For What It's Worth

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

tell me something tuesday


Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: How have your reading habits changed since you started blogging?

Answer:

My reading habits have changed drastically since I started blogging!

So let’s get t the positive changes first because, honestly, blogging has kind of ruined reading for me in a lot of ways.

Variety!

Before book blogging, I read about 12 books per year. I was not even a big reader. I know! Weird right?

I mostly read travelogues, foodie based books like Kitchen Confidential, and a few biographies. Now I read almost almost 200 books per year. Almost all fiction and I’ve discovered new authors, new genres.

Where I get my recommendations has changed as well. I would buy whatever was on the best seller shelf or wander around the bookstore. Now I almost exclusively rely on my fellow bloggers for recommendations.

Access!

As a book blogger, I now have access to arc’s through places like Netgalley, publishers, authors and book conferences so I get to read books early but it changes how I read because those usually have to be read by the release date. (Which is great but also sucks because I'm a mood reader)

Now for the downside…

Under Pressure!

Reading used to be a calming activity that I did whenever there was time to spare. If I didn’t get to it then whatever... but now:

The pressure to read all the books I own before I die.

The pressure to read all the books I own before I die plus keep up with all the new releases.

The pressure to love what everyone else loves yet not understanding the hype.

The pressure to read and write reviews for every book on a schedule.

Everything that revolves around reading feels like pressure to me rather than pure joy. Or at the very least - something I need to manage rather than just do.

I have to have pens, notepads, post-it tabs, a calendar - just to read a damn book...it's a project!

I’ve found a much better balance now. I don't accept many arc's and I take time off when I want – don’t read if I don’t feel like it. So at least on that front – things have gotten better even though it’s still a big chunk of my life that feels more like a job than a hobby most of the time.

Reader brain!

The biggest change though – and one that I think would take years of not reviewing books to change back – is how I can’t hep but analyze everything I read. Even if it’s for fun, I’m taking notice of story structure, plot, characters. I can’t stop doing it.

It's difficult to not take note of flaws - even if I loved a book. Which is why I rarely review books that I LOVED in fear of over analyzing and ruining my love of it.

Always with the drama!

Then there's all the drama. Some days I wish I could go back to not knowing what the hell is going on in the publishing world or what authors are jerks.

For example, I can't read anything by Ann Rice anymore after her her outrageous attacks on reviewers and steadfast loyalty to a group that bullied and doxxed bloggers. I wish I could separate those things but I can't.

Sometimes, seeing it all makes me want to do anything but read.

Even with the downsides though - I don't regret reviewing books or anything bad that has come with it since I started blogging. The good far outweighs the bad and I never even would have heard of half these books or authors without my blog.

It's all about finding the balance!

If you review books - how have your reading habits changed?

45 comments:

  1. OMG! Your "pressure" section made me laugh. Yes! I always feel a little outside, because I seem to be the only one not really reading YA fantasy, but I like contemporaries, and I refuse to let blogging change the type of stories I want to read. The access is such a perk for me. I read a LOT, and I would never be able to afford my habit. I prefer ebooks, and my library's selection is not fantastic, and you have to wait months for a good book. I love that I can get books from NG/EW.

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    1. Same with me. I do try to read outside my comfort zone occasionally and there will be a few book genre outliers that I enjoy but for the most part - fantasy and thrillers are not my jam.

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  2. Yes to mostly everything! It has made me try genres I normally wouldn't, made have more access for sure. But yes the pressure!!!

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    1. I think the good outweighs the bad but it takes awhile to find your balance and what works for you as a reader so that you aren't overwhelmed by the blogging aspect of it all.

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  3. Oh gosh, lots of pressure. I feel like I'm doing way better with that though because I don't get as many books for review so I have more time to read what I want, which is nice, especially since I've owned some books for YEARS and never read them. I'm finding more time to do that, so yay! However, there is a lot of drama in the bookish world and sometimes I wish I didn't know certain things about specific authors either. Sigh. It is hard to separate certain things when it comes to the authors and their books. I do pretty well staying away from most hyped books though unless I really trust the bloggers saying "read it" and it sounds interesting to me in some way. I've definitely branched out into other genres as a result of blogging though, so I like that, but I don't necessarily feel like I NEED to read certain really popular books.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. We're pretty much in the same place now. It took me awhile to find my way back but overall - I'm happy with reading again. I'm going at my own speed and not following trends or scheduling myself anymore.

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  4. I used to read for others and it got to be a chore instead of being fun so now I only read what I want.

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  5. I don't feel as much pressure but I read the books I am drawn to and avoid the hype, drama and just march to my own little drum :)

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    1. That's great! That's how I am now. Just took a few years to get there lol
      The only thing I deal with now is reviewer brain. Can't seem to break that. But I make sure I have lots of for fun reads.

