Thursday, March 8, 2018

Discussion: Irrational Book Envy

I don't know about you, but when I'm scrolling through Instagram and Twitter or checking out everyone's Stacking the Shelves posts, I find myself getting a little green with envy. I feel that dip in my happiness when I see #BookMail anywhere, and I often find myself wishing I was one of those bloggers, who received an Epic Reads box in the mail or one of those awesome promo boxes. I can even go a little Gollum and his precious sometimes, however it's not the envy I want to talk about, but rather, why my envy is sort of irrational.



This Week’s Topic: Irrational Book Envy

Here I am, admitting that my book envy is sort of unreasonable, and let me tell you why. 
  1. I have SO MANY unread books. There are a ton of unread books lining my walls, shelves, in boxes, and on my Kindle. Every year I SWEAR that I am going to show them some love, but alas, these books are still unread. 
  2. I have access to a plethora of free books via my library. My town has 4 libraries, and my library card grants me access to Hoopla and Overdrive. I know I'm lucky, and I do use these resources. Yet, I still want more. 
  3. I have won a good number of Goodreads giveaways. Lady luck has blessed me with lots of book wins, but like any addict, it's never enough. 
  4. I know I joke about the publishers, who always "decline" my requests, but I know I am lucky with the number of approvals I get on NetGalley and Edelweiss. I would never be able to afford my reading habit without the kindness of the publishers. A big thank you goes out to them. 
  5. THE NUMBER ONE REASON FOR MY IRRATIONAL BOOK ENVY: I sit there, salivating over all the pictures of everyone's books, and I get woe-is-me over the fact that I don't really get any #BookMail, but it's a well known fact - I don't like to read physical books. Between my eyes, wrists, and thumb, it's physically challenging for me. So, it seems sort of bizarre that I pine over the books these posts. 
Now, if Epic Reads ever did a digital bundle, that would be something I would love to be considered for. 😉


Now it's your turn!


Do you ever have irrational book envy? 
Let us know in the comments!

56 comments:

  1. I can understand where you're coming from, but I don't really get envious. It's like you said, I already have a ton of books to read, and so many options available to me, so I just try to be happy and supportive of what other people are getting.

    Now, when BEA rolls around, I will get a little green. Haha! I was able to go two years in a row, and I've MISSED IT. Not so much the books, but meeting authors and other book bloggers. They were some of my favorite moments. I guess this applies to book events in general. I used to go ALL the time, but kiddos...🤷 I miss it.

    Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. I was just saying the other day, how it's possible to be happy for someone else, while still be sad for myself. This was with respect to my only child moving across the country for a job, but it works for those bloggers who get all the #BookMail too. They earned it, but having a successful blog, and I know that takes work.

      I have been to BookCon every year. I love the panels. BEA was really intense, and I left that for my co-blogger to do alone. It seems WLABB will not be represented at either this year though, as I don't like to go alone, and who knows where the co-bloggers will be.

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  2. I get bookstagram envy. Like how do people put those gorgeous, amazing pictures together? Like HOWWWW!

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    1. The props and the amazing staging and beautiful pictures!!! There is a lot of talent out there.

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  3. Um yeah I totally get this. Really just over books I am dying for and favorite authors. I know it is silly and I will either get them from the library like you said or when the kindle version goes on sale but when I see them being so pretty I get a little jealous. Then I get over it lol!! But I understand what you mean!

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    1. Yep. Total nonsensical behavior from me. I usually tell myself the things I mentioned above, and my rational, sane self comes back. I just hope those people will read those stories and love them as much as I would. XD

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  4. Oh, I totally get this. I really want to read more of my backlist books and things that I've bought, but I still get a bit jealous over all the review copies that people get. I probably wouldn't have time for most of them, but they all just look so nice! I think what it may come down to - and maybe this is true for you - is that we're more jealous of not being included and having publishers "like us" enough than we are about the actual books they are getting.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Same here. Right this second I am drowning in March releases, and this will repeat in June, where I have way too many review books, but I still will see someone mention how they got this or that review books, and I instantly want it too. And there is definitely that feeling of inadequacy that accompanies not getting #BookMail. I get really happy when I get an email from a publisher asking if I would be interested in a book. It makes me feel like I am doing something right. I think I would pass out or something if I got a package from a publisher.

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  5. I am envious of other people’s blogging and photography skills. There are so many talented people in this community! Why can’t I be one of them? I don’t really get book envy. There are always books I wish I had, but I have so many unread books sitting around that I don’t need more. I'm happy with my massive stacks of used books.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I am so photo challenged, I find myself drooling over people's instagrams and wondering what witchcraft they did to get such skills.

