How Book Blogging Changed My Reading Life

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Welcome fellow BBAW celebrants. I hope you’re enjoying this week of special activities honoring book bloggers. Below is the Quirky Girls’ submission for our daily topic.

The Topic for Thursday:

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!

Before November 2008: I read books that caught my fancy as I wandered the stacks at the library or bookstores. I had a few favorite authors and would buy their books when they came out in paperback. Sometimes I would receive a hardback as a gift. (The ultimate treat!) I didn’t know any authors and I didn’t know that publishers hired publicists to market their books. Occasionally, I might read a book that appeared on a bestseller list – while it was still on the list.

After I began book blogging: My reading life has changed in so many ways. Today I receive book recommendations from other book bloggers on a daily basis. They come from bloggers all over the world. My Wish List is so long, I’d have to live at least a millennium in order to read them all. I find it amazing, but I’ve received emails from authors and publishers wanting me to read their books!!! A while back I was looking at a list of the current Top Ten books and noticed I’d already read eight of them.

Other changes within my reading include the type of books I read. I’ve always enjoyed reading children’s books, even after my children were grown. (I like to keep up with the Newberry winners.) What book blogging has done is introduced me to the wonderful world of Young Adult books. If it hadn’t been for fellow book bloggers, I would have missed out on the amazing world Jennifer Donnelly created in Northern Lights and Shannon Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days, to mention just two recent reads.

Prior to book blogging, I never went near a graphic novel. (I’m not counting the comic books I read as a child.) Book bloggers introduced me to Persepolis (both books) by Marjane Satrapi and French Milk by Lucy Knisley and The Arrival by Shaun Tan. I could go on and on. These novels are top notch – they combine creative writing with creative drawings or art. It’s just as satisfying but way above my childhood favorite: Little Lulu.

The other big change in my reading life caused by book bloggers is the special competitiveness brought about by book challenges. This is the third year I’ve signed up for over 15 different challenges. (I know what you’re thinking, but I just can’t help myself.) I’ve joined everything from the Global Challenge to the Social Justice Challenge to Cozy Mysteries to the Thrilers Challenge to the Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge. I went so far as to accept the challenge to read all of Agatha Christie’s books in publication order. (Right now I’m reading number 25 of the 87 she wrote.) I also managed to start two challenges of my own: the All Things Alcott Challenge and the Foodie’s Reading Challenge.

It’s easy for me to get carried away and join all the challenges that come along or to even start one or two. They are an enormous amount of fun and a great way to connect with other like-minded readers around the world. Without those challenges I never would have become good friends with so many great people.

Yes, book blogging has changed my reading life in a very positive way. I look back at the list of books I’ve read the last three years and I’m pleased with the diversity of it. In turn, that wide variety in reading has expanded my knowledge of the world and my place in it.

How has book blogging changed your reading life?

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About Margot

I'm also known as Joyfully Retired. I love to talk. I love to talk about books I've read, movies I've seen, places I've traveled to, people (especially my children and grandchildren), and Food. On the Quirky Girls Read blog I'm trying to read all the books that have won the major awards and then, of course, talk about them.
This entry was posted in Bookish Thoughts, Posts by Margot and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to How Book Blogging Changed My Reading Life

  1. shelleyrae@ Book'd Out says:

    Hi
    I have to agree there is a such a special thrill when publishers and authors ask you to read their books – it’s a huge bonus

    Shelleyrae

  2. jehara says:

    Before book blogging I never tracked what I read. It never occurred to me to keep lists of the books I’d read. Discovering book bloggers who did exactly inspired me to do so. Now I have a complete list of books read for the last four years. I like being able to go back and see what I read. There are books I’ve read before book blogging that I remember the story but not the title and it drives me more than a little crazy.

    I, too, have enjoyed the challenges in the past. Participating in challenges definitely expands my reading world. And reading all of the wonderful reviews by various bloggers opens my eyes to books I may not have otherwise known about.

    In sum, book blogging has taught me to track books read, keep a list of titles I want to read, and has expanded my range of types of books read.

  3. Blogging has changed my reading life in many of the same ways it’s changed yours. I’ve also discovered audio books. What I love about it is my reading has become social rather than solitary.

    • jehara says:

      Yes! Book blogging has made reading social rather than solitary. The act of reading may still be solitary but the act of blogging and participating in challenges and readathons and the like brings it to the social sphere, which is so satisfying. Great point, Kathy!

  4. Trisha says:

    Don’t feel bad about 15 challenges. Last year I signed up for and completed somewhere in the neighborhood of 30. I was a junkie! 🙂

  5. Erin says:

    Ooh, I never look at the top sellers lists anymore. I should! I wonder how many I’ve read now. As for challenges, I love the idea of them and really enjoy seeing the variety that are out there and reading about the books different bloggers read for them. But man, do they stress me out! I joined one last year and had to quit halfway through because I was not enjoying myself at all. I’ve taken to forming my own goals instead, and it seems to work much better!

  6. kaye says:

    I could echo your thoughts–book blogging and the kindle has opened up a whole new world of reading for me.

  7. Kimberly says:

    We’ve only been book blogging for about a month now (!!), but my habits have changed a lot. For starters, I’m reading a lot quicker and taking notes. I was always a fast reader, but I would get to the end and have a general feeling about the book, as opposed to specifics. When I go back to write a review days (or weeks) later, a feeling sometimes doesn’t cut it. Hence the notes.

    I also find that I’m starting to keep track of pub schedules again. Since I left publishing, I’d rarely read books that were just being published. I’d add something I wanted to read to the end of my goodreads list and read it when I got to it. But now, I’m starting to try and balance that list with current titles, and sometimes it makes my head spin.

  8. Oh, I completely agree with your thoughts. I still haven’t tried all the books and genres that I’ve added to my wish list, either, but blogging has certainly expanded the field of choices. It’s like having a giant catalog of wonderful books from which to choose….and it grows every day.

    I love the challenges, too, and also enjoy being able to track what I’ve read. I love looking at what I’ve accomplished each month and being able to reread my reviews on my blogs and remember the books all over again.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Here’s MY BBAW POST and
    MY WEBSITE

  9. Since I started blogging all my reading habits changed too, and gladly all the changes were very positive. My whishlist has grown a lot, and I’ve also decided to try new things. Also, I’ve started to think a little bit more about what I read.

  10. I am really anxious for next year so that I can add some challenges into my reading routine! (I only found book blogs in July of this year – so not exactly ideal time to start a challenge!)

  11. Kailana says:

    I only really started young adult books when I started blogging. I probably wouldn’t have read many of them if it wasn’t for blogging… Suddenly there was a whole world of good sounding ones while I was still in the mindset that I do not read YA…

  12. Anastasia says:

    I think what I like best about how blogging has changed my life is the fact that I get to interact with authors now. Before, I’d maybe check out an author’s website or something. Now I tweet at them and email them and go meet them in person– and they talk to me back! It’s amazing and a lot of fun, and I have blogging to thank for that. Huzzah blogging!

  13. Like Erin, I’ve stopped looking at bestsellers lists. I already have a list 432 miles long of books on my radar, so I generally don’t need Amazon to point me in the right direction! 🙂 Though it shouldn’t be this way, I also feel more pressure to finish books and write reviews. I try not to let this overwhelm since it is just a hobby after all. On a more positive note, I think book blogging has stretched my reading interests and has challenged me to grab selections I might have otherwise glanced over. Also a positive, I’ve gotten into audiobooks, and those are quite entertaining as well.

  14. stacybuckeye says:

    The community of readers is such a blessing. I can catch up with everyone after Gage goes to sleep 🙂

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