Friday, 24 February 2012

Blogoversary week: How blogging has changed my reading habits

When I first started blogging, I did hope it would have a positive effect on my reading. I'd gotten myself into a bit of a rut in the sense that I was reading very similar books (paranormal YA) and had been doing for the past 3 years. I never really read anything new, just continued with the authors I knew I liked, or books I knew I would like. I'd become complacent really, and I wanted blogging to shake that up a bit. Fortunately for me, it did.

1. Less re-reading
Before I started blogging I would re-read endlessly. I read the Sookie Stackhouse novels, the Vampire Academy novels, the Morganville series and a couple of others about once a year, with the addition of the newest book in that particular series. Now I barely re-read and when I do, it's nearly always for comfort. (I re-read the Sweep series and the Nightworld series whilst writing my dissertation). The few books I have re-read since I started blogging have been because they are SO epic they basically DEMAND re-reads (Divergent, THG, Clockwork Prince). This is a double-edged sword. I'm glad I've cut down my over-reliance on re-reading, but I do wish I had the time to indulge in it a little more. 

2. Becoming more adventurous
I've definitely become more adventurous in terms of what I'll read. Before I started blogging the only dystopians I'd read were the Noughts and Crosses series and The Declaration by Gemma Malley. Now I'll willingly pick up any dystopian. I've re-discovered my love of contemporary fiction and I've become less suspicious of authors I didn't already know. This is the thing I'm most happy about in regards to blogging. Before I started, I would read anything by Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Rachel Vincent, Lili St.Crow, Melissa Marr or Maggie Stiefvater....but that was about it. I was SO wary of anyone I'd not tried before. I was SO sick of Twilight rip-offs that I wouldn't read anything that sounded vaguely similar. Now I'm a lot less particular. I'll give it a go and if I don't like it, I wont finish it. 

3. Reading more thoughtfully. 
I'm an incredibly fast reader. I think I average about 100pages an hour. BUT that's because I don't often have to THINK much about what I'm reading, because the plots are familiar to me. Now I read much more thoughtfully. I think about the characters, about their actions, about plot devices. Because I HAVE to think about these things to write a decent review. And whilst it has slowed me down, I'm definitely glad I read with more care.

Negative ways blogging has affected my reading:

Reading more slowly.
I definitely read slower now that I blog as well. This isn't strictly a bad thing...I just find it very frustrating, especially when I have a HUGE pile of books to get through...speaking of which...

My TBR pile.
I NEVER had a TBR pile before I started blogging...unless I'd just been to the library (which tbh, doesn't happen all that often) This means that my TBR which, whilst smaller than most blogger's at around 80 books FREAKS ME THE HELL OUT. There's a mini bookshop in my bedroom y'all...I still don't know how to handle it.

Unfinished Books
Before I started blogging, I very rarely didn't finish a book. In fact, the last book I remember not finishing was Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber back in 2008 because it was truly, truly awful. Now, I have unfinished books all over the place. There's a trail of sad, unwanted books wherever I go. Why? Because I'm definitely less selective now. Before I blogged, I'd probably only read a book if I was really sure I was going to like it, and yes, I could tell.Even if I didn't like it fully, I'd still persevere. Now, I do give up. Why? Well, partly because I'm not as invested. When I bought a book before blogging, I'd CHOSEN it, after a lot of thought so giving up on it felt like a betrayal. Now, I'll buy books on a whim, or based off one good review, or I'll read them because I've been sent them for review, and so it's easier for me, emotionally, to cast them aside. There's also the fact that I have many, many more books to read now so I don't see much point wasting time on a book I'm not enjoying, when I could be reading one that I WILL enjoy.

Ultimately though, blogging has positively affected my reading and I will gladly take the minor drawbacks in exchange for all the good things.

How has blogging affected your reading habits, positive or otherwise? And just how do you handle the dreaded TBR pile?

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  1. LOL! Good luck with the TBR pile. I have no advice on that one. Mine's out of control!

  2. There's definitely less re-reading. I sort of miss it, in a way, but I'm glad that I don't have to resort to reading Harry Potter for the twentieth time because I have nothing else to keep me occupied :P. I've also branched out in the kind of things I read and I completely agree about the reading more thoughtfully point! I'm a pretty fast reader too, but now I notice a lot more while I'm reading, whereas before I only really read for the story. Huge TBR piles are daunting though. I feel like I'm drowning in books, it's scary! Fab post :).

  3. I'm so with you on the TBR pile. I'm slowly getting mine under control now as I don't accept many review copies these days (apart from the mailing lists I'm on) but at a certain point last year my TBR was out of control!

    I've also become a little more adventurous in my reading - before blogging I wouldn't really have read any YA contemps,(I was strictly a paranormal girl!) but that's definitely changed now!

    I was never a big re-reader, but I wouldn't have time for that now anyway.

  4. A big, neon-flashing YES to your reread point. I was a such a rereader before I started reading blogs... much like Liz, reading Harry Potter for the 232354 time :) Discovering blogs opened my eyes to more amazing books and so I then added the likes of THG and VA to my reread pile. But then I started my own blog and... *sniffles* I miss my rereads! But I love discovering all these amazing new books. If only there were more hours in the day.

    I'm also the same as you with the 'don't like it, won't finish it' - I know many people do slog it out, particularly with review copies. But I don't want reading to become a chore for me, so if I'm not hooked, I pick up something different.

    Haha the TBR scares me too! I stare at it and stare some more and think, "HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO READ YOU ALL?" Five minutes later, "OMG I HOPE THIS BOOK AND THAT BOOK COME IN THE MAIL THIS WEEK." Not too smart in the head, that Brodie girl :P

  5. I could have written this post! Good to know that others are in the same boat. Happy blogoversary!
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  6. blogging has efinitely changed the way I read now and I was thinking about doing a post on it sometime before I read yours lol... I might still do one way into the future though... I think its worth a mention.

  7. I completely agree that blogging has changed the way I read too! and in similar ways to you.

    My blog is just about to turn a 1 too :) I'm proud to say that I've been reading The Cait Files pretty much since it started, it was one of the first blogs I found and I've never stopped coming back :D

  8. I don't know if blogging has changed my reading habits, but it's definitely changed my writing ones. Before I blogged, I was my own sounding board until I reached beta stage. Now I have a somewhat responsive audience whose feedback highlights the difference between what I was trying to say and what was understood. It's made me a more careful writer, most notably in the run-on sentence and overpunctuation arenas.

    A year ago, I started a blog because I was told I should. Now I keep it because I love the connections as well as what I learn from those connections.


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