Are Bloggers Really Introverts?


Today’s discussion isn’t about books, not really, it’s about people who talk about books – about us, book bloggers. I know not all of my readers are book bloggers, but I think you’ll find the topic interesting either way.

I am not an introvert. I’m a fairly open person, I like going out, and I even like – love? – speaking in public. I’d love to be a University professor, for example. Sometimes, the fact that I’m a translator working from home chafes at me because I miss a work environment though I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

But I often see bloggers – especially of the bookish variety – identifying themselves as introverts. There’s nothing wrong with that, I absolutely get it, I’m married to an introvert who’d rather stab himself with a fork than speak in public, so this is nothing new to me.

But my question is this (and please bear with me, I mean no insult to anyone): how does this introverted, private nature connect with the very public aspect of blogging? Okay, I know that one of the beauties of blogging is that you’re hidden behind the screen of your computer. If you don’t want to, you needn’t share your real name or your face with your readers (which is a totally valid choice and a discussion for another time). And you only pick the things you want to share with your readers – no one can make you write about the stuff you want to keep private. I also know that bloggers are generally a nice bunch of people (at least in the bookish community, which I know best) who respect boundaries and make mostly everyone feel welcome, as long as they’re not trolling.

But think about it: when you’re blogging, you’re sharing your thoughts with the world. You’ve read a book that you really liked (or disliked) and now you’ve written a review and posted it online for everyone to see – and if your review is any good, it won’t just be a summary of the plot, but your opinion on the book, your thoughts, and even feelings (yikes!). And don’t get me started on discussions – those are you all over by their very nature. If I’m being honest, I find blogging to be a narcissistic hobby. :)

For me, sharing my thoughts with the general public isn’t a new idea. I think some people of my acquaintance might even be secretly glad I’ve found a creative outlet like blogging, which means I don’t bug them as much in real life as I used to (I now have fellow bookish enthusiasts to gush with me on favourite books and such). My family and friends have also always been very supportive of my endeavors (though a lot of them still don’t know I blog) and expressing myself has never been a problem.

But I think that blogging is actually a great way for introverted people to become less so – not that I see introversion as a flaw that needs to be fixed, but I do believe expressing your thoughts, opinions and feelings is a very useful skill. So if you aren’t comfortable speaking aloud in public, writing about the same issues is a great outlet.

What I’m saying is this: maybe bloggers are crippled by horrible stage fright when it gets to public speaking, maybe they hate the spotlight and making new friends in class or at work or at parties, but on their blogs, they can be pretty damn eloquent, which I find to be a very good thing, indeed. And it doesn’t really matter what they’re like in “real life”, either: as long as they can write (and aren’t nasty or anything), the blogging community will accept them with open arms. This is one of the reasons I love blogging so, so much.

I’m linking this post to the Discussion Challenge page, where you should go if you want to find more cool people talking about books (you really should).


So, are you an introvert or an extrovert?

How do you deal with sharing personal stuff (not just from “real life” but your opinions, feelings, etc)?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • Ahh I haven’t visited your blog in a while because my computer’s been broken so I’m all out of sorts, so I hate to make a disagreement in my first comment in a while lol, but being an introvert doesn’t mean having stage fright or being shy. I am very much definitely an introvert… But I also performed on stage in front of hundreds of people in shows in high school, I don’t fear public speaking, and I can walk over to a stranger and strike up a conversation without batting an eyelash. But I still have always needed time away from people to be alone and gather my thoughts (being around people is draining, and being alone is how I “recharge”), I’ve always preferred meaningful conversation to small talk, etc.

    So for me I guess blogging gives me a way to connect with people who are passionate about the same things I am and thus a way to have more meaningful conversation than if I tried to talk about bookish things with people who aren’t interested in that. Plus it’s something I can do on my time, so I don’t ever have to interact and be social when I don’t want to. And when I do want to be social, I can still do it from my own room! But I’ve never had a problem sharing my thoughts and feelings about things, maybe because I’ve never much cared what people think. People can like me for who I am. Not everyone will, and that’s ok. I also just like talking about myself, haha, or rather my thoughts since I don’t give much info about my personal life. So I do agree that blogging is a narcissistic hobby!

    I do wonder though how super shy bloggers feel about this because you make a good point about how you’re still putting yourself out there when you blog, and that can definitely be a scary thing!

    • Ha, well, this is interesting, every commenter seems to have a slightly different version of what they consider to be the definition of “introverted”. I always figured shyness and uncomfortableness in social situations went hand-in-hand with introversion. But I guess it’s like with other social/psychological labels: it’s fluid and each person finds a definition that fits them most.

      See, I think this “I’ve never cared much what people think” attitude is something that wouldn’t fit with MY view of what an introvert is like, but it obviously fits with yours! :) And I get it, blogging is an amazing hobby, whether you’re introverted, extroverted, shy or not.

