Bookish Memes and Games — Fun Filler or Worthless Waste of Time? (Let’s Talk Bookish)

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Technically the meme is posted Fridays, but I’m getting to it today. 🙂

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I’ve made various comments about this topic in the past, but I never wrote a full post about it, so when I saw the prompt for this week’s discussion, I thought it might be time!

As some of you may know, Krysta and I have been blogging at Pages Unbound for almost ten years now. (Ah!) When we first started, we definitely participated in more memes. Discussion posts weren’t very prevalent around 2013, and memes were a good way to break up reviews and also to visit other blogs and strike up a bit of a discussion in the comments.

As our blog has gotten older, we’ve essentially stopped participating in memes, as we’ve prioritized more original and in-depth content. (I realize I am currently participating in the Let’s Talk Bookish meme.) Krysta and I also run the Classic Remarks meme here at Pages Unbound. For me, the most interesting memes are ones like this, ones that prompt discussions and lead to full blog posts where I can reflect on a topic. They’re basically discussion posts, except more than one person gets to participate in the discussion at the same time. (Several years ago, there was also a meme called “Conversations” that was along this line, which Krysta and I took part in.)

On the flip side, that means I no longer have much interest in short memes that ask participants to do something like post a single line from a book or post just the title of what they are currently reading or even share a whole list, if it’s literally just a list of book titles with no real explanation about why the books are on the list. I don’t participate in these memes any more, and I generally don’t read the posts of others who participate in them.

Even if I did have interest, I admit I find it a bit overwhelming (especially on Tuesdays and Wednesdays!) to go through my feed and see dozens of bloggers posting essentially the same thing. Which Top Ten Tuesday post do I read? All of them? None of them? A random selection of five of them??? Unless the topic is particularly compelling to me, or I want to see a particular blogger’s answer, I pass over the memes, and I’m always excited to see a discussion post in my feed, embedded among all the memes, that I can read instead.

This isn’t to say that no one should do memes. As I said, I used to do them myself. But Krysta and I, together, have managed to post something on our blog nearly every single day for the past several years. We don’t even have room in our schedule for memes at this point. If people find memes fun or thought-provoking and get good page views and discussion from them, I think that’s awesome. I just no longer have much interest myself.

Briana

24 thoughts on “Bookish Memes and Games — Fun Filler or Worthless Waste of Time? (Let’s Talk Bookish)

  1. Nafisa A. says:

    First of all, cheers to growth, while change can be quite daunting as long as that where you want to grow in then go for it, am not really a fan of meme I usually just skip over them ( oops don’t tell )

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gemma says:

    I think like anything else after a time they grow old. Years pass and it’s hard to find new things related to one area. Though I have noticed this particular meme has had some good topics that you don’t see a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Yes, I think this is part of my issue. I’ve been blogging 10 years. I’ve seen a lot of the prompts before, Or, if the meme creators want to try to NOT repeat prompts over a course of 10 years, that gets difficult, especially if you don’t want the prompts to be too weird or obscure.

      I agree the Let’s Talk Bookish prompts are often things I haven’t thought much about or posted about before, which is great!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ashley says:

    When I first changed the focus of my blog to be more about books than random things, I did a bunch of memes, was tagged in all kinds of meaningless awards, and decided to stop. I would do Top 10 Tuesday, Top 5 Wednesday, and Friday 56. After a while, I got tired of doing them, especially Top 10 Tuesday and Top 5 Wednesday. Not only did I stop doing them, but I also stopped reading a lot of them too especially Top 10 Tuesday and Top 5 Wednesday because I always saw the same books. The only meme I do is Calendar Girls and that’s monthly, and I love doing that because everyone who participates has such different tastes in books and it’s fun to see what people come up with for the various topics.

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      That’s a good point about frequently seeing the same books on the list. There are books that are very popular and people have a limited amount of time to read so…there’s definitely going to be overlap when people are writing about “favorite Halloween books” or anything with a fairly specific prompt.

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  4. Belle says:

    You summarized my thoughts! Memes were fun and pretty helpful when I was first starting out! I don’t think I would’ve been able to connect with as many book bloggers as I did without them, partly because I didn’t use Twitter or Instagram. However, I do prefer to write and read more in-depth posts these days, and I do feel slightly overwhelmed every Tuesday and Wednesday haha 😅.

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Yes, finding them helping as a newbie blogger is definitely one way I think of it. They can be good for connecting with others and for getting content on your blog, but over time I think many bloggers think of other content they want to write.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Never Not Reading says:

    I also find the TTT and WWW memes to be uninteresting, more filler content. They have the potential to give people a chance to reflect, but mostly people just post the title and move on. I honestly almost never read any of those posts, even from bloggers I really like.

