you would like it. You know your tastes; if you think you’ll enjoy a book, YOU PROBABLY WILL.

    The second one can be a problem too, but you just have to keep in mind that others writing a different review does not make your review any less helpful. The beautiful thing about book blogs is that readers can find bloggers with similar tastes and can grow to trust their opinions, and your followers WANT your thoughts, even if they aren’t super-deeply analytical of plot holes and such. Your reviews work for you and your readers while their reviews work for them and their readers.

    An most of all, just remember that you aren’t the only one who gets insecure about these things. I do, and I’d be surprised if any blogger could honestly say he or she doesn’t.

  13. I was actually just thinking about all of this on the bus today. More often than not, my reviews are positive because I know what kind of book I like and what kind I personally should stay away from. I found myself wondering, does it look bad if I really liked a bunch of books in a row? I hope not, because isn’t enjoying the books you’re reading the best part of all this?
    As for point number two, I know that when I’m enjoying a book I will allow myself to gloss over a plot issue or two because it just doesn’t bug me. Or some problems that bother other people are things I just don’t notice. Seeing them pointed out in reviews can definitely make me feel dumb, especially when people really rip it apart and I’m like… “Well. That didn’t bug me… should it have?”
    I know blogging is about having and sharing your own opinion, but sometimes my opinion doesn’t seem… right, I guess? Or as good as everyone else’s. I feel you, Jamie. But lots of people, myself included, love your blog, so I’d say just keep doing what you’re doing and what makes you happy 🙂

  14. Jamie, as someone who is just TOO critical, I am outright jealous that you like as many books as you do. I will agree that there are some reviewers whose reviews I don’t read because they give ALL their books positive ratings, but it’s not because they like all the books they read, but rather that they don’t try to point out even minor flaws that other readers may have. I read positive reviews and sometimes a reviewer will mention that there’s a lack of world-building which didn’t bother them, but then I know that that issue would bother me to PIECES so I don’t pick up the book. And your reviews, no matter how positive and cheery, are always well-balanced which I appreciate. I also envy reviewers who can put a positive spin on negative aspects. I just go all out with my snark. Oops.

    Also, #2? It happens to me ALL THE TIME. I remember I was one of the first people to read The Dark Light and I was so blown away by it and other readers I recommended it to didn’t enjoy it as much as I did and I felt terrible for recommending a book that had the flaws they found with it. I think our enjoyment of books stems more from personal attachment than a critical eye, though. I know for that book, the MC and I just clicked so nothing else mattered. And I think the fact that you can read negative reviews for books you loved and acknowledge the flaws is amazing. I know so many readers who can’t stand that other people don’t love their favorite books and then attack other reviewers, so your mentality is perfect. Don’t feel dumb because it happens to all of us. Trust me. <3

  15. Thank you for posting this! I’m new to book blogging and I’ve felt the same insecurities. I haven’t reviewed many books (yet), but the ones I have written about have been pretty positive. It made me wonder whether or not people would find me credible. But like you said, I think it’s just a matter of knowing your own taste in books. Besides, who wants to read a book they know they won’t like just to balance out all of the positive reviews? Life’s too short to (purposely) read bad books!

  16. I don’t review books on my blog or anything, but when I read a book and decide I really love it then read a critical review of it, I feel the exact same way. Am I stupid for liking this book? Then I feel stupid for feeling stupid. Books are written to be read and interpreted however you choose to do so, and if I like a book, I tell myself I’m creative for seeing something where someone else didn’t.

    Thank you for sharing this with us, Jamie! I truly understand how you feel.

  17. It’s so interesting that you mention you get self-conscious about liking so many books, because I get self-conscious when I feel I don’t like ENOUGH books. Lately I’ve been having a string of 1 and 2 star reads and feeling really self-conscious about it. I feel like I’m pretty moderately critical– I know a lot of bloggers who are more critical than I am and many who are less, and that’s what works for them and this is what works for me. Like sometime I look at people’s average rating on goodreads and I have friends whose average ratings are in the high 4.0- somethings, and I’m a little jealous because I feel mine is so low. I give my reviews according to my opinions and I in no way feel bad for that, but I DO have insecurities surrounding it, especially when I don’t like books that everyone else loves. I worry that people will think I’m being picky JUST to be picky. I know it’s silly because I’m not really even THAT picky of a reviewer. I give out 4-stars more than anything, it’s just I’m also not afraid to give out 1-stars.