  • Greg Hill

    I just think introverts are as opinionated as anyone else and blogging just makes it more comfortable to share. It’s funny before I started blogging I was like do I want to put my thoughts on books out there? Why would anyone care lol? Now having done it I don’t think anything of it. And I do sometimes find that it can be easier to share something with the blogging community that maybe I’d be more careful about IRL- which surprises even me! :)

    And as far as your eloquent comment, I agree. I think if someone is very introverted blogging can give them an outlet they might not otherwise have. And let’s face it, so many bloggers say they have no one to talk books with IRL- so blogging does serve a social function there.

    • Haha, yes, I definitely had the same hang-ups at the beginning: why would anyone want to read my thoughts on BOOKS, of all things? But apparently people do, like I want to read theirs, so I’m really glad I found blogging. And it’s surely more comfortable to share your thoughts and feelings through a screen, though I confess I envy bloggers who live close together and can actually meet in person from time to time.

      Oh and YES, I am much more comfortable talking about my love of romance on my blog than in real life, for example, because here I’ve found people who appreciate such books as much as I do and people in my social circles usually look down upon it. It’s just an example but it applies to a lot of other topics, too.

      • Greg Hill

        Isn’t it funny how we find like minded people in the blog world and in real life it’s like, where are the readers lol? At least in my case. I do have friends that are readers but we all live in different places now… and it is funny how you put your thoughts out there and people do actually care what you think. Who would have thought? :)

        I think it’s cool too that there things like BEA and conventions where people can meet other bloggers and share similar interests. I know a lot of bloggers go to BEA for that reason.

        • I know a lot of bookish people because of my job, but even if they read a lot, they usually read completely different things and have no interest in talking SFF or romance or YA or whatever I’m reading. And don’t get me wrong – it took me a while to really find the “right” book bloggers, by which I mean those who either read similar stuff, have similar opinions, or simply write good posts I enjoy reading no matter what the topic is. There is just so much choice! But once you start communicating on a more regular basis, it’s amazing. And liberating.

          Yep, it was BEA I had in mind. I’d love to attend one day, even if it wasn’t in NYC anymore, but we’ll see. Not for a couple of years, I guess! I wonder if my blog will hold out that long. :)

  • Sebastian

    I wouldn’t say that bloggers in general are introverts because I think it probably depends on which topics they talk about (for example I don’t think most of the beauty bloggers are rather shy people^^) but I definitely think that when it comes to book blogging the introvert ratio is quite high.

    I guess this is mostly because reading itself is a rather quiet and lonely hobby because when you’re a passionate reader you almost naturally spend a lot of time alone. This makes connecting with other readers a bit difficult in real life because I for myself made the experience that reading doesn’t seem to be a very popular hobby for the majority of people because it’s “boring” and you’re just not cool when you rather spend your free time reading on the couch then going out partying.

    I think I can say that without the internet I wouldn’t have met a single person in my life who reads about as much as I do. Of course there are people in my “real” life who like reading but this is usually limited to reading 1 or 2 books while on vacation or maybe one book per month, so this makes talking about books a bit difficult.

    I would definitely call myself an introvert too and when your husband is done stabbing himself he can hand the fork over to me :D I can handle things like public speaking but it still makes me very uncomfortable and I rather try to avoid situations like that^^

    But I don’t think an introverted nature and the public aspect of blogging contradict each other because I see blogging also as some kind of refuge for people like me who just are a bit (or more^^) socially awkward but still want to talk about things they love and connect with people who like the same things and maybe even also have the same issues.

    I find it much easier to open up about intimate things to other bookish people because when you dive into the book community to blog or just talk books it always feels a bit as if you’re not the weirdo from real life anymore who is socially awkward and hides behind books but suddenly you feel quite normal and can just be yourself and talk about the things you like without having to fear any disparaging looks or remarks. Yes, your thoughts and feelings are technically out there for the whole world to see but somehow it also feels much more private – and let’s face the truth: people who don’t share any interests with you most likely won’t ever find the things you write online :D

    So overall I find blogging rather encouraging than scary and I never regretted starting my little book blog 5 years ago :)

    • Hi, Sebastian! Wow, what a comment! (I love it, I’m just taking it one paragraph at a time.)

      Ha, yes, I was talking mostly about book bloggers – I did mention that didn’t I? I meant to, anyway. I agree, beauty and fashion bloggers are much more used to putting themselves out there – and lifestyle bloggers, too, who blog about VERY personal things, like their children (with photos!) and marital problems (ugh).

      I never really thought of reading as a lonely hobby, I have to admit, but you’re right, it’s such a solitary occupation. I mean, characters are usually great company! I don’t know very many people who read as much as I do – and I’m really connected with the bookish community here, I work as a literary translator and meet book lovers all the time. *sigh* I don’t know if my friends see reading as boring (at least nobody ever said so to my face :D) but yeah, they don’t find it as necessary as I do.

      And yes, I am so grateful for the book blogging community, in the last 2 years I’ve been able to talk to people about my passion for books and it’s been really, really liberating. Not only have I found people who read as much (or more!) than I do – I met people with very similar tastes in books!

