This week’s writing prompt says, ‘Describe a time when you faced a dilemma and how did you deal with it?’ I started blogging a couple of years ago and now, out there is my book blog established with a niche audience. But when I introduce myself as a book blogger, I feel a certain dilemma on how I should define my writing or the nitty-gritties of blogging about books. So this post had to be about the dilemmas of a book blogger.
Dilemma 1: To Review or Not to Review
I receive many emails each day from new authors, indie authors, and publishers with review requests. I am very clear inside my head about the kind of books that I love to read yet I feel sad whenever I decline a review request. Most of the time, the request is from a newly self-published author and I genuinely support the independent authors but there is a limitation. Sometimes the thin line between a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ is simply about the time at hand.
Dilemma 2: Should I finish the long list of ARCs or read the other book that I really want to read?
I think every book blogger has a mountain of ARCs awaiting them, either in paperback or digital format. Well, you would say a book blogger is one who loves to read but the dilemma is would you read what you love to or would you read to recommend someone on what to read? I try to balance between reading the books that I really want to read and the ones I receive for review.
Dilemma 3: Reflecting on my Reading Goals
Most of us begin the year with a reading resolution. I do that too and somewhere around the first quarter begin to regret not being able to reach the set targets. At the beginning of the year, there is a clear defined TBR but then new books based on recommendations and review copies just add up. The TBR goes for a toss and while looking at my reading goals, I am not sure if I could even get done with re-reading one classic.
Well, I can weigh down this year’s low achievement on the pandemic but then that would just be an excuse. Have I become a slow reader during the pandemic year is the new dilemma that constantly struggle with.
Dilemma 4: Should I rather be Reading than Writing?
Am I writing more than reading? Yes, dilemma number 3 takes me to dilemma 4 because if I am not achieving my reading goals then I should concentrate on reading more than writing. This takes me to another dilemma…how often have I posted on my blog this year or submitted my writings to journals and magazines. Perhaps one should define the optimal level of reading and writing for a book blogger!
Dilemma 5: After posting every Book Review
While reading the book, I keep notes or highlight the best sections. In my head, there is a strong narrative stating how the book has worked or not worked. The problem arises once I begin drafting the review and by the end of it, I feel as if the tone has become either too strong and a bit mild. If I mellow down on the negative ends, I feel bad for the book that read better but was rated less by me previously.
Dilemma 6: Should I buy books online or visit the bookstore?
A book blogger hoards up books and that means buying, collecting, borrowing, and receiving ARCs. When I am online looking for books to buy, I am thrilled with the discount options but then I regret missing out on visiting the bookstores. The experience of physically holding a paperback, collecting them in a bag, and reaching the counter is simply divine. But then…you pay more! Dilemma, dilemma.
Dilemma 7: Tackling the ‘Did Not Finish’ Shelf
I guess you don’t need to be a book blogger to suffer from this dilemma. Any book lover would understand the difficulty in putting down a book. Earlier I was someone who once committed to a book ensured to read it cover to cover. I am a changed person now and deal with the dilemma of choosing to either continue with the drudgery of reading an uninteresting book or to shelf it.
Dilemma 8: While Recommending a Book to Someone
There are good books and bad books but that is purely based on my liking. For a review, I turn into this impartial reviewer (or at least try to when I write) but recommending a book to a friend or a relative is loaded with emotions. And, at times I regret the way I summarise or pitch a book to someone as if I just made the book less appealing or over rated the book or gave away too much of the plot in my enthusiasm.
Dilemma 9: Promoting the post on Social Media
Hashtags confuse me…it is hard to learn how the world of hashtags work! I am always in a dilemma on how to frame an appealing tweet with proper hashtags and tag everyone to promote a review. Always wondering if there was a glitch with the way I composed the picture that now shows smaller or with some error when I share on social media.
Dilemma 10: Book or the Movie
The ultimate dilemma to deal with is – book or the movie. I do give in at times to the temptation and then regret the fact that I loved a movie so much that I missed out on an incredible book. I still hate myself for watching ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes. Even while watching ‘Mrs Dalloway’, I kept telling myself I can read Virginia Woolf. ‘To the Lighthouse’ was an uphill task but I should read her once more!
A dilemma that bugs me every time I am reading is to either use the highlighter or mark the important pages or write the best lines immediately on a piece of paper. This dilemma has made me buy a variety of highlighters and a couple of journals of varying sizes. Yet, it is dilemmatic when I am with a book and come across a brilliantly written line.
Now that I have finished writing the post on this prompt, I am in a dilemma if I should actually go ahead and publish it or should simply press the delete button.