How Blogging Has Changed My Reading Habits

1. I read more books than I used to. This must be something that pretty much every book blogger can identify with. Even though blogging itself takes up a lot of time, it’s pretty hard not to start reading more when following other blogs leads to so many new sources of book recommendations. However, I also know my limits and reading during my commute to work and sticking consistently to one or two blog posts a week feels achievable and has helped me avoid both reading and blogging burnout.

2. I read more new books than I used to. This is partly a consequence of receiving review copies from publishers but following other bloggers with similar reading tastes and literary award longlists means I often seek out copies of newly published books from other sources too.

3. My reading tastes have diversified a lot in terms of genre. As well as newer books, I have been reading more non-fiction and translated fiction and I don’t think I would have made so many new discoveries if I didn’t run a blog.

Parks and Recreation April Ludgate reading a book

4. My general reading preferences have changed. There are many books I reviewed three or four years ago which I would feel quite differently about if I read them for the first time today. For example, I think I would be more sceptical about 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and more generous towards White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Equally, I’m sure there are books I have reviewed this year which I will look at from a new perspective by the end of the decade.

5. Blogging has made me a more “critical” reader. That’s not to say I find fault with books more easily – my reviews are generally very positive – it’s more that as I have been reviewing the vast majority of what I read for a long time, I now find it hard to not plan a review in my head when reading a book. It doesn’t necessarily mean I have very strong opinions about everything either. Reviewing helps me organise my thoughts more clearly and explain why I like or didn’t like a book and sometimes I don’t feel like I have fully absorbed a book until I have taken the time to review it.

6. I tend to make up my mind about my overall impressions of books more quickly. More often than not, I have a fair idea of how I feel about a book within the first few pages or chapters and my initial thoughts often end up in my reviews. However, it doesn’t mean that I won’t persevere with a book which has a slow start or that a good or bad ending won’t change my mind later on.

Parks and Recreation Leslie Knope

On the other hand, some things stay more or less the same…

7. Choosing which book I read next depends on my mood more than anything else. I try not to succumb to guilt about my ever-growing TBR list although I can’t deny that blogging can sometimes make it harder to ignore. I have learned to accept that I am actually more likely to start reading a book which has been lingering on my TBR list for a few years if I haven’t scheduled it to read by a particular deadline. Hence my next point:

8. I don’t plan my reading and blogging very far in advance although I do plan ahead a bit more than I used to especially when I have review copies to read. I have a rough idea of what I plan to read and blog about each month but I sometimes change my mind at the last minute – library books or literary award longlists are often to blame for this.

9. Finding time to reread books is hard. After nearly four-and-a-half years (!), I still haven’t revisited anything I read either before or after I started blogging. However, I would like to reread the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy by Philip Pullman when the BBC TV adaptation is broadcast and perhaps some other books I read when I was a teenager, so this might change in the future.

10. I still read and blog about whatever I want. Hopefully that will never change.

Parks and Recreation Ron Swanson reading a book

Has blogging changed your reading habits? How influenced are you by other book bloggers?

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68 Comments

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68 responses to “How Blogging Has Changed My Reading Habits

  1. Love this post because I can really see how it might be hard to get bogged down with reading so many things and trying to blog just as quickly. I have only really started getting back into reading in the past six month and I love just getting lost in another world! At the moment I’m reading a book a week… Amazon Prime has mainly been fueling my new favourite hobby! x

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  2. As a recent upstart blogger, I’ve definitely noticed the changes you mentioned in my reading habits. So far, I’ve noticed a bigger influence from Goodreads reviews than book blogs, but I’m finding new blogs every day.

    I will say that book blogging has given me a better opportunity to read new books, which is great as I am ALWAYS behind on what’s happening! I hope your reviews will help keep me on the right roads 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Couldn’t agree more with every single point. Great post 😊

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  4. Boy, I Tell Ya

    I was just over-thinking about my reading habits the other day! I’ve noticed that since I decided to take writing seriously and decided to try to write a novel worth publishing, I’ve become a book snob. My tastes have changed, and like you, what I read completely depends on my mood.