      Haha, the fork thing would be rather unhygienic, no? :) He has to prepare for his PhD presentation soon (in 2 months) and he’s already cursing it. I’d do it instead of him but I know next to nothing about his brand of computer science. :)

      But yeah, finding common ground can be great even if you’re generally shy and wary of sharing your thoughts – so blogging really is a great outlet. And you’re right, I guess there are any number of blogs out there on topics like fly fishing and coin collecting and I’ll never find them because those things aren’t even remotely interesting to me.

      I think talking about intimate issues with bookish people has an added bonus because you don’t necessarily have to talk about YOURSELF, you can discuss topics through book reviews/analyses, which gives you a buffer of sorts. It’s all very sneaky and sly but very useful. :)

      Ha, after 5 years your blog probably isn’t LITTLE anymore, I kind of feel like a veteran after 2 years! :D

      Again, thanks for the comment & for stopping by!

  • This is an interesting discussion. I am a total introvert. I’ve known this since I was around 20 years old. And I also have tendency to be shy. Being introverted and being shy aren’t the same thing.

    Being introverted just means that you get your energy from being alone, whereas being extroverted means you get your energy from being around people. For example, an extrovert would go to a party and have so much fun and get so much energy out of it, that she would want to do more things immediately after that party. Whereas an introvert would go to a party, maybe even have a good time, but get mentally exhausted fairly quickly and need to go home (or some place alone) to get her energy back.

    Being shy means that you are nervous about what other people think of you. An extrovert or an introvert could be shy, although I think introverts are more likely to be shy.

    I think what you’re talking about is more about being shy, than being introverted. Being such a major introvert, I have read up a lot about it, because sometimes it’s hard being an introvert in such an extrovert-loving society.

    I do think that if you’re shy (which I can be) blogging is a wonderful way to express your thoughts. There is that anonymity with blogging through the Internet, definitely, although I still think people who are shy could get nervous about what they are posting. But I think it’s easier. And I do think I’ve gained some confidence through blogging that has spread through my real life, and I love that. But that also might come from being older as well.

    Something that is really interesting about being introverted, is that introverts LOVE to talk about their passions to other people. So as an introvert I love talking about books and reading. What I don’t like, like most introverts, is to have to make small talk with strangers, because we don’t find a lot of value in that.

    I think introverts like blogging because they can DECIDE when they want to communicate with other people. If they need time alone, that can just shut their computer,, but if they feel like a little chat, they can go right ahead. And they can do it all from their own comfort space, and talk with people they either know, or who are passionate about the same things.

    • The comments to this post have been very illuminating (and probably the longest I’ve ever received on a post, which I love!) and have made something abundantly clear: my definition of “introverted” doesn’t necessarily correspond to other people’s definitions – and other people’s definitions are not uniform, either. I guess it’s like with any other psychological/sociological label – it’s basic definition is true for everyone but the edges are fluid and made to fit the person in question.

      See, I always figured shyness went hand in hand with introversion, but maybe that’s because most of the introverted people I know are also shy? Who knows.

      And yeah, I can see why being an introvert would be a tough issue sometimes in the Western world, it’s very LOUD, somehow.

      I think blogging is a very good activity that helps you find your voice and to articulate your thoughts in a coherent fashion. I think I benefited a lot from it, and as I said, I’m not introverted – and neither am I shy. And I don’t particularly care for small talk, either. :D

      And yeah, you make a good point about the CHOICE you have – you can decide not to switch on your blog/reader and just take a day off when you need it. We all do, sometimes.

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment, you’ve given me loads to think about! :) Happy Easter!

  • Well, personally speaking, I definitely identify as an introvert. My issue with speaking in public is that I get flustered with lots of eyes on me. With blogging, there isn’t a crown of 100 people looking at me…all at the same time. They read what I write at their leisure and when they do – no one is looking AT ME, just my words. I do enjoy talking to people I know/am comfortable with about things I love (like books) but I much rather the removed approach of a blog. I’m much less social on other social media sites like FB and Twitter because I often feel awkward. But even that is MUCH easier for me than in person. Large groups simply drain me, even if I don’t have to speak in front of them. Being introverted means being more comfortable in small groups, and needing some alone time to recharge. That’s me 100% An extrovert gets his or her energy from people and I’m the opposite.

    • Some people said in the comments that being introverted and being shy aren’t necessarily the same – and I guess you’re a bit of both? :) I do understand the issue with public speaking – I’d probably be super nervous if I didn’t prepare for such an occasion, for example, but at the same time, I feel such a rush when people are listening to me – they had to, you know, when we had presentations at the Uni. I’m not conceited enough to think anyone would just listen to me because I was awesome. Oh, but I have a terrible fear of speaking in front of a large audience who WOULDN’T listen to me, if people would text and chat and read during my speech, for example. That would be horrible (I know, I know, it sounds bad when I say it). But I wanted to say that we all have our issues. :)

      Yeah, that’s exactly the point I was trying to make – you can blog without the fear of people attacking you PERSONALLY for what you write – and if they do, you can delete their comments/block them on Twitter, unlike in real social situations, where you’d have to face them and make them stop somehow.

