Has Blogging Changed the Way You Read?

Posted December 12, 2018 by Sophia

blogging-changed-way-we-readGrowing up, we are told that people can change.

Hesitant on reviving that friendship because of some bad blood between you two? That friend might have changed, so you should definitely catch up with them a little. Depends on what you did to me.

Ex wants a second chance with you? I mean, they might have changed, so your feelings might rekindle. Um, how about no thank you. This is not a novel where a second chance is a guaranteed happily ever after.

Reading books is like meeting people.

We open the book and enter a new world where we meet new people who get killed later because authors love to break our hearts we fall in love with. We go with them on their journey and watch them grow and it makes our hearts swell with happiness.

But our reading tastes change as we grow older. 

What we enjoyed as a high school student might not be enjoyed as much in college or beyond. But it is totally okay to change your reading tastes! It’s also okay if your reading tastes don’t change.

What about book blogging?

No blogger will say writing a book review is easy. The review has to be as spotless as possible and completely free of grammar and spelling errors, it has to flow well, it has to be our honest thoughts and opinions… the list is endless. We have to make sure we try to cover all the details: plot, character, writing, etc.

And then there are the what-ifs: what if this book feels meh? What if you can’t put your thoughts to words? What if you feel out of your writing zone? What if it sounds like you’re not yourself?

What a complex situation we signed ourselves for. So many little details and things to worry over and there are people who say blogging is the easiest thing in the universe.

(It’s not easy! We still love it though.)

Reviewing has made me really think about my reading choices and patterns.

Back before I started blogging, I read for fun. I loved every book I got my hands on and had the chance to read. I read books for the pure enjoyment of reading the book and nothing else unless the book was required by my school, in which so case it would be a toss-up. (I hated classics.)

But then I started dipping my toes into reviewing.

I couldn’t really read the book for the pure intents and purposes of enjoying it. Actually, let me rephrase that. I could hope the book was enjoyable, but it wouldn’t necessarily be the case.

I had to look at the small details – the plot, characters, writing, etc. – and write about my thoughts and observations about those things while reading. For every book I choose to read and review, I basically pick them apart and analyze why I liked/disliked the book.

I read more reviews than I ever have before.

I never actually read a review before I started blogging – heck, I don’t even think I knew reviews existed for books until I actively started looking for them. 🙈

Now I carefully consider each book before I even put it on my TBR or read it instead of grabbing it because it seemed interesting and not paying attention to anything but the plot. I’m not just reading the synopsis, but I’m also reading the reviews of those who have had similar reading tastes in the past. Did they enjoy it? Why did they enjoy it? Why did they hate it? What didn’t they like?

Sometimes it may even suck the fun out of reading.

There are times where some might wonder why they started reading and reviewing in the first place. When you’re active in the community, you hear about all the things. Wouldn’t you sometimes rather just sit down like before and not have to worry about creating content and shouting your thoughts out in the world?

Yes? Me too. Welcome to blogging slumps, home of not wanting to create content even though you might want to because you love everyone in the community.

Let’s talk, bookwyrms! Has your reading style changed since you started blogging? Are you pickier? Less picky? Have you noticed any patterns to your reading choices?

Sophia is a socially awkward Communications major who has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House Crisis. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

Categories: Blogging

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34 responses to “Has Blogging Changed the Way You Read?

  1. This has how it’s been for me the past 2-3 months. I read a lot, but I feel like my reading amount has changed because I feel like I have to review every book I touch. Which isn’t good either because I want to read for me first, you know? But blogging has definitely helped refine my reading tastes to try different styles of books that I never thought about reading, and for that, I’m grateful.

  2. Yes blogging has changed my reading pattern but in a good way. I have read books that I don’t usually open to, this year. I also make sure I am not being prejudiced with my opinions without even reading the book these days. I guess those are the changes.

    • Same with reading books I normally wouldn’t! I think being less prejudiced is something I’m still working on as well, but definitely less than in the past as well.

  3. I still pick books based on the cover (I am very shallow), but my reading is more organized. I like to group my books for review posts, and try to choose books that are connected in some way to read in succession. I am more willy-nilly with my audiobook selections. I don’t plan those out and don’t feature my audiobook reviews on my blog, so I can be reckless with my selections.

  4. I think blogging has made be more picky with which books I read, but only because there are so many more books I want to read now that I don’t have time to read. I didn’t have a TBR before because I didn’t know about so many amazing books. I would go to the library and pick one out and hope I like it. Now I have a million more books to choose from and I want to read them all! So I think its neither a good change or a bad change. Its just different.

    • Whoaaaa no TBR. I can’t imagine not having a TBR honestly since I feel I’ve always had one in a way? I usually go to the library and pick books out if they sound interesting, but sometimes I choose not to get them at the moment and would write them down somewhere, lol.

      Blogging has definitely made me more picky about which books to read, though.

  5. I think there may have been a couple years that I reviewed every book I read, but I since quit doing that. I was really picky on what books I did read at that time, I felt pressured to only read new releases. Now, I just read what I want and try to avoid other reviews when purchasing a book. I don’t consider myself a ‘book reviewer’, I just write my thoughts, so I can actually remember what the books was about when I look back.

    • Same on reviewing every book read! Somewhere around 2016 I stopped reviewing every book since it got exhausting, so I tried not to pressure myself that much. I think I’ve gotten back to reviewing nearly every book read, but there are definitely a few books that I choose not to.