  18. I am so glad you wrote this post! You put into words exactly how I feel about these things and it’s kind of nice to read the comments about other people feeling self conscious as well. I have a tendency to post positive reviews and even when a book’s kind of not working for me I’ll try to find something positive in it. The reasons that stopped me from not finishing it. But I do get super self conscious and worry about what other bloggers think. Anyways, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one.

  19. I completely agree with your second point!! My best friend is one of those people who notices all of the plot holes, illogical moments, etc., and when she points them out I always feel like an idiot. I am so happy to realize that I (I’m also an English major!) am not the only one who doesn’t always notice these things. Thanks for sharing, great post! 🙂

  20. I agree on both points immensely! For one, I think I might be too critical and people will wonder IF I LIKE a book I read! I admit to not reading blogs where the blogger either only has positive reviews or simply states what they didn’t like the book. While I understand that that is their choice, I like having a good mix of what did and didn’t work for the reader, very much like how you review.

    The second one is something I’ve currently been thinking about. While I was looking through GoodReads, I read a review for Throne of Glass and I felt utterly stupid for not realizing a lot of what this reviewer said. The majority of the things she mentioned where things that usually bug me a book so that was a major fail!

  21. I think that being a blogger, or at least reading other people’s blogs, has helped me to like more books because I know that I’m choosing books that I WILL like, rather than books that I’m not really sure about. My friend asked me once how I always lend her such great books, because she’d been to the bookstore and was so overwhelmed by the selection, so she’d decided to just strictly read the books that I lend her. (Made me feel SUPER good when she said that!) I told her about reading blogs, and looking at reviews on Goodreads, and realized that I love almost all of the books that I read now, just because I’m so careful about what I pick up, and I’m almost always reading books that my favourite bloggers have raved about, or a book by an author that I’ve already read and loved. So it’s an almost win.

    But I still totally hear you on that “why is it always five stars” thing. I don’t think your reviews ever come across that way. I’ve even seen you review a book that you really loved, but you’ll always still point out something that wasn’t quite perfect if it resonated with you. The always five star people that irk me are the ones who just gush senselessly about every single book. Like every single book was beautifully written, the best book of the year and the new favourite book of all time. It’s fine to love every book that you read, but at least you don’t mushy gush over everything. I like your reviews because they’re REAL and I can really feel that it’s your thoughts on the book, not “oh, I got this from the publisher, so I’d better POUR ON the love.” Does that make sense? I’m a little sleep-deprived =P Oh, sigh. Perhaps I should log off the computer and just go read. 😉

  22. Why are you so good at putting into words the thoughts I have myself? I ALWAYS feel like that joker who likes every book…and like you, I can kind of predict what I’m going to like, and I only ask for ARCs for things that I absolutely, definitely, OMG-need. Which means that there are a few stinkers on my blog, but the majority are, like, 3.5 stars or higher. Which I worry about ALL THE TIME. I totally worry about not being critical or literary or analytical enough. And I totally worry when the review is personal or just not very good, even though we had this discussion on Twitter about being overly personal…

  23. It’s really admirable how honest and open you are in your blog posts! I think everyone gets insecure blogging sometimes- you’re putting your thoughts out there for the world and thus making yourself vulnerable. I LOVE your reviews because they’re honest and thoughtful. Don’t worry about writing a literary analysis!

  24. Hi Jamie!
    Your reviews always help me out to decide what I should read so keep up the good work! I just wanted to comment that sometimes I feel stupid after reading other reviews, too (not that I write my own–they stay in my head). I love goodreads, but it sucks when I really love a book and then I go scope out what other people think about it and all the little things I didn’t notice are pointed out. A lot of times I will agree and my overall rating of a book will be lowered. It kind of takes away from that awesome feeling that lingers after reading something really good and makes me wish people weren’t quite as critical sometimes!