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  6. I totally agree when I see bookmail I get envy and I am pretty sure it is due to the beautiful pictures. I am in the same boat though I have so many unread books I need to read those and not be envious of bookmail. Plus I am out of room on my shelves!

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    1. I think it's a natural knee jerk reaction, and sometimes I think I just want the book mail so I can participate in the picture taking.

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  7. I completely agree! The couple times I get books, I love to be like everyone look at my books! Because I get so jealous that everyone else always has all these books coming in. But I don't mean to gloat, it's just that I get so happy!

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    1. I never feel like people are gloating. I mean, the publishers send them the books, because they want them to show them off. I get that, and I would be just as happy if I got boxes of books sent to me as well. No shame in pimping your books.

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  8. I think at some point or another, we all have the book envy. No matter how big out TBR pile is too. Lol... I don’t read a lot of physical books anymore, most of the ones I get are from BookoftheMonth, and a couple of other places. Other than that, I read mostly ebooks. ;)

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    1. We downsized homes, and I actually gave away a ton of my books. I love the space I save with ebooks, but I want publishers to surprise me with bundles of ebooks. I guess I sort of had that happen on a small scale. The publicist for Christina Lauren saw my tweet about Autoboyography and they sent me a widget for the ebook. That was cool.

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  9. When I first started blogging seven years ago, I got that book envy, now I don’t. I hardly ever get books in the mail, and I am fine with that. I have so many books to read, and then when books showed up unsolicited and I read them, more often than not, I didn’t like them. I am all about picking out books I want to read these days, which makes me a happier blogger. I don’t get caught up in the pretty covers anymore. I have been stung too many times.

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    1. There is a freedom to reviewer whatever you want. DRCs are how I finance my reading, but I still have control in requesting the books I want. I never need that pressure to have to read something. But, I do like the pretty covers still.

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  10. Oh yeah, the irrational book envy rears its ugly head now and then. Not often, really, but it totally happens. Like with physical ARCs. I’m like, who is it you have to know to get physical ARCs? Like, do you have to be BFF’s with VP of Marketing? Sign your firstborn over to the head of Publicity? IN reality, I have tons on unread books both on my shelves and on my Kindle but somehow I get a tad jealous of those who get sent physical ARC’s. Ridiculous but true. LOL

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    1. I think there is this idea, that getting physical ARCs validates you as a reviewer. The bloggers who get all the books are usually BIG blogs, bookstore owners/employees, or librarians. But I AM happy with my DRCs. I prefer them, and I do get lots of great approvals. I'm just greedy sometimes.

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  11. I can relate to your irrational book envy! It was worse when I had just started my blog. Now it's feels more like an itch that I can't scratch. Personally, I ADORE reading physical books but when my only library only has Agatha Christie in english and books become even more expensive when you consider how much Brazil's currency currently stacks against the US dollar it just isn't realistic. I've learned to appreciate ebooks and how they enable me to read so many books at a reasonable price, but when I see someone's photo of an ARC that I REALLY wanted envy is inevitable. I will also admit to greed because I too have an enormous virtual pile of books to read that I can't quite bring myself to start C:

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    1. It's only human to get distracted by the new and shiny. I know international bloggers have it harder than US bloggers when it comes to getting English books. I know I am very fortunate with all the digital books I get, but yeah, I get a little greedy at times.

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  12. Ha love this. With apologies to Spock, I feel like irrationality is okay, ESPECIALLY when it comes to books! We need all the new pretties regardless of reasons ha ha. I mean I buy mostly on my Kindle now, but the book haul posts make me want to order physical books, and when I DO get bookmail it's like happy dance time lol.

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    1. I can't stop saying, "My pretties" (imagine the witch from The Wizard of Oz). That is exactly how I get. I don't want to read them, but they look so nice and pretty and you can take fabulous pictures of them, and personal, physical mail is so rare, that anything is sort of delightful.

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  13. I feel you with those special promo boxes!! I saw a book tuber get this really cute valentine's day box and I was SO JEALOUS. Even though I didn't really want any of the books, it just seemed like it would be nice to get woo'ed with a specialty box.

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    1. I remember seeing the box for The Belles. Now, I had the book from BEA, but it had all sorts of awesome stuff in it, and --sigh--, just the idea of being considered would be lovely.

