I’ve noticed that my reading habits have completely changed ever since I started blogging and the way I think about books is different. Don’t get me wrong, I adored reading before I blogged, but I definitely read and think about books in a different way in this past year.
I used to read a lot during work hours and on my commute. I had to travel a bit farther to work, so it was the perfect way to fill a boring, and often frustrating, journey to and from work. I think the amount I read increased because I was working and so I had a lot of free hours to fill in my day.
When I started my blog I’ve found I read even more, there’s almost a pressure to always be reading something. When I finish one book I'm thinking about what to start next. Sometimes, this is simply because I’ve finished a book at work and I don’t fancy staring out the window on the bus back home, but then I’m the same at home. I finish one book and I need to start another, after all, can I call this a book blog if I’m not in fact reading? It’s stupid, I know, I could slow down with my reading if I wanted to. It would give me a lot more time for other things, but a lot of the time I don’t want to.
I’ve always been a person that does all or nothing. It’s the same with reading, I either read lots or not at all. I think it started with me feeling a bit pressured to continually be reading for my blog, but now it’s how I read, I wouldn’t know how to do it differently. I was the same as a child. I was always wandering round with a book in hand to occupy my hours. I wasn’t an outdoorsy child, so I think reading was my form of adventure. Blogging has helped revive that slightly weird side of me that likes to do something to the extreme.
Blogging has also changed the way I think about books. That was a subtle change. Whilst the amount I read was a sort of slow reversion back to the way I read as a child, but a little less extreme, my thinking on books is a new development.
When I read a book it used to be I simply decide if I liked it or not and give it a rating on Goodreads for good measure. Now, I have to consider things before I can offer that rating. I find myself doing an initial rating and going back and changing it later, after I’ve had time to digest a book. I can’t simply like or dislike a book, I feel like I need to analyse and explain why otherwise my opinion is invalid. It makes no sense because I can’t always explain why I feel the way I do about a book, it is simply a feeling I have. This is something I struggle with because I can’t explain why, and I don’t feel like my feelings can be true if I can’t justify them to someone else if necessary.
I find myself sticking to set genres more than I used to, I don’t read as widely. This is partly because I am far more aware of releases in the YA genre than any other one based on the blogs I follow. There are certain genres I’m far better informed on than others. I have always tended to avoid the more popular books, you know the ones you see at the front of a bookshop because they’ve won book prizes, I used to be pick books based on the blurb or cover, but now I am so much more aware of new releases. Before, my reading choices were based on what was cheap or on offer, now it’s more a case of me justifying that expensive new release because I have been waiting ages for it to come out and I don’t want my excitement about it to wain. I don't know why I my attitude to books changed, but it has. I sometimes think I'm missing out on books because of this change. Then I think of all the books I've discovered because of it. It works both ways, I suppose.
It’s strange how blogging changes you. I know it’s not the only influence which has changed the way I read and think about books, but it certainly is the major one. I know growing up will have changed my reading habits, and a bunch of other influences, but I sometimes wonder how much of an effect blogging has had on me. I can’t claim it as a bad thing, but it's something I think about sometimes.
Has anyone else noticed that blogging has changed them as a reader? If so how has it changed, have you noticed the same things or is it different things for each individual?