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The Hate You Give – Community hate speeches and my reaction to it

(How did Bookstagram change your life?

Tell me in the comments and let us spread some well needed love!)

“Intentions always look better on paper than in reality.”

Hello my avid readers and bookworms,

I know there are quiet a lot of bookstagrammers right now talking about that topic. But I couldn’t hold my voice. This is not only about the Guardian article or the Vulture one. This is not about all the hate Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas (more about that down below) received this year. This is about why we should take the words Angie Thomas wrote in a full book to heart and stop putting hateful speeches at each other at all! 

“The Hate You Give”

I don’t want to misuse Angie Thomas voice for black people for my blogpost. These are entirely different topics and I know that. But her words are so entirely true for a lot of problems going on in the world. So I wanted to use them to express how I feel about hate in every given situation.

@Me_and_orla ‘s and @theslowtravelers pictures were used for the most hateful online newspaper articles this year and I can’t even comprehend why someone would use their art to spread so much hate and missunderstanding about a million people heavy community. They were one of my first inspirations when I started using Instagram daily. And they don’t deserve this at all!

These People, who are often outsiders or missunderstood in the real world and found a place online. A place where they could just be theirselves and talk about the things they love. They don’t deserve this hate. But instead of reporting about all the terrible stuff happening in the world or about topics so important like voting, Trump, Brexit or any other catastrophe we have to endure right now. Instead of using that range these newspapers have to spread knowledge and hope. They decided to spread hate over a whole community who gives nothing but support and love to each other. 

Even some authors jumped on the train and hated on us bookstagrammers and I was like: “What???”, because they clearly haven’t understood the mechanics of the book industry and haven’t realized that we are the people who promote and spread the words about their goddamn books! Instead they called us:

“These people are beautiful literary hermits, dammit, Brontë sisters wandering the wild moors of the inside of your iPhone, seekers of beauty and truth and a shit ton of unearned likes.”

Thanks – no thanks, no applause for insulting other people anonymously.

And the funniest about that? – In the end they were surprised that giving hate transformed back into to getting hate. What a surprise isn’t it?

I don’t want to add to this hateful speech. First because others responded in witty, salty and way better articulated blogposts than I ever could (read more of the down below and support them) and because I wanted to choose a different way.

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

So instead of writing a whole article about their hate. – I decided to write about why we should stop spreading hate and instead spread some love!

So let us focus on the good things that Bookstagram made!

When I found Bookstagram I was more than relieved. “I am not the only one” – was the first thought I had back then. It has been a year since I joined the community and I am so grateful I did. I found friends and books through this platform and managed to double my “books – read – in – a – year” – count. I’ve read 112 books this year so far. And minimum half of them I found through Bookstagram and learned to love in an instant. I often don’t have time to scroll through all the new releases on book depository or keep the release dates on track in my calendar because I have damn 45 hour work week. So I am more than grateful for all these people putting work and effort into photographing ARCs and books I haven’t even heard of, giving me mini reviews and star ratings so I can decided in an instant, which book I’d like to read and which not. 

Some of my best friends on Bookstagram have originally the exact same taste in books like me and I can instantly buy every book they present as a big Like on Instagram. I trust them that much and was never disappointed! Thank you Joyly and Elena, Jessica, Clara and so many more!

Bookstagram gave me the strength to quit the job I hated and search for a one I would really like. It took me half a year and some really hard month – but in the end I found a job I happily wake up for in the morning. And I am very grateful for all the people who supported me on this way online and always gave me new hope to accomplish my dream.

The Community

And then there was that thing called “fandom” and it sounded outlandish to me in the first place. But when I got what it meant I was the happiest person in the world. I was not the only one falling in love with Will Herondale and wanting to marry Daemon Black in another life. There were people like me and they lived in these magical fictive worlds just like I do. But when I saw how they sometimes attacked the authors for something they couldn’t control (like movie adaptions and book covers)

I was upset. It was the first time I questioned the community and wanted to speak up. But I did not. I just searched for people who weren’t full of hate and followed them on the bookish journey. Whenever I’ve met hate and distaste anywhere I’ve deleted these persons from my feed and life. We can not stop people hating on each other, but we can speak up and make a difference!

Bookstagram rescued me in many ways. And I don’t care if anyone out there thinks I am dumb and am using my books only as a backdrop. Anyone who carries so much hate in his or her heart, that he has to unleash it on a whole community, only deserves my pity. But that big online magazines like “The Guardian” are driving the same lane is just lame and sad.

the unnecessary discussion

We’ve had that big discussion about the guardian a few weeks back, when they released that article about instagram influencing the publishers and cover designers and it was just as hateful. Let me tell you something: I am a designer myself and hell yes I care about if people like my designs and think them “instagrammable” or not.

We do not simply influence the publishers to act as we will it.. They just aren’t dumb. They know how much influence the internet and photography holds today and they jumped right up the train with their special editions and beautiful covers. Do they sell more books because of that? Probably! Are we readers happier when our books match our living style or feed? You can bet on that! So no one suffers, everyone is happy (excerpt the Guardian it seems) and there is no use for all this finger pointing and bad talking.

Why we do this

I am a bit of minimalist (read more about that topic here) and hell yes I am buying books because of their beautiful cover and there is no shame in that. I wear Dr. Martens because I think them comfy and cool. I wear dresses because they just look beautiful and I love love love everything white and autumn colored – so why the hell shouldn’t I judge the book by its cover? Why shouldn’t I judge instagram posts by their lightning, their composition and their individualism? Humans all over the world are suckers for the aesthetics, so why stop at books and photography. 

Can a body builder not like to dance ballet? Is a judge not allowed to like bloody action movies? Is a waitress not allowed to make her doctor in medicine? There are no boundaries in our world for any passion we have – and there shouldn’t be in the future. 

I am a bookstagrammer with a degree in design and I am not ashamed to post photos of books I haven’t even read yet!

How did Bookstagram change your life?

Tell me in the comments and let us spread some well needed love!


If you want to read more about the Guardian article and how the community held together, head over to these Blogpost by my dear blogger friends:

Are Bookstagrammer just showing off how many books they have by Bronte Huskinson (@bookishbronte)

Bookstagram, we have been unfairly attacked and here’s my reply to each and every one of the comments (reaction post to The Guardian’s article on book covers & social media)

Smut, wingspans and shame. Let’s talk about sex in literature (yeah, and the soap debacle)

In defence of “book selfies”

View this post on Instagram

It’s no secret I love books. I like having them round the house, like to look at them, and, a bit oddly like to smell them. Believe it or not, I even like to read them. But sometimes I lay out my books, arrange coffee cups on top, lie on them, and take a picture – for no other reason than I think it looks pretty. @vulture and @guardian believe taking pictures of books is an annoying new trend. They think it's "anti-intellectual." They even featured articles about it (linked in my Stories). It doesn’t bother me to see my photographs talked about this way (and used without permission, I might add). Probably these people are just doing their jobs. Probably they know that this sort of stuff makes good click-bait, nothing more. And surely they can't really feel so personally aggrieved by a photograph of some books taken by somebody they've never met. But I've also noticed an annoying new trend. Us Instagram users are mostly women. Yet I'm seeing a lot of women, usually well-off, usually well-educated, telling the rest of us what we should and should not be doing. Instagram is how I make my living. It's how loads of us make our livings. For many more, it's a creative outlet, a bit of fun. This Insta-bashing trend is elitism at best and at worst a form of misogyny. People photograph books. So what? Better to take pictures of things you love than write articles about things you hate. Lots of love, Carolyn, AKA Inky Face.

A post shared by Carolyn (@theslowtraveler) on

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