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  5. Book blogging has changed my reading habits so much, for one thing I don’t spend time dragging myself through a book I’m not enjoying, which is something I used to do before. I’ve also been reading more recent books. At first I thought book blogging would be a good way for me to dwindle down my TBR list of old books, but it’s just piled a bunch of new ones on top!

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  6. Love the Parks and Rec photos! 🙂 I totally agree about blogging making me aware of books and authors that I never would have otherwise heard of. What a lovely perk!

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  7. The best thing about book blogs is what you learn from others, especially yours from which I have expanded my TBR massively. I do find I am more critical, and now pencil important pages on the book mark I am using, so that I can find words/thoughts/passages easily. So I know I am blogging alteady as I read!! I switch to reading the Man Booker longlist every year, and find that these books receive much harsher treatment, especially if I have already read the book and posted on it, I go back and look at what I said and then read the book again to see if I still agree now that it is in line for a literary prize. I envy you your review copies, but respect the time this must consume in your reading.

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  8. Ola

    I haven’t been blogging for long, but I definitely read more books now that I’m blogging and I’m trying new genres.

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  9. Yes, it has changed mine. I still read books from the same sources as before, but I have added in books by fellow bloggers and books recommended by bloggers. It has also taken me to new genres, so I have read some Science Fiction (and enjoyed it) to my surprise.

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  10. La Fabulogiste

    Oh Clare, don’t let yourself feel pressured to only post brand-new, relevant content. If you feel like re-reading an old-time fave, do it! Your post is bound to be extremely insightful because it had more time to sift in your thoughts.

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    • Thanks – I should have added that I didn’t reread books very often even before I started blogging so I don’t feel like I’m always pressuring myself to read new things just because of the blog. I’m sure I will do some rereading at some stage 🙂

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  11. How interesting – I don’t think blogging changed my reading at all, apart from I get slightly less reading time because of reading people’s reading blogs. Hm. Then again, I’ve been reviewing books in my written journal since 1997 and online since 2007 ish, so I suppose that’s a while now – I wonder if it would have changed if I’d done that more recently.

    Oh – oh – I do take part in more reading challenges now, and although lots of them are arranged with friends I have anyway, I wonder if I’d take part so carefully if I didn’t have to write down what I’d done in public!

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    • Yes I think the extent to which reading habits can change depend on how long you’ve been blogging for and a lot of other factors in that time. I can understand the idea of “public” pressure when agreeing to take part in a reading challenge which is partly why I usually tend to avoid them!

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  12. Nordie

    I’ve slowed down on my reading in the last year or so, but was still getting into the high 90s last year. I have read a lot more front list books since becoming a blogger, and am now trying to find a balance between front and back list.

    The TBR is getting no smaller though!

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  13. I have to agree as well. Since book blogging, I have read so many books I wouldn’t have ever thought of picking up never mind reading. It’s always good to be surprised by a book! Lately though I have been yearning to read some more of the classics, as I have read so much current fiction recently. Nothing beats a bit of Austen from time to time! I look forward to hearing your recommendations too though!

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  14. I can relate to everything you’ve mentioned! Guess it’s like that for everyone. Great post

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I have been feeling stressed lately about everything I “need” to read. While reading this post and all the comments I realize we are a community and maybe I don’t need to read “everything” – but as you said in #10 I just need to “read and blog about what I want” and that’s my contribution to the community. Happy reading, everyone!

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  16. Pat

    Hi Clare, a concise way of getting your thoughts across (it’s difficult to get away from lists). I share in particular points 2, 4 and 5 but not 6, I tend to be more patient at the start of books as I research in more depth which books to read thanks in part to other bloggers

    Pat

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    • Yes I get the majority of my recommendations through reading other blogs too which I am rarely disappointed by thankfully! For me, I think it’s more that the regular habit of reviewing books has made me more aware of how my first impressions of a book influence my thoughts about the rest of it.