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I think TTT might also be struggling a bit since it’s been going on for so long: how do you balance having interesting topics (that aren’t too obscure, so people can answer) without repeating topics, since some people might have been doing the meme 8 years? I DO think some of the prompts are interesting, but I really don’t like when people just put the book cover instead of explaining their answers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Never Not Reading says:

        Same with tags. I like doing tags because the prompts give me something to write about without having to do the legwork of thinking for a prompt for myself, but I hate when people just post the title/cover and move on.

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  6. Jenna @ Falling Letters says:

    A meme about memes, I love it. I feel the same overwhelmed way when lots of people are participating in the same meme. I try to read TTTs from bloggers I really enjoy when I think it’s a topic they’ll do justice and I might learn from. But I also know those posts get a lot of comments form TTT hoppers so I’m not always motivated to give them attention. I do occasionally participate in TTT when I like the topic and think I might have things to share that won’t be repeating everyone else’s list. I never read memes like WWW or those shorter posts you mention… Every now and then I do find some creative survey-style memes I think are fun to read and answer, so those are mostly the only memes I participate in. But your reasons for not being interested certainly make sense!

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Same, I do see TTT posts get a good amount of comments, so I don’t feel so bad not reading them!

      I think my issue with WWW and similar memes may also be that I’m generally not interested in “what are you going to read” posts, whether that’s a monthly TBR or something else. I’ve just never been invested in what people are planning to read or even currently reading; just tell me when you’re done and have written the review, and I will read that!

      Like

      • Jenna @ Falling Letters says:

        Yup, same here! If I’m interested in currently reading/TBR updates, then I scroll my Goodreads feed… (though I do like longer term TBR posts, like “Upcoming Releases in 2021”, so I can learn about new titles.)

        Like

        • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

          Yes, I find upcoming release lists helpful too!

          I think part of the problem I have with TBR lists is that people read slowly (people often includes me….), so there’s a risk of a weekly TBR post being like, “I am reading book x and will read book y.” And then next week you are still reading book x and still planning to read book y. And the next week maybe you have finished book x so you are finally reading book y and planning to read book z. So the content doesn’t really change.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Eustacia | Eustea Reads says:

    I’m like you, I prefer “memes” that are meant to spark a discussion. I don’t mind reading the top 10/first lines memes because they can be fun (though I don’t read all that appear in my feed because of reading fatigue), but I never feel like writing them :p

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Milliebot says:

    I agree that most of the meme posts (top ten whatever, blah blah book tag) get stale easy. My eyes tend to glaze over even if people write something about why they picked that book. I was bad at writing them myself too and any time I did I kinda felt like, who really cares if I answer these questions.

    Like

  9. Michael J. Miller says:

    I absolutely agree. I did them in the beginning, too, and it was a good way to meet other writers. But life is busy. When it comes to writing my own content and reading others, I really need to prioritize. I’d rather write something original – a discussion piece, an analysis, an emotional reflection, all of the above – than do a quick “Top Five” or whatever. But I’ve grown into that as a writer, too. And I’m also more interested in reading a more detailed piece of original content. It’s not that memes don’t have their place – and they can be fun. But when life is as full as it is and my rounds of blog reading are as far between and selective already as they can be, I want to devote myself to the type of pieces I enjoy the most. Those are always the ones with more depth, allowing the original voice of the author to come out.

    Like

  10. Sammie @ The Bookwyrm's Den says:

    I feel like you’ve hit on both the beauty and the ugly side of memes! When I decide whether or not to participate in a meme, my first question is always: can I deliver quality content with it that would make it worth someone visiting my blog to read this post? if the answer is no, then I skip it.

    There are some memes that I absolutely try to go above and beyond with, or else I just don’t participate that week. For WWW Wednesday, for example, I try to give mini reviews of each of the books and not just post pictures of the covers of what I’m reading. Or for First Line Fridays, I give the first line, a 56% sneak peek, and reasons to read the book, and I’ve combined it with a Monday meme, so it’s a little bit of a “fuller” post.

    I can totally see why people (such as yourselves) wouldn’t be huge on doing memes. I’m not a huge fan of opening a blog post and just seeing a list of titles and that’s it. I do think there will always be a place for memes, but I know that when I blog hop, because time is so limited, I have to be selective, so I tend to go to the blogs I know really well and then branch out to anything that sounds interesting from there.

    Like

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