Discussion: Real Bookish Life vs. Online Bookish Life

Posted January 13, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 36 Comments

book·worm /ˈbo͝okˌwərm/ 
Noun.  1. A person devoted to reading.

Y’all, I am a Bookworm. 

If you’re reading this:

1) You probably totally understand. 
2) You might be one too. 


Being so attached to books and 
the characters
the settings
the stories inside of them, 
you totally understand why 
need to be able to talk about books
all the time…
…or at least be able to talk to bookish people, right?
These things need to be discussed!

~there’s just something about having reading in common~

So, what I don’t understand is…
…where are all of my real-life bookish friends
I know I have some

I talk to one of them almost every day. 
We text about books constantly.
We squeal over plots 
release dates
and all that stuff

basically the same stuff I do with all of you

But where are all of the other ones? 

Where are the ones
 that send the emails, texts, facebook messages, etc.
looking for book recommendations or 
to tell me they loved a book I suggested? 
(Don’t stop! I love it!)
They are EVERYWHERE but my blog. 
Are blogs intimidating?

There is an odd, distinct break between 
my real life and my bookish life
It overlaps only slightly…
…there are about six or eight of us…
When we see each other in real life 
the talk inevitably will turn to books.
(Don’t get me wrong, the overlap is glorious.)
But with everyone else, that is not the case.
Why is this so? 

Why do I have to reach out to the world to fulfill my bookish 
fist pumps (b/c they DO happen)
and occasional tears?

I’m just curious. There’s nothing wrong
with my IRL friends not following or using the blog. 
It’s their choice. But everyone is welcome: 
~people I know and people I don’t know~
I wonder if this happens to other book bloggers?

Y’all if it weren’t for my blog and Twitter
I would be a lonely, lonely soul. 
I’d still have my friends, 
but nobody to talk to about the books I love the most. 
It’s sad & silly & happy
all at the same time. 

It’s just odd how there is a dividing line
in my life when everyone that knows me
knows the bookish part of me. 


What about you guys

How does your real bookish life compare
with your online bookish life

Do you talk more on Twitter, etc. about books
than you do with real, live, in-front-of-you people? 

I’m curious! 
Talk to me!! 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


36 responses to “Discussion: Real Bookish Life vs. Online Bookish Life

  1. If we only lived close to each other…LOL
    I have it really good because my husband is such a book lover, and since most of my time is spent with my family, we discuss books all the time.

    I do have a few friends and family members that I talk books with and they may visit my blog but for the most part I don't think a lot of people in my real life even know I have a blog.

    Online I like Twitter but get shy and end up not using it as much as I should. I do however love blog hopping and commenting and learning from other bloggers that way.

    • Don't be Twitter shy!! Talk to me up there! I like it.

      My husband is a big reader, but he reads mostly Stephen King, which I do not. So our conversation about books is mostly "What are you reading?" and there it dies. At least he's reading though!

    • Rebecca and I don't really read the same things, but we will talk about what we're reading, explain the plots, things that are frustrating us, etc. 🙂

  2. LOVE THIS! I feel the same way. My bff reads but rarely do we read the same books. Recently she has read The Hunger Games, Between Shades of Gray and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close on my recommendation. She texted me saying she liked it and told me when we hung out about her feelings towards it..BUT it wasn't the same way that WE are here in the blogging community.


    • I have a few friends that are big readers – the gals read in print and the husbands read audio. It's fun at the dinnertable with everyone talking about books at once. The only bad thing is that they live two hours away so getting together isn't easy. But I'm thankful for them.

      I get TONS of emails, messages, facebook posts on my wall for book recs and stuff, and I'm SO EXCITED to share recs with people and I love hearing their opinions, although I hold my breath sometimes when I give out random ones in fear they'll hate the book. You're right though. It's a little bit different.

