Some time ago, I did a post about the most proper Book Blogger Etiquette. Consider this post part 2.
For the most part, book nerds are very nice people, and one of the nicest online communities I have ever been apart of. But, because it’s the internet, sometimes you can be rude without realizing you’re being rude because you don’t actually hear yourself saying it. So, here are a couple of rules to follow.
DON’T JUDGE PEOPLE BY WHAT THEY READ
Look, we all have the one book we LOVE and are completely embarrassed to admit it. We know it’s horrible, but we still can’t help but adore it. EVERYONE HAS A BOOK LIKE THAT. Some people just don’t admit that they do. But if we all have a book like that, why do you judge people who actually admit that they love one of those books? We really shouldn’t.
So don’t. Look, it doesn’t make you better than someone else if your favorite book is A Tale of Two Cities or whatever and this other person’s favorite book is Twilight. That doesn’t make them less smart as you, or less of a book nerd.
ACCEPT PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON BOOKS
If you’ve been reviewing books on Goodreads for any semi-decent length of time, you know people can be less than polite if you give a one-star rating to their favorite book or a five-star rating to a book they think is the absolute worst book in the world. So you disagree with a review. This does not give you the right to call the reviewer an “idiot” or say that they have the wrong opinion. I follow three basic rules if I say that I disagree with someone’s review: 1)My goal is to disagree, not to insult, 2) Just because I loved/hated a book, does not mean that everyone has to love/hate it, and too keep that in mind, and 3) Never say anything that remotely resembles telling the reviewer that their opinion of the book is wrong.
IF YOU BORROW A BOOK, YOUR GOAL IS TO RETURN IT IN THE EXACT CONDITION IT CAME IN
There is nothing more infuriating than lending someone a book that’s in perfect condition and have it come back stained, ripped, bent, and just generally very used looking. So when you borrow a book, return it within about three weeks (same time frame as you would check a book out from the library), and in the exact same condition. If you need more time with the book, don’t ask for more time the day you’re supposed to return it. And if you do damage the book, get the lender a new one. And don’t skimp, either. If the book was hardback, get them a hardback, even if the paperback version is out. At the very least, get them a gift card so they can go and buy the new book themselves.
IF YOU GET A BOOK FOR CHRISTMAS/YOUR BIRTHDAY, READ IT
If we give you a book for Christmas/your birthday, we want you to love it. However, each time we come to your house and see the book, sitting sadly on the bookshelf, unread, or every time we ask you how you’re liking it and you say you haven’t started it yet, we get sad. Look, even if you DNF a book a hundred pages in, at least you tried it, and that is so much better than just leaving the poor little, innocent book to rot.
DON’T INTERRUPT SOMEONE WHILE THEY’RE READING UNLESS IT’S INSANELY IMPORTANT
You’re currently bleeding out on the kitchen counter and need us to drive you to the hospital for stitches? Important, and you may interrupt. There’s this really cute cat video that we should totally watch? Unimportant, do not interrupt (but email it to us).
AND, FINALLY, DON’T LIMIT US IN BOOKSTORES/LIBRARIES
We LOVE bookstores and libraries. But nothing ruins the magic of them like someone telling us, “you can only be in here for ten minutes.” Let us wander the shelves and choose our books in piece, and if you give us a time limit, we’ll probably ignore it, anyways. Also, if you’re in a rush, don’t follow us around the store signing and talking and complaining about how long it’s taking. That distracts us from the books and it’ll only take longer.
So, fellow book nerds! Is there any prime bit of etiquette that should be added to this list? Do you agree with the stuff on this list?