Let's Talk About Reading: Thoughts on the Bookish Instagram Community

Hey everyone! Sooo I’m gonna be real with you all.I haven’t been reading at all lately.I know, I know, shocking news from a primarily bookish blogger, but it’s just the truth. However, the point in me making this post is to explain why I haven’t been reading a lot, as well as giving a few friendly reminders to people who may be experiencing the same feelings.

Allow me to paint the picture for you of how I came to this conclusion. You know those moments when you unintentionally space out and end up staring at something you weren’t even consciously thinking about? Well that’s what happened. I was sitting on my floor after doing some yoga and completely blanked. When I “snapped back” into the moment, I realized I was staring at my “currently” reading pile of books. (Emphasis on currently).

Then, I thought to myself “wow, these have been sitting here for at least 2 weeks without me touching them. I should just put them back on the shelf. I haven’t been reading anyway.”

That thought really saddened me, because my brain instantly went into that “you’re a failure” mode.I felt like I was letting someone down.After all, everyone knows me as a girl who loves to read, so why am I not reading? Why am I not embodying this title I’ve given myself? I thought about my bookish Instagram account that hadn’t been posted on since early last month and my Goodreads challenge that literally would’ve been done by now if I was reading at the same pace I was reading at this time last year. And those string of thoughts led me into a complete mindset of “I just suck at reading now.”

But then, I told myselfno.We’re not playing this pity party game today, Cierra. We’re gonna figure out why you’re feeling like this. And so, I pulled out my journal and started a stream of consciousness page related to books and reading. Once I was done, I sat back on my knees and knew exactly why I hadn’t been reading for all of this time…

I was putting myself under too much pressure.

Some of you at this point are probably going “Cierra…it’s just reading. Calm down.” Let me see if I can draw a relatable analogy. We all have social media, and we are all very dependent on it from time to time whether we like to admit it or not. If you’re anything like me, you’ve also had a moment when you’ve compared your content on social media to others and felt inferior. Inadequate. The whole “why can’t I be like that” spiel. Well, that’s what I was doing when it came to the bookish Instagram community.

Let me say this now:I love the bookish IG world. Seriously, it’s SO much fun seeing everyone’s very vibrant and colorful photos and getting excited about book releases and finding new book bloggers. But with every community, there is a “look”, “trend”, or “style” that a lot of people jump on and gets popular. What I was doing was comparing the content that I put out and my own personal reading habits to the content and popular reading habits of bookish IG. What I got out of the comparison was the mindset that I was not “worthy” of calling myself apart of it because my pictures “aren’t creative enough” and I “read way too slow and review way too seldomly” to be a book blogger.

So here’s the climax of this blog post’s story:I told myself those thoughts were totally wrong.

Sure, I can work on adding some more creativity to my photos, but that doesn’t mean the ones I take currently are bad. And yeah,I may not be capable of reading 5 books in a week, but I know that I truly absorb the messages of the books that I do read.

Here’s the thing: I am under no obligation to myself or others to be a “certain type of reader”. I am also under no obligation to myself or others to create photos that align with the “look” of bookish Instagram. As long as I read because I enjoy reading,I am a reader.As long as I blog because it genuinely excites me,I am a book blogger.As long as I am willing to spend $50 in B&N without second thoughts,I am a bibliophile.(Partially kidding on that one).

The entire world of literature is about be profound and unique…so why am I so busy trying to conform?

If you are/have ever felt like this before, just know that you are allowed to fulfill your bookish heart with whatever genre and at whatever pace feels right to you… just do your own thing

Thank you for listening to (or, I guess…reading?) my very confusing thoughts. Armed with a new mindset and a whole lot of new free time, though, I am expecting to make a full time return to this little passion of mine...at my own pace.

Two posts coming at ya next:REVIEW: The Memory Book ~ Laura Avery & REQUESTED REVIEW: Sea Breeze Academy ~ Bryant Loney (Out June 26th!!)

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