Why I Don´t Join Facebook Book Groups Anymore

Facebook book groups – Oh, how I love to hate and hate to love them.

 

You´d think there wouldn´t be much to tell about Facebook book groups. The truth is- There´s not enough time or space to put down every single detail about what goes on behind those invisible group walls.

From the groups themselves, how they operate, the interaction, etc. There´s a lot of ground to cover when wanting to discuss these groups. Topics I can´t possibly cram in one simple post. Because there are so many different types of Facebook book groups.  We´ve got groups for:

 

  • fans of book blogs
  • book groups for specific genres / mixed genre groups
  • author groups
  • book blogger support groups
  • book promotional groups
  • bookmarket groups
  • groups for individual books
  • Book character groups
  • groups for the smut-loving society
  • street team groups
  • beta reading groups

 

Whatever a book lover´s looking for, Facebook´s got it in spades.  You want it, you´ll find it. You´ll also find a little more ( or less ) than you bargained for. And you´ll be able to find these hangouts categorized into three different types of groups:

 

  • Open groups
  • Closed groups
  • Secret groups

 

From a neutral standpoint, I can say that Facebook book groups are truly a blessing. There are countless ways you can benefit from a Facebook book group. From meeting like-minded fans of a specific book to making new friends… Facebook book groups are a wonderful way to connect and receive book-related info.

Unfortunately- If you´ve been in the business long enough you eventually see the cursed side of these Facebook book groups. I´ve seen this side as I´m sure many others have. While some FB book groups are wonderful… some groups just aren´t great places to spend time in.

 

kind reminder

Okay. I think we´re good to go, now.

Alas! Here are my reasons why I don´t join Facebook book groups anymore.

 


#1    Dead Book Groups

 

At one point I realized I was following over 250 Facebook book groups. 250! And from 250, only a few were consistently active. There are many reasons for Facebook book groups becoming silent but I don´t feel like sticking around when there´s nothing to stick around for. Being a part of a group for no greater reason goes against the idea of a group. I don´t see a point in collecting inactive groups.

Yes, Facebook can be blamed for the deaths of many book groups, but many book groups can be blamed for their own deaths. Either way- I´m out.

 

 

#2  If You´ve Seen One…

 

Yes. I´m saying all Facebook book groups are very much alike.  Each group is more or less a copy of another. Is this a bad thing? Well, sharing the book love can never be considered an evil cause. It´s seeing the same posts, the same shared content that´s ruined it for me. Personally? Aside from the design and colors, I see no differences. Unless a Facebook book group has something that makes them stand out then I feel no need to follow anymore.

I know it´s hard to come up with a unique concept these days. It´s even harder to maintain a certain standard when so much is constantly changing. The idea is not to settle for the safe option and copy what works for others. If you want to stand out or be seen you

a) should offer something no one else offers

b) maybe sell the copied concept differently

c) invest time, sweat and love ( and money for ads )

It sounds so much easier than it actually is. Trust me – I know. But it´s possible.

 

 

#3  Dictator Admins

 

Do I need to say more? Yes, I do. Dictator admins are real. They´re also very busy people. Busy monitoring posts and comments like a crack whore, busy talking about themselves and their achievements, busy warning members and keeping them in check. Admins basically have all the power over a group, which is perfectly fine. But some like to wield that power and play King Fuck – Who doesn´t give two shits about what their members want or need because it´s only important what the admin says /does/wants.  They set the rules and it´s in everyone´s interest to follow these strict rules. Should any member fall out of line then there will always be some type of consequences. This is NOT fun.

I´ve been in many groups where the admins acted like this and I´ve always wondered what happened to make them act like glorified cunts. Do I have to continue to follow these people? Of course, not. Life is too short to follow these people.

Admins of Facebook book groups need to act as mentors and help their community feel like they´re in the best place ever. I don´t want to be in a group run by a dictator. I want to be in a group where the focus is on open communication, sharing content, helping each other, etc.

 

 

#4  Rules

 

Rules, schmules. As if book lovers need rules in a Facebook book group. It´s stated NOWHERE that a social media group needs rules, so why do many Facebook book groups have them? I have my suspicions. One of them includes a dictator admin.  Because how can you be an active member and contribute when you´re being restricted from the start?

  • Self-promotion is not allowed

So, a book blogger isn´t allowed to talk about / share their work even though the group could benefit from it. How unclever.

  • Offensive posts will be banned

First of all- Define the word `offensive`. Seems like everyone has a different definition these days. This point basically means that if the admin believes your post is offensive ( even though it isn´t ) you´ll be warned, banned, deleted, asked to leave, kicked out. Wonderful.