  25. “2. Sometimes other blogger’s reviews make me feel STUPID” <—- OMG yes. Me. All the time. Sometimes I'll be like, "Okay, this book didn't totally wow me, but I was still interested." Then I go read other people's review and they reveal this character flaw and that plot hole and I'm like "OMG YES! But wait…….. I didn't put that in my review……. I didn't even notice it until you pointed it out! FAIL!" I get so self-conscious sometimes that I didn't remember ENOUGH. But then again, if I take a step back and look at the so-called "big picture" or what I'm really going to remember about the book, it's the overall feeling. When it comes down to it, I just have to go with my gut! Always awkward when someone else's reviews make me start to question my own review though…. I guess that's part of reading reviews! You DO get different opinions. You're likely to see things you didn't before. Even still…. Can't help feeling a tad bit dumb sometimes though for not seeing it myself 🙂
    Sorry. See? Rambly today.

  26. As a new blogger, I’m still trying to strike a balance between reading for pleasure and reading for my blogging “hobby.” At this point, I don’t feel like I can DNF because – yes, I admit it – I’m afraid of having my blog filled with glowing reviews and being labeled as some kind of reading Pollyanna, or worse, insincere. Also, since publishers don’t know who I am, I don’t want to get put onto some DNF-er blacklist with all of the books I request from NG and EW. I feel like I HAVE to finish those, even when I realize early on that a book is not for me. I have the idea that it’s worse to request a book and DNF with no review than it is to muddle through and write a scathing review. But I don’t know if that’s true or not! I tortured myself this weekend with a boring book just because I requested it, and I feel like it’s my obligation to review it.

    As for your number 2 comment, yes! I feel that all the time, including when I read your reviews. 🙂 I just hope I improve in time while maintaining my own voice.

    Stephanie

  27. I definitely feel self conscious sometimes about liking too many books. When I started blogging I think I was more critical but I started to realize what books weren’t working for me and started being more selective about what books I picked up. Since that point I’ve found I’ve been writing more positive reviews than negative. I also think this is partially due to the fact that I started writing more and I am quicker to notice things I admire in another person’s work now. If that makes sense? Like I’ve put so much work into my own novel and it’s not even close to finished so I have so much more respect for those who have finished.

  28. I can relate to both of these, but I’m the opposite of your first one. I don’t know if I’ve been in a slump or what, but I’ve been rating most of the books I’ve read in the last couple months 2-3 stars. There are some 4 stars, but only a handful of 5s. With the amount of time, I invest into reading, I want to love everything I read!

    I definitely feel the same way with #2. I try not to read reviews of books I plan on reviewing until after I write my review, but sometimes I read it and am all “Why didn’t I think of that?” We could have the same thoughts, but the other blogger just worded them better. Drives me crazy! lol

  29. Yes! These are two of my biggest insecurities when it comes to blogging. I don’t mind as much anymore that I write mostly positive reviews because in all honesty – I’d rather read an enjoyable book rather than one I didn’t like. Does that make sense?

    And oh my goodness, other bloggers reviews! There’s a few bloggers who I read their reviews and I’m kind of always blown away at all of the things they notice and then I start to feel like I’m being unobservant, but then I have to remind myself that I read and blog for fun, so I shouldn’t feel insecure. I mean it’s blogging not an AP exam – I don’t need to worry too much about it. (:

    Great post!!

  30. This might sound a bit weird but I am so impressed with reviewers who are able to write negative reviews about books I adore to pieces but it’s so entertaining that I love it. How do they do that? ;__;

    I totally share your feelings on your points. I know quite a few bloggers who posted about liking books and positive reviews and there is definitely no need to feel bad about that. What’s the fun in reading and reviewing books you didn’t enjoy? I am currently in a slump where I disliked or was disappointed by every book I picked up and it sucks. It’s a horrible feeling.

    I feel a insecure when I read insightful, well written reviews but then I remember everyone’s different and that’s the fun in reading reviews. My biggest insecurity is when reviews are concise yet it encompasses everything I felt for a book but it took me like 400 more words to say it. I guess writing better will come with practice, at least that’s what I hope.

