Hi Virtually Readers. The other day I realised something: since I started blogging, the way I read has changed. This might seem very obvious, but it surprised me, so I decided to write about it. *nods*
#1–I am more critical
Before I stared blogging, I read for fun. I would think about whether I liked the book at the end to some extent (for example, I could definitely say which books I liked more than others) but I wouldn’t try to analyse or criticise or think deeply about what I liked or disliked in a book and why.
Now, with everything I’ve learned in English class as well as my own discretion, I think critically about a book. Did I like the plot? Why? What star rating would I give it? Did I like the writing style? Why did this character click with me? Although I don’t review every book I read, I review a lot of them because of book blogging. Even with the ones I don’t review, I’ll think critically about it more while reading it and after I finish.
#2–I don’t DNF
When I just read for fun, I would DNF (not finish) all the time if I wasn’t enjoying a book, didn’t have the time, had to return it to the library, or just wasn’t in the mood. Now I rarely DNF for two reasons:
- Firstly, because even if I don’t enjoy a book, I can still write a review and think critically about why I didn’t like it. In fact, I (weirdly) really enjoy writing negative reviews because sometimes I get my inner rant going and it’s fun.
- Secondly, because of numbers. Even though I don’t have a goodreads goal, I like reading books and the feeling of accomplishment from finishing them. I do count how many book I read in a year and not finishing is a waste of time because I’m already partway through the book and I might as well finish it so it can count.
#3–I read different kinds of books
Book blogging has affected my reading choices for various reasons, which is probably the biggest way book blogging has affected my reading life. Although I mainly read YA before we started blogging, I choose books differently. Before, I’d choose what was available at my library, often from series or authors I enjoyed, and I’d often choose based on the blurb. I just liked browsing and picking up whatever looked interesting. Now I choose based on:
- Genre–I mostly read YA because most other bloggers I know also mostly read YA
- Recommendations– If a blogger I know and who might have my taste has shouted about a book, I’ll be more interested in reading it, because then we can talk about it together and there’s more fun for everyone.
- Release date–I used to read any interesting book, no matter how old it was (and my library didn’t have a lot of new books). Now I read mostly releases from the last few years because more bloggers will have heard of it and be interested in my reviews.
(is this even a word?)--I choose hyped or popular books that more people will have read (Which often are most recommended by other bloggers and are newer) because I think people will be interested in my reviews, plus I want to know what all the noise is about.
Yes, blogging has affected how I read by making me think more critically about what I read, not DNF, and choose different books. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I would say thinking critically is a positive change to my reading life. Finishing books is usually good, but also can just mean I end up not enjoying reading because I force myself to finish what I don’t want to. And while I want to review books other people will be interested in, I also am growing up. I want to read more adult books, and not be limited by trying to read only for the sake of the blogging community. I want to read for myself.
Has blogging affected what you read? What about ARCs? Do you think blogging has improved your enjoyment of reading?