      AND I TOTALLY AGREE. You kinda rock. xoxo

  3. I have a few IRL friends that are readers. We talk about books occasionally, but only as a side note in the friendship. My BookishBFF RachelKiwi and I have been friends since high school and probably text on a daily basis about books. It's our mode of talking to each other about our lives. It's all related to our reading. And she's my only real life friend that gets that. So lucky to have her 😉

    But most of my book society happens virtually. And I'm happy with that too. How else would you have introduced me to Cat and Bones?! We certainly aren't going to run into each other at the grocery store or mall. Nope. Without the blogs we'd never have met 😉

    • Yeah, I've noticed that you have RachelKiwi up on the blog sometimes about things you've read together. That is SO AWESOME.

      True story, we'd have never met without blogs. What a sad, sad thing! Thankful for the online bookish friends!!! And I need to pick up more Cat & Bones, seriously. Every day I look at those books and pine away for Bones…

  4. I don't really have any reader friends. It makes me sad. One awesome thing about book blogging is that I've found lots of people to talk off (or rather type off) their ears about some really awesome books!

  5. Tee

    LOL…I agree with Meg I dont have any RL friends that read..why is that I wonder? When I am such a BIG reader. Most of my friends are music people, which fits in perfectly with my life, I believe in music as I believe in fairy tales. BUT I am the one who is riding in the concert with the book in my face, while everyone else is jabbering. My husband reads..but mostly military non-fiction…we are not reading friends LOL. I do have one girl at work that will read something I give her, but that is it. I wont complain tho, I have met the greatest people on my blog and on twitter, and they read the same things I do, so there is always someone to chat up about the hot boys, the gripping storylines etc…

    • Almost exactly the same here! Except my husband reads mostly Stephen King, which isn't my cup of tea.

      I agree that I've met the most awesome people blogging and on Twitter. Now why on earth do they all live so doggone far away? 😉

  6. I don't have real bookish friends! 🙁 I have two best friends and one of them rarely, RARELY asks me for a book or two but it's been a while. The other one, get this. I almost had a little heart attack — I was talking with her and my cousin (she's 15- knows about THG because the school is making some students read it — not her class; she read Trapped (the one were students are trapped inside school because of a snowstorm? — by the way, she hates reading but she told me she couldn't stop reading that one and I was so excited, maybe I'll have a real bookish person to share books and opinions with…) ANYWAYS, so we were talking about going to see THG when it comes out and my best friend was like, "What's that?" I was like :O (!!!) "It's a movie about that book right there on your right– the black one." Lol

    She does support my reading hobby though– she bought me a little bookshelf. Oh…friends… lol

  7. I have quite a bit of bookish friends. I was a nerd in high school and so were most of my friends, so like one of my best friends comes to book signings with me and I am constantly recommending books to her and she's recommending books to me. Then my other friend, male, is a big fantasy fan and has read the Hunger Games, but right now we converse about Game Of Thrones, because well, it's nice to talk about books in real life. Oh and my sister is a big huge YA fan, she actually read my copy of Pandemonium before me and totally gets on my Facebook and says HEY DID YOU READ THIS BOOK YET OMG YOU MUST READ IT. And my boyfriend reads too, but not much YA unless there are zombies. He will only read YA with zombies in it. I guess I am lucky to have some good reader friends IRL. But I love my blogger friends too.

  8. My life is a little bit of both! My husband is a reader, although we read some pretty different books. My grandma, my mom and my sister also like to talk about books, although not as much as I do. Then I have a few friends from high school who are readers that I talk to on occasion. I have some blog friends from Utah that I ended up meeting and now we hang out in real life. I still feel like MOST of my discussion comes from online, though — if I didn't have the bookish blog friends that I do then I think I would be too annoyingly bookish for my slightly bookish friends, if that makes sense.

  9. "…if I didn't have the bookish blog friends that I do then I think I would be too annoyingly bookish for my slightly bookish friends, if that makes sense." —> YES!!

