An Awkward Moment at the Library

A few weeks ago, I hosted a guest post on a novel called The Woman in Black.  Debbie of The Wicked Queen’s Mirror wrote a fantastic review of the book, and to accompany her post, I wanted to include a photo of the novel, as I usually do with all of my posts.  So, I found a copy of the book at the local library.

As I checked it out, the librarian said, “Wow.  You are brave.  This is a scary book.”

I paused for a moment, and then feeling that I needed to explain, I said, “Well, I don’t know if I will read it.  You see, I have a blog, and I just want to take a picture of it for my blog.”

I was expecting her to say, “Oh, how neat.  What is your blog about?”  or “Why do you need a picture?”

Instead, she just looked at me, raised her eyebrows, and said nothing.


Have you had any awkward moments because of your blog?  Do you openly tell people about your blog, or do you keep it a secret to avoid uncomfortable moments?

45 thoughts on “An Awkward Moment at the Library

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  1. My wife isn’t overjoyed that I write a daily blog. One of my sons reads it fairly regularly, the other ignores it altogether. In general I am a bit embarrassed to tell people I write a blog. It seems like it’s something I do because I can’t think of anything more important to do — like write another book!

    1. I have that embarrassed feeling about it, too. It depends on the company. And I like that you bring up family issues. I don’t want my family members to feel obligated to read it, but I still want them to be interested.

  2. I rarely tell people I blog, for some reason I am a little embarrassed by it. I did put it on my cv as a hobby and somehow managed to talk about it in an interview, only to be met with silence … awkward indeed.

  3. I often wonder what my neighbors think when they drive by my house and see me taking photos of a book (or sometimes my knitting) for my blog…

    I don’t tell that many people about my blog; in fact, I was just interviewed on the radio (huge potential exposure!) and forgot–ahem–to mention it. I did plug two upcoming events next weekend, so that was all right.

    1. So, why didn’t you mention it on the radio? It seems that once you are famous enough, it’s okay to have a blog, right? 🙂 I think in that situation you could have mentioned it. But I understand your hesitation, if that’s what it was.

      1. It’s kind of awkward to say “dot wordpress dot etc.” so that was part of the issue! The other part was being very nervous and launching into all the specs about who is going to read at my event next weekend. I listed my authors, the time and location (and street address!) and then never managed to steer the conversation back to the blog. I consider it an oops more than an intended omission! But it does demonstrate how I’m not used to promoting my blog–or blogs, as I now have one for my micro-press. That factored into it too.

        Now that I think about it, I mentioned the author interviews on my blog and could have easily given people the address right then!

        Sigh. I much prefer writing and being able to self-edit.

        1. Laura, your explanation makes me smile. I, too, prefer writing. I am much better at sharing my thoughts that way, with the ability to edit, than sharing them extemporaneously. I am sure your radio interview was fabulous, nevertheless!

  4. Hi! I am new blogger ;o) since 25 Oct and at the begining I decided that I will not tell people that I have a blog. But then… I told a few people ;o). The response so now was good, so fingers crossed. But… yes sometimes people look at me like they would like to say “do you have too much free time? if yes, well, okay then write your blog, but otherwise, why bother?” ;O\\. But I feel I need it, as I have sooooo much to say ;o))))) to the world

    1. Ha! Too much free time. I love it! As if only somebody extremely bored would embark on such an enriching journey. Pshaw! People often ask me where I find the time. I find time for things that motivate me and push me to be a better person.

  5. I think the librarian’s response was fairly rude, actually. That’s a pretty aggressive response – for a librarian! Aren’t they in the business of promoting the written word?There’s nothing wrong with having a blog. I have heard people opine that bloggers are narcissistic, and who cares what bloggers think, etc. etc. but there are blogs and then there are blogs. The range is enormous. Your blog is thoughtful, interesting and very well written. I started my blog in July because I needed to be able to think with the part of my brain that doesn’t get implemented in my work. Having my own business actually means doing a lot of accounting and bookkeeping, which is not my forte. I used to work as a writer and editor and I miss it! This is my way of keeping my brain working in a way that I enjoy. I also started it so that my friends can check in and see what I’m thinking about instead of having to write multiple emails to people. It’s also convenient to have a static page of a list of books I like because I’m always being asked for recommendations. Recipes, too – I can just refer people to my blog when they ask. I’ve really enjoyed entering the “blogosphere”; it’s been a very valuable experience so far. I think that librarian is kind of narrow-minded. Or maybe you caught her on a bad day.