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  14. Dude, I don't even think it is irrational! I mean, who doesn't like being recognized for their work and being given books because of it? I think that is what makes me the most envious- when I see the books and think "well crap, I wish I was worthy", because isn't that how it kind of makes us feel? Validated, perhaps? That said, I have gotten better about curbing my jealousy a bit- now I only get a case of the sads with my very most anticipated books, so.... progress? ;)

    Though I will say- the fact that you don't even like physical books makes me chuckle because okay, maybe it is a *tiny* bit irrational then hahah. Great topic!

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    1. Well, I get that "not worthy" thought every time Disney turned me down on NG/EW. And yes, I agree, it's a form of validation. I'm just saying, when those Macmillan boxes went out, the pictures were EVERYWHERE and they was packed with books I wanted so badly and were only "wish" books on NG. I was absolutely a little sad and jealous and wanting them to make a digital package. I mean, Epic Reads auto sent me a widget for a book, why not a a whole bunch? <-- wishful thinking

      It's not that I don't like physical books, I just struggle, physically, to read them and I have no space for any more stuff. I adore looking at people's selfies and bookstagram posts, and I think it's more wanting to be a part of that, than actually reading those books.

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  15. This is so me! I don't get any physical copies from publishers for the most part so I'm always a little jealous of those super pretty packages. I have so many unread books on my shelves though. And I have been getting more open to Netgalley and Edelweiss requesting so that helps but still, those packages seem so fun.

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    1. I love my NG and EW DRCs, but those packages look so awesome. And, uh, maybe I should love my unread books more. 😂

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  16. The word irrational applies to pretty much everything I feel passionate about, especially books :) OH those unboxing posts are my nemesis. YES I WISH I HAD ONE OF THOSE SUBSCRIPTIONS SO BADLY! :) And yes I feel guilty about my envy for all the same reason you list here. Between my library, amazon freebies and NetGalley ARCs I have more books I will ever be able to read even if I lived forever! Great post!

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    1. The subscription boxes are cool too, and I am addicted to the unboxing posts. I like thinking of it as passion. That sounds way more positive than irrational.

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  17. Yes! You're so on point in this post. Envy as a book blogger or just a reader ourselves is so irrational but it isn't easy to accept that, haha. #Bookmail is one of my most dreaded hashtags and I get super jealous over the unpacking in Instagram stories...like, ugh, I keep wondering how lucky they are. And all this while, my TBR is just staring at me from either my Kindle or corner of the room. But yeah, all your points are definitely reasonable :D

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    1. I think I would be more frustrated if I didn't think those bloggers worked hard for those rewards. The time they must spend on social media and gaining followers is way more than I would be able to give. I am trying to be happy with what I do get though.

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  18. I think as a book bloggers, a little book envy is just inevitable. There's always going to be someone who has a book you haven't been able to purchase or who receives ARCs you'd sell your right arm for (Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore, I want the ARC so bad). I think being thankful for all the books you do have access to is a great way to overcome this envy. For me, I try to remind myself that even if I did have all these books, I honestly would not have time to read them because of all the other books I still need to get to.

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    1. So true. I want to, but I can't read them all. And that is really one of the biggest things I tell myself, when I am drooling over some book I would love to have.

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  19. This is so me, Sam! I see other bloggers getting books and while I don't need them at all, I feel a bit left out. I prefer digital books so the whole thing is silly.

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    1. It's a little of that too. Feeling left out. I know I feel that as well.

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  20. This is sort of human nature, I think. We always have at least a little tinge of envy over things that others have---even if it's something we don't necessarily NEED. I'd love to say I'm immune---after all, I DO get publishers sending me books sometimes, so I should be totally happy with that, right? Nope. Never quite satisfied.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I totally get greedy. I get a lot of approvals on EW and NG, and then I see people getting a book I want, and all I can think about is why didn't they approve ME for that book. A lot of people have mentioned it, and I think part of this envy goes a little deeper than just wanting the book. It's wanting recognition as a blogger, and getting the books is a form of validation for us.

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  21. Thank you for this post. I definitely experience book envy, and even "blogger fame/statistics envy," I guess you'd call it. Like you, though, I do get some review copies and have access to a lot of great books via the library and various library apps...and I don't think I've been as grateful for that as I should be. Thank you for the gentle reminder to appreciate what I've got rather than coveting what I don't! It's a valuable lesson!

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    1. I am there with you on state/fame too. I remember seeing this 1000 followers post, and the person had been blogger for about 6 months. I was beating myself up and questioning what I was doing wrong. I don't remember how long ago it was suggested, but I was doing this gratitude journal thing, and focusing on the little things that are good helps me work through the disappointments. So yeah! I get a lot of great DRCs and I have lots of library book access.

