Reading Since Blogging

I know there have been a lot of posts from others about how blogging has affected their reading habits, and I wanted to talk about how it’s looked for myself. This all started when I was thinking about how I rate books. I have wondered before it I was too picky with my ratings. Last year I only gave out three 5-star ratings, but I also only read like 20ish books. I know this is shocking to most book bloggers, but I’ll get more into that later. I’ve only given two 5-star ratings so far this year, but I’ve already read about the same number of books as last year. And I’ve also have given out quite a few 4.5’s, which to me is for for books that don’t have quite all the punch of an exemplary 5-star book, but are still pretty dang awesome.

I think I’ve become both more critical and forgiving as a reader over the last year or so, if that makes any sense at all. I can spot the tired tropes and phrases and recognize weak plot points or weak character traits, but I also find myself looking for the good in every book if I can. As an aspiring author myself, I know that behind every book is a story that was once a burning idea in the author’s heart, so even if maybe they did not execute as well as we might have liked, there is something in the story that called to them, and maybe we can spot just a glimpse of that. That’s why I haven’t given out any 1 stars since I started blogging, I believe. That and I’m pretty careful about avoiding or dumping duds.

One of the other big changes has been the speed at which I read, and this has really crept up on me. Before I started this blog, I didn’t always have a “current read.” I didn’t know what Goodreads was. I read just a handful of books a year when the mood struck me. I never felt like I was a slow reader, that is until I started the blog and compared my reading speed to other bloggers. I figured other bloggers were spending a lot more time reading than I was, which was (and still is) probably true. I usually don’t spend more than an hour a day reading, and more often or not I actually skip reading completely on weekends. Basically, most of my reading happens during my lunch hour at work. I do sometimes read outside of that, and I think maybe I have done more of that this year than last, but not enough to explain the significant strides I’ve made in my reading speed. I think, simply put, I am just flat out reading faster. Which is a definite bonus, because I can enjoy more books that way.

belle-libraryAnd lastly, I do believe that reading has helped me when I write… though I admit, the more I read the less I tend to write. I’m still struggling to find that balance. But when I do write, I think the words just come out better. And that is definitely awesome! Now just to find the balance of writing/reading/blogging that I have been struggling with…

What about you? How have your reading habits changed since you started blogging, or in general? 

18 Responses to Reading Since Blogging

  1. Being a book blogger has affected me in one big way that I can recognize distinctly: it’s given me a TBR pile. It never even existed for me before i started blogging, but now, I actually have a TBR pile. I never thought I would have one when I started blogging but I do now, and it’s both glorious and horrible.

    But that’s not really reading, is it? I’ve always been a fast reader, but I think I may get a little more excited over things now. I don’t know. I don’t think I have a really obvious change!

    • My TBR pile has definitely grown as well! And I never really anticipated new books because I didn’t really have favorite authors, but slowly I am starting to gain some and anticipate what they release.

  2. Nice post! I really enjoyed reading this. I liked how you said, “I know that behind every book is a story that was once a burning idea in the author’s heart, so even if maybe they did not execute as well as we might have liked, there is something in the story that called to them, and maybe we can spot just a glimpse of that.”

    I definitely get that vibe when I read your reviews, and that’s one of the reasons I really like this blog. I don’t blog about books very often, but my reading has definitely changed since I’ve started writing. I used to just buy a book because I liked the premise, but now, if a book hasn’t sucked me in after the first chapter, I usually don’t buy it–unless it’s been highly recommended, like Jellicoe Road.

    • Thanks, and I’m glad you can see that in my reviews! I want to be appropriately critical but not too much so. I think that’s a great plan about how you choose to but books! I’m definitely going to have to adopt that!

  3. I definitely found that my writing improved when I was reading a lot. It’s like some sort of osmosis where you think of ways to progress the action or turn the moment differently. But that balance between reading and writing can be tough. I tend to either do one or the other – I’ll finish a book and then I have to write for a day or a weekend or a few hours – some span of time – before I start reading the next book. It’s a balance I’m still working out, because reading is so much easier than writing, but that’s working for me so far. Not that it allows any time for my blog…. 🙂

    • Yeah, now that I have a different work environment I might want to consider the possibility of writing during my lunch break from time to time. It worked well for me over NaNoWriMo (I brought my personal laptop to work everyday for that… this time I could just use my work computer thankfully!). I definitely need to construct some sort of schedule I think… something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, really…

  4. Blogging has changed my reading habits- in that I specifically focus on reading more. I always have a currently reading book so I feel you on only reading a few before blogging! I don’t think I have gotten more critical through blogging, but I have gotten better knowing what I like and knowing how to explain it. Which is really helpful when I am scouting for my next read!

    I am surprised that you mostly read during your work week! I feel like I need to read a least a couple hours Saturday and Sunday – like I want people to leave me alone for that time. 😀

    • My weekends seem to fly by without me knowing what happened! I’ll intend to write and/or read one Saturday and with errands to run, sometimes social events, Internet catch-up time, time spent with my husband, etc., and it all gets away from me! I have been reading a little more on the weekend this summer I think because my Sunday nights (which are usually filled) have been free for the summer, but I still get overwhelmed with all these other little things!

  5. I’ve read a ton of more books now that I’ve started blogging. And I ALWAYS have something I’m currently reading, especially now when it comes to summer. However, I really haven’t read enough books to notice the trends or troupes or cliches, so I feel kind of weird when I don’t notice something bad in a book, especially after I read other bloggers reviews. Which is why some of my ratings are high. But oh well.

    Oh, and my TBR pile is through the roof now. I will never read all the books I want to read because I keep discovering new ones.

  6. Being a blogger changed me. I got braver, better in writing and bolder. It’s scary in a way, but I love the change. It stressed me out though….School just sucks! But I love my blog and will continue to blog till I get sick of reading books (which would be never) HAHA

    • I feel like blogging has made me bolder in stating my opinions too, and not being ashamed of them. I’ve never been too shy with my thoughts, but to not apologize for them takes it an additional step I think. It is hard to balance blogging and school I imagine, just as it is with blogging and work or blogging and life in general!

  7. This is an awesome topic and it’s really got me thinking…gosh, YES, definitely my habits have changed. I never used to know how many books I read a year. I just borrowed and read as I felt. I probably would’ve read about 50 or less books…now I read 100+ and I log them all in Goodreads and review everything. I like how book blogging has changed my reading. It’s made me more adventurous. But it was more relaxing in those days, just reading random things at the library. And not even thinking about “rating” them. 😉
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

  8. I find that I read about the same, maybe a little less, I use netgalley and I find sometimes it can be a chore, but when I find a book I love I can read it in an evening. I agree, as an aspiring writer, I try not to be too harsh, try to find a balance between the good and the bad in each book. I am currently writing my first novel, trying to write 2500 words a day, doesn’t seem much, but it takes a lot longer than I thought it would.

    • 2500 words a day is awesome! I feel accomplished if I write down more than a paragraph, ha. I need to get my butt back into gear and have weekly word goals.

      But as far as ARCs go, after a lot of consideration I decided to not go that route. I just thought it would be too stressful.

      Good luck with your novel!

  9. I’ve actually read more since I started blogging, but I think that’s because I’ve started reading consistently. (Also on my lunch breaks.) When I was in school, I’d binge books every once in a while, but never had a “currently reading” book. Now, I pretty much always have a book I’m reading, though it may take a week or two or three to finish. I still sometimes binge, though!

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