  • Healthy debates are welcome

No. They´re not. Don´t fool yourselves. Respectful opinions are never welcome because they´re often seen as an attack. Especially when you disagree with the admin or a golden card member. Most groups use this point to lure in debate friendly people and end up blocking them for not liking what they have to say.

These are just a few rules from MANY.

With so many rules how is someone supposed to act in a book group? Maybe not act at all? Always agree with everyone? That´s just ridiculous. I´m not in a book group to follow rules. I´m here to join in on the fun and to maybe learn a thing or two.

My personal experiences have taught me to stay far away from groups with so many rules.

 

 

#5   Secret Safe Havens For Dick Pic Haters

/ Secret Safe Havens for Dic Pic Lovers

 

There are groups and then there are secret groups. Since I mingle with the romance novel crowd ( where the smut levels range from 1 – 10  ) you can imagine what goes on in some book groups. Sometimes posts are squeaky clean and respectable ( even informative ) and sometimes you´re involuntarily rewarded with a dick pic of a firefighter on a Friday. That´s just how the romance world rolls. Am I bothered about this? No. I couldn´t care less, to be honest.

The funny thing, though, is that some of these Facebook romance book group members have created side groups for people who are offended by aesthetic pictures of respectable men * cough * And at the same time there  have been secret groups created for dic pic lovers where members can secretly share porn all day long in any shape, color or form.

 

” This group is a safe place for romance lovers. “

“This is a safe place for readers who like it dirty.”

 

 

At one point these secret groups were growing like weeds in the Facebook book community. So, I became a safe place member and a member of the dirty gang. My experience in safe places was short lived. I eventually removed myself – Wordlessly. Then I came to this bright conclusion:

It´s a picture. You always have the option to ignore oiled abs and a thrusting crotch. You may allow yourselves to look away and return at another, less sexual time.

If you read romance then you are familiar with the often raunchy sex that can often be compared to porn. You have no reason to feel offended by a picture of a firefighter stroking the one-eyed snake. I guarantee you, you´ve read worse.

This makes the romance book community look like a circus. I mean- There´s humor in everything but this is beyond ridiculous.

 

 

 

#6   The “This isn´t book related but….” Posts

 

Listen- I get it. A Facebook book group is a community and in a community members should support each other during good and bad times. But sometimes private posts are uncalled for, especially when a book group is focused on book promotion ONLY ( or any other specific book group ). There´s a place for private posts and that´s on the person´s private Facebook timeline. I´m not saying it´s terrible if a group member posts about their uncaring neighbor who mows his lawn when the baby´s trying to take a nap. I´m saying the topic isn´t necessarily appropriate for a book group.

Like I said- It isn´t world shattering. I just don´t understand why this needs to be in a book group.

 

 

#7  Questionable Members

 

From what I´ve seen there are a few types of FB book group members:

 

  • The actively supportive members 
  • The Like & Leave members 
  • The cliques/squads/ best of best group buddies members
  • The hypersensitive bunch
  • The Alpha members with their platinum membership cards

 

Three out of the five group member types are most likely to also fall into the questionable member’s category.

What exactly is a questionable FB book group member, you ask? Well, these people make it their mission to make anything their problem. It´s possible that you can become their focus, their target. They will try to discuss you to the ground and tell you what a shitty person you are and how disgusting your opinion is. They will tell you how you hurt THEIR feelings even though you never knew they existed before.

They´re basically the FB book group mafia.

In the beginning, you hardly realize they´re there. But once triggered they´ll reveal themselves and they become very vocal and extremely illogical. What triggers these people? Anything can trigger the mob or a mobster. As soon as they don´t like whatever is posted or said in a group then that´s it – They get their shit lists out. They won´t hesitate to act as if a crime has been committed.

I´ve come to learn that these questionable members are scattered all over the place. Some aren´t as vicious as others. Some come in smaller groups and some are lonesome mobsters. It really depends on the person. Maybe they´re dealing with an offline private issue. Maybe they´re just frustrated and bored.

What I´ve also learned is: You gotta let special be special. And Facebook has way too much special going on. You can´t help the mob understand that you´re not a disgrace to mankind. You´re not a disgrace. They´re just angry people eating chips in front of their laptops. You don´t have to teach these people what the difference between an offensive comment and a diplomatic one is. They´ll only refuse to listen.

But you can remove yourself from a group and never have to deal with questionable members any further. Everything is always just a few clicks away, am I right?