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  22. You made me smile with this ost because I found myself nodding along. This is me! Apart from the not liking physical books thing... but in fact I actually do prefer ebooks in many ways. They're way more convenient to read on a commute. I get irrational book envy a lot. I want the cool stuff but would hate it as well. I think my book envy is half of the reason for my mountainous TBR pile, I cannot stop buying books! I am learning it's ok to stop following things. in fact, I barely go on instagram now because the book envy is strong on there and I don't like it. It's helped some and also learning that I don't need to own every book ever and can actually just borrow it from the library is also good.

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    1. With my wrist and switching modes of transportation three times during my commute, ebooks are the superior choice. See, I am super cheap, so I have to really, really want a book to buy it or have a good reason (like Obsidio, which I bought last night because it was an awesome event). It's not even just the envy, it's the feelings of inadequacy I feel. There are studies to support the feelings I feel when viewing social media. And yes, we don't need every book. We cannot read every book, and that is something that keeps me in check too.

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  23. I completely relate to this! Although I do bemoan not having all the shiny covers or the collector editions I want, I've come to be more appreciative of the beautiful secondhand copies I have. Also, I'm lucky that publishers have been kind enough to send me e-ARCs even with my small status in the blogging community!

    - Camillea Reads (camilleareads.wordpress.com)

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    1. If I read more physical books, I think I would like second hand copies. I love the idea that the book has history and maybe was loved by someone else before me. There were these blog tours, where the bloggers read the book and then sent it to the next person. I thought that was such a brilliant idea.

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  24. I greatly relate to this but in a slightly different way. I use to work at a big library system that had a ton of money. They had so much money and such a large book budget, that publishers would send the library not only free galleys, but also free newly published books. It blew my mind, there was an actual wall of books that had been sent by publishers and we got a new box from various publishers every month. That being said I didn't like working there, I preferred to work in a poorer more urban community where like 95% of the kids qualified for free lunch. I'm super envious of the fact that this huge 5 branch library system with a huge book budget gets free books from publishers (free books that they don't need) and small, urban, forgotten towns like the one I work in now, get nothing. It makes me crazy. I'm trying to get over it and be more creative with what budget we do have... but still. lol.

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    1. That is so frustrating to hear, but we see it all the time. Rich celebrities get all sorts of free stuff, just like that well funded library. It's crazy and so backward! It's awesome that are making things happen with less, and the kids are lucky to have you.

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  25. I know my book envy is ridiculous because I have so many books already unread! I always want the new releases I see everywhere, but I know they wouldn't be read immediately by me so it's better I wait till they are backlist and cheaper >.> Before I used to read more ebooks than physical but that has done a complete 180 for me this year. But when I saw your last point on your list it cracked me up!

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    1. With my backlist, I watch Amazon prices like a hawk, and try to wait for sales. I also will wait for a BIG book from the library, because they always get the best seller type books. Yeah, physical books are so hard for me to read. If the font and white space are right, I can do it, but it's a total chore to commute and read it.

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  26. I used to get book envy but I don't anymore. Like you said - I have way too many books already that I'll never be able to get through.

    I get the Macmillan catalog and they send it out each quarter. You get to choose a box with pre-selected titles in it.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I WISH I was on that Macmillan list. I am such a Swoon Reads fan, but their books are always "wish" books on NetGalley, and I seldom get them. That is awesome that you get that. Not gonna lie, I am envious. XD

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  27. I have envy for people who can book blog and make a living at that LOL, although I quite honestly think I'd read the book and totally forget to blog about it. I also have envy for the young out there. I'm 54 and I know I won't be able to read until extreme old age. (not sure if my eyes will give out first or my wrists)

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    1. That is a an awesome thing! My eyes are already garbage, and I have carpel tunnel and this thumb thing, that's why I read mostly ebooks. I make the font large and my Oasis is quite low weight.

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  28. I agree with almost all of your points. I do get a little bit of book envy sometimes since my blog isn't big enough to get a bunch of print ARCs. But I too have won a fair amount of giveaways, and ebook review copies make up the vast majority of what I read, so I can't complain about not getting those!

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    1. I had to step away from Instagram, because I was getting to a point, where people would feature ARCs, but then talk about how they never read them, and I was like, "I WILL READ YOU LITTLE BOOK!". Yeah, a little nutty. I guess it's just that human side of me that always wants more.

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