A bottle of nuances

I adore the title I came up for this post. I like how the title accentuates the vibe of the post. It adds flair, quirkiness, and drama. As I continue to ponder upon the title, my brain pings my consciousness with a question. Is it just me who chooses the title first before framing the post’s subject to fit the title? A typical approach would be to compose the post and choose the title. The beginning is the end. My approach is quite the opposite. The beginning is the beginning. That is how I prefer to write my blogs. How do I even come up with the title?

Honestly, I create my title based on what I read. I read a lot of fantasy and Greek mythology. Ooooo! Hey! As I mentioned Greek mythology, I can imagine “Warrior of the mind” playing in the back of my mind. Amazing song it is! The revelation of the name “Athena” in this song is just other worldly. If you are someone who adores Greek mythology as much as I do, you should absolutely listen to the song on Spotify. You will find it in the album EPIC: The troy Saga (Original Concept Album). Okay, now that the song has been discussed, let us get back to the title. For this post, I got inspired by bottled messages found by the sea shore as it explores what I found at the shore of bookstagram. Bookstagram is a vast ocean of bookish accounts. Once upon a time I had an account that belonged to this ocean. In my previous blog I mentioned my concerns with bookstagram which you can find in my blog titled “A namesake bookstagram account” This blog post is a follow up on how bookstagram altered my reading habits.

The influence of bookstagram on my reading habits is no less than toxic. As you continue to read, you may even listen to “toxic” by Britney Spears in the background. The following verse of the song explains how deep into the toxicity I was in:

“It’s getting late to give you up

I took a sip from my devil’s cup

Slowly, it’s taking over me”

Thankfully, I escaped before it was too late. After leaving the space, I am closer to my reading preferences than I have ever been. I am writing this to reflect on how drastically my reading preferences were altered. I hope that people who are already a part of bookstagram or who are planning to enter the space keep these altercations in mind and not be affected. The realizations came to me as a surprise and went unnoticed because they were bottled up. I refused to look at them. To me, they resembled bottled messages left unopened. I will be opening the bottle of nuances. Together, we shall unopen and explore the bottle. Grab a cup of chai and let’s embark on the ship of tyranny to explore true destiny. Cool caption, right? Hehe!!!

Speaking of personal preference, I read books because I love words. Words are enchanting and when used with the right sounds of our thoughts, each word transforms into a spell. As an occultist, I find words magical. Books are portals into the realm of magical words. When I read a book, I wish to savour the very essence of every page and every scenario. When I started using bookstagram, it gave me the impression of being a sluggish reader. In order to stay active, I forced myself to read 5 books a month wherein in reality I could only read two. Mind you, I read fantasy with a tonne of characters, a detailed setting, and difficult-to-follow events spread across a series of books. I focussed more on finishing the book rather than savouring the book. An added side effect of finishing more books was on posting reviews. More the number of finished books meant more reviews and page activity.

Alas!!! That was the first unrecognized sign of changing reading preferences. Apart from activity, I also struggled with engagement. Bookstagram is limited to books of select authors and genres. In all blatant honesty, most of the popular books are badly written with trash vocabulary, glorifying toxic relationships as romance and inconsistent character traits. Different people have different preferences. However, this is not to say that one dismisses the need to acknowledge a toxic relationship presented in a book as toxic. Instead, it is being sold as romance influencing the minds of many young individuals affecting their mental health and self-worth. Whatever happened to acknowledging influence in the name of consumerism and engagement. (I am scoffing as I type at this point.)  I am all up for reading what one likes. It is okay if one takes pleasure in reading about such relationships or contradictory character growth. However, to not point those out and to not mention that one must take it with a grain of salt is what bothers me. I have said it in my previous blog and I am saying it here again. Books influence mindsets. It is important to make the lines clear between fiction and reality. I don’t see that on bookstagram. The lines are blurred. *Sigh*

Whenever I am worked up like I am now, I like to listen to comfort chain by Instupendo. It is my go-to song that calms me. Okay, let us wrap up this point. I found myself reading genres that I do not enjoy just because of its popularity on bookstagram. I noticed that I was trying to read romance books, which I never do. I read historical fiction, classics, and horror whenever I need to unwind. I generally read them after reading a fantasy novel that had me completely enthralled. That was an obvious sign of altered reading habits.

Now, let us explore book buying habits. Prior bookstagram, I did not buy books unless I finished reading the ones I already owned. While being on bookstagram, I found myself buying more books than I read and owned more books than I could accommodate because bookstagram is so very based on stacks of physical copies. I do not know of any accounts that use only e-readers or audiobooks for reading.

All insights provided are based on my personal experiences and I do not blame anyone specific. In fact, I blame the entire community. I am going to say it. Bookstagram is BIASED. It only supports a select audience and genres. If you are someone who enjoys that, you are in luck. Otherwise, it is high time you reconsider why you wish to be on bookstagram. Thank you if you have read so far. Thank you for your time and patience. See you in my next blog post. Toodles!!!


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