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  6. The latest drama is that used bookstores are bad cos they do not make money (the authors) Ack the drama

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    1. I hadn't seen that one.

      Other than piracy - which is WRONG - let me read how I want. All this lecturing just makes me want to stop completely.

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  7. Blogging has also placed a lot more pressure on me, although I still think it's an ok trade-off because I get awesome new releases sent to me now.
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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  8. Quote: "The pressure to read all the books I own before I die.
    The pressure to read all the books I own before I die plus keep up with all the new releases.
    [...] I have to have pens, notepads, post-it tabs, a calendar - just to read a damn book...it's a project!"

    LOL. It's odd, because for all my planning and scheduling, I'm far more relaxed when it comes to reviewing...I almost never take notes (except for page numbers with the quotes I want to transcribe). I simply read (or reread) the book and set to work (it usually takes me a couple of days to review one). But you usually read books after book (I'm not sure if you also read more than one book at the time, but I don't think so?), so I'm sure you need the reminders. YOU BURN THOSE POOR BOOKS SO FAST LOL.

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    1. And I forgot! Your banner tweak is SO CUTE!!! *squeaks* 😂

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    2. I'm weird about reading and reviewing. I have a notepad and post-it notes but just make general observations...kind of like you. Page #'s, character names, key points. Nothing major. In fact it rarely even makes sense to anyone but me. Just random words. I get crazy with the post-it notes though but that's more about quotes that get my attention and I just love post-it notes lol

      As for reviewing - the review is either there or it isn't. I can go weeks before the review hits me. And I'll start another book as soon as I finish another. I don't need to wait but then I'll have 3-4 reviews come to me all at once. It's really strange but it's how I roll lol

      I do not read more than one book at a time though.

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  9. Interesting question! Thanks for sharing how reviewing has changed your habits. Definitely similar experiences. I nearly hated reading for a time until I figured out how to balance pleasure reading and reviewing. I'm back to enjoying my reading now. :)

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    1. Same for me! It's all good now but I had to learn to let some things go...like trying to read every new book or follow book hype, not review everything.

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  10. Yes it has changed over time. I now read for fun but many of the books have been school books. Yeah I wish I didn't know about the drama llama with writers but I do and that can't be unseen. Yeah learning that anne rice didn't need editing , yes she did in her other books.

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    1. I don't know what the editing thing is - I just know her stance on reviewers and who she aligns herself with.

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  11. These are all quite true! I used to read a decent amount, but definitely nowhere near as much as I read now. Which is funny, because blogging gives us LESS time to read, so how are we reading more? I used to really go overboard trying to read and review everything, post every day, etc, but I have calmed down a LOT and now I have a balance- I think it's hard when a blogger first starts out because balance and finding out what works for you are really tough to figure out. But I definitely agree that the good outweighs the bad!

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    1. That is so true!!! It doesn't feel like there is ever enough time to read and review everything but somehow we are doing it all MORE. A lesson to not be so hard on ourselves.

      I'm the same now. I take time off if I need it and go at my own pace. Some weeks that's 5 posts some weeks it's only one or none.

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  12. My reading has changed in a lot of the same ways. I definitely cannot turn off the critical part of my brain anymore while reading. I can never just enjoy a book and that's it, unless maybe it's a reread. So that sucks. But yeah, I'm still glad that I started blogging anyway!

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    1. I'm afraid to reread some of my old favorites. I read them before blogging and now I know I'll be nitpicking things.

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  13. Wow almost 200 a year? That's amazing. And I'm the same way- blogger recommendations are probably my biggest source of books now, and I love it. I have broadened my reading horizons so much since I started blogging! You're right about pressure though- also so true. I think the thing that keeps me sane is I don't request ARC's. I'm sure if I did I'd be doomed. :)

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    1. I read really fast. I can read a book in about 4-6 hours. Unless it's fantasy or something heavier.

      The arc thing is the problem and you're lucky that you never fell into it :-)

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  14. Dramatically as well. I hadn't thought about it much until seeing your post. I've slowed down an awful lot with the amount I'm reading, by half or more actually. I think that has a lot to do with social media though and spending more time talking about books rather than just reading myself. I go through phases as well more often, like with unsolicited books. Some days I'll stress because of the amount of unread unsolicited books I have and feel I should be reading them at a much quicker pace. Other days I just pick up whatever I feel in the mood for. My reading moods swing dramatically too.

    The one area I'e chilled out in is blog design. In my first two years, I'd given my blog seven full redesigns. I finally found a look at works for me and thankfully have stuck with it for the last three years now.

    And as soon as I've typed that, I'm wondering what new template designs might be up on Etsy. Damn it Kelly.

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    1. I don't ever stress about unsolicited books. I try to feature them in some way but I don't feel pressured to review what I didn't ask for. I used to panic a bit and worry about getting cut off but when they send things I don't like anyway then who cares???

