Understanding The Bookish Community: A Newbie Perspective (Merv @ Merv Reads)

Colourful On Pastel is a series of guest posts from fellow bookbloggers. The meaning behind the series name, is because my blog is made up of pastel colours whereas most other blogs are made up of strong vibrant colours. That’s how the name was born. Stick around for discussions from bookbloggers all over the blogosphere.

Eeeek, you guys it’s finally starting! Colourful On Pastel is finally here! I am still accepting guest post requests, but the slots are for 2019 now 🙂 If you’re interested click the button in my sidebar, to take you to the guest post form to sign up. Now, lemme hand you over to the wonderful Merv – who has a great discussion in store for us all ❤

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Clo recently made a huge series of guest posts, and I, as her self-proclaimed supportive bookish friend, hopped in. It’s pretty exciting! Thank you so much for this, Clo! I’d love to talk about everything but right now, we choose “Understanding the Bookish Community: A Newbie Perspective” as our focus. I believe that the first impression of the bookish community is critical in keeping, and may either overwhelm or underwhelm, the newbies.

When we say newbie, we refer to those bloggers and bookstagramers/bookish people, who have little to no experience in the community. Seeing those established readers, I consider myself a newbie. I’ve been blogging for nearly eight months now but it’s just a time frame. My experience is close to none therefore, we have this kind of post. We’ll go over with typical phrases the newbies may encounter themselves saying!

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“They are posting and reading so fast!”

Uhh, half yes and half no! Some readers read so fast; with more than 10 books read monthly but they do not ALWAYS read more than 10 books monthly. There are also readers, who read less than you may imagine, because that’s what they can read and what they chose to read. In some cases, a reader may be able to read more than 10 books but chose only some or none of them. Also, not every book read needs a book review. I had an epic bullet book reviews when I was a super newbie (like below three months) where I posted book reviews to each of the books I was able to read and ended up repeating the review content! No justice for the book.
I know, I know.

Do not ever feel that there is an on-going competition inside the bookish community because there’s none. You get to read, review, and post at your own pace.

purple dragon divide

“They all have book blogs!”


Not true! You are a reader, yes. You may review, yes. But you are not obliged to create your own blog just to review. There are different things to say about the blogosphere 1) it collects your thoughts and you’ll see how you’re growing as a reader 2) it is one step in establishing credibility 3) it may be a drag to your schedule 4) it may help you be more organized and balanced and 5) just let your blog grow.

Your blog is your bookish haven, and that’s why I love mine. They may interact with you through comments and links, but the full content will always be yours. It’s a good place to post your reviews but it’s not the only place. There’s bookstagram where people put their reviews just below a(n aesthetic) photo. Boosktagram is also upgrading because aside from reviews, book tags are also easier done over Instagram. There’s also goodreads where you’re able to rate, review, comment, etc. which is a bookishly useful place! Plus, you’re able to count all the books you’ve read in a year or in total. A blog can’t do that unless you put yourself in!

mugs divide

“Ohhh, she’s on instagram! And twitter! Wow, pinterest! Over on goodreads! With a blog!”

It happens, and we can’t deny that. And it happens because no matter where we are, we always talk about books. But being everywhere may make the newbies think that they should also be everywhere, which is not expected at all! As a newbie, although everyone’s everywhere, I say that choose the platform you’re comfortable with, focus on that platform, then expand later.

It’s also difficult to follow who’s who and who’s where. What I recently experienced was this: there was a reader who owns a bookish twitter and I’ve been following her for a while. All her tweets were interesting and I already know that her content is fun. Now, I do have bookstagram but I didn’t know that she wasn’t there. So, when the news came that she started her own bookish feed, things went pretty thrilling! It kind of blew up (at least that what it seemed to me) and yay, she’s now doing great over twitter and instagram! Also, she’s a reader who joined the community before me. She didn’t start everything right away (there’s also nothing wrong with that) and she’s doing great with the platforms she’s in right now.

At the end of the day, you may try to juggle with all the platforms we have but that could be exhausting.

purple dragon divide

“They are so not approachable… oh noes!”

Another NOPE. Readers are the loveliest people you’ll ever meet! We know nothing about one another but at the same time, we agree on bookish things. One DM and we’re good, the next DM we’re truly fangirling! That is what’s happening. Especially on twitter.

Oh gosh, twitter. Isn’t it terrifying to have low count of followers and you have a tweet you wanna reply to but you see that the person who tweeted has tons of followers so you just don’t know what to do? Well, here’s what you would do: 1) let their follower-following count silence your thoughts 2) see their tweets + replies and know that they are actually chatty! and 3) just talk to them because why the hell not? Okay?

mugs divide

“What if I’m not welcome?”

