Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Changing My Reading Habits

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Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!

Book blogging has definitely changed the way I read, mostly in positive ways. Mostly. We’ll get to that in a minute.

I now read a wider variety of books than I did before I started blogging. I was already reading a decent variety of books but I have been slowly expanding my tastes. I had read a few graphic novel memoirs in the past, thanks to my GoodReads friends, but I probably would have been content to leave it at that. Thanks to the excellent reviews of other graphic novels I have seen on book blogs (check out this post at Reading on a Rainy Day for some great recommendations), I have slowly been reading more and more. I haven’t loved them all, but I have found some beautiful books that I would otherwise have never found on my own. I even joined the Graphic Novel Challenge this year!

I’ve also started reading more non-fiction. This is due to a combination of events. I had slowly been accepting a few non-fiction books for review and I mostly enjoyed them. When I received At Home by Bill Bryson for review, I realized that it was not a book that I could read in one go, so I started reading it in smaller chunks as my before-bed book. In one of my reviews of a non-fiction book, I mentioned the tally of fiction and non-fiction books on my GoodReads shelves. I don’t remember the numbers at the time, but it was something ridiculous like 1200:100. Gwen at Chew & Digest Books commented and said something like “We have got to get you reading more non-fiction, girl.” And it clicked. Why not keep a non-fiction book on my nightstand to read before bed? I could expand my reading tastes, read just before bed as I like to do, and hopefully not have to worry about getting caught up in a good part and stay awake all night. I’ve kept it up for almost a year now and I’ve read some fascinating non-fiction. I would have doubted that such a thing existed before I started blogging. (If you’re curious my ration of fiction:non-fiction is now 1313:127. That’s still not great, but it’s better.)

I can’t remember who made the comment that got me started on audio books. I have a feeling it was probably Sheila at Book Journey. I’d resisted audio books for years. I just don’t take things in well by listening. I have to take notes or at the very least read to absorb anything. I’d tried one or two audio books, but I just kept getting distracted. Then someone wrote about listening to audiobooks while cleaning, commuting, working out, whatever, and I was intrigued. I could multitask and “read” a book? Sign me up! I started my current job, my reading time got cut drastically, and I decided it was time to try audio. I haven’t looked back. I’ve even caught myself writing in a few reviews recently that “I might not have liked this as well if I hadn’t listened to it.” Me! I’ve shocked myself.

The one bad thing that blogging has done to my reading habits is that I’m more reluctant to tackle the chunksters. If it takes me more than a week to read a book, I see my stockpile of reviews start to dwindle, and I start to panic. I have so many reviews that my concern is not real, but it’s still something that I need to get over. So many great books are bricks, I know I’m missing out on them! I used to love reading thick books. There’s such a feeling of accomplishment when you finish them, and if they’re really good, I’m happy I get to spend that much more time lost in a great book.

So that’s it for me. Has blogging changed your reading habits?

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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  1. I'm still getting through the BBAW posts. :shy grin: Loved your post! I know there are so many kinds of books (graphic novels included) that I would never have read if not for book blogs. I'm just glad to have this wonderful source of book recommendations!

  2. I tend to read a whole lot more fiction than nonfiction, too, and I love your idea of reading a little nonfiction before bed! What a perfect way to get a little of it into your reading diet. Thanks for the suggestion!

    I'm a HUGE audiobook fan, precisely because of that multitasking perk. Wow, cleaning can be fun? Sign me up! I'm so glad you got into them!

    As for chunksters…they're sadly missing from my reading, too, and I hope to remedy that because I miss not caring about the length before I started a book.

  3. For about six months now, I have been saying I will give audio books a try after reading about them on book blogs.

    I think they would be good for when I am ironing. My task is to try this before the year is out


  4. yes, it has changed it a lot for me too. see here:

  5. I definitely agree that blogging has expanded the variety of what I read. And along with avoiding "chunksters" I think the other impact I've seen is that I avoid rereading – not too sure if that's good or bad, though.

  6. That reading a non-fiction book at night is a great idea. I might have to steal that one. I don't have a hard time listening to audio books but I hate how long it takes. I can read much faster by myself. I'm with you, if I can't finish a book fast I start feeling overwhelmed. That's probably why I don't listen to audio books. 😉

  7. I must try Audio books. Just haven't got around those!

    Reading is a part of life. Any kind of reading. Be it research papers or book blogs. They always keep us going, the dear book bloggers!

    Here is my post:

    BBAW 2011: Readers

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