      I can buy/borrow whatever. I stopped worrying about it.

      I redesign my header every single time I'm bored lol

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  15. "The pressure to read all the books I own before I die.
    The pressure to read all the books I own before I die plus keep up with all the new releases."
    - I laughed so hard. I feel this pressure too!

    I also wish I was blissfully ignorant of the bookish dramas that ALWAYS seem to be kicking off... It was easy when I was 'just' a reader.

    My reading habits have changed a lot since I started blogging as I used to read a lot more than I do now! I used to be in the book a day club of reading but blogging takes time, my kiddo got older (and more time consuming) and I switched jobs which meant I lost my commute reading time and my lunch hour reading time... But I don't regret becoming a blogger either. :)

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    1. I envy when I talk to someone who is completely oblivious to the drama. They have zero clue and just pick up books. What is that like???? lol

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  16. I agree with you about the pressure. It's amazing to have access, but I've become a lot pickier about requesting or accepting requests. At least I try to be. Sometimes when I get an email I feel bad saying no, but I have to because I just know the book is not for me. And it's not even that I don't want to write a negative review it's that I don't want to waste my time slogging through something I don't love.

    Although, now after blogging for several years I post when I can, and I don't feel as guilty if I'm past the release date. I figure if I post after, I'm generating new buzz around the book again, right? Lol! At least that's how I justify it.

    I didn't know that about Ann Rice, but I've never read any of her books. I'm kind of the last person to know what's going on in the publishing world.

    Wonderful post, Karen! :)

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    1. I think you learn that access comes with a price. I always loved everything I read - because I was picking it out myself at the bookstore but after I started blogging it got influenced by other factors that had nothing to do with my tastes.

      It took me awhile to pull out of that but now I do my own thing.

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  17. I love this post! My reading habits have also changed a lot. I like that you say you weren't a big reader before. Neither was I, but I THOUGHT I was! I had no idea there were people in the world who read so much! Haha! I also just tend to be a lot more aware of books now, so I have a lot more to choose from.

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    1. I think most of us had this weird hobby and thought we were the only ones lol It's nice to find your people :-)))

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  18. Yep, I totally agree, blogging changed my reading habits for better and for worse. I hate when I am busy in the summer and can’t blog like I usually do and I feel guilty. I hate the added pressure, but for the most part I have learned to let it go. It isn’t worth it. Not once in all the years I have been blogging which is going on nine now, has anyone ever contacted me or criticized me for not getting reviews posted on a certain date, or having a post on my blog every day etc etc. I add the pressure myself.

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    1. This summer I've leaned more towards tags and this feature. They're fun, easy to draft and allow you to share fun things. I'll get back to more *serious reviewing* lol in the fall.

      I don't think anyone else cares how much we post (or don't) it's all self inflicted.

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  19. I actually am quite opposite of you, I read way more books before blogging, but now with blogging I have less time to read. And once I discovered blogging, then there was Goodreads and my TBR pile grew into a monster. hehe

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    1. oh really??!! That's interesting. That TBR pile thing...yikes! It just keeps growing!

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  20. I used to feel kind of pressured a year or two back. Now I mostly pleasure read and do books I grab from NetGalley/Edelweiss :) I do try not to pack too many new release ones back to back that I grab or I do start getting antsy if I'm not reading them fast enough lol

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    1. I only requests/accept 1-2 arc's at a time - sometimes none so that I don't ever get that stressed feeling about reading again.

      Now it's more of a - there are so many books int eh world to read!!! kind of thing lol

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  21. I read a ton when I started blogging but got much pickier over the years. And I've completely stopped feeling guilty about how much I do or don't post. This summer I've done once a week posts some weeks.
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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  22. Yeah the jerk authors thing. That's one I hate. I've stopped reading SO many authors after getting to know them because I just couldn't stand who they are so didn't want to support their books. Boo.

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    1. I wish I could be blind to it all like I was but there's always so much drama.

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  23. This is actually something I've been pondering of late since I had a reading slump on and off this whole year I've been reading a lot less lately and considering the past three years I've been reading all the time it's weird. When I started blogging I thought I read a lot and I read more and more as I carried on blogging because there were all these books I absolutely had to read. Recently I've been trying to read more of what I have on my shelf and stop searching out more books I absolutely need.

    I think the biggest change for me is the number of books I was aware of increased so I bought and read more. And my TBR list eventually became out of control. My new task is to learn how to manages my TBR list instead.

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  24. I read a lot more because of book blogging now too and have a lot more access to books as well. So I definitely agree with you there. And I love having a reader brain! The pressure is something everyone has to overcome in their own ways. I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn't review everything I read, that mini reviews were okay, and that you don't have to have a schedule if you don't want. But also that reading is for fun and you can have your own opinions and just enjoy what you are reading now. Easing the pressure is hard but I hope you do get to it.

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