Discussion: On Guilt

Today, I thought I’d make a little discussion post about guilt. I only started my blog in September of 2014 so I’m a fairly recent blogger. Lately, I’ve been feeling guilty for various reasons, all related to either reading or my blog. I don’t know whether it’s a thing every blogger feels or if it is just me but I thought I’d talk about it here anyway. I’ve  been feeling guilty for several different reasons.

  1. Loving a book that others/other bloggers disliked.
    I know that reading tastes are very different and as we are all unique, we all tend to like different things. Yet somehow, I feel guilty when I give a book a good rating/review and see that others disliked it. What if someone bought this book based on my recommendation and then hated it? So yes, I feel guilty about this. It leads to me feeling guilty for liking something which I shouldn’t be! If I loved it, then I should definitely be able to say so. This community is so kind, and everyone accepts that we have different reading tastes which is why they’d never judge you for loving that book. It’s definitely not the other bloggers that make me feel guilty, it’s all me.
  2. Disliking a universally loved book.
    The complete opposite of #1, but no less true. For example, The Great Gatsby. I HATE THAT BOOK. Yet everyone seems to love it for some reason. It makes me think I missed something about it. Did I not read it thoroughly enough? It’s a classic, so maybe it’s because I wasn’t raised speaking English? It makes me doubt myself but most of all, it makes me feel guilty for disliking it. The same goes for hyped up books. I’m always afraid to read them because it raises my expectations so high I often end up disappointed -looking at you, The Maze Runner.
  3. Having periods where I’m extremely busy.
    As some of you may know, I do go to university. It’s my final bachelor year which basically means they dump a whole load of work and projects on your lap. That combined with my social/student life and keeping up the blog can lead to periods where I don’t really have much time to read. Which also means there won’t be a lot of reviews going up. And I feel so guilty about that! I know that it is normal to have busy periods, but I want my content to be consistent and good!
  4. Not being able to read review books immediately.
    Aaaah, how bad this makes me feel. Currently, I have about 13 unread books from Netgalley, 1 from Edelweiss and 2 from authors. And since I have to study most of the day -every day- up until the end of January, I don’t have much time. And since I’m a mood-reader I really need to feel like reading that book before I pick it up. If I pick it up just out of obligation, I’ll end up hating it. And even though I warn the authors beforehand, that it probably will take me a few months before I end up reading their book, I feel guilty about it.
  5. DNFing a book.
    The guilt I feel when I DNF a book -especially a review book- is indescribable. I mean, the publisher/author expects a review from me in return for me receiving it. But sometimes, there’s just no other choice for me. I did this last year with Whole in the Clouds, because I could not carry on reading that one. And while I made a review explaining my reasons for not finishing it, it didn’t lessen my feelings of guilt.
  6. Not having read a hyped up book.
    This happens to me so often! I don’t know why, but I have trouble picking up books that the blogging community universally loves, because I’m afraid to be disappointed. But then, you end up being the only one that hasn’t read that book! Examples: I haven’t read The Winner’s Curse, Splintered, Heir of Fire, etc. GUILT(Y).
  7. Barely having read any classics.
    As I was born and raised in Belgium, I’ve never been obliged to read the classics like in American/English high schools. So I never really did. I think the only classic I’ve read is The Great Gatsby, which I read in 2013 and loathed. This year, I made it my resolution to read 2 classics so I can catch up a bit and stop feeling so guilty/ashamed. Recommendations are always welcome!

I’m pretty sure I could come up with other topics I feel guilty about, but for now I’ll leave it at this. Do any of you experience the same thing? I’d love to hear about it!

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25, reader, blogger, feminist, INFJ

13 thoughts on “Discussion: On Guilt”

  1. I haven’t read Splintered, The Winner’s Curse, OR Heir of Fire either! 😛 But I really really want to! But like you said, I’m worried I’ll be disappointed and I also feel obliged to write a review for them and currently I’m just relaxing/reading non-review books.


    1. YES! I feel guilty that I haven’t read them but then I always worry whether the hype made it sound better than it actually is…

      You should definitely do that! It’s actually my goal for this week as well. Relax and read whatever I want to 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess the problem is that books that have no hype about them are barely “heard of” so whenever someone mentions them, everyone goes.”I never heard of that book!”
        And if there’s too much hype, most people either go after the book(s) or totally avoid them!