  31. I haven’t written reviews for that long and writing reviews is when I feel the most self conscious so I try not to read any reviews before I’ve written my own review of a book. Some bloggers write really good reviews and I can be like I wish I could have worded/written it that way. Some people write a short one, but it already gets the feel of the book while I myself write a long one and it just feels like a lot of blahblah or there are some details they’ve picked up and I haven’t even noticed it. But I try to think that everyone writes differently, some just have the skill to write good reviews/stuff that goes right through. I guess it just takes practice.

    About number 1, I think it’s totally fine that you like those 5 or 10 books in a row. I have the same feeling about picking up good books because I rarely find myself reading a bad book. I’ve started to get selective with which books I’ll read because there’s sooo many books out there and not as much time. I only put books I know I’ll like and most likely buy or borrow from the library on my to-read-list.

  32. Jamie, I also tend to give mostly 4 and 5 star reviews. But the reason for this is pretty simple: I am very carefully about what I choose to read. I only WANT to read good books, so I research them a bit before I buy or request an ARC. Of course the not so great books can sometimes fool you, but I’ve been pretty lucky. Maybe you just have great skills at choosing the right books!

  33. Wow, what an interesting post! I feel the exact same way, too. Sometimes I feel stupid also when a book I hated someone loved and is praising all over the place.

  34. 1. Never feel self conscious about liking most of the books you read. First of all, your reviews are awesome and I think most people know that you don’t like everything. Second of all, as someone who is a critical reader, I love reading your reviews and I never once thought you were too lenient. Even if you were, your blog is awesome and you should do what you want. End of story.

    2. Dude. You are totally not stupid and your reviews are totally helpful. And I’ll let you in on a secret. I feel that way ALL THE FREAKING TIME too. I love the scholarly reviews and I wish I could do that but that is totally not me. So I’m trying to give over it. All of our reviews are helpful for different reasons. I review most of the time from an editing perspective and so, people that like that type of review will find it on my blog. Same as you!

    Love this post though You really have been pouring out your feelings lately, and I love it! <3

  35. I don’t think there is anything wrong with liking most of the books you read. I am pretty good at picking books I know I’m going to like. Sometimes I get fooled and other times I know I’m not going to like a book and still read it or the entire trilogy kicking myself the entire time. I feel like I am the only person I know who doesn’t like the Fifty Shades trilogy. I used to feel dumb when I missed major plot flaws or historical inaccuracies or other reader criticisms but I remind myself I read for enjoyment not to pick something apart. I like bloggers who like books. I’m looking for lists of recommendations not what to stay away from. I’ll figure that part out on my own.

  36. Oh man, I can totally relate to this post, Jamie! With your first point, it’s usually the opposite though—I have this crazy habit of not liking everyone’s favorite books and I get SO SCARED that people will think I’m a jerk and put me in the metaphorical corner with my nose to the wall. I hate disappointing people.

    And by extension, when I love a book, it’s usually one that lots of people hated, so I’ll read their reviews and feel like an idiot.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  37. I know I’m a day late to this post, but I’m so glad you wrote it and I’m so glad I found it, because I feel like it was written just for me. I have these same feelings. I rarely ever write negative review or rate books below 3 stars, and I think large part of it is just that I’m good at choosing books that I think I will enjoy. And if I’m NOT enjoying a book, I usually just DNF it and then don’t rate/review it. *deep breath*

    And other people’s reviews making me feel stupid? Uhm, yes. Very much. I mean, I could elaborate but I’d basically be writing a paragraph very similar to what you wrote in your post. Those kinds of reviews make me feel like a complete amateur, like wow, I can’t even READ BOOKS correctly, because I totally missed all of those problematic aspects. *shiver*

  38. I never thought other people felt this way too!

  39. I’ve also gotten pretty good and only picking up books that I’m going to like. Sure sometimes I’m wrong, but the blogosphere makes it pretty easy to filter books once I know I have similar taste to someone else. That’s one of the things I love actually, since I’ve been reading so many high quality books lately and it works for me!

