When I first started book blogging about two and a half years ago, I ran across so many terms that were unfamiliar to me. It was only after reading many blog posts that I began to accept these terms as “special” to the world of book blogging. This post is not based on any research WHATSOEVER, I have simply compiled a list of things that I’ve noticed that seem to be unique to the book blogging world. You might notice that I am not attributing these terms and ideas to any one blogger in particular, because who knows for sure where something started? If you are a book blogger and you know for sure that you “invented” an item on my list, then please tell me! So here we go: My top ten things that seem to be unique to book blogging:
1. The “Meme.” OK, memes are not unique to book blogging, they’re everywhere, but I had never run across this word until I starting reading book blogs. When I first saw the word on someone’s blog, my reaction was “what the hell is a meme?” According to Wikipedia, “A meme (/ˈmiːm/; meem) is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena.” And for all those of you who may be as clueless as I am, “meme” is pronounced MEEM, not MEM (which is how I’ve been pronouncing it in my head!) We’re all familiar with popular book blogging memes such as Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday (and these are just two of the many out there). I believe book blogging has taken this word to another level and created a unique concept that is instantly recognizable.
2. “Insta-Love.” As bloggers review more and more young adult novels, some concepts seem to raise a red flag more than others. Insta-Love is one of those flags. In general, Insta-Love is frowned upon and hated by just about every blogger I know. It seems to occur more often in YA books, probably because of teenage hormones run amok. Why do we hate Insta-Love so much? I hate it because it feels like a cop-out to me, as if the author didn’t want to take the time to develop an authentic relationship. Whoever came up with this term is a genius! It completely captures the ridiculous notion of two souls who, with one glance into each other’s eyes, instantly fall in love.
3. “Book Boyfriend.” Ah, where would we be without our book boyfriends? Even those of us who may be married with children have a secret book boyfriend tucked away in that part of our brain that never grows up. We dream about them, create fan art of them, come up with lists of potential actors to play them in the movie, talk about them incessantly, and rate books according to how wonderful a book boyfriend may be. For many female book bloggers (and some male!), the success of a book hinges on whether or not the book contains good book boyfriend material. Book boyfriends are innocent fantasies that we never have to feel guilty about.
4. Love Triangle Angst. I’m sure there was a time before book bloggers took the love triangle and turned it into something evil, a time when love triangles were clever devices that added more tension to a story. And they still do that, but unfortunately love triangles have developed a bad reputation in the world of book blogging. I have never been a love triangle hater myself. I think if it’s done well it can really add dimension to a romantic story line. I’m convinced there are pros and cons for using this device. What do you think?
5. The dreaded “Info-Dump.” Ah yes. The more books that begin to stack up on our TBR piles, the faster we read. And the less tolerance we have for paragraph after paragraph, page after page, of nothing but info-dumping. It’s boring! It interrupts the flow of the story! We want to understand the author’s world-building while the action is taking place! Show don’t tell! These are all legitimate complaints, and it’s my belief that authors are starting to pay attention to what bloggers are saying. No author out there wants to be accused of info-dumping, right?
6. “All the Feels.” This emotional response to, well, emotion in stories says it all. “This book gave me ALL THE FEELS!!” I think I’ve seen that exact phrase used many times in book reviews. We instantly know that not only did the reviewer love this book, but that the writer has a talent for evoking emotion from the reader. Not every writer can do that, so whenever I run across a review that uses this term, I pay attention. We’re all looking for that book that makes us cry at the end, right?
7. “Book Hangover.” This is a fairly new term, to me anyway, and I love it! If you have a book hangover after finishing a book, then that book has completely destroyed you and given you ALL THE FEELS (see above). A book that has so much emotion between the characters, or takes you places you didn’t expect might cause a book hangover. The remedy for book hangovers is to crawl under the covers and hide from the world, eat chocolate, or tweet your feelings to the world.
8. Blog Tours. I don’t know this for sure, but I’m thinking Blog Tours are unique to book blogging. Who started this trend? It’s a fantastic idea that has turned into a world-wide phenomenon. Some enterprising book blogger decided to come up with a way to make money off their blog, and this was the result. Blog tours seem to be win-win events: the author gets lots of promotion, readers are introduced to new books and can enter giveaways, and bloggers get more traffic to their blog by participating.
9. Blogoversary. Every blogger has one. That special date that they started blogging. It’s like an anniversary, but it’s a “blogoversary”!! We all need to mark the passage of time, and blogoversaries are ways for bloggers to say “Hey, I’ve been blogging for a YEAR!” (or two or three) Who doesn’t love a party? And that’s what blogoversaries are: a chance to celebrate, host a giveaway or simply look back on the year and take note of just how far you’ve come as a blogger. Also, the spelling of this word is up for debate!
10. DNF, TBR, ARC, YA, NA, PNR, UF, BEA, ALA, SDCC!! (Etc.) We book bloggers love our acronyms. We use them in book reviews, we use them when we talk to each other, we tweet and Facebook them, because WE’RE BUSY PEOPLE, AND WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO SPELL EVERYTHING OUT! Acronyms are peppered throughout our posts like some kind of cryptic shorthand. If an acronym for something doesn’t exist, then we’re going to INVENT ONE! “OMG I swear, this NA PNR ARC that I got at BEA was a DNF for me, LOL…” If you don’t understand that sentence, you need to read more blogs:)
I love this crazy world of book blogging! So, can you think of any other terms that are unique to Book Bloggers? I know I’ve forgotten some…