  2. I think those are all totally normal things that most bloggers feel at over point or another. I used to never DNF books but now I totally let myself. I usually give the book until 50 pages. But I still rarely DNF. I only had four that I did last year. And you know don’t get pulled in by the hype, read whatever you want otherwise you ate needs likely to enjoy it. As for review books publicists for the most part understand that not everyone is going to love the book so don’t worry about that. Just be honest and you’ll feel much better about the whole thing. Looking forward to seeing your posts. 🙂


    1. I don’t like to DNF, but sometimes I just have to do it. I try to only read what I want, as I am a mood reader, bot often I’m still influenced by hype. I try to go in with low expectations because otherwise a perfectly great book may disappoint me.

      Thank you! 😀


  3. I totally feel like this too! I don’t generally feel guilty if I read a book that I didn’t enjoy but everyone else loved it, I just feel more disappointed that I didn’t love it and I wonder – did I perhaps read it wrong? Which is silly of me, but I can understand where you’re coming from. We also all have different opinions and that is fine! ❤

    I also feel really guilty when I'm going through a busy time of my life and I can't read because I really, really want to but I know other things (unfortunately) are of more importance (like school and exams)!

    I've also barely read any classics and I feel quite guilty about that, but they're just so time consuming with the different language style that I don't have time to decipher all the hidden meanings and the definitions of the archaic words!

    Don't feel guilty, Jolien. Just remember, reading is a hobby, we all have our own opinions and you must do whatever feels best for YOU! 🙂 Great post! ❤


    1. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I still do! Thank you so much for your comments -and your absolute KINDNESS Kyra! We do all have our own opinions and reading should always stay fun 😀

      On one hand, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who feels guilty about certain things. On the other hand, I wish none of us would feel guilty about it!



  4. The most important thing you can do is blog and read for yourself. Don’t worry about what others think, or whether you’re blogging is good enough or not. It took me about a year and a half to finally say “eff it I’m doing it my way”. I only post about 3 times a week now, and it is such a relief.

    I know what you mean though, about someone reading a book because of your praise, and then they end up not liking it. But really, they have to have interest in it to actually take the step to read it. Their choice. There are a few bloggers I know well, to where if it’s a book I love but know they won’t, I’ll tell them to pass. lol.

    Don’t worry, you’ll adjust and get used to it. You have nothing to feel guilty for. You’re doing great, Jolien! You can always shoot me a message if you just want to gripe, vent, or whatever. Sometimes we just need to. 😉


    1. Thank you so much Christy! That’s so kind, I’ll definitely send you message if I want to vent or just anything 😀

      I really try to blog just for myself -and I absolutely love doing it- but I don’t want to let a single follower down. Even if I only had one, I’d still feel that way. Although you can never really please everyone, I know that.

      Yes! I’m starting to get to know a certain amount of bloggers but not well enough yet to know what they usually dislike in a book… But to honest, even if I dislike a book a blogger has recommended, I never really mind that much. Everyone has such different reading tastes that I totally get it. (I hope that made sense… The explanation made sense in my head, I promise!)

      Thank you so much for your kind comment 😀


  5. My goodness, you are sweet. I don’t feel guilty about liking/disliking books very often, but this is mostly because when I do really love/hate a book (I’m talking 1-star or 5-star books), I have very good reasons and I’m kind of stubborn. Those books in the middle (3-star to 4-star) are more likely to be up for discussion. I wrote about DNFing earlier and the more I read and blog, the more I want to enjoy it, and so sometimes DNFing becomes necessary. Some books are really hyped, but are just not in a genre I necessarily enjoy, so I either skip it or may check it out from the library if I’m so inclined, but I try not to force myself to read it.

    Lest you think I am unfeeling, I do actually experience guilt when it comes to reviewing books requested by authors themselves. I hate, hate, hate having to write a negative review when the author was kind enough to seek out a review from me. It gets my stomach all twisted up in knots and is the reason that I am currently not accepting review requests.

    Great discussion!


    1. Aw, thank you!

      I agree, DNFing is sometimes really necessary. I didn’t finish a particular book in the fall -I think- of 2014, because it was a middle grade and I could not deal with the messages it was giving to that audience…

      I did not think you were unfeeling at all! 😀
      I know, I’m sometimes afraid to read books authors have sent me, just because I don’t want to end up disliking it. Even though I always give them a warning that my reviews are honest, it still makes me anxious when they were kind enough to contact me after seeing my blog.

      I think I have a serious guilt-issue! I sometimes feel guilty for stuff that I really shouldn’t feel guilty about. I have no clue why that is…

      Thank you so much for your visit, and especially for your comment Alicia! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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