Sunday, July 4, 2010

Why Blog? What My Peers and Family Don’t Understand

             For any other blogger’s out there, especially you book bloggers, I’m sure you’ve gotten this from at least one person, if not more. If you haven’t, I envy you (seriously, because you are lucky).

            “You have a blog? Why would you want to do that? Especially for something as lame as books.”
            I only told a few people in my life about my blog after it was started (and even then, it was months after), and one new friend I met in my first year at college really loved the idea of it, and sometimes she even visits. However, I’ve had a few friends who’ve mocked me for it. My friends and I joke constantly about anything and everything, but now I almost feel like making my book blog or my nickname (Lea is a nickname) a part of the joke is just going a bit too far since it’s so personal to me.  

            I blog because I love to read, and I never got quite the fulfillment out of books until I discovered the blogosphere. My reviews are my thoughts, and it can be hard sometimes to post a review because I’m putting myself out there. The blogosphere gives me a huge online book club that varies and has a myriad of ideas and opinions. We can all talk about whatever topics/books we want on so many blogs. I can’t get this kind of interaction with my friends or family, because they don’t read. These people I meet online, bloggers, readers and authors all hold meaningful places in my heart. I wish I could dedicate more time to talking to them. 

            To have people I consider friends, and good friends, mock me for it and joke about it, without even really letting me defend it, hurts. I can come up with a lot of reasons why blogging, and book blogging in particular, is useful and instrumental in teaching me about life and skills I can use.

            I’m learning how to network; how to contact someone professionally, with the right touch of impersonal writing mixed in with professional; computer skills, like using HTML; managing skills, how to prepare posts and decide what happens on what day and time; and so much more. Blogging is a lesson, and it’s one I enjoy. It is useful to me. 

            Even with my real name, I shortened it for my blog. Friends and family alike both seem to take great enjoyment out of mocking that (whether they realize it or not, they all use the same tone in their voices that sound a lot like mocking), and I never let that bother me on the surface until recently. YA Book Queen is a part of me, and I’m a huge part of it. I can’t change that, and I’m not ashamed to be Lea of YA Book Queen, book blogger. I know now that I would stand up any day, wherever, and say “I’m a book blogger, and I’m proud of it”. I have so much pride in myself for doing something so out of the box for me, something that can be difficult at times, and sticking with it, through the thick and thin. I have so much pride in all book bloggers, because some of them do amazing things beyond just review - like fundraising and donating books. 

            Honestly, it takes every bit of my patience not to retaliate with some witty verbal comment I spent time making up or even some quick remark that may be taken badly whenever someone makes a snide or mocking comment about my nickname on the blogosphere, or even the blog itself. There is a huge part of me that wants to be on the offensive and defend blogging as a positive thing, and that it’s nothing to be laughed at. There’s another part of me that hates to bring about verbal conflict, or encourage it. I've almost always taken the "Kill them with kindness" route, letting these things slide. 

Yet, I feel like blogging and my life itself has changed me to a point where I can’t let these things slide. If someone in my friends and family cannot respect this part of my life, then I sadly cannot respect them in return. When I started this out, it was just a blog, but now it’s something special.

With this post, I’m promising myself that I won’t let anyone mock my blog, my nickname, and my love for YA literature. I don’t need that negativity in life, and I don’t need those opinions poisoning something I love. It breaks my heart that it’s people I’m close to that commit the worst of these problems, because I know I would back them up in whatever they wanted to do, even if I didn’t understand it (as long as it’s morally okay, people, I’m not condoning stealing or anything illegal here). Right here, right now, I’m saying I’m Lea from YA Book Queen, and it’s okay for anyone to not like that or understand that, but I ask that it is and I am respected for this, and not mocked, because I would do the same for anyone else.

I’m a book blogger, and I’ve got no shame in that. =)


*For any regular readers, you know that this is a very rare post for me. I felt it needed to be posted, because I need a reminder for myself that this blog isn't a joke to me. I need something to look back on when I have doubts. I love my readers, and I love so many other blogs and bloggers. I think they have value, and to be able to run a blog is quite a commitment that should be respected, above all else.