      I prefer small gatherings now that I’m older. I used to party quite a lot at Uni and in high school, but I’ve since come to appreciate the fact that you can actually TALK to people if there are less of them! :D And I dislike very large crowds, like at big concerts, I never go stand in the front because I have this (irrational) fear that someone would fall and people would step on them or something. Those horror stories from religious pilgrimages are always horrifying to me. But that’s extreme – I know what you’re talking about. :)

      Thanks for the comment, Micheline! :) Happy Easter!

  • Jess @ Princessica of Books

    I’m not even joking, I wrote a similar post on this yesterday! Well, I mentioned part of it (it’s not published yet). Anywho, I totally get where you are coming from and the irony of this situation. Personally, I don’t find identify myself as an introvert. However, it is easier for me to share my thoughts over the screen rather than in person. I think it’s easy for some of the “introverted bloggers,” per say, because they are sharing their thoughts with people who they are CERTAIN will agree. They don’t have to take that risk of, “Oh, but what if they don’t want to talk about books?” because they are 100% certain they will, which makes it easier to open up, if that makes sense. Maybe we are all introverts and extroverts with certain groups and people!

    • Well, I’ll definitely be looking out for your post, then! :) I’d love to hear another take on it.
      Mhm, I agree, the bookish community is really geared towards bookish people, and apart from the possibility of disagreeing on whether you like a book or not, there isn’t much chance you’ll be attacked for your views (unless they’re intolerant or ignorant in terms of racism, sexism, etc – then all bets are off :D).
      Yeah, and it’s definitely easier to relax and be open with like-minded people – not only in the blogging world, but in real life, too.
      Thanks for stopping by, Jess! :)

  • I consider myself to be an introvert as well, but I don’t think being an introvert has as much to do with not wanting to voice your opinion but instead with getting more energy from time spent alone instead of with other people. When you’re blogging, you might be connecting with other people, but it’s all on your own terms – if you don’t want to react to a comment right now, you don’t. If you don’t feel like thinking of a funny or eloquent response to a tweet, you don’t. There’s no immediate contact with anyone, and I think that’s the main difference. And what I think the most important thing is: you can think about your words before sending them out into the world. That’s why I can be rather quiet in larger groups (particularly with people I don’t know that well) or in class (although I’ve gotten much better at that): I only want to say something if I know it makes sense or adds something to the conversation. And usually when I’ve finally figured out a way to say it, the moment’s already passed. So I’d rather just keep quiet. With blogging, and writing in general, you’ve got all the time you need. :)

    • Yeah, I see what you mean. I like that about blogging, it’s nice that you can take a day off when you feel like it and just not interact with anyone. I do feel like the book blogging community is especially kind, though, I imagine other bloggers get a lot more criticism (like beauty or style bloggers, I read some “horror stories” about mean commenters who come just to spread their bad mood on your blog).

      Ha, and I wish everyone took time to think about what they’re writing on the internet, it would make for a much happier place! :)

  • I think, in general, people are less “pure” introverts and extroverts than they are varying degrees of comfortable in different zones/areas of life. The inherent separation and intimacy blogging/tweeting/electronic communication can cover many different comfort zones, depending on how you go about it.

    I also think a lot of readers in general gravitate to blogging because…well, we’re kind of already obsessed with words, aren’t we? Makes sense we would have a certain built-in level of comfort communicating in prose that you maybe wouldn’t see across the board.

    Great thoughts, Kaja!

    • Ah, yes, you’re completely right. It’s much easier to be relaxed in a group of people you feel comfortable with and know well.

      And yeah, I’ve been thinking about book blogging lately – I mean, unless you’re SUPER into books, you usually just pick up a book, read it, then put it back on a shelf – not much discussion necessary (and the act of reading itself is pretty straightforward). But beauty blogging, for example, has a more hands-on approach, there are tutorials and samples and whatnot – it’s just an example but I get why other types of blogs get more visits than book blogs do, for example. A book blog with 3000 followers is DEFINITELY considered “big” but a beauty blogger might get to 50.000 or even more.

      Thanks for stopping by, Kel! :)

  • See, you were right. This is actually really interesting to think about. Blogging is very much revealing a part of yourself and your thoughts, even if you aren’t getting too personal about the details about yourself you are revealing your own personal thoughts about something.

    For me you are relating introversion more with shyness and the two don’t necessarily go hand in hand. From what I understand (which isn’t much) introversion is far more about needing a break from people, you can be in social situations but you need time alone to recharge. I am more introverted than extroverted, I do social things but I need days to myself to just relax because after a while social situations get exhausting for me. I need my time alone. I know a lot of people that hate alone time and continually need to have plans and I find that exhausting. I don’t mind my own company.

    Anyway, more of what you’re talking about is being shy and that is me. Shyness is about being daunted with social situations, especially new ones. I cannot speak in public to save my life, I become a nervous wreck shaking and unable to remember a thing. I am fine speaking with people I know and am ok speaking to new people as long as I feel comfortable (so generally when I am with people I know or an environment I know so I feel most comfortable and able to act like myself) if I am thrown into a new social situation I fail epically and people will barely see me speak or get much or my actual personality.

