Discussion: Is Blogging Making Us Shallow?



 A couple months ago, I saw a video on Youtube that was titled “Is Booktube Making Us Shallow?”  I connected with a lot of things that were mentioned, and wanted to share my own thoughts on it. I changed it to blogging because I feel like that’s an issue here.

Incident #1: I was reading my brand new copy of Winter at school the other day, and my desk partner got highlighter on it. He apologized, and I’m not upset at him, but my first thought was: I want a new, perfect copy. Immediately after, I realized how terrible that was, and suppressed that thought, BUT IT WAS STILL THERE, in a tiny dark corner of my mind.

Isn’t that awful? It’s a tiny spot of highlighter on the pages, but I wanted a new copy. When has it turned from what’s inside the book to what the book looks like? Isn’t about the story the book contains?

When I was younger, I didn’t care what my books looked like. I cared about the words inside. Now, it’s hard for me to even lend them out, because I’m worried about them being damaged!

Incident #2: I was out taking pictures for my bookstagram account, and had a stack of books in my arms and my camera around my neck. I ran into a table (I’m very clumsy), hitting the books and camera on it, and my first instinct was to check if the books were okay. Not the extremely expensive camera, the books. (Both are fine, by the way.) I was worried that the books were damaged. “They won’t look pretty in pictures or on my shelf if they’re damaged!” That was my first thought. It’s embarrassing.

Before blogging and bookstagramming, I didn’t care what format my books were in. Hardcover, paperback, mass market paperback… It didn’t matter to me. Now, I try to only buy hardcover, because they “look better”- on my shelves and in pictures. When did the format of my books matter to anyone but me? Hardcovers are double the price of paperbacks- but I buy them anyway, because I like them more.

Dog earing of pages- I’ve never done it. Even before blogging, I didn’t do it. But did I care what others did? No. Now, whenever I see someone dog earing a page, I get upset. Why would they damage a book that way? I have to remind myself, it’s their book. They get to choose what they do with it.If they ripped a book to pieces in front of you, you could do nothing about it, because they bought it and it’s not up to you. The same goes for people who write in their books. Do I still hate it when people do either of those things? Yes. Very much. Why does it matter to me? It’s not about what it looks like, it’s about what is inside. But is it, anymore?

Do we, as bloggers, think someone is better than someone else because they have a hardcover or keep their books in perfect condition? Do we buy our books in hardcover so we can feel above someone who has the book in paperback? Or so it looks better?

I think I’m guilty of being shallow when it comes to books. Are you? Do you think blogging is making us shallow? Do you think this is an issue?

Thanks for reading!



30 thoughts on “Discussion: Is Blogging Making Us Shallow?

  1. Oh my! I was led here after reading a post on @hermionefowl (… I cannot tell you how much this resonates with me right now. I think since I started really blogging and Instagraming my books, I started to get obsessed with covers and the conditions of my books. I recently purchased the anniversary edition of Twilight. I ordered it online because it was a lot cheaper. When it came, the cover had a very small tear. I returned it the same day I received it. I went to B&N and told the sale assistant that it was new and wanted to look as such. He was totally understanding and said he would have done the same thing. But, I don’t know, now I think about it, it’s a little silly. Plus, I’m always trying to make sure all my books are cohesive in a series.


  2. I actually don’t really care about the physical form of my books? I buy secondhand books all the time and I prefer mass market paperbacks than hardcovers unlike a lot of Booktubers and book bloggers. But I can see where you are going, because there are also times when I’d choose to buy a different type of book cover/edition even though it’s more expensive just because it’s pretty.


  3. This was a really intriguing post to read! I can definitely see where you’re coming from about wanting books to look pretty on the shelves. I can’t speak for others, but I wanted my books to look pretty/have matching editions/be perfect, etc. even before I started blogging, but that’s just because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. But I’d definitely say it impacts the blogging sphere as a whole, because I think pretty/professional looking bookshelves = a “professional” blogger. Thanks for writing this, it’s really made me think about this topic!


  4. Ah Ava thank you so much for this post; it speaks to me so much! :’) I’ve noticed this problem myself, but it’s been sitting at the back of my head not really being noticed. I totally agree with you on this although even before I started blogging, I tried to keep my books in pristine condition.


  5. This is interesting!
    I do feel the same way!
    I admit: I have manyyyy books in paperback, which I hate to show to anyone.
    But, after reading your post I don’t feel the same way =D
    I is proud of meself and i shall be uploading them as well in my blog =D
    Thanks a tonne for giving us something to think about 🙂


  6. Such an interesting topic! You’ve inspired me to do my own chatty post about this, but from a different point of view. (I’ll give you credit, of course.)

    I do agree and understand where you’re coming from, but I do see this in a different way.

    Yes, I love books and I want them to be perfect and beautiful, but it’s due to the beautiful words on the inside that make me fall in love with the book as an object. If I don’t enjoy a book, I tend not to care about it as much (as in physical condition).

    But I don’t care for my books for anyone else – I do it for myself.

    I love reading, and therefore I love books. I buy more hardbacks, but because I think they’re pretty for me to look at, rather than because I want to take nice photos of them (although I do that, too).

    But I only want them to be beautiful because I love them, not for anyone else or any other reason.


  7. I completely understand & agree with everything you wrote about, but I do view it in a different way.

    Yes, I have been buying more hardcovers since I’ve been blogging & instagramming, but not because of other people – because of me.

    The thing is, books mean so much to us because of what’s inside them, and that makes us love them on the outside, too. In the end, I think we’re all a little shallow when it comes to this – but only because it’s our passions.

    It’s what we love and we think books are beautiful. I don’t have any shame in that.

    Love your blog by the way!❤️


  8. I think that, for me, I prefer to buy hardcovers because they are better quality (and because of its prettiness, but mostly about quality). The thing is that, it’s in human nature to change by discovering new things. We discovered blogging, and it changed our life, completely. And that way, our way of thinking changed completely. I think that when we check upon our books, is that we care for them. These books are lives written on papers by black ink.
    Your post is lovely, it’s so unique of you to think of that, Ava.


  9. This are very good points, I guess I have been guilty of caring a little too much sometimes, but I buy hardcovers because I prefer them and I wish I did write in my books but I always forget while I’m reading lol… So I think it’s very good for us to be aware that reading and collecting books is for individual preference and we should just do what we love without worrying about what other people thing. Thank you for writing this out 😊 Love it ❤️


  10. This is a really interesting post. I can relate to everything you said. I care a lot if my books are in good condition and I didn’t as much before (I still cared a little). All my older books have cracked spines and that only started bothering me last year…


  11. This is such an interesting post! I know I’m really picky about how my books look, but I don’t know if it’s to do with blogging. I have been buying a lot more though, because it feels embarrassing to go to the library because I can’t afford new books. I have to check out that video, this post has really made me think 🙂


    1. I can see where you are coming from. I’ve been there myself. But I think the beauty of this community is not really about the pictures. The pictures are a stimulus to share a communal passion for books.

      I didn’t realize until I became a part of this community how much I craved having people who understand my reading habits. I wanted to share that with others and help encourage this crazy love of books that we all have.

      I try to remember that the motivation to help others want to read more or enjoy reading more is paramount. All of the rest is just what draws people’s eyes.

      Maybe finding what keeps you going outside of the quality of books because at the end of the day, books are really expensive, so buying hard covers aren’t always an option. Sometimes used books even have more charm in photos. They’ve had lives before… Like adopting a puppy. ☺️❤️


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