** On a more happy note, Happy Fourth of July!!!


  1. I totally agree with you. I have no one in my life that I can really share my passion for books with, so it is really great to come home and know that there are thousands of people out there who love to read like me. Cause sometimes it feels like you are the only one. Congrats on standing up for yourself and your blog!

  2. Aw*hugs* I'm going through the same thing. But the bottom line is i love to read and blog! :D they'll just have to accept it because nothing is going to change. BTW you an awesome blogger! Like Mariah said Congrats.

    Have an great/safe 4th of July weekend!

  3. Want more do I have to say? You typed down everything I had. Totally agree. My parents have recently argued with me because of my grades at school and so they blame my blog for a part of it. But I know they actually support me when I'm managing it rightly and at the certain moment. I mean, I'm just a teenager and I can't dedicate hours and hours only to my blog. I also feel happy when I hear my older brothers, for example, ask me about how is my blog going and then read books that I recommend. But my friends actually never mention my blog, it's like it doesn't even exist. But they love to read.

  4. I've been blogging for a lonnnng time. Way before blogging was even known about. While I haven't gotten any remarks about book blogging (since a lot of people in my life don't know I book blog -- why do they need to know? They don't read anyway) I use to get a lot of crap about blogging.

    And the most you can do is ignore them. People are always going to make fun of you for something you do, they're just mad they don't have hobbies! Keep doing what you're doing if that's what makes you happy.

    But I do agree with you! If people can't respect part of who you are, you can't respect them back. I'm stuck in a situation like that right now and honestly, I wonder why I went so long with them disrespecting me!

  5. Oh Lea, you must be having such a tough time right now to post this.
    In the beginning when I first started blogging everyone thought I was nuts. Even my hubby who knows I am a nutty person thought it was just another one of my phases, my little obsessions.

    But now, he has realised that actually I am getting lots out of it both personally and professionally. I have organised author visits to my school from my blog, I have made a great friend who I now can share book events and things with, I have a whole network of people who shares my interests. I feel like I have an online family.

    I think you should tell these ignorant people how you feel and if they can't accept that you love to blog, then it is time to consider un-friending them. Life is too short to let yourself be bullied and be the butt of jokes. Your true friends will feel awful if they know how much they're hurting you. The others don't deserve your friendship. Stay strong and keep being yourself. You are a great and highly intelligent person. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

  6. I totally agree with you! There is actually only one person I have told about my blogging even though I've been blogging for a year or so. She was totally positive about me blogging since she also likes reading, and she otherwise is the person who is most like me I've ever met. And it is suprising since our friendship started like on April and she already knows things about me that people who have been my friends for years do not know.

    People at my school, even my friends, are people who care about trends and stuff. For them, blogging about fashion or something like that would be cool. There is this one guy who is HATE (I hardly never use word hate because it feels so permanent) who told me that "people who are stupid have to read to get smarter. I am so smart I don't have to read anymore". When we were on a school trip to London, he bought these massive amounts of booze. When I bought books and went to theatre with my friends he was like "so Milka, was it nice to hang around with the teachers? And theatre, who cares about theatre (we went to see Shakespeare). I would have written better plays that Shakespeare. And with that money you spent for books, you would have got a lot of booze with is a lot better". When he started to mock Shakespeare I just wanted to hit him! In Finland, the young people think that you need a lot of booze to have fun. I don't drink, so I don't really fit into the crowd. So you probably see now why I haven't told about blogging to anyone at school. That one guy especially would make fun of me ALL THE TIME.

    I been planning of telling my mom since she has been surprised about all the review copies I've got from mail. I've been just trying to explain something. I can't wait to get to university abroad (I am going to Scotland) where there are more people and they are more open minded. And I am planning to study English literature, when I think, someone can even consider that blogging about books is cool.

    My blog is one of the most important things in my life right now. I love reading and since I have no friends to talk about the books I read, I love to talk about them around the blogsphere. Writing reviews is something personal for me because I always relate the characters etc. someway into my own life; I try to identify with the story. I am proud about my blog and I love the people I have met around the blogsphere. So if someone cannot take that, I don't care. I am just trying to make my life easier by not telling since I really don't want someone turning something so positive and nice for me into something negative.

