I Knew I Had To Stop
When I knew my place in the book world wasn’t working for me anymore I just ignored it. One might ask why but that’s not a truly easy question to answer. I didn’t want to believe that I could feel such apathy towards something that I felt saved so many parts of me. I didn’t want to believe that I felt like there was no place for me. I didn’t want to believe that I just lost enjoyment in reading.
I felt so indifferent to the book world. Part of that might have been my own bipolar tendencies acting up, but I think a lot of it actually had to do with the community. I don’t think we as a community has been able to go a full week without some kind of fight coming about. Justified or not, and I know that’s a matter of who you ask. I just got so tired of seeing so much negativity and I knew I needed to step back.
I was also angry. Angry that we felt like we needed to defend ourselves so much. Against each other and those who would look down on us for what we chose to read. Or having opinions about certain books or tropes or what have you.
I was so lost
I don’t think I ever felt like there was a place for me in the book world. Yes, I loved chatting with all the new people I met, and the authors I befriended. But neither of those things really made me feel welcome.
The book community is so full of cliques and other types of groups that it’s so hard to even get someone to talk to you at times. We all say that we will be there for each other but when it comes down to it, I don’t believe it. Yes, I think some people will be there for those they’ve become friends with, and I have seen people rally around others, but in general? It’s just not something that I believe. Most of the community has led me to believe it’s just not true.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a very pessimistic personality at times. And that’s probably exacerbated by my own experiences, from seeing people not be there when I was a child, to the way I know I was complicit in my marriage’s demise, but it’s still there. It’s something I struggle with daily. But I don’t know if it’s truly part of the reason why I felt so lost.
Reading became a chore
I hate to say it, but it’s true. Reading lost it’s enjoyment for me. I felt like it was something that I had to do. Something that, if I didn’t do, I was useless. There was no need for me to even be in the community anymore. I got hooked on the feeling of being able to get advanced copies of books, and if I’m being honest with myself, books I didn’t even want to fully read. I just wanted to be able to say I got them.
When I think of how much I used to love to read, how much I lost myself in the stories I loved, I feel sad. Sad because I miss that feeling. I miss being able to go into a book with fresh eyes, of seeing myself in a character, or multiple characters. I was reading because I felt like I needed to get that review out, and I suffered for it. My reviews suffered for it. My chance to share books I truly enjoyed suffered for it.
I refuse to allow myself to feel these things again. That’s one reason why, when I do start to put reviews out, I’m not following a schedule. I vowed to myself not to request all the books. I’m going to form my own niche on Twitter. I’m just going to be me.