We are unbelievably excited to launch Love Yo Shelf 2.0!! For a while, Love Yo Shelf manifested as an idea, where we really wanted to evoke specific feelings of welcome and warmth for anyone who visited our blog, but we lacked a cohesive image that truly represented both that feeling and what the blog meant to us. After a lot of chaotic back and forth through text, plus a bare bones “sketch” in Nana’s notes app that will never see the light of day, we landed on a concept that combined the best parts of the blog, and were extremely lucky to work with Vinny @ Film and Fiction for our redesign. Now, Love Yo Shelf looks how it’s always made us feel, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it!Read more
This post is brought to you by people apparently claiming that anything containing a magic school or a school in general is a rip off of Harry Potter and is sponsored by my ensuing indignation and outrage.
Every once in a while, I’ll be doom-scrolling on Twitter and will come across a screenshot from Goodreads, which, despite its name, never actually means anything good, at least in terms of book-ish opinions. I think the most recent one that personally infuriated me was someone’s review of The Poppy War, comparing it to Harry Potter because – and I kid you not – the main character attends an academy. That’s it. Because comparing a series that is written by a woman of color and is based on the second Sino-Japanese War to one written by a known terf is perfectly acceptable. The existence of an academy is, for some people, enough to prove that the author directly took inspiration from one series in particular instead of literally anything else. That was probably the last straw for me, because at this point, I’m just tired.Read more
First off, I just want to thank everyone who nominated and voted for Love Yo Shelf in the best new blog category for Marie and May’s Book Blogger Awards!! Orianna and I are completely and absolutely overwhelmed by the love and support we’ve gotten since starting our baby blog in October, and we’ve loved having the chance to get to know other members of the community. I had absolutely no idea what to expect when we first started, and it’s honestly been a steep learning curve, which brings me to this post!
When we launched Love Yo Shelf in 2019, I felt like I was a little late to the game and in way over my head. I spent a couple months prior to publishing my first Love Yo Shelf post observing and learning, but for a self-proclaimed bookworm, I did very little reading. As much as I tried to prepare myself by polishing the Love Yo Shelf site and stockpiling reviews, I couldn’t prepare for what I simply didn’t know. I found a few posts with tips for new bloggers, and I’m sure there are plenty more out there, but the ones I read tended to be a little more generic and strictly about running a blog, with little mention about having a social media presence or the specific obstacles and issues that bloggers of color face.
It wasn’t until I actually started talking to other bloggers of color that my own hesitantly negative feelings about some of the things I was seeing around Twitter were affirmed and validated. I do think that book blogs are more accessible and thus more equitable than other bookish platforms in terms of who can start a blog and succeed. However, it’s an entirely different ball game for bloggers of color and white bloggers, with layers of privilege factoring in as well. There are a lot of facets to being a blogger of color that I’m unequipped to discuss because of my own privilege, but for the time being, here are some bits of advice for new bloggers of color that I discovered through trial and error.Read more
Alright, bear with me folks, because I dove deep into critical race theory during my undergrad and I have a Lot to say.
I’m sure that almost 100% of the time, white bloggers look to support books by marginalized authors with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, due to the undeniable, incontestable truth that they are white, they wade into unknown waters, often without equipping themselves with basic knowledge through a little research. At first glance, this might seem harmless – after all, I truly don’t expect anyone to know everything there is to know about every diverse culture in the world – but how hard is it to put in a little effort? Or, even better, when you aren’t educated about something, why not defer to someone who does know what they’re talking about and share what they have to say instead?
And yet, despite the fact that white bloggers lack the range (truly no shade intended – this is just a matter of life experience) to fairly and accurately review and promote diverse books, they are praised for doing the bare minimum in advocating for marginalized voices. This is a pervasive problem that extends far beyond the book community, in which people insist on speaking up on behalf of marginalized voices, and end up speaking over them instead. This redirects the focus of the audience to white people instead of the people of color they claim they are trying to help, and as a result, we see the platforms of white bloggers grow rapidly while the platforms of people of color remain more or less stagnant.Read more