  7. Lea I agree with you totally. I have no one to really share my passion for books either. I enjoy reading very much. It is one of my favorite things to do. I am so very glad these book blogs exists. I am very impressed with what you accomplish in these blogs. I have even though of starting my own blog or writing. So keep doing what you enjoy the most. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. It only matters what makes you happy.

  8. Wow. I can honestly say no one's ever mocked me for having my book blog, especially anyone close to me. I couldn't imagine my friends, or my family, making fun of me for doing something I enjoy. Really, it's disgusting that your friends and family are doing this to you.

    What's a more worthwhile hobby? Going out and getting blasted every weekend? Hanging out at the mall? I'd tell them to fuck off. If they're going to mock you for doing something you love, mock your defense of it and think books are lame, they're not worth a shit out of a dog's ass. Really, anyone that thinks books are lame are losers. There's just no other way to say it.

  9. You're right Lea no one should ever mock you, and the fact that it's your friends make it even worst.
    My friends were kind of surprised at first that I add a blog, but some of them visit regularly and even my mom and grand-mom visit even if they don't speak a word of english lol

    It's really sad that you don't have their support =(

    Out of curiosity, what's your real name? i'm wondering what Lea stands up for? You don't have to answer if ya don't want to ^^

  10. How unfortunate, that this post became necessary. I think your blog is one of the better ones out there (and I must mean it, because I write for one, too).

    I encountered a lot of similar mockery in grade school for loving to read so much, but by the time I hit high school, the idiots found other things to make fun of. Reading became the last thing to mock, because all the pinheads were too busy wishing they could read as fast as I could (since they were seriously falling behind on their homework!)

    As they say in The Handmaid's Tale, "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum." (Don't let the bastards grind you down.)

  11. I am really sorry to hear that you are having to deal with people mocking you and your blogging. I agree, it is a very personal thing to put your opinion out there. Invariably, you'll have someone disagree with you, but that's the joy of opinions. There is no right or wrong answer (and your opinion is uniquely yours), and I think it's commendable that you are so invested in your blog.
    I, too, have someone (who I won't name) that ridicules my blogging and tells me that I shouldn't read or review as much as I do. She does not realize (though I've mentioned time and again) that I am making the contacts, friends, and relationships in the profession that I want to be a part of. (Ironically, she is a reader too.) Blogging is an extension of me, as I'm sure it is for you as well. When someone ridicules it, it does seem like they are ridiculing you. Don't be afraid to take a stand against them. Your blog IS an extension of you, and seriously? There are worse things you could be doing. Believe in yourself, and truly, if they were your friends and they know how much they are hurting you, they will stop. If they don't, then sadly, you may have to let them go... or tell them off.
    Know that you have all of us in the blogging community to help support you, and know that we'll be right there with you. Like BrigidsBest says, don't let them grind you down! :)

  12. sorry, that should say BrigidsBlest! :)

  13. I love blogging and am so proud. People are usually impressed when I tell them I'm a blogger.

    You stand tall and tough darling :) You rock!

  14. First of all let me say that I love your blog and your reviews! So don't let anyone mock you about it. You have a passion for books and if they cannot understand this, it's their loss! Don't let them get under your skin. :P

    In the beginning my sister asked me why I was blogging about books. She didn't understand the blogging thing and why I wanted to share my feelings about the books that I read with people on the internet. But now she does understands and she's very supportive.

    Keep blogging and stay strong! We'll have your back! :P

  15. Sorry you've caught some grief but Jake, Gregory and I support you all the way! We get come weird looks from people but since we have each other, we always have a close support system. Keep your blogging coming because we love to read your stuff!

  16. I'm in my 30s, so I no longer feel the need to justify the "coolness" of my activities to my family and friends, but if someone makes a joke about my blog, I just shrug and say, "Yep, I'm a nerd. So what?"

    Don't give up your blogging just because of insensitive comments. You have a huge, supportive network out here in the book blogging world. We all understand the obsession :)

  17. You go girl! This was such a positive and empowering post!

  18. Great post! I love the honesty. keep blogging and stay strong - you can do it! :)
    I haven't told anyone that I'm blogging, just because I don't want anyone to mock me..