 

Mind you- These weren´t the only experiences I´ve had during my active Facebook book group days. I´ve had the pleasure of being a member of some fabulous Facebook book groups in the past where the admins understood what it meant to be a leader and where the members understood the importance of online kindness.

Despite the positive sides, Facebook book groups have I don´t think I can overlook the fact that many of these groups are just playgrounds for people who have nothing better to do than to wait until they can explode.



 

If you so happen to be a member of an active and well functioning Facebook book group then I´m truly happy for you. It´s always a great feeling to know you´re surrounded by a positive community. As long as the FB book group works for you then all´s good. Keep being a FB book group supporter. ❤


 

What about you? Are you a member of a Facebook book group? Do you agree with my list? Do you disagree? Care to agree to disagree? Let me know your thoughts or share your own personal experiences. Let´s chat! ❤


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Don´t forget to be kind, stay kind and share the book love.

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Book Review: Before We Were Strangers – Renée Carlino

synopsis single

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

M


 

My Thoughts 2

 

From friends to lovebirds. From lovebirds to strangers. Then from strangers to “Wow, that went quick.”  And this is not me spoiling anything from the story.

I have to let out a loud sigh and throw my hands in defeat because I´m at a loss for the right words.

If I ask myself the same question three times in a row I can give three different answers.

Did I like this book?  T´was okay.

Did I like this book?  Meeh.

Did I like this book?  Maybe if I sleep another night over it.

 

My emotions are a tad scattered when thinking about `Before we were strangers` by Renée Carlino.before we were strangers

From reading the synopsis I could tell the story was exactly what I was looking for. A slow burn romance that starts off in college and ends with the characters in their mid 30´s. I was right. Wasn´t disappointed in that department.

I wasn´t prepared for the ( what felt like ) eternal slow burn, though.

Good grief, at times I thought I´d never see the end of the 303 pages.

But then things happened so fast. Before I knew it the story found it´s end.

You get a glimpse of an unhappy Hero in the present. His love life had not gone the way he had planned it. Then he sees her- The woman who stole his heart in college.

Then the flashbacks begin….

Before I go any further I´d like to say that this wasn´t a terrible read. I liked parts of it but some other parts…. I developed a love / hate relationship with everything. For example:

  • The characters. I loved their chemistry but I so disliked their journey.

 

  • The general vibe. I liked that this story wasn´t an in – your – face romance. I felt the there was a gray fog looming over the characters. This was a unique experience for me because I was able to feel the sadness. But then again this fog wasn´t lifted at the right time, making this feel like more of a depressed read even when it shouldn´t have been that way.

 

  • The threat. There always has to be something that jeopardizes a relationship. An evil villain on a mission. I liked the villain in this romance. The ex-wife from the Hero was truly a piece of work. Sadly, she wasn´t there enough for me to appreciate her cruelty.

 

  • The slow burn. This is something I usually appreciate because I like to see things develop. A fictional relationship feels more authentic when things move along at a slower pace. These characters took the term `slow burn` to a whole new level.  There were some moments when I felt like the kid who asks their parents when they´ll reach their destination, repeating “Are we there yet?” every 5 minutes.

 

  • The characters ages. Again, I love to see things develop. Being able to watch characters grow is something I enjoy. Only I didn´t get to watch anyone grow. It was college then mid 30´s. Achievements accomplished during their 20`s  were mentioned and that was it.
  • The end. I love me some good endings. Good. Not rushed. Nice, smooth gradual endings. Not so much the type of ending this book had.

 

If I had to sum this review up with a few lines I´d say: Decent romance with a hard focus on the extreme slow paced relationship development.

 


 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I can see many readers falling in love with this read. It is romantic. It´s filled with love and hope.

Would I reread this book? I don´t believe I will.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:    It definitely fits the story and the image is actually linked to the story, which I approve of. It´s not my prefered style, though.

The Story – 3 Stars:    Decent. I would have liked a little more spark.

The Characters – 3 Stars:    The mid 30´s versions felt like the college versions of the characters.

My emotional state after finishing this read:   I have mixed feelings.

3 stars


 

You can purchase `Before We Were Strangers` by Renée Carlino on Amazon.com


 

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed.

Much love,

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Mug Monday & Reading Log

Mug Feature:    Beige with mint dots

Book Topic:    Reading Log / Journals

 

Hello, my dear ( nearly forgotten ) Mug Monday friends. It´s so great to be able to welcome you back to my quirky world of mugs and random book topics.

The problem with being away for so long is- You have to wiggle your way back into the routine you slipped out of. You know, catching up… and shit.

