LET’S TALK ABOUT… down-sizing and BIG changes!

October 8, 2020

We haven’t had a discussion post in a while, and this one was really quite spur-of-the-moment, but I feel like I need to make some big changes to most of my bookish platforms and I wanted to be up-front about them.

I’ve been struggling with staying afloat in the bookish world this year. 

I’m also sure that a lot of you can relate, and that’s why I’m writing this post. If any of this hits home for you, I want you to know that I get it and I’m here for you.

🍂 First, some insight into where I’m at and why I’m feeling out of sorts lately.

1. I got my start as a YA blogger, but I don’t read much YA anymore.

Meanwhile, my social media feeds are primarily much younger YA bloggers, and while I love these bloggers and will absolutely continue to support them, sometimes I feel a bit, well… old and out of touch? 😂 (I’m only turning 28 next weekend — I shouldn’t feel old yet, should I?!) I think it’s past time that I step outside of my socially anxious little bubble and start making more friends closer to my own age, too!

2. I get tired of talking about books 24/7.

I know, *GASP!*

I adore reading, but it isn’t my only hobby! I love so many other things, but I’m always afraid to talk too much about my other interests because I worry that a lot of the bookish community, whether it’s on social media or our blogs or booktube, expects bookish content creators to ONLY talk about books. (Am I imagining this, or does anyone else feel this way, too??)

3. I’ve spent most of this year feeling totally overwhelmed.

Whether it’s trying to keep up with new releases, schedules, promoting review copies (and feeling TERRIBLE for every single ARC release I miss), being active enough on social media that the algorithms don’t hide my posts, watching stats and numbers, learning how to create booktube videos… need I go on? I’ve spread myself far too thin over the last few years, and I finally reached a point where I can recognize that. When I’m missing time with my family or putting off things I want to do because I feel like I “have to” write another blog post, film another video, etc., it’s a problem.

4. I miss peaceful, relaxing reading habits, like…

  1. reading whatever I want to read, when I want to read it
  2. joining readathons without hesitation, rather than obsessing over schedules
  3. going a few days without reading and NOT feeling bad
  4. getting an ARC and reading it right that day because I’m so damn excited, instead of setting it aside until closer to its release date because I have too many titles coming out before it that I feel like I “need” to read first

I’ve gotten into such unhealthy habits with reading, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s a big part of why I’ve spent most of 2020 in a reading slump.

5. I want to have time to pursue hobbies that have nothing to do with books.

I’ve recently started gaming a LOT again, and it’s been absolute bliss. It offers me escapism that books aren’t able to give me right now, and best of all, I’ve started making some incredible friends through Twitch and gaming Discord servers! After being a gamer my entire life and never feeling accepted in the gaming community (because, truly, how many women do?), I finally found people who make me feel like I can play multiplayer games, and stream, and generally have a presence on Twitch without being scared of abuse or toxicity — and all of that makes me really want to get back into frequent streaming! 

But if I want to have time for streaming and gaming, I have to take time away somewhere else, and that’s what the bottom line of this post really is about.

🍂 What does all of this mean for my content, though?

for my BLOG:

My blog is pretty unaffected by all of this. I’m considering moving my weekly wrap-ups back to Wednesdays so I can do a Mon-Fri schedule and take the weekend off, but that’s only because I’m really bad at remembering to finish my wrap-up posts on Saturdays! My blog is the one place in the bookish community that I feel totally happy and comfortable, and it’s a great outlet for me, so I’ll still be here plenty!


I’ve been trying ALL YEAR to get back on a “good” schedule, but a chat with one of my best friends helped me realize that I don’t want to get back into a consistent IG schedule because I want to, but because I think I’m supposed to. That’s not a good enough motive! I like bookstagram and miss being more active, but I’ve decided to let go of the idea of a daily schedule. Right now, my plan is to come back with 2-3 posts per week at the absolute most and to just post whenever I feel like it instead of obsessing over stats and the algorithm.


hate writing this, but I don’t enjoy book twitter as much as I used to. My feed has become a constant source of drama and negativity. I’m very grateful that it never *directly* involves me, but simply seeing it over and over again has been taking a huge toll on me, whether it’s the casual racism that often goes unchecked, the way readers constantly attack authors and force themselves to disclose parts of their lives they aren’t comfortable with yet (or ever), or just the simple, petty gossip and bullshit…

