It always happens with me that I don’t have Internet access exactly when interesting stuff happens online. The recent fuss about Goodreads’ new policy (or whatever it is) is one of the recent things that I caught up with days after the bomb exploded.
But let’s start from the beginning of my online-shelving history and then get to the whole migration point. I started using Goodreads in January 2013 and it quickly became my favorite social network. Then several months ago I very randomly found out about Booklikes, registered and loved it as well. If I have to be completely honest, I’ve been manually importing books, reviews, etc. from GR to BL whenever I had the time, so I’m definitely not one of the new users here, but I don’t consider myself very active or 100% sure about what and how I’m doing it here.
Although similar in a lot of ways, both platforms have significant differences which, for me personally, make it really hard to decide which one I like better. On one hand, I have my GR friends, some sort of an existing network of people I enjoy communicating with that really make my GR experience a pleasant one. On the other hand, however, BL, with all of its fancy blog features, takes expressing your love of books on an entirely new level.
I’ve been part of both platforms for a while now, and don’t intend to quit any of them since they give me slightly different experiences that I really enjoy. Still, I feel a really strong need to express my opinion on the ongoing migration from GR >> BL. That’s not in any way a bad thing, but…
I’ve never enjoyed censorship. However, neither do I enjoy harsh tone, offending random people on a personal level, solely based on their work (in author’s case books) or any other type of written word. So yes, in a case where people offend authors, because they simply didn’t like their books, I cannot help but agree that this is not cool and I do not support it. Especially in a community where there is a really big chunk of people present solely to hate-read (I believe this “term” doesn’t need an explanation). It’s ok guys, it can happen to anybody: You read a book, you really hate and you want to share with the world that this books might potentially be a disappointment to other readers as well. This is perfectly fine. What’s not perfectly fine, however, is intentionally reading stuff you’re pretty sure you won’t like, and then express your opinions in a harsh tone, targeting your hate to a person who simply realized in words an idea they had in their mind.
I don’t want this blogpost to become a mile-long stream on authors, how they write, publish and whatever; want I want this post to be about is very simple: Regardless of the platform you’re using, bullying other people (both reader>>author and author>>reader) is not cool and should not be practiced. Whether you use GR or BL is inconsequential because, regardless where you are, you are there because you love to read and communicate with people who share this same passion. Whenever you come across something you don’t like, feel free to express your opinion and “warn” other potential readers, but don’t behave like where in the stone ages throwing rocks at one another. Don’t turn reading into a hate sport, into a competition for likes, reblogs, whatever. Don’t care about things that aren’t important, care about the books–that’s what you initially came here for, right?
If you’ve read this whale of words thank you and sorry if it sounds really random and stupid. If you haven’t, enjoy your stay here and happy blogging/reading!