But (!!!) during my time away from my precious Mug Monday I did spend time actually using my mugs. Even used real tea. Yes, tea. Not hot chocolate this time. Shocking- isn´t it?

 

 

I had to lay low with the milk this time because my body, the stomach bug ( kindly brought home from our local elementary school ) and milk don´t agree with each other.

Don´t worry. I plan to spare you the gory details on what went down ( or out ).

 

 

So, yes… Tea. From peppermint tea to ginger tea, I drank so much that I now feel healthy.

This unwelcome and highly annoying body situation provided so much time for me to give my beloved neglected amazon shopping cart some love. I went book shopping. What did I buy? Well, it wasn´t books, I can tell ya that much.

March´s book shopping spree turned into a journal shopping marathon. Because I don´t have enough journals as it is. Of course, I need more. And I feel no shame by admitting it.

 

 

So, we have a Mug Monday feature AND 2 little journal moments going on. Behold!

 

muggy
 NOTE: Mug used for short term decoration purposes. ( ain´t nothin´in dat mug )

 

I´m loving this SO MUCH that I´m afraid to touch it. I mean- It´s white and cute and pretty…. * sigh *  I´m obsessed with disliking Mondays and I don´t drink coffee, but that´s not the point. I´ve never had a white journal before!

Then I bought another reading log, or book log… or whatever you like to call it. The thing you use to keep track of the books you´ve read. That thing.

A little before New Years I bought my very first reading log, hoping it would bring some organized system in to my reading. And it worked! Well… sort of. I was on a great path of success until I spilled coke all over it and ruined it. So, I bought another one. the exact same one.

Voila!

read log 1
Center – Reading log, Upper left – Great book 

 

 

Simple in the design and easy to maintain. It has all the bits a reader would need to make notes for possible reviews. All that for little money ( $ 5.50, 4.99 euros )

 

read log 3
Kindly turn a blind eye on the right page. Thank you. 

 

  • Page / book count  ( Told you I´ve been slacking )
  • Title, Author,Publisher, Pub-date, Page count, Book format, review, quotes,
  • Nice nifty side bar for adding additional info
  • Has room for 100 books

Perfect for my personal reading notes ( and shopping lists from the looks of book #7 )

Now, do I think reading logs are a must have for readers / book bloggers? No. This is what I like to categorize as bookish “knick- knacks”. A reading log is fun to have, great if you need it but not a necessity.

I like it and think I´ll be able to stick with the book protocol.

 

Do you use a reading log? How you do keep track of your reading? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

 

I guess that´s it for today, my dear bookish Padawans. It´s time for me to get back to my new tea drinking habit.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Monday.

Feel hugged and loved,

 

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Thank The Books It´s Friday

I´m going to skip all pleasantries and head straight for the Thank Fuck squirrel.

 

squirrel fuck

 

You´ll never guess what a week I´ve had. Seriously. Especially yesterday. Jesus Christ on a popsicle…. Remember my last post? Well, it caused quite a stir.

 

 

I guess I struck a chord with my discussion post. Apparently, fake coffee and a somewhat neutral opinion can do that.

 

 

 

Oh! * waves hands enthusiastically * Guess what? I started reading again.

 

 

I thought I´d never find my reading mojo again. But it´s back and I´m more than thrilled about it. So thrilled that I started 2 books. You know, sometimes I truly believe I can´t be helped anymore. Instead of concentrating on 1 book I dive right in to 2.

 

 

But, I´m reading again and that´s the only thing that matters. Now I´m concentrating on `The Kiss Thief` by L.J. Shen.

 

The Kiss Thief

 

You know I love me some great cover image. I thought this was just one beautiful piece of princessy pretty. The lace, the crown, the filters…. Now that I´ve had a closer look at the actual print version I can´t say I´m rooting for the cover as much anymore. There appears to be an antique filter over the image and now everything looks too overdone. Or am I imagining things? Help a book babe out!

 

 

 

 

See what I mean? My print copy ( right pic ) is a little more blurred and yellowish.

Needless to say – I decided to continue `The Kiss Thief` and hope to all that´s pink and fluffy it´s worth the money I spent.

 

The other book I started is a dearly beloved hyped read I´ve been avoiding for years! All I´m going to say is that it´s by Sarah J. Maas and I´m terrified.

 

I also spent some time questioning what went wrong with my ability to be a parent. Because when an angry parent calls you and tells you what their kid heard my daughter say at the playground is not always great.

“Your daughter told my daughter that her dad, your HUSBAND, said that only great songs have the word fuck in them.”