Anyways, I’ll be: 1) curating my feed a LOT, and 2) moving most of my twitter presence over to my gaming twitter account (@tinyzombiegames).

and for my BOOKTUBE:

This is the part that stings — not because I’m sad, but because I’m afraid of disappointing people. I just have to be honest, though: I don’t enjoy booktube enough for it to be worth the time, effort, and emotional labor it costs me. I love watching videos, and I would love to get into filming reading vlogs occasionally (for readathons and personal challenges), but I’m going to drop down to a video every few weeks or so at the most. I also won’t be posting anymore TBRs, hauls, or wrap-up videos in the foreseeable future.

And, uh… well, I guess that’s it! I feel a bit awkward now and don’t know how to close this out. 😂 If you read all of this, I really, truly appreciate you. These things might seem unimportant to a lot of people, but as someone who has based so much of my personal identity around the bookish community, learning how to take a step back isn’t easy for me, and I know the best way to hold myself accountable so that I don’t fall back into “workaholic” tendencies is to be up-front about my goals with everyone here.

And again, if you related to any of this or are feeling similarly, please know that I’m here.

Feel free to let me know here or DM me on whatever social media or email me, even, because honestly, I’m feeling a little alone right now and could use the comradery, too. ♥ I’m just hoping at least a few of you can understand where I’m coming from and that I won’t be disappointing too many of you. 

Thank you all so much for your support and love. I love you all!


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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. I could have written this post, Destiny, I feel every one of your points – except gaming because I’m not a gamer;-) This has been such an overwhelming year in so many ways, and it’s at this point during every year I tell myself that “next year is going to be better! I’m not going to accept so many review books! I ‘m going to read MY books.” Yeah that never works out, lol. Hang in there and know that we’re supporting you in whatever you end up doing:-)

    1. That’s totally understandable! If you don’t enjoy something as much as something else.. you gotta drop it. You also can’t be everywhere at once – gotta pick and chooses the one you loves the most and stick to them 🙂

      Oh man.. i’m only going on 26 and does feel old constantly soo xd sometimes I gotta think for a minute to realize i’m actually that old rofl

      Also! this is your space. if you wanna bring other things to the table and not only talk about books, you can! that has been my greatest thing i’ve made since I started blogging; expending my blog to talk about whatever the hell I wanna talk about. It’s also much easier to write posts while in a slump.. 😅 (although i’m still struggling with that.. *aherm*)

    1. Not gonna lie, I vibe with all of this so much, Destiny. One of the book bloggers that I follow just turned twenty, and I just felt this overwhelming sense of existential dread for a second like, am I old??? I’m also twenty-eight, and I sometimes feel like I’m too old to be part of the community? Which is just ridiculous because you can be any age and read whatever books you want, but you’re right, a lot of it is toxic a lot of the time, and it’s so exhausting. Thankfully, book blogging seems to still be the most wholesome and friendly, and it’s truly a place that I adore and hope with all my heart never goes away, and I’ve really been trying to bring that vibe into my Instagram & Twitter, too. Because, at the end of the day, the only reason we’re posting on these various social media platforms is because we want to shout about the things we love, and that might as well be fun, right? And if the thing you’re in love with isn’t a book, you should still feel free to shout about it! Truthfully, I think seeing book bloggers get excited about their non-bookish hobbies is a lot of fun because, otherwise, I might never have heard about those things, and that shouting creates the image of a real human behind the books, and that’s really wonderful. If you love it, shout about it. If you don’t, take time away from it. Really, it’s your life, and your happiness is the most important thing in your life, so why not curate a life that’s going to make you happy? Which I know is way easier said than done, but I’m here for you if you ever want to talk about non-bookish stuff or just rant about life or whatever! This space should be about what you love, and you’re never going to disappoint anyone by being honest. And if you do, well, they’re not meant to be here for you anyway. 💕