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  17. I can agree to almost everything except about the mood

    you don’t plan much ahead but what about readathons? (:

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  18. awesome post, and i share 7/10 points

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The only one I can’t relate to as much (as in I can relate to it a fair bit but not completely) is 8. My editorial calendar shows me when abouts I need to have books read by. 3, 5, and 10 are particularly important to me.

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  20. I so agree with you when it comes to rereading. I used to love rereading, I rread more then read for the first time, but since I started reviewing, I don’t reread, and I actually miss it.
    But you know how it goes, you want to reread the certain book, but all of the review copies are looking back at you and then you feel guilty.
    At least that’s how it goes in my case, but I’m trying to change that and take a different, more relaxed approach (phrase: trying!).
    Also, I just recently started to plan in an advance my posts (like, with calendar planner and everything, writing posts prior their posting) and I feel like one amount of pressure that comes with blogging has just disappear.
    So I hope I’ll do it in the future too.

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  21. Great post.

    Blogging changed my reading habits too. I read more books in English than before. I’ve discovered lots and lots of writers I’d never heard of.

    Writing about books I abandoned or didn’t like somtimes makes me find out some qualities to them instead of just shutting them off with a huff.

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  22. Great points. Blogging has definitely helped me to discover alot of new authors. And to discover new genres as well

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  23. Leah Selim

    Hi Clare,
    I’ve seen you mention other book blogs in a few posts, and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing a few of your favorites? I’m new to the book blogging world and I’m looking for more blogs to read/follow. (I love your blog and have already gone through most of the archives!) My own research mostly turns up blogs that focus on YA novels, which are not my cup of tea.
    Grateful for any suggestions you may have.
    Leah

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  24. I relate to this, the genres of books I read has expanded so much since blogging. I’m so much more open minded and less judgemental about the books I buy and read, and am happier for it 😊

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  25. I am absolutely the same way about re reading books. With so little time on this earth, why would you want to reread a book when there are thousands of new ones to read? It takes ALOT for me to reread a book.

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  26. J.E. Fountain

    Nice. I could identify with most of these, except #8, but only because I am on a self-imposed inflexible schedule. But finding time for rereads…definitely. So much still unread, but rereads are important as I’ve discovered quite a few that I felt quite differently about with a reread.

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  27. Same here on all your points. A negative way it has influenced me, though, is that I’ve become a bit greedy with books. Either buying too many or speeding through books so I can read more. I’ve stopped doing the later but the former is hard to avoid doing whenever I pass a bookstore.

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  28. I literally agree with every point here! I have to say when I started I was a bit of book whore but its just not v realistic! And I ‘ve reversed back to the library to save money too. I think the really lovely thing about the community though is that you do learn so much more about other genres! One thing for me especially is that I read a lot more non fiction, probably more than fiction!

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  29. My blog life/audience is nowhere near yours but I can wholeheartedly agree to everything you’ve mentioned except for perhaps #6 – I’m not there yet.

    My favorite aspect of joining the book blogging world has been the variety its brought into my reading. If a year ago you told me that I’d read Eleanor Roosevelt’s autobiography and enjoy it; I’d have laughed.

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  30. Reviewing has definitely moved me out of my reading comfort zone and I love every minute of it. I am so grateful to so much talent out there in the writing world.

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  31. I love this blog post! I kept finding my self nodding my head in agreement after each listed reason why blogging has changed your reading habits. I would love to share your post with my readers. Would that be ok? I will make sure to send them your way as well. -Aimee

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  32. This post touched on a lot of points that I can relate to! Just in the last 6 months since I’ve been writing book reviews I have noticed I am experiencing a lot of what you listed. And belonging to a book club has also help change me as a reader – it’s certainly forced me to read things I wouldn’t necessarily pick up on my own by introducing me to new and subsequently newly-loved-by-me genres and authors, and reinforcing things I already knew such as not enjoying reading sci-fi.

    Keep on bloggin!

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  33. J.E. Fountain

    Yeah…rereads…ugh. There are so many I really should reread….but the pile of those I’ve never read beckons. You gotta do it though. I’ve encountered several that were MUCH better on a reread, and certainly more that my feelings changed quite significantly with a reread. Most of the rest of your points resonated as well.

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