    I have always liked your reviews, so don’t worry about the kiddie pool. Maybe you are there, but so am I and a lot of other bloggers and we get to splash around 😀

  40. I’m the same way! I see people talking about how they don’t trust bloggers who only write positive reviews or who write a string of them and I’m like ‘since when is it a bad thing to actually like books? Isn’t that what we’re aiming for here?’ Of course we’re not going to like EVERY book we read, but sometimes you get on a roll, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes I feel like I may be a bit lenient with my reviews – I don’t nitpick and I don’t dissect, so if I enjoy a book, I rate it accordingly. I’ve written my share of negative reviews, but for the most part, I think the majority of mine are positive. And I’m not padding them or lying or making stuff up, I’m just being honest. Like you said, I think I’ve gotten to a place where I know what I’m going to like based on past experience, what friends are saying, etc.

    Also, I feel like an idiot sometimes too when reading reviews and it’s like ‘uhh that meant something else? Oops…duh’. Again, I read for pleasure, not to pick apart a book, so I know I shouldn’t feel bad, but sometimes I’m like ‘did I even read the same book?? Where was my brain?’ So yeah…I think we all get that way!

    ~Marie @ Ramblings of a Daydreamer

  41. I’ve never really had to deal with the first thing that you’ve mentioned. I actually always get excited when I read a lot of good books or books I’ve liked in a row! It always feels like a winning streak to me, and I get fearful of losing it. Honestly, I choose the books I read – and I happen to choose books that I feel will appeal to me, or will be something that I’ll enjoy or like. It’s not surprising when something like this (reading many LOVED books in a row) happens then!

    In fact, I’d kind of expect it for myself. I don’t, however, like every book I read. Just want to make that bit clear. There have been books that I consider duds or didn’t like as much as I’d hoped, honestly. But I would rather they are far and few between, and that majority of what I read is what I liked.

    Even though I don’t encounter number one, number two happens often. I sometimes feel silly about liking books when other people analyze them and get critical in their reviews. But then, I tell myself, that’s the best part about book blogging. Not only do we have different tastes, I can LEARN from these other people and the things that they know about books. I commend anyone who is extremely knowledgeable about books and settings and the like, and enjoy seeing what they have to say, especially when they point out something I don’t notice.

  42. I really love this post! There are times where I’ve written a positive review about a book I’ve absolutely loved, then have to resist the urge to go back and tweak it when I find out that everybody else didn’t like it. The worst for me, however, is when I’ve read of book I know everybody else is crazy about and it just didn’t work for me. I feel like I’m perhaps being a little too nitpicky or something. It’s agonizing, especially when it’s someone you really admire in the book blogging world sharing a contrasting opinion.
    Oddly, I take great comfort in how many people responded to this post because that means we are all self-conscious, so that takes the pressure off a bit ha ha.

  43. I TOTALLY feel the same and it’s really annoying. Last time I put a review of Before I Go To Sleep online, because I REALLY liked the book and wanted to recommend it to others. And then I read a review on Goodreads telling me that the whole plot is unrealistic for a number of reasons and I though “wow, she’s right”. But anyway, I liked the book, so there’s nothing wrong with that, right?

  44. I read a book once, and I was like “man that . . . was stupid” and I was sort of confused and then I noticed the same book had a bunch of reviews that said stuff like “This book is amazing and so deep and clever and it really made me think” so I do sometimes wonder if it’s me (but I’m pretty sure it’s the book).

    Also, there’s someone I follow and for every NA book she’s all TWENTY SEVEN STARS FOR THIS AMAZEBALL DEEP BOOK, and I’m like “right.” But not for you, fret not! 😀

  45. Oh, I often feel the same way. I also get really self conscious when I find myself liking a book that everyone else seems to hate. I feel like I missed something the rest of the blogging world didn’t and that I shouldn’t have liked it.

  46. Thank you so much for doing this post! As being a new blogger to the book world I’ve become on high alert and i have been feeling for self-conscious about my reviews and generally my blog. As there are so many of us out there and so much more with higher credibility it can be quite unnerving.