    That said, I have mentioned my blog (usually when a book recommendation is requested) and some people are definitely thinking, “Oh for God’s sake.” That’s fine; if they have a prejudice that’s their problem. They don’t have to read my blog. I just enjoy writing it. (It is hard to find the time, though. It took me about 5 days to produce my last book review.)

    1. You really sum up the whole experience. Blogging is something that I used to think was “interesting” until I started doing it. You are so right that the blogosphere is a great place with a variety of people and topics.

  6. I too get a bit embarrassed about telling people I blog. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like an acceptable use of spare time. However, if I don’t tell people about my blog, my mother is sure to. I think a good number of my regular readers are her friends which certainly makes me feel good.

  7. Three thoughts come to mind after reading your story and then reading all the comments. 1. Not only do I embarrass myself with all of the trashy books I read, I then write about them for everyone to see. I’m sure the librarians talk about me in the lunchroom. 🙂 2. I continue to be surprised at who reads my blogs and who doesn’t. I have decided that I don’t do this for my family and friends; I do it for me. It’s just another form of writing that sometimes people “out there” enjoy. 3. As Lea Ault above points out, recipes are a wonderful to draw attention to your blog. My highest stat is on a spaghetti sauce post.

    I really enjoy following your blog and look forward to seeing your posts!

    1. That’s so funny! I do wonder what the librarians think when they see the books people check out. And you’re right that you should blog for yourself. I do too! It’s my book journal.

    1. I found this information on copyright. I think my use is within “fair use” and I am not making any money. Most of the books I write about are old, as well.

      Using Book Covers

      A common occurrence in libraries is using the images of book covers in catalogues and bibliographies. Is it permissible to scan the cover of a book for these and other similar purposes? How about saving a copy of the cover from the publisher’s Web site? Scanning an image/book cover is a reproduction of a work as is copying that image/cover from a Web site. Would this be considered fair use? As fair use is an analysis based upon the circumstances in each particular case, you would have to analyze your own situations of using book covers and determine whether each use would qualify under the four fair use factors. Many organizations are comfortable applying fair use whereas others want to be 100% sure that their uses are within the law. If you fit in this latter category, approach the book publisher and see whether they own the copyright in the cover art or whether you have to contact the creator directly.

      Images on Blogs

      Does the use of an image on your blog require permission? Certainly, if the image is part of the design of your blog and/or repetitively used or adapted for your use, you will need permission to use the image. If the image is part of a particular posting in a blog, you will need to apply the fair use factors and determine on a case-by-case basis whether your use requires permission.

  8. I think your librarian could have been more friendly, since she is in customer service. Since I am probably older than most bloggers, I usually tell my friends. Some of them have never even been on the internet so they think I am amazing. I enjoy being ‘famous’ in the senior crowd. Of course, most of them forget everything that was said as soon as they leave!

    1. Ha! That’s funny. I do agree that customer service people should be nicer. I have a problem with grumpy people, but I did find the NICEST receptionist a few days ago. I left feeling like I mattered and like she cared. It was amazing.

  9. Librarians can commonly be that way. I am resolved, however, not to go through life being intimidated by librarians. I avoid all casual conversation with them.

  10. I don’t like telling people I know that I have a blog because I’m worried that they won’t like it if they see it and they know that it is mine, so it would be embarrasing. If the topic comes up, I usually say, “Oh, you should check out this blog I like,” and just don’t say that it’s mine.

  11. I have told people about my non-fiction blog where I write about things related to my work.

    For my fiction blog it is different. I usually only reveal its url to other bloggers, as in comments like this one. My wife knows about it though, and one of my brothers.

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