BBAW: What Blogging Has Done to My Reading

Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!

I can give short answers to every one of these questions:

Yes
Yes
Hell yes*
Yes

…but that would be a much shorter blog post than what you’d expect from me, so I’ll flesh them out a little.

*This answer makes slightly more sense if you realize I misread the third question a little and didn’t notice it started with the word “how” instead of “has.” But I like it and will keep it anyway.

Has book blogging changed the way you read?
Yes, and I actually hoped that it would. I started this blog because I wanted to stop forgetting things about the books I read. Approaching a book knowing that I’ll be writing about it once I’m finished has made me a more critical reader – not “critical” in the “picky” sense, but as in attentive and engaged. The style and quality of my reading has changed, and I feel it’s certainly for the better.

My reading habits have changed as well. It takes me longer to read most books than it did a few years ago – which is also due, in part, to book blogging – but since I never kept a reading journal till I started doing this, I don’t know whether I’m reading more or fewer books per year, on average. I’m also reading different types of books, but that leads into the next question.

Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging?
What’s interesting to me is that the books that seem to get the most attention from the book-blog community don’t always match up with the books that get the most attention from traditional media, and that’s shifted my focus. What’s even more interesting to me is that when I walk into bookstores, I recognize many more of the featured books than I used to, and that’s usually do to the attention they’ve received from bloggers.

I probably wouldn’t read as much nonfiction and memoir – and I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t read YA at this stage of my life – without the influence of book blogging. I’m glad to have had my horizons widened.

How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits?
I know how to obtain books directly from publishers, sometimes prior to publication, now. And yet I’m pretty sure I buy more books now than I did pre-blogging. Let’s just say this: I have added close to 700 books to my LibraryThing collections since I first set them up in January 2008 – and as I write this, 400 are in the “To Read” collection (which means they are in my possession). Yes, I may not live long enough to get through them all.

Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging?
This was the aspect of book blogging that took me by surprise. When I started searching out other book blogs, I was primarily looking for new places to find reading suggestions; it hadn’t occurred to me that I’d find people to talk about books with! I haven’t met many people outside the book-blogging world who’ve shared my rather offbeat, non-genre reading interests, so it was a genuine unexpected pleasure to find they existed! And as someone who’s never really had much luck with in-person book clubs, participating in activities like online group reads and blog tours has allowed me to be part of a variety of book discussion groups.

My book blogging has also brought some book-loving non-book-blogging friends out of the woodwork to talk about books with me, which has been another – and also very welcome – surprise!

What has book blogging done to YOUR reading?




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