    Enough about definitions though, as a shy introvert I was very nervous when I decided to start blogging. I am not good about letting people know my own thoughts and opinions, it’s a thing which I’ve gotten better with with age. I used to hate letting anyone I knew read anything I had written, be it and essay or a short story so blogging is not the obvious choice in hobbies for me. I like books, though, and wanted to write about them. I finally got the courage and decided screw it, the feeling of anonymity you get from the internet helped to motivate me to give it a go. I used to get so nervous posting my thoughts out there in the world because the thought of someone disagreeing or saying I’m wrong terrified me, but the book blogging community is very welcoming and I didn’t experience that. When people disagree with discussions they do it constructively, they never attack you you just get there own thoughts and ideas presented to you. That’s what a discussion is, the sharing of thoughts and ideas and the fact that this community is so easy going really helps.

    I think it’s all about getting comfortable, at first all bloggers are a bit nervous about posting their thoughts (I was anyway), The more you blog and the positive response you get from it helps to encourage you and makes you more comfortable that shyness can recede. I am not always shy, once I’m comfortable I am fully able to talk with the best of them (seriously, try and shut me up) but I need to feel like I’m happy where I am though, and that is something that comes with time. The other thing is the fact that now everyone spends more time online and we post more of our lives online with social media that blogging for many is an extension of that online presence. It has become more of a normal thing to post things online, it began with myspace and facebook and just grown.

    Basically, blogging is very much a personal thing, I think the community people blog within helps but also the fact you can control things with your blog are things that help people. You can control how much or how little you post about yourself and that helps.

    I have now written a short essay for you to enjoy which I seriously feel like I should edit and spellcheck it is that long, but those are my thoughts. There are just so many things to consider, seriously, I could write so many more things about this but I’ll stop.

    • Oh my, Becky, I think this comment should count as a blog post of its own! Thank you and I will try to go through it one paragraph at a time! :)

      Okay, I get what you’re saying about introversion and shyness. I see the two as very much related, maybe because most of the introverted people I know are also shy and the two characteristics were always seen together. I myself CAN be alone a lot (I even like it) but I really like company, too, and miss it a lot when I go without for a while. I don’t know – I’m thinking that maybe these definitions vary from person to person? Much like other psychological/social labels…

      I’m really glad so many shy/introverted people decide that blogging is the way to go, I think it can help immensely with doing just what you described: saying “screw it” and just going with it. But I do think the book blogging community is very, very nice and a safe place to express yourself, like I said. I imagine beauty/fashion bloggers get A LOT more negative comments.

      I think that if I went back and read my first posts I would see them as cold and impersonal – because like you said, it’s all about getting comfortable. (This is why I never re-read old posts, oh the horror).

      And yeah, the control you can exert over the content of your blog is very important, at least to me. You know I do write about personal stuff but I’d never write about a current argument I had with A. or rant about politics or discuss my intimate life online – because I feel like it doesn’t belong “out there”. But some people do, and I guess that’s okay.

      Thanks again for this long comment (I do think it might be the longest I ever received, though this post got some really long ones in general!)! :)

      • I know, I thought it was a bit lengthy after posting. Oops?

        I think the introversion and shyness is all a matter of the individual. Some people can be shy and extroverted, others introverted and really social (what is the opposite of shyness?). It is insanely difficult to define what the two are and if they are different/the same.

        I think book blogging is probably the most welcoming of blogging communities. I think the beauty and fashion community is just as welcoming but then it’s something that is very open to criticism because to do it right your stuck having to feature pictures of yourself and there is nothing like drawing in a bunch of haters than including pictures of yourself.

        Ha, I don’t think I’ve read any of my old posts in a while, Sometimes I read back posts I wrote a couple of weeks ago and find myself sitting there thinking did I write that? Either because it sounds very insightful (that’s rare one) or because I totally don’t remember thinking something like that and it doesn’t sound like me.

        I think it’s good for everyone to decide how much of them self they want to put out there. I think it’s all about finding a good balance of being personable without inviting everyone into your entire life to voice their opinion. I prefer to keep their opinions to discussions and the books I’ve read rather than about my life.

        And I am all about the long comments. Sometimes I have a lot of words to say and being succinct is not a thing I have yet learnt in life.

        • What IS the opposite of shy? Internet says “bold” or “confident” – and a bunch of less appropriate antonyms that don’t really fit the definition we’re looking for. :)

          Maybe book blogging is easier because we very rarely talk about ourselves (except in recap posts or whatever), and beauty and fashion bloggers put themselves (their bodies) out for inspection of others. Or their lives, if they’re lifestyle bloggers and writing about their relationships. So it’s probably related: the more you share, the more criticism you get? Maybe. I haven’t really received any negative feedback – well of course people disagree with me, that’s the point of discussions, but nothing hurtful or mean.

          You have to know – I love long comments, even the rambly ones. I feel like they’re more similar to chatting in real life or something. And they give me something to reply to – I dislike the ones that just say “great post” or something similar, what can I say to that but “thank you”? I like meaningful conversations. :)

          • I suppose bold could be the opposite, that person you know is guaranteed to speak up in every occasion. It kind of works. It’s a difficult one.