    1. Ahhh, yes, this post is so relatable! Especially the part about feeling a bit like aged out of certain book blogging groups. I want to support teen/youth bloggers as well but sometimes I’m like “Am I supporting or invading their space?” Especially the part about Twitter enjoyment. I’ve been having a lot of mixed feelings about Twitter for the same reasons as you. I usually do a ‘pare back’ every December but I might do it earlier this year. Especially the part about having lost the fun of spontaneous reading. You get the idea 😛 Anyway, it always make me so happy to see bloggers take control and make changes when blogging and related activities aren’t as enjoyable as they used to be. I hope this helps you connect to the joy of reading again 😌

    1. This post sums up my 2020! I feel the same way about outgrowing YA and wanting to talk about more than books sometimes. I turned 29 this year and I get what you mean about making friends my own age.

    1. I think so many of us are feeling this way. Thank you for writing this post. I’m getting back to my own blog more, no longer worrying about bookstagram and am doing my work for Ladies Of Horror Fiction. I’m also no longer taking in arc’s. I’ll Twitter when I feel the impulse but I‘ve cut way back with the doom scrolling.

      All the rest can screw off 😹

    1. I think so many of us are feeling this way. Thank you for writing this post. I’m getting back to my own blog more, no longer worrying about bookstagram and am doing my work for Ladies Of Horror Fiction. I’m also no longer taking in arc’s. I’ll Twitter when I feel the impulse but I‘ve cut way back with the doom scrolling.

      All the rest can screw off 😹

    1. Perfectly understandable. I’ve had my site, The Paperback Stash, for over 10 years and have taken years off due to changes. I like Instagram now, but I used to be On Goodreads five hours a day but now burned out on that. It’s okay – it happens – we change 🙂 I also enjoy Steam games now and have read less as I’ve broaden into other hobbies.

    1. first off, i love you SO much. second, i feel like…. the good and the bad… me and you are mostly always on the same page in life. haha. but i support you, god i support you. and im so proud of you for putting yourself, your mental health, and your family first. and you knowing what is comfort for you? you knowing what you need right now? seriously, so proud of you. and i will support and cheer you on forever and always. <3

    1. Awhhh that is SO OKAY to feel that way because the more we grow, the more we are overwhelmed with books 24/7! But I sincerely wish you’ll be okay soon enough!

    1. Taking time for yourself, looking after yourself, your needs and what makes you happy will never be a disappointment for the people that care about you and your well-being. On the contrary, I’m exremely proud of you for taking care of yourself. I think you are incredibly brave,and I wish you the best!

    1. I feel this a lot Destiny. There is so much work that goes into what we do, and our hobbies shouldn’t feel so much like work. It’s a constant struggle. I feel like I’m constantly eliminating things to try to make it work, but I want to love what I’m doing. Finding my way back to my other hobbies is my biggest struggle right now. I miss doing other things, and like you, I’ve just stretched myself too thin. Hugs and love to you!

    1. Yeah I relate to all of this a lot. I have been feeling so overwhelmed by everything lately. I have been posting on and off. I have been feeling myself do posts last minute which gets stressful. I also haven’t been into Twitter as much either. I feel there is always something going on there that puts me in a bad mood. I hate fighting and getting into confrontations so I always stay out of it. I just feel people are so quick to attack others and it’s sad to see. It gets to be way too much. Thank you for writing this post and saying the things I wish I could say as well as you did.

    1. i’ll miss you on booktube, but want you to be happy and healthy! i’m not able to keep up with all my subs there anyway. and if you stream more i’ll get to see you there anyway <3 glad you've been able to figure out what works for you and are prioritizing those things. i've also been basically gone from twitter (aside from DMs and watching during political events ugh) so i totally get it.