  6. Definitely! I learned to DNF without guilt. I learned to not be afraid to have an opinion. On the more negative side, I feel I am more critical whenever I read or watch something and that is sometimes hard to turn off when I just want to enjoy.

  7. Hmmm yes, no and no. *chuckles* I still pick up books that pique my interest, I still am mostly clueless about new releases just because, I’ll get there eventually. I still buy and borrow books based purely on the blurb and covers. BUT I do struggle with actually sitting down and reading, as my brain starts overthinking “we have to write a review…take notes or you’ll forget” and you’re ahem, well aware of my procrastination with writing reviews.

    Writing reviews sapped the joy out of reading, I am slowly trying to figure out how to read, take notes and still enjoy the book. Sometimes, I don’t take notes though…which is always amusing for future me to try and remember what the heck I read xD

    • Clo, I’m aware that you procrastinate on everything, including reviews.

      Also very true, but a lot of my notes are “Ooooo” and “wow, that’s a mood” and “Um, WTF, peeps?” so it doesn’t sap as much joy out of it, haha. Although sometimes I don’t take notes, either, and wow, that’s definitely a time.

  8. I definitely read more critically now that I’m blogging. I don’t review every book I read, though, so I can read “for fun” sometimes. I think I read faster, too, so I can write more reviews! I think I also read more books that I might not have picked up before I started blogging. Nonfiction, YA, fantasy – they’re genres I read a bit before, but now I see so many more books that I want to try them all.

    • I wish I can say the same in regards to reading quicker, lol. I’ve gotten a little quicker now, though, but I consider myself an average/slow reader. “Now I see so many more books that I want to try them all.” Wow, that’s a BIG mood.

  9. OK…so my tastes have changed! Not because I don’t read for fun anymore but because being part of a community and following other people reading other genres made me want to try them. To go out of my comfort zone… This year I discovered scifi with Lifel1k3 and Honor Among Thieves both fantastic books thanks to other blogger friends. As for writing reviews yes blogging had an influence. But kind of opposite of what you told us above. I am more focused on what the book made me feel, on the passion, on the enthusiasm than trying to build a perfectly structured review .

    • I’m a bit of a perfectionist, LOL, I think that’s my smol struggle with reviewing. Everything MUST be perfect (although I’ve gotten better at it over the years). Being a part of the community has added WAY too many books to my TBR and has definitely allowed to go out of my comfort zone as well.

  10. This is definitely true for me too. It’s harder to just sit back and enjoy a book because you’re always analyzing it (I’ve found that writing has increased that for me even MORE). But blogging has also expanded my reading horizons a lot, and that’s definitely a good thing!

  11. Jennifer

    It did and now that I’ve been “retired” from my blog for a year now my reading has changed again. After 5 years of blogging, I’m pleasure reading without the press to review everything I read or listen to. I only post a short review on Goodreads of the books I grabbed from Netgalley now. Which is about one book a month maybe. It’s so freeing to read and move on without writing a long review.

  12. I think a combination of college and blogging has made me a lot more critical of books. I don’t love as many books as I used to, but I’m grateful for my blog and my education, so I don’t have any complaints. I still love reading!

  13. I wouldn’t say that I let blogging suck the fun out of reading. Though it certainly has changed the way I read. I read more critically now, rather than the passive way I used to read. Especially with nonfiction. I feel I need to be able to analyze the main point and decide whether I agree with it, rather than picking and choosing what I’m actually interested in.

    • Touche. I agree with nonfiction since I have to read a few for classes in college and then write a paper on those. I generally struggle with those, but surprisingly I’m not struggling as much?

  14. Great post! I’m a lot pickier than in the past, and now I understand better my reading taste: for example, I tried multiple times to read sci-fi, and it’s definitely a genre I didn’t enjoy. I read a lot more reviews, especially if I’m not totally convinced with a book.

    • Aww, Sci-Fi is one of my favorites! But it’s not for everyone and I’m usually picky about Sci-Fi. Reviews are a blessing when it comes to books I’m on the fence about (bonus points for amusement).

  15. Blogging definitely changed the way I read! I read more genres than before and I never really read reviews before I started blogging, either. I definitely have always been a critical reader but I am also getting better now at choosing books that I am more likely to enjoy, so these are all positive habits for me!

  16. Reviewing definitely made me a more critical reading. For a while, I remember there being talk on BookTube and around the blogosphere about how this has made people lose their passion and I can’t relate to that. I feel like the more critical I am the more aware I am of what I read and I pick up books I want to read as well as get excited when I genuinely fall in love with books. This year for me allowed me to have so many favorites and great finds, but I still was a critical reader and reviewer and that was a fun balance for me.

    • Oooooo, I don’t follow BookTube to know about that, haha. I can definitely relate to it though! After reviewing for so long, sometimes it can get exhausting to read and review books, especially if you’re in a funky mood. But yeah, I think finding that balance is really important – some of us take longer to find it if we do.

  17. Blogging has definitely changed how I read. I tend to look up a book’s rating before I pick one up for fun (which tends to take the fun out of reading). Being a blogger has made reading less fun (because I think critically about what I read). And it has put me into several reading slumps. I’ve actually cut back on reading and reviewing in the past few years in order to bring back more of the joy in reading. Hopefully I can blog more about what I read in the future since I do enjoy it, and being exposed to the blogosphere has introduced me to books that I wouldn’t have read otherwise. But right now, blogging less is better for me as a reader.