Sorry, I was reading.
—  Me, when I’m late to everything
Read until the world looks bright again.
—  My advice for those having a bad day.
Reading, like other types of art appreciation, is intensely personal. So what appeals to people is going to depend on who they are. It depends on what is happening in their life at any given moment. On what has happened to them over the course of their personal history and what makes them feel any number of things. The value of art, when it comes to being appreciated by the beholder makes the person consuming it part of that process. Failing to appreciate that integral part of the process is done at your own peril.
—  Laura Dane
Never underestimate the power of a Reader

Unless they’re in a slump. Then, yes, it will take them six months to finish that book. Leave them alone.

  • Policeman, writing in his notebook: So, would you say you were distracted at the time of the crash?
  • Me: Well, I mean, maybe just a little.
  • Policeman *exasperated*: Ma'am, you ran straight off the road. Were you distracted or drunk?
  • Me: ...
  • Policeman: ...
  • Me: I saw a bookstore I've never been to.
  • Policeman, writing in his notebook again: I see...

So it appears we’re in one of those booklr renaissance modes. Don’t get me wrong, I do love when these kinds of discussions happen because that’s how I found a lot of my tumblr friends, but it all seems so very cyclical and I’m frustrated by it.

And I feel this way largely because I have found my crew. When people say they feel like booklr is dead, I shake my head because I struggle to keep up with my friends and their content. If they are so alive, how can booklr be dead?

True, some of this despondent sentiment comes from bloggers who have been here for years who very legitimately feel sad that many of their old friends have left (I feel that too), but there are new people who are filling those gaps. New bloggers who are creating content and chatting left and right. Go find them. Befriend them.

So today’s lesson is:

Find your crew.

Everyone is looking for something different from this website, so finding friends will look different for everyone, but here are my tips:

  • Seek out the smaller blogs. Following big blogs won’t make you friends. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s simple math. When you have that many followers it’s hard to keep up with everyone. There are many great and wonderful people who run large blogs and by all means follow them, but if you want friends, your best bet is the smaller blogs.
  • Look for blogs that start the interactions. Look for blogs that send asks. Look for blogs that play tag games. Look for blogs that participate in challenges (especially the 100 Days of Booklr challenge). These are bloggers who are doing things and befriending people–and they’ll likely want to befriend you too.
  • Keep track of people. If you’re bad with names (like me), write shit down. Everyone feels good when they’re called by name or tagged in something relevant to their interests. At one point, I kept a spreadsheet with my mutuals and their names and what books they liked, etc. because I knew I had a bad memory for that. You don’t have to be that nerdy about it, but making the effort can go a long way in building friendships.
  • Search the booklr tag. I look through the recent booklr posts at least once a day. If I see someone posting a question or asking for recommendations, I do my best to respond. Sometimes I’ll just boost a post because I know I have followers who will jump in. I find a lot of new posts, blogs, and friends this way–and you can too!
  • (Tangential related) Find fresh content. Maybe booklr feels dead because it feels stale, like people are all reblogging the same posts for the hundred-thousandth time (literally). To fix that, don’t just rely on your dash because that’s going to be a feedback loop. Look for new posts on the booklr or other tags. A) it’s new stuff that no one has seen before and B) it’s supporting smaller blogs who may not get seen otherwise! Win-win! Doing this won’t necessarily build you a crew (it can help though), but I think it’s crucial to making booklr feel alive again so that’s why I include it here.

A couple last things to remember: not everyone you try to befriend is going to click with you and that’s ok. But I do think that we all can find friends on here and friends are what makes booklr a community. Just sometimes you have to be very deliberate about building that community for yourself. And also, there’s nothing wrong with being anxious about talking to people and wanting to just be a lurker. You can still make a difference. Stick to the last two tips and let smaller blogs feel loved with your likes and reblogs. Good luck!