Tomorrow is one of those days on which I will invariably get at least one book. If I don’t, it’s not exactly an exceptional birthday, but that may just be me.
So, today, I thought it might be a good time to discuss book hauls and why I, personally, don’t do them.
What is a book haul?
A book haul is when someone who has (usually recently) acquired books decides to share what books were acquired on some sort of social media. This can be in picture or in list form, and is fairly common among bloggers and vloggers. Often, the person will show the books one at a time and speak relatively briefly of each of them.
(This, by the way, is not a book haul, but me being indecisive about what to read and seeking assistance from Twitter)
The Good Parts
Book hauls are a fantastic way to learn about new books. People can pick up books you’d never even heard of, or explain what a familiar title is about in a way that really intrigues you. This is easily my favorite aspect. It’s also a decent way to keep up with what someone is reading as a lot of people tend to read at last some of the books they have acquired fairly immediately. In this way, it’s generally helpful for those who don’t post TBRs, for example. It’s also good know what books a person owns in case you want to give them a gift—that way, you don’t give them something they already have. Conversely, if you are giving someone a gift, it can be really flattering for them to mention you, and might provide exposure to gift givers, publishers, and, most importantly, authors!
The Not-So-Good Parts
On the other hand, book hauls can have (often unintended, I imagine) negative side effects, too. There is always the danger that a book haul can come across as bragging because the poster is able to afford all of these books, or because they have so many awesome friends who will give them gifts. It can make people feel jealous or insignificant; what if you can’t afford so many books? What if you can’t buy books that often? Because book hauls sometimes feel like a staple of the book blogging community, this can put people off joining, which we don’t want!
I feel like book hauls can also inspire a sort of competition that we don’t really need. Who has the most books? I don’t think we should care. But it’s more than that—it’s showing off ARCs or books you got for free from authors or publishers, and the feelings that can incite in the audience (there is a lot of drama around ARCs especially). It usually come out to: why did X get that book I really, really wanted but not me?
Personally, I also find that they can be a bit repetitive and formulaic. Here is book, here is summary/I know nothing about it (but PRETTY/recommendation), I am SO excited, here is next book. Some people don’t share those things either. Honestly, I get tired of them very quickly, especially when people are buying the same books because those are popular at the moment, or new releases. They’re memes that I don’t care to read, really.
My Personal Decision
As I mentioned, I don’t post book hauls. I originally did this because I couldn’t be bothered to keep track of when I received what or to take pictures (further reinforcement that I am not a visual person). I also, however, quickly realized how few book hauls I personally consume.
I don’t want to post things on my blog that I personally would not want to read or consume. That is why I haven’t been doing Top Ten Tuesday or Top 5 Wednesday either—I don’t read those posts, 9 times out 10. I don’t read book hauls, so I won’t post them. I don’t imagine I’d have fun writing them. I would rather spend time writing the posts I actually enjoy writing and would enjoy reading.
And, in case you need it, here is a reminder: you don’t have to post things you don’t enjoy writing. Please don’t feel obligated to participate in a trend just because it’s a trend. It’s okay to not be a part of that.
I also want to give a shout-out to the super sweet Zac, who officially opened his blog Of Bleeding Pens and Pages today!
Do you enjoy book hauls? Why or why not?
How do you approach book hauls?
and follow me on Twitter or Bloglovin’ if you like!