Do we prioritize “shareable” reading? | Discussion

As you can probably tell from some of my previous discussion posts, I get a lot of my inspiration from Rosianna Halse Rojas, one of my favorite Youtubers. Early in March she posted a video called “The Currency of Sharing” in which she discusses our frequent desire to share everything we do online. Even more interestingly, she talks about how sometimes we may or may not do things based on whether or not they can be shared. The example she uses is going for a walk. Normally she would use it as an excuse to take a selfie outside, showcasing that she was doing something more adventurous than her average day job; however, on this particular day she decides to take a walk simply for the sake of being outside and getting some exercise.

Her video made me think about our desire to share what we read. This desire is incredibly evident when looking at things like Goodreads and #bookstagram (and even blogs like the one you’re reading right now). Us bibliophiles are constantly sharing what we read with others through quick Twitter updates, Goodreads statuses, longer reviews, etc. I’ve been blogging and using these sites for so long that it’s hard to remember what it was like to not keep others in the loop with what I’m reading.

Sharing what we read certainly has many benefits: it helps build book-loving communities, spreads awareness of great books, and can connect people with new friends, ideas, and perspectives. However, one can’t help but wonder if it also influences and sets limitations on what we read. For example, I’ve found that it’s surprisingly difficult to share the fact that I’ve read certain short stories and poems. There’s no Goodreads entry for individual Shakespeare sonnets or short stories by Kate Chopin.

Does this stop me from reading works that aren’t novels? Do I prioritize “shareable” reading? The unfortunate answer is: yes, occasionally.

Sometimes I feel trapped by the need to write weekly book reviews for my blog, convinced that I can only write reviews of full length novels instead of particular poems and stories. Of course, there’s nothing actually stopping me from reviewing or discussing these shorter works, but something about it just feels strange. Nontraditional. Different. It’s a mindset I hope to change in the near future, starting with a greater variety of reviews and bookish discussions.

What are your thoughts on the way we share what we read? Do you prioritize “shareable” reading? Do you review shorter works like poems and stories? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so please let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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15 thoughts on “Do we prioritize “shareable” reading? | Discussion

  1. I’d never really thought about this, probably because I’m not all that interested in short stories or poems or anything that might be less “shareable,” but this is definitely interesting to consider. Kind of related to this idea, I find myself prioritizing books that I know other people have already read or that a lot of people are interested in rather than only basing my decisions on what I personally want to read. I feel like talking about books that other people are interested in will generate more discussion or make my stats better or something. I don’t even know, haha. I kind of miss my pre-blogging days where I would just go to the library and pick random books off the shelves to read without considering if people would be interested in hearing my thoughts about it. I think we could all benefit from worrying less about how “shareable” our reading is and just read what we want. 🙂

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  2. I love this discussion. It’s so true. Ariel Bissett did a similar discussion on her booktube. People won’t read what they can’t put on goodreads. And It’s frustrating. You want to hit your goals and see those results. But sometimes a zine is what you need to be reading.

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  3. Very interesting post!

    I do love sharing photos of my books on IG and I love reviewing books on my blog and Goodreads. However, I don’t think that I prioritise shareable reading because I love old books that don’t have ISBN numbers on them. Even though I can share these books on Insta they never make it into my Goodreads challenge and I never review them on my blog.

    I don’t share the books I’m reading for my research either because I mainly research poetry and plays and it’s difficult to review them. I’d love to see people review poems and poetry collections so maybe I’ll start doing that in the future.

    I do agree with you though, shareable books are more appealing to pick up because you know that you’ll have great conversations about those books 🙂

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  4. Nice post, Holly. I do actually review short works like poems, novellas, and soon Graphic Novels. I think it’s absolutely ok (and great) to share what you read with others, no matter the length, etc. Sharing our thoughts on what we read, no matter what it is, is why we’re here in the first place! So share it up! 😂

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  5. I’ve never thought about this, simply because I don’t use Goodreads to track my reading. In fact, I don’t really track my reading at all. I dislike the feeling of turning reading into a competitive sport, when really it’s just something I do for fun! I do think though that book bloggers often keep in mind what kinds of reviews get the best visitor response , which can definitely impact their reading choices.

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  6. Gosh, I definitely am guilty of this. I pick up books to read based on their “share” factor. Is it popular? Will people care about it when I write a review? Is everyone recommending it? UGH. I need to stop doing that. I should read what I want! It’s just at this point it’s almost subconsciously. I don’t realize I’m doing it at the time until it randomly hits me that I haven’t read X book or short story or set of poems. Great discussion!

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

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  7. I have to agree, I do tend to prioritize shareable reading. There are free novel-length stories on sites like WattPad, there’s fanfiction, etc., and some of it is really good I’m sure, but I never bother with those things because I would feel like I wasted time with all that reading if I weren’t able to post it on GR or count it toward my goal. Which is ridiculous when I actually explain it like that since it wouldn’t be a waste of time if I enjoyed it, but I can’t help but feel that way. I tend to be a little more lenient with short stories since those take less time, I just don’t read a lot of short stories since they don’t usually interest me. Great discussion!

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  8. Totally agree to this and I think it’s problematic sometimes, at least for me. Like how I’ll be reluctant to read something old and obscure km my shelf because it’s only in my language (not English), unknown and thus not really shareable. It would be okay to read it and not share, but I have limited time, so reading something that I’m not going to blog about effectively takes away time because I’ll have to read double. #bloggerproblems, I know.

    So although blogging is lovely and I’ve enjoyed it all of the way, sometimes I remember the days when I could read anything and everything with no attachments.

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  9. I haven’t done that though. I only recently got properly into goodreads so till then I never tracked what I was reading socially. It was mostly done in a notebook or not done at all. But since I’ve started blogging I only share what is shareable. I do read individual poems but I don’t mention or share them. Maybe that’s an effect of this “shareability” too.

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  10. I like to blog some of my reads and sometimes use goodreads and like to chat on my book club on FB (whimsyandcosy) but i dont let it influence me reading – i read what i feel like reading and would be happy to review something that was poetry – but i dont read a lot of it!

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