In my recent move to WordPress, I had to do a little bit of work to get my reviews to show up in my archives (using the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin, which makes it totally easy to do!). While I was doing this, I found myself examining my reading over the past year and a half – since I’ve been blogging – and I’ve realized that I don’t read the way I used to. Blogging has definitely changed my reading habits. In some good and some not so good ways.
So, how has my reading changed? Take a look:
[icon name=”fa-heart”] I read A LOT more!
This is, for the most part, I very positive change (except for those days that I’m too busy reading to do stuff like feed my kids – yeah, not so good). I read TONS more than I did before I started blogging. Maybe because I feel like I have more purpose behind my reading? Maybe it’s just the fact that I started paying attention to that Goodreads yearly goal. Or maybe it’s that I have lots of review books and deadlines to meet. Whatever it is, I read over 200 books last year and it looks like I’ll be topping that number this year. That’s a lot of books!
[icon name=”fa-heart”] I read more self-published and Indie books!
Again, this one’s a positive. I really love the idea of supporting Indie authors and I think that there are some fantabulous books out there that deserve more attention, so I’m happy to help spread the word. Of course, I’ve read my share of not-so-fantastic Indie books, but I’ve also read some traditionally published books that were duds. Overall, I’m really happy that I’ve been exposed to more Indie!
[icon name=”fa-frown-o”] I read less with my kids.
This is actually one that I’m kind of ashamed of, and I really want to do better about it. I used to often read books along with my son and daughter (not that we would read them out loud, but we would “share” the book and pass it back and forth – and then discuss it!). I LOVE doing this, but I’ve found that I’m not making the time for it as much anymore (besides the books we specifically read for homeschooling). Sometimes it’s because the books they’re reading just don’t interest me that much (when my daughter wants me to read all twenty-some books in the Warriors series by Erin Hunter, I just can’t bring myself to do it – the first one was cute, but I’m not interested enough to read them ALL). But often it’s just because I’ve made books for this blog a priority – and that needs to change. This is something I NEED to fix, and soon! Fostering a love of reading in my kids is a high priority, and while I’ve been pretty darn successful at that, I don’t want to let it peter off because I stopped paying attention to what they’re reading. Plus, I’m missing out on those discussions! Hopefully my readers will be seeing much more activity on my Best Kids’ Reads blog because I’ll be better about reading with my kids again!
[icon name=”fa-heart”] I read more on my Kindle.
At first, I wasn’t so sure if this was a positive thing or not. I’ve always really preferred to read real, paper books – there’s just something about holding an actual, physical book that makes it feel like reading to me. But a lot of the review books I get are ebook copies (especially for tours), so I had to get used to reading on my Kindle. Well, I have to say that I now see a lot of benefits to reading ebooks. I LOVE the fact that I easily always have a book with me at all times (the Kindle app on my phone is fantastic for circumstances where I didn’t plan to bring a book, but I have some downtime) – it’s much easier than carrying a paper book with me at all times. So now I pretty much always have something to read! Plus, long books aren’t big and heavy like they are when I read a physical copy. I still think I prefer physical books slightly, but the Kindle has won me over in a lot of ways and it’s no longer a huge preference of one over the other.
[icon name=”fa-frown-o”] I don’t finish series as often.
I noticed that there are lots of series where I’ve finished the first book (or the first couple), but never got around to the next books in the series. Now, sometimes this might have been because I was only so-so on the first book and wasn’t super excited about continuing the series, but more often than not, it’s just that I lost track of the new books that were coming out and never read them. In the case of self-puclished titles, I have to admit that I’m not always great about keeping up with when new books come out – and unless an author specifically asks me to review future books in the series, I don’t get back to them. With traditionally published book, it’s more often that I just had so many other books already on my review plate that I never managed to get back to that old series that I really enjoyed. Which brings me to my next point …
[icon name=”fa-frown-o”] I rarely read a series straight through.
I used to LOVE reading a series straight through – I’d wait for all of the books to come out and then just marathon it. None of that waiting for the next book. No forgetting what happened in the last book. I get the full arc of the story all at once. In some ways, I think it’s the perfect way to read! But I rarely do that anymore for a couple of different reasons. First of all, now that I’m blogging, I see a lot more buzz about books as they’re coming out (or before) and I don’t want to wait years to start a promising new series. If a book looks really good, I want to read it NOW. I used to find out about books when they were already pretty established and often full series were already out, but now I’m usually pretty on top of the new releases and what’s really getting great reviews. The second reason is just that I have SO many books that I’ve agreed to review that I feel guilty taking a break and reading a bunch of non-review books in a row. Or I might have deadlines that make it impossible for me to fit in a bunch of non-review books in a row. So there are series that I’d love to read all at once, but instead I read a book from the series here and there. Not nearly as satisfying, in my opinion.
[icon name=”fa-heart”] I’ve diversified my reading.
I don’t necessarily mean that I’m reading about more diverse characters (although that’s actually true too, now that I think about it). What I mean is that I’m reading books from more diverse genres than I used to. I used to pretty much read paranormal and fantasy with a little sci-fin thrown in. Now that I’m blogging, though I’m seeing an incredible number of reviews and reading a lot of new blogs. And because of that, I find out about many really amazing sounding books that I never would have picked up on my own. I now read quite a bit of contemporary YA and a decent amount of contemporary NA (including LGBT contemporaries – going back to the idea of reading about more diverse characters). Plus, I occasionally pick up other books from random genres that I might not have thought I’d be interested in before – historical fiction, steampunk, classics, the occasional thriller, mystery or horror book – there are so many awesome books out there. Why limit myself?
[icon name=”fa-frown-o”] I read on a schedule.
A good portion of the time, I’m now reading on a deadline. I have books for tours and my reviews need to be posted on particular dates. Or I have review books from the author or publisher and I need to try to post my review near the release date. Even review books with no deadline loom over my head sometimes and stress me out. (Right now I have 26 books on my Kindle for review, plus a ton of physical books that I got from BEA! I’m stressed just thinking about it!). While this doesn’t bother me all the time, it does sometimes. Plus, it makes it harder to just read whatever I’m in the mood for. I’ve been making this a lot easier on myself lately by signing up for a LOT less tours, but there are so many good books touring – I want to read them all!!
[icon name=”fa-heart”] I read ARCs!
Let’s face it, there’s something exciting about getting to read a book before it’s even been released. And about being one of the first people to read and review a book, reading it before anyone else’s opinions have gotten out to influence how you think and feel about a book. It’s just fun!
As you can see, my reading habits have changed a lot since I’ve started blogging. Some of the changes are great and some not so great, but I definitely think it’s all been worth it!
So, how about you? Have your reading habits changed since you started blogging (or just recently)?