    I think you make complete sense! I think you might be onto something there, friend. THAT is quite a profound thought, and probably very widespread among this bookish community!

  10. Ems

    YES!! I feel like if it wasn't for my blogging/Twitter/FB friends, I'd never get to talk about books at all!! (Except with Ashley, and I count myself lucky that we live in the same town and are related…so we get to talk all the time)

    Thank goodness for the web!

  11. Hmm. I have a few friends who "like" books but when I talk to them, they get this look that tells me to shut up because they would rather talk about meaningless stuff.

    Luckily for me, my mom is a huge reader like me and every time we get together, we share book lists.

    • I know that "look" well!!! That's so funny!

      Also, I think sometimes when I talk about books, I get a look that I'm coming off as pretentious because I read so much…if that makes any sense at all…which is so not true! I just want someone to talk to me!

  12. Most of my irl friends aren't entirely bookish, or very casually bookish, so I don't worry about it.

    What I can offer to the convo is that you provide a unique perspective that I LOVE hearing and I adore talking books with you. Always and forever.


  13. I definitely talk to my online friends about books more than I do my real life friends. That's in part why I started the blog! My poor husband was just not showing the appropriate level of enthusiasm for my love of young adult fiction, and never once did a SQUEE pass his lips. Travesty. My mom and mother in law both love to read and pounce on the recommendations I give them, but I still spend much more of my time talking to other bloggers:)

  14. Real bookish life consists of this: "hey, I read this book. Do you like YA? Sometimes I read that. You should read The Hunger Games."


    I downplay the fact that I am a reviewer in real life. It's sad. But it's true. Only a select few actually know what I am. I think I'd be a better person in general if I could unleash the full caliber of my bookish self to people I interact with on a daily basis

    • I read this comment out loud and laughed out loud, because your examples are so true-to-life. Then Mike the Hubby was all "What's so funny?" So I read your comment to him and he was like "What? I don't get it."

      THAT is exactly my point in this entire post.

      You are the best and you made me laugh so hard just now. If you could unleash the full caliber of Jen…well, then WHOA WORLD. That's all I'm saying.

  15. GREAT POST, BTW! Most people I'm close to know that I read, that I blog about what I read, and we will even trade books back and forth, or make recommendations to one another. My wife, of course (her blog), is a great sounding board, but we also have a real life friend/book blogger that we both talk to about books. My mom and my grandma both read, so I talk to them about books, too.

    I could literally talk for hours about books, what I thought about them, etc., and having the blog is my universal outlet for that. Even though I'm never sure that my thoughts are being heard (and as much as I should care that I have readers/followers/Bounders), it's all about getting it out there–freeing my mind from all the emotions, whether good or bad, that arise from a story.

    For me, being part of the community of bookish bloggers, posting reviews on Goodreads, tweeting about books, etc. is what it's all about.

    (and if you ever don't have someone to talk to, Rebecca and I are here for you!)

  16. Okay I have to make a list here. There's just too much to say.

    1. I have always thought it supercool that your followers are Bounders. Who on earth can compete with that? No one.

    2. Even cooler that both you and the wife blog. I can't even handle it. She is precious and I adore talking to her.

    3. I also could literally talk for hours. Sometimes I'm pretty sure I do, and I think it annoys people.

  17. My real life vs. online life is pretty similar to what you described. I have a few bookish friends IRL but they tend to be more casual readers. My reading experiences have most definitely been enhanced by online discussions and recommendations – I love it!

  18. I definitely talk about books more with my online friends, but I do get text from bookish friends IRL, too. And some of those IRL friends are my online friends, so the line tends to get pretty blurry (meaning I knew them IRL then we became Twitter friends).

    I also have a book club that I'm a part of (comprised of IRL/Twitter friends), and even though I don't go every month we still talk pretty regularly. About books. And jokes (about books). And plans for reading more books.

    Yeah I'm pretty spoiled rotten.

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