Don’t Judge a Blogger by their Cover

 

I’m kind of obsessive sometimes. See Turtles All the Way Down for an extreme version of my brain. Anyway, sometimes I read something that bugs me and I just can’t. Stop. Thinking. About it. It’s not like I’m getting mad or holding a grudge or anything, it’s just like this annoying pestering itch that I won’t go away no matter how much I scratch.

A few months ago I read a tweet that said something like “If I see a blogger that only reviews books about cis people I just can’t take them seriously.” At first I thought, Okay, fine, you’re entitled to your opinion I guess. But then, like I do, I kept thinking about it. And the more I thought about it the more annoyed I become.

Because if you were just to glance at someone’s blog you might think they don’t read any books with LGBTQ rep. But maybe they do! They might not be as widely recognized as, say, Simon vs. the Homo Sapians Agenda, but they’re there.

Here are some of the books I read in 2017 that you might not know had LGBTQ characters if you hadn’t read them:

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The purpose of this post isn’t to say “Look at me! My blog is soooo diverse!!!” or to say “Stop telling people they have to read LGBTQ books!” or anything like that. My point is just that if you’re only taking a five second glace at someone’s blog or reading list and making a snap judgement about them you’re doing that blogger a disservice. Especially if you’re making blanket statements like “I only follow if…”.

Bottom line, it is your prerogative to only follow people who read books with strong LGBTQ rep if you want to. Or POC rep, or female author rep, or whatever. It’s your life, you read what you want to read! But I would strongly encourage you to actually read (or even just skim!) a variety of a blogger’s reviews or posts before you decide not to follow them. The titles you are less familiar with might be hiding some books that have the representation you’re looking for, and could be a great way to expand your own library.

14 thoughts on “Don’t Judge a Blogger by their Cover

  1. RIGHT ON! I love this because it is so true. I personally dislike fantasy but follow a lot of bloggers who read and review fantasy because I have discovered books that contain other representations that I DO enjoy thanks to their reviews of books that weren’t originally on my radar.

    We all work hard to inform each other what lies within the pages of any particular book. We owe it to those bloggers, and ourselves, to read reviews of unrecognizable books (or ones that we think we know about) to find those hidden gems!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I totally support this. We can’t ever truly know if one blogger only reads or enjoys one certain genre or type of book unless they flat out say they do, or if their book blog has a genre theme. We should all be giving each other a chance and getting to each other as readers and not judging each other’s tastes by only a couple reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tweets like the one you mentioned make me grind my teeth a little. Honestly, I just choose to do what I’ve always done- which is read books on different topics and from different perspectives. I don’t tend to talk about it on my blog nor do I try to point it out unless it’s relevant, so like you said, you can’t know that there’s representation there a lot of the time (but personally I think making representation just be a seamless part of the book is how a lot of books should be- Renegades is a great example of what I mean there). Obviously, people can do what they like and follow whoever they like, but I feel like it’s taking rather a narrow view to make assumptions that someone’s not reading “diversely”. Anyway, great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think my favorite thing about how well Renegades included the diversity is that she never like, SAYS anything about it. She’s just like, two dads, and moves on. Honestly, I even remember being confused about that at first because a mom was also mentioned, and I didn’t know if there was a surrogacy thing or something because she didn’t SAY. But instead of making a whole big thing about it she just let it get explained as it naturally came up. And even by the end of the book she still never used the word gay. I think stuff like that is super important for normalizing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, most of the books on that list I didn’t know would have LGBTQ until I read them either! It’s part of the reason I don’t decide what to read based on a set criteria, like representation. Evelyn Hugo, for example, bloggers have really gone out of their way to keep the LGBTQ bit a secret because it could potentially spoil the book if I say anything more than just it’s in there. I would have never read it if I only read LGBTQ, you know?

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  4. I don’t understand why there was any need for them to comment on what bloggers read? If you read the books they read, follow, if they don’t then mind your own business. Time is precious, you can’t ask/demand other bloggers (passive-aggressively, in fact) to read certain books otherwise you’re mean and don’t support the LGBTQ community. It’s just immature and illogical behaviour.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very well stated. I read books that sound interesting, regardless of the diversity within the pages. Yes, I do appreciate there being a nicely balanced diversity in what I read, because that is the way the world actually is, but I don’t read any one thing exclusively. I read fantasy and contemporary and sci-fi and romance, and I don’t care if my characters are cis, LGBTQIAP+, or whatever. I just want good characters and a good story.

    Liked by 1 person

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