    I totally agree on both points, in fact, tomorrow i’m posting a review on a book i’ve recently got my hands on and i personally loved it but then I just happened to take a look at what other people thought and i’ve found that the majority was quite negative and personally some written reviews quite harsh. That itself makes me question whether if I write a good review that if authors and other blogger think i’d fall into the category of writing good reviews for the sake of it.

    On the second point is probably one of my highest anxieties. I actually take around 3-4 hours on writing a review (and they’re probably about 500 words), I was never great at writing and actually failed English in my school exams. So when I see bloggers with such complex reviews i think it makes mine sound so blah!

    It’s actually great to know we’re not alone in feeling like this 🙂

    Georgie @ What She Reads

  47. I agree with BOTH your statements. On the first, I just..I don’t know, I like books and have the ability to get into them easily. I very rarely abandon. A friend of mine has to abandon a lot of things, I sink in easily. I can usually enjoy almost any book. Most books I read I end up rating at least 3 stars.

    On the second, I agree too. I don’t reach political and war stuff much, I find most of it just boring, and my brain won’t catch on because it’s not interested and not trying. A lot of reviews I read people know all this history, key players, technical terms, I’m like – Oh, what a cool book, I enjoyed it! :p

  48. I’m totally with you on both points. I rarely write negative reviews as I enjoy 90% of the books I read. As you pointed out, it’s mainly because I know what I like by now, so I can usually tell by the synopsis and/or cover that I’m going to enjoy it. I’m not going to deliberately pick books I hate, that would be crazy! I think of myself as a pretty easy-going person all round. I like most foods, most movies, most types of food, most books. Even if a book doesn’t rock my world I can usually find something about it I enjoyed. Otherwise, if it’s really awful I probably won’t finish reading it. So I totally know what you mean.

    I also get the second point-it’s probably why I don’t post so many reviews. I often think, ‘what’s the point of me writing a review as everything I want to say has probably already been covered’.

  49. Sarah Clare says:

    I know I can feel like this too. Sometimes I browse the blogosphere and then click back to mine and think ‘what the hell are you doing?’

    And it’s as you say- the longer you read books (and write about them) the easier it gets to spot the titles that you know you will like and those you know you wont.

    I was recently trash-talked because I was honest about a book- I wasn’t cruel. Just honest. And nice about it too as I explained what didn’t work for me. But the harassment I received after made me feel like I needed to completely reassess my blogging policies.. when really I should have told my antagonist to reassess their piss poor attitude.

    Phew! Sorry for exorcising a few demons there.. :s

  50. Yes, soo so sooo yes. Really I think what it boils down to is there are major pros and cons with book blogging. The Pros, lots of access to early awesome sounding books and a fun community to interact with (when some boogers aren’t being crazy) and seeing neat things about authors, disccusions, interviews. Con’s – the cliques, the drama, the false expectations, the ‘you’re doing it wrong’ feelings. Sometimes thinking about it all and thinking about the negatives makes me want to quit blogging.

    I often wonder if I’d still be able to get the books if I didn’t review on the blog anymore. I mean how much is it worth it to them for me to have this blog and post the review there when its more likely to do better if the review is posted to a site like Amazon or BN or where ever else.

    I hate it that people are so judgmental. There is so much of that sometimes that it really discourages me but then I just have to try to think about all the positives and marvelous friends I’ve made. Just read for you and write about what you enjoy, let the naysayers go chew on rusty nails.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I’m much more  likely to talk more in depth about all the reasons I like a book though like I admitted here I’m not the most scholarly or whatnot in my reviews. Overall I think this is a positive thing […]

  2. […] Jamie talks about feeling self concious about blogging sometimes! […]

  3. […] Jamie talked about how the book blogging community can make her feel self conscious sometimes. […]

  4. […] Page Turner) had an amazing post on why she gets self conscious sometimes. I absolutely loved this… and I feel the same […]

  5. […] not a natural reviewer  like some of the bloggers in this community (seriously I feel self conscious sometimes) so I’d like to not keep wearing that hat. Book reviews will still be written but sometimes I […]