            I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when it comes fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers, they’re putting way more of themselves out there simply by the type of blog they have. To be fair, I think there is the potential for negativity whatever type of blog you have, but when you’re opening a lot more of your life up for people to see you run the risk of negativity because people are always happy to judge others. Also, discussions without people disagreeing with what you have to say in some small way would be quite boring, it’s the people disagreeing and explaining why which make the more interesting comments because you get different views in.

            And I’m glad you like long comments because you’re far more likely to get those ones off of me. I sometimes let myself go on a bit. I do think comments where you have actual paragraphs are the best.

          • I just read a post on commenting yesterday (I found it through the discussion challenge) and they had a good point that commenting without having something meaningful to say is really pointless. I mean, how do I respond to “great post”? “Um, thank you?” It doesn’t tell me anything about the reader, about their opinion or whatever. *sigh* I’d rather not comment if I have nothing to say, weird as that might sound.

  • oh i am so excited about this discussion. wow i’m late to the party.

    hello i am nova and i am one of the LARGEST extroverts ever. i’m that kind of loud person who scares the crap out of the quiet people. i’m also a music person and involved in random things so it’s always a little surprising when people hear i love to read. they’re like, ‘but you’re so loud.’ this usually leads me to school them about how loud doesn’t equal not a reader or not smart or anything. i think we need to kill the idea that liking a means being b. the two don’t relate! plus, we’re more open online, i feel too, because we have this screen to help us come out of our shells (:

    • Hi, Nova, welcome to my blog! :)

      Ugh, I sometimes get the feeling that I scare people, too. It doesn’t help that I’m REALLY tall so the combined effect can be powerful. :D

      And while most people of my acquaintance do know I’m a reader, they are always surprised that I read lots of romance, for example. “But you’re a feminist!” is the usual answer and then I have to explain why I CAN be both. So I completely understand what you’re saying.

      Ha, do you think so? That we share more about ourselves because we’re used to doing it in real life? :) That would be an interesting research. Maybe introverts/shy people share more on their blogs because they have no other outlet, while we already tell everything to everyone in real life. ;)

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

  • Soudha Parsan

    I loved reading this post Kaja! And I agree with what you said here, especially in the last few paragraphs. I’m an introvert myself and while public speaking usually freaks me out, being a blogger has allowed me to share my thoughts and opinions in ways I would have never dared before. Blogging does help getting introverts to open up to other people. In a way, it has given me more confidence as far as sharing thoughts and discussing things are concerned. Awesome discussion post Kaja ^^

    • Thanks, Soudha! :)

      Blogging is a fantastic hobby – not only is the bookish community ridiculously nice/cool, I love the medium and the way it allows me to express myself. I think it’s great for all sorts of people, because it doesn’t really matter what you’re like in real life, as you can decide what goes online and what stays private.

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  • I’m not really an introvert either, but I do understand where introverted bloggers are coming from. I think sometimes things are just much easier to share in written form because you can edit what you say and there’s not so much pressure to come up with “brilliance” on the spot. (‘Cause, you know, there’s so much brilliance going on on my blog.) :-)

    • Oh, definitely, the editing option is a big part of why I like blogging. :) If only everything in life worked that way…
      I know everyone knows that feeling when you think of a perfect reply ten minutes after you should have said it to someone in a conversation – and here, you can think on what you want to say, how to reply to comments, what to share. Blogging really is great – and your blog is pretty brilliant, I love your discussions! :)

  • Maraia

    This post (and the discussion that followed) is amazing! I have to say that I can relate to the commenters way more than I can to you. Reading the comments was actually comforting, haha. One of the reasons I’m so hesitant to start a blog is something you said in your post – it’s a narcissistic hobby. I enjoy reading about other people’s lives, but I struggle to share things about myself in a public space. I think I share quite a lot in private, and I can voice my opinion to people I trust, but I even find it difficult to write something as simple as a tweet or post a picture on Instagram. It’s hard for me to believe that there are people who would actually care about what I have to say. Even though people always claim they blog for themselves, the fact that their blogs are public means that can’t be entirely true. This was a huge problem in school, because I hated speaking up in class or giving presentations. I did it because I had to, but it always made me uncomfortable. After reading all the comments, I do think that blogging would be a great way to increase my confidence in myself and my words, but it’s still a terrifying thought.

    I’ve always been shy, but I think my introversion has increased over the years. I used to socialize all the time, but now that my friends are spread out all over the country and the world, I’ve gotten a bit rusty. Socializing in person is much more draining than it used to be, whereas I find online interactions to be energizing. If I lived in the same place as the people I talk to, though, I think that would change.

    • I KNOW, these are the most involved, longest comments I’ve ever gotten on a post. I’m blown away, it’s so nice to have people disagreeing with me in a polite manner! :D

      And yeah, I guessed you’d be on “the other side” in this debate. I feel like most book bloggers fall into the introverted and/or shy category.