 

 

You know, you sort of try to learn from the mistakes you made with your first kid. I guess husbutt didn´t get the memo.

And I did what any respectable parent would do in that situation.

I told the parent that their kid must have misheard my kid. Speaking with missing front teeth can be adventurous then proceeded to give both husbutt and my youngest death glares.

 

 

From now on  husbutt can deal with angry parents. I have officially retired. I tried my best and decided that the universe needs more cocktails.

 

So, that´s it for this week. Angry comments, angry parents, and a book I truly hope will knock the wind out of my sails because I need that positive blow.


 

How has your week been? What are your plans for the weekend? 

 

Hope you all have a safe and wonderful time.

Much love,

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One Book. Different Covers. ( Foreign Editions )

We´re slowly ( oh, ever so slowly ) moving in the direction I´ve been raving about all this time. Book cover discussions.

As weird as this may seem… I´m feeling more and more inclined to talk about the one thing that makes my heart explode with love or my blood pressure rise.

If you so happen to be new to this blog then you probably haven´t had the pleasure of finding out what my general opinion on book cover images / book cover art are. I´m sure none of you have scrolled that far back to search for my apocalyptic ideas and thoughts on certain covers. And that´s perfectly fine.

To save you time ( because I´m THAT extra ) I´l give you a quick bullet point rundown on what I prefer to see on a book cover ( not genre fixed )

  • non character images
  • bold color contrasts
  • large images
  •  non busy

As long as the book cover is an eye catcher in a positive way I´ll stop and take a look.

Now, we all know the saying `Never judge a book by it´s cover`. There isn´t a saying that´s more annoying to me than that one. Because of course (!!!) I judge a book by it´s cover. Who doesn´? It´s the first thing we see before reaching out for a book ( unless a book has been recommended and said person spoiled 1/3 of the story for me beforehand… in that case it´s then book purchase by recommendation ).

An eye catchy book cover is a silent invitation to take a closer look at a book. And when you like what you see you´ll take your time to check the book out and read the synopsis on the backside. It´s as simple as that.

To judge a book by it´s cover is okay. There´s no crime committed when saying a book cover has caught your attention. Because book covers are important!

With all this being said- I went on a book shopping spree the other day and noticed a few book covers that I haven´t seen before. Now, most of you probably figured out that I live in Germany, and that my german language skills are * cough cough * for shit. This also includes my reading skills. It takes me F.O.R.E.V.E.R to read a 200 page novel written in german. This is the reason why I´m Amazon´s best customer because I order all my english editions on there.

Back to the book shopping spree:

The book store I like to shop at does have a small aisle with english published books. Yes, the fantasy and horror corner takes up much of that aisle but that´s okay. I can live with that. It wasn´t until I was searching for books for the girls when I noticed the different cover images for the books I already have.

 

A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Now, while I wasn´t a fan of the cover ( or the story, for that matter review here) from the english edition, I did find myself drawn to the german cover. It just speaks to me more with its light cool colors.

This got me thinking…. What other book cover treasures were out there for the books I already have. I went on a foreign edition hunt…. and I was successful!

 

 

 

Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram is a cute romance written for people who aren´t me but I must say that while I love the cover for the english edition ( left ) I´m not so sure what to think of the german edition ( right ). It´s plain and simple but… maybe too simple?

 

 

Yeah, not digging the english edition for Sarina Bowen´s The Ivy Years #1 but I do fancy the german cover. I blame it on the backside of the guy´s head in the left image. Uugh.

 

 

Love the color theme on the english edition for Monica Murphy´s Never Tear Us Apart ( Never #1 ) but I hate seeing the faces. The german edition, though…. Good Lawd, the orange bits on the cover reflect in a bronze tone and it´s just stunning. Would rather have the german cover on my shelf. * sigh *

 

 

This one rubs me the wrong way. The left image is the english edition for Slammed by Colleen Hoover. The cover image was perfect for when it was published. Now it´s outdated. The german edition ( right ) might be more trendy but it doesn´t really fit the story. I still prefer the german edition, though. Would look impressive on my bookshelf with all the other black outdated book covers.

 

 

Hands down, the english edition ( left ) of Maybe This Time by Jennifer Snow is nothing I´d ever purchase in a book store. Not with that cover. If only the book had the cover from the german edition….

 

So, there ya have it. One book. Different editions and covers. I can´t really say if the germans are far better at creating book covers but I can say that it´s nice to see what a difference a cover image can make.


Which book covers / forgein editions do you like or prefer?


 

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a lovely bookish day,

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