I have a series of questions to counter that:

“Do we share the same amount of love for books?
Is your love for books greater than mine?
Do you try to read whenever you have time?
Do you feel happy when you see books?
Do you wanna ever talk about books?
Is talking about books exciting you?
Would you be thrilled if somebody’s in the same fandom as you?
Do you adore people who read?”

Are your answers almost all yes-es? If yes, then you are so welcome! As long as you love books and reading, you are already embraced by the bookish community. Bonus is if you know how to respect in general –the readers, bloggers, bookstagramers, authors, the book itself, fandom, blog posts, opinions, etc.

purple dragon divide

So, did this post help in putting you at ease? I hope it did! Being new to something you love might make you anxious and re-check everything you’re gonna do. You may be afraid of taking huge steps, where you could make mistakes but remember that you are in a loving community. If you need someone to talk to, there’s always someone who would love to hear you out and help you. Just be there and let everything fall into place, okay? Once again, thank you Clo for entrusting me this topic! It is surely nice to have these thoughts out there.

pink dragon divide

Wasn’t that a great discussion? I think so, it certainly made me think about my own experiences when I first joined the community over a year ago now. If you want more of Merv, check out all her social links below along with her blog link! Thank you for reading, Merv you smashed it so thank you for writing this post for the start of my series ❤ 

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26 thoughts on “Understanding The Bookish Community: A Newbie Perspective (Merv @ Merv Reads)

  1. What a wonderful blog post. I’m pretty new to the blogging community (started a month or two ago on a different platform and recently moved over to WordPress) and I’m still slightly terrified by how inadequate my posts seem to be! But I’m trying to comment on as many things as I can, write as many posts as I can, and hopefully make a few friends! This post helped me to remember that we all start from somewhere, so thank you 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post, even for those not that new to blogging. I admit, sometimes I feel overwhelmed when I think of all the platforms I think I need to be on to promote my blog and myself. I just prefer to stick to the blog and use the others occasionally.

    I do think some book bloggers are inapproachable, but you have to recognize the signs. If they never respond to their blog comments, then it’s a turn off for me if I’m decided whether a blog is worth a follow. There’s nothing worse than a one-sided discussion, so I’d say be wary. There are a bunch of amazing blogs in the sea where the bloggers will actually converse with you ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a nice post to read if you’re new. But also if you’ve been in the book community for a while. I’ve been reviewing for 4 years but just created a blog and it was SUPER intimidating at first. I felt like I didn’t know how to make blogging friends like I knew how to make friends on Goodreads. It is different here, but people are just as accepting


  4. Oh dear, I feel the reading SO MUCH. How does anyone read that fast??? I guess I’m a slow reader? My internship is definitely testing my reading speed though. Maybe by the end of this I’ll be a fast reader and knock out a book a week or something. I joined Instagram way later than when I started blogging, haha. Definitely agree it’s exhausting and there’s nothing wrong with not joining a platform right away. It DOES help build a following though, and I think a lot of people will say it builds a sense of community.

    I completely agree with approachable – back when I started, there were FEW book bloggers and OMG they felt really big to me? They had hundreds of followers (despite the few months difference to almost a year and then some) and it just felt DAUNTING to speak to them. (Still is.) 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful post, Merv !!

    I so thought some of thoses.. like the first one. Most I get read per month is three books, and that’s fine ! It’s an upgrade from my one in a few months.. i’m back on track! not where I used to be, but getting there.

    I still don’t have an instagram. and honestly ? I dont think I will .. Im mostly just making myself mad at the pictures ahah as it doesn’t seems “as good” as the others’ ; so i’ll stick with Bloglovin’, goodreads and tumblr (book only), with my twitter whom is both me AND my blog.

    I truly loved this, made me feel so much better; you have no idea ! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such a charming guest post! I totally agree that I was SO intimidated to talk to bookish people, especially when I was a newbie. Everyone looked so cool and intimidating! But bookish people are so sweet. TBH? Maybe reading has made us all amazing and open-minded people. 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I had been blogging for years before I realized how friendly and welcoming bookish community was. I have been part of it only for about 10 months now and I cannot imagine blogging without them. Even when I am on blogging / reading slump I hop on to others’ blog for inspiration and motivation.

    Great post Merv!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can relate to this post so much! I have had a blog for I think more than two years now, but I haven’t posted on it consistently due to hiatus for school work. As I slowly get back into it, falling into these sentiments can be too easy. It’s nice to know that there are other bloggers who share the same feelings!

    claire @ clairefy

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve noticed that I started reading much faster since I started blogging, but it was a gradual process. At first it was about normal, but then it just kind of… went up 😀 and I didn’t even notice. Then there were the readathons. I’ve been blogging for two years now, nearly, and I feel like I’d love to go back to the feeling of freshness, cause I see so many things differently now.

    Liked by 1 person

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