      But I feel like you don’t HAVE to share personal information if you don’t want to – I’m not trying to coerce you into starting a blog, but think about it: all we know about Cait, for example, is that she has black hair, a dog, a bunch of siblings, and that she writes books (and is fangirl extraordinaire). I don’t even know if Cait is her real name! She’s just one example but this is the beauty of book blogging, I think: you don’t HAVE to talk about yourself.

      And yeah, I had the same doubts when I started blogging: why would people want to read what I thought about books? But somehow, someone did, and then someone else, and now my blog has a number of regular readers and commenters and I know I’ll never be as popular as some people but that’s okay because I found some really nice humans along the way.

      But I think you did all that without starting a blog – I know you have really close relationships with more than one blogger and as you said, you share your thoughts with us, so if you don’t feel like sharing with the rest of the world, that’s completely up to you. I’d read your blog WITHOUT A DOUBT (and I think a lot of other people would, too), but we chat anyway, so I don’t feel deprived or anything. :D If the thought of blogging makes you uncomfortable, there’s no earthly reason why you should force yourself into it.

      But yeah, blogging could be a way to get more comfortable with expressing your thoughts in public – because “the public” isn’t sitting in front of you, judging you for wearing yoga pants and eating chocolate. :)

      We should totally make a commune for book bloggers, where “do not disturb” signs hung on doors wouldn’t mean there’s something sneaky going on in your house but that the person just needs a break from humanity. Then we’d have a huge library and a cafe where you could chat about books and/or write them. Sounds like fun, eh? :)

      Thanks for the lovely comment :)

      • Maraia

        That’s a good point! No one was rude. That’s always refreshing to see. :)

        It’s not just personal information, though. I’m afraid of sharing anything. I mean, obviously I’ve gotten a lot better at commenting, but even that felt uncomfortable at first, since I don’t know who else could be reading. I think I just have a hard time trusting that people won’t judge me for my opinion. It’s ridiculous, I know, because a) the book blogging community is awesome and b) anyone who IS judging me isn’t worth worrying about in the first place. On the flip side, people saying that they want to read my thoughts is almost worse, because that sets expectations I don’t feel I can meet.

        That’s why I should start a blog, really. I don’t want to think that way. I’m sure blogging will be painful at first, but judging by the comments on this post, it’s not something I will regret once I get used to it. I think your position is pretty amazing—you always get really thoughtful comments that lead to great discussions and, in many cases, friendships. That’s exactly what I would want – quality over quantity. As you said, I’ve already found my people in the community, so that’s not a motivating factor for starting a blog, but gaining confidence in expressing myself in public definitely is.

        YES. I love this idea! When can we start? :D

        • Mhm, I understand (I mistyped that “udderstand”, which reminds me of cows – and then I mistyped “mistyped”…) – other people’s expectations can be crippling. I think this is the reason I don’t necessarily advertise the fact that I blog (and also write) to people I know in real life, because they have this idea of me and I might break it if they saw what I thought of things. I don’t know, it’s weird. I don’t HIDE the fact that I blog and write but I don’t go shouting about it, either.

          I’ve always been fond of writing stuff, I really liked school and Uni assignments like essays and such, it’s one of the reasons I picked to study literature. But blogging has taught me to be more fearless with expressing my thoughts, with speaking about sex and difficult topics “in public” and with distilling those thoughts into short(ish) posts so people actually stick around and read them. I think it has made me a better writer and helped me, at least to some extent, to find my voice, if that makes sense.

          Where would we put the commune? I veto the tropics, I’d go there for vacation but I want somewhere where bugs aren’t the size of my palm, please.

          • Maraia

            It’s funny, because I’m much more uncomfortable with the idea of my friends who are bloggers reading my future blog than friends or family members who aren’t bloggers. I feel as if bloggers will have much higher expectations and be more critical, since they have lots of other blogs to compare it to. (Not that I will probably tell any non-bloggers besides my closest friends when I start it, haha.)

            Yes, that definitely makes sense! I didn’t discover your blog until your one-year anniversary, but I imagine that your first posts did not seem as effortless and comfortable as they do now.

            Ew, definitely not the tropics. I couldn’t handle the bugs or the humidity. What about a nice Scottish isle?

  • what an interesting post :) I am definitely an introvert – though I have no problem speaking in public and even convincingly fake extroversion when I have to for work. But extrovert/introvert is really about energy. Being in social situations or having to interact with people is very draining for me. Sitting on my couch not talking to anyone for a few hours – totally energizing. So you ask a really interesting question about how that relates to blogging. Sometimes, I don’t have the energy to engage with friends in the blogging community via their blogs or twitter or even going through emails. Leaving comments is like email – we each handle our side of the conversation in our own time. But it still is something of a conversation – thinking about what the person said and forming a response that pulls from my extroversion energy. Which sometimes I have. And sometimes… I just don’t.

