Ever since I was old enough to pick up a book and understand the words on the page, I have been reading. Starting with Biff and Chip, The Rainbow Fairies and Harry Potter, I have felt my reading develop throughout my life. I started my blog in October 2016 – not even a year ago, but the way in which I read has already been transformed completely.
Firstly, I read a lot more. For about a year or so prior to starting my blog, my reading had slowed down a fair amount. I still always had a book on the go, but I just did not prioritise reading. Now, however, I try to give myself at least an hour to read every day, preferably more. This is because there is just so much to read – books I requested and need to read in order to review them, books I have marked down for various reading challenges or events, and of course, the books on my ever-growing TBR. And on top of that are those random books that I pick up, and then buy/borrow, books that I’ve never heard of before and that don’t fit into any of the above categories, but still demand to be read. So yeah. Lots more reading gets done now. And running a blog, and having a community to share my opinions with makes reading feel rewarding in an entirely new way.
I am a lot more picky with what I choose to read. Or rather, I am heavily influenced by the YA community. Before starting my blog, whenever I needed a new book I would just go to the library and look at the YA books until something caught my eye. Looking back, these books were all a bit samey, and I hardly remember any of them now. I sort of had a TBR, but I never really looked at it; I didn’t have a Goodreads account, so I didn’t really keep track of it. Now, on the other hand, I have a never-ending list of books to read, and I own enough of them that I go to the library a lot less now (a sad thing, as libraries are The Greatest).
At the same time, I also DNF a lot less books, whilst also reading more critically. It’s like, if I’m really not enjoying a book, or if it’s just a bit average, rather than tossing it aside (like I used to), I power through. Because it counts towards my Goodreads total, right? If I’ve started it I might as well finish it. And reading books I like less makes me feel that I am developing my ‘reader identity’, if that’s a thing. I can also feel myself picking out things I like less in a book (a character, a relationship, a oddly-phrased line) where in the past I just glazed right over them. It’s as if I’m now reading with my eyes wide open, if that makes sense?
Another thing that has changed is that I own a lot more books. And yes, quite a few of these are books I have been lucky enough to receive from publishers. But I have also noticed a shift in my mentality towards book-buying. I want to go out and get new books, to read and then to display on my shelves, which is something that I never really felt before. I no longer read online; I used to be really into Wattpad, but I just don’t find it rewarding in the same way anymore. That said, if I had more time, I would like to go back to Wattpad and maybe reread some of the stories I loved so much at age thirteen.
So I would definitely say that yes, starting a blog did change me as a reader. Did anyone else experience similar changes to their reading once they became a blogger? Do you think these changes are for better or for worse – personally, I think it has benefited me hugely. In 2017, I think I have discovered more absolute-favourites than ever before, which is almost definitely to do with my reading becoming much more focused. Please do let me know your thoughts on this, and any other ways your reading has changed as a blogger.