    1. I totally understand this. Lately I have been wishing for the freedom to just read whatever I want, whenever I want, instead of feeling guilty about the huge pile of review books I have, plus all the new releases that I keep buying because of feeling like I need to keep up.
      This year I had planned to post on instagram 5 times per week (but really, daily), but instead up to mid-way through September I had posted less than 30 times total for the whole year. Between changes to the algorithm and feeling like no one was seeing my posts, I just… kind of gave up. Plus I wasn’t loving my aesthetic and that was making me feel creatively empty. Which of course then spiralled and I didn’t post at all for over 2 months because of anxiety. I had a really long chat with one of my friends and she said the simplest thing: why don’t you just post whatever you want, when you feel like it? Who cares if the photos match your “theme”? And I know it sounds so silly, but it clicked. Why was I trying to do all of this? It wasn’t for me. So, now I pst for me. Sure, sometimes I think “am I using too many hashtags? should I post at a different time of day?” but overall I’m much happier.
      I also feel like book twitter has changed. There is so much negativity on there, and it’s so political at the moment with the US elections happening in Nov that I feel like I can’t log on without seeing some pro/anti posts about the nominees. It makes me so glad that in Aus we have a rule that none of the parties can advertise until 6 weeks prior to the election. It really confines all the vitriol (not that we have any where near the amount of vitriol that the US does in regards to candidates).
      Anyway, this was just a really long comment to say, you’re not alone. Plus I’m way older than you, so don’t feel like you need to find older friends. Age is just a number. 💕💕

    1. Do what you need to do!

      For me, I dove into the book-everything world this year in May after already being on YouTube/socials for art since 2018 and I was thinking it’d be no big deal to add this, right? Hah! It’s quite the balancing act. My BookTube channel isn’t growing like I hoped it would, and adding another video to film and edit in my weekly schedule on top of what I already do for my art channel has proven to be far more taxing than I thought it would be. I’ve let edited captioning go on the book channel because it isn’t scripted (95% of my art videos are because except for one series they’re voice over) and I do companion blog posts so… Yeah, I know, not good enough, but I can’t make myself sit back down for another hour+ to sort out the captions. I also picked Saturday uploads because my art channel is Tuesday & Thursday and I wanted to keep the days off in between, but we go to the cabin so many weekends that I don’t have Friday night to finish, so I’m working on Thursday night anyway. The only thing that makes me want to keep the booktube channel is the fact that I’ve seen self-pub authors with existing youtube followings sell so well, and I want to publish. Is that a good enough reason, though? I could scratch the on-camera itch the art videos don’t satisfy by adding “bonus, whenever I want” creator vlogs to the art channel…

    1. Hey, you do you! This reminds me of when my publisher (back when I had one) kept pushing me to review YA Fantasy and didn’t like it when I mentioned writing non-ya things. I even balked at having to call myself a YA Fantasy author on my site. This pegging is too much, you know? There should be nothing wrong with wanting to try other things. One of my favorite meme’s out there shows the movie posters for two films with text similar to this: THE SAME DIRECTOR WHO DID THIS…ALSO DID THIS. DON’T BE AFRAID TO DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

      The two movie posters? MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and HAPPY FEET.

      So hell yes, do what makes YOU happy! 🙂 x

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and struggles! I would love to also see you talk about your other hobbies and interests, I’m always curious about that 🥰

      I also relate so much to missing relaxing reading habits, as I feel like this year especially I’ve been joining way too many Readathons, creating lowkey schedules and overwhelming TBR’s 😓 I’m currently working on mood-reading more, reading more intuitively (without feeling guilty for not reading every day) and not overwhelming myself with Readathons. It’ll be more sustainable for me in the long run, especially as I’m starting my Master’s course soon and need reading to be an act of self-care at this time, instead of another factor that stresses me out!

    1. Yepppp 29 here and I feel you. I don’t feel the same connection lately. This is a completely person opinion and of course I’m too old, but YA has recycle the same fantasy, chosen one tropes. I hope actual teens are enjoying it still. But for me, I know where it’s going as soon as I read chapter 1. Ahhh. 2020 has kind of robbed me of the joy of reading…. I also want to find other hobbies, like video games.

    1. I could have written this post as well. I’m 32, so no – You’re not old. My husband half-jokes about being old, and he’s 35. I’ve been up and down and sideways throughout 2020. I’m beyond ready for January to be here, as if New Year’s is a big milestone and seeing the year change will help? I’m not sure. Hugs!! I’m so proud of you. Thank you for inspiring me!

    1. Love this! I think you even taking the time to announce these changes shows how much you care about the community and blogging friends you’ve created for yourself. I’ve been in such a slump all year and acknowledging it was so hard, but I stopped posting a couple of months ago and going cold-turkey has been so nice. My blog and Instagram will be there when I have the motivation to go back.

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