    That’s why I’m so grateful that my blogging friends forgive my binge commenting/catching up on EVERYTHING when I actually do have the energy. I always want to get better though – spend an hour or two a week with the book blogging community instead of two or three hours once every few months :)

    • Yeah, I like that blogging functions this way, that we can take our time and get to comments and replying whenever we have the time and the energy to do so. I TRY to answer comments in a timely fashion but sometimes life just gets the best of me and the blog has to be abandoned for a while. But I don’t usually even notice if a blogger goes on a hiatus for a week or two, I’m just pleasantly surprised when I see a comment reply notification or a new post in my feed. :) I know some people obsess about blogging schedules and such but this just doesn’t work for me.

      And faking extroversion, that must be a useful skill to have. I’m sure other introverts would love some pointers! :D

      Thanks for the comment, Annie!

  • I see blogging as a narcissistic hobby as well, so can I claim to be an introvert with narcissistic tendencies? Or perhaps I am an introvert with extroverted tendencies? Because while I loved to keep to myself, I do recall a time in college when I CRAVED house parties, where I LOVED being center of attention. It’s not that I dislike social situations (just MOST of the time), I just to rejuvenate much needed energy, I need to be totally alone. With anything that makes sound turned off.

    • This is a free blog, so you can put yourself in whatever category you want! :) Seriously, though, I feel like these labels are SO personal and there’s no black and white – much as with other psychological and social labels, there’s a spectrum of sorts.

      And I know what you mean – I’ve taken a step back from all the partying, too. I love quiet evenings in – and in fact, this is what I/we do most of the time. Because who has time to party every night (or even every week) when you have a job, a family, a partner, and/or a bunch of other obligations (like reading and watching series)? :) I’m much more picky with the social events I attend.

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    I think that I’m an introvert because I need time alone to refresh and get rested. I don’t mind time around people but I can only take so much before I need time alone. I can’t go go go and feel rested or relaxed. As for public speaking- nope. I don’t like it one bit! haha. But as far as the blogging goes. It doesn’t really feel like socializing to me like being around people does. Talking online to someone and seeing them in person feels different to me. Talking via twitter, blogs and chat doesn’t exhaust me the way going to dinner would. I can endure much more socializing via internet because of that. I honestly don’t really think about people actually reading my posts! If I did I’d get nervous about posting, haha! What a great post topic!

    • I know what you mean about interactions via twitter and comments being easier – I think it’s both the fact that you get to think about your words and that you get to do it on your own terms (whenever you want). You can also just leave stuff be and step away for a time, if that’s what you need.

      I feel like most people who commented would say they shared your views on public appearances. :D I had three dates with various girlfriends this week (somehow they all ended up coming to town and/or having time) and we had a great time – I really needed that after a couple of weeks where we couldn’t make it work. But I did enjoy some quiet time with my husband and kid afterwards. I think everything is okay in moderation. :)

  • I don’t know if I really am an introvert, but I think I share some -if not a lot – of their traits. I’m afraid of speaking in public when I have a live audience (my mind goes blank and I freak out whenever I do). I also don’t like talking to strangers or people I’m not that familiar with, because I always don’t know what to say or I immediately think I’ll be judged if I say even just a “Hi” to them. Even asking for a tissue from a waiter/waitress in a restaurant gives me the frights (I don’t even know why, I just do).

    Even so, I’d still love the feeling of talking to other people who actually understand what I’m saying, without talking to them live or in real life. That’s why I fell in love with book blogging and its community – it’s a place where I can talk whatever I want, without the fear or being judged while I’m talking. Although the possibility of hate comments always give me the frights whenever I hit that “Publish” button, it’s still a great feeling to share my opinions on stuff to the public, minus “some” of my fear of social interaction. Plus, the really nice people in the community definitely helps as well. :)

    Really great post, Kaja!

    • Hi, Mara! :)

      I think that through reading comments on this post, I’ve come to realize that “introverted” and “extroverted” aren’t really polar opposites, they’re more like at opposite ends of a spectrum and people fall on different shades of this scale. Like everything identity-related, these two labels are also pretty fluid and open to interpretation. :)

      And I completely understand what you mean about book blogging – finding people who were as enthusiastic about books as I am was SO refreshing and liberating for me! And everyone has been really, really nice and welcoming. Do you get hate comments? Because I haven’t really gotten any (I hope I never do), I just get people disagreeing with me in discussion post comments, which is kind of the point of discussions. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  • I consider myself an introvert because, even though I love spending time with my family and friends, I need time to myself to recharge and I also, generally, need some forewarning of social situations; if someone phones me up and says, ‘Hey, I’m in town, wanna meet for coffee this afternoon?’ then I have to REALLY want to see them to not make some excuse because I have ‘plans’ (aka, sitting and reading).

    BUT that’s why I do love blogging, because all the social interaction is on my terms. If I’m feeling tired and exhausted by other people IRL, I can just let my blog lie fallow for a couple of weeks, and then when I’m excited and want to talk about books I can comment on ALL THE BLOGS and write ALL THE POSTS.

    • Haha “plans” are a good excuse if you don’t want to meet people. :) I like my days planned out, too, not because I have so much to do but because I hate running around and being late. So I prefer it if people announce themselves early, too.

      And yeah, blogging is great in this way. You can take your own time and interact when and as much as you want to. I think it’s also great for becoming a better writer, so that’s a definite plus!