Sunday, June 16, 2019

How Reading Has Changed Since Becoming a Blogger

This year my goal was to do more discussion posts. So far I've been averaging one a month which feels pretty good. Last month I talked about reader burnout and the month before I talked about if there's such a thing as waiting too long for a book.

This month since it's my Blogoversary month and I've now been blogging for nearly seven years I thought I would talk about how my reading habits have changed since I started blogging.

I think it's safe to assume if you're reading this and have a book blog you started yours because you love books and wanted to share that love and connect with people who love books as much as you do.

I heard about book blogging from the famous Jennifer L. Armentrout book Obsidian.

Before that book, I had no idea there were people out there who blogged about books. And despite the fact that I am 100% a millennial (defined by Google as someone born between 1981 and 1996) I had no real knowledge of what a blog truly was or what having a book blog would entail.

Thankfully there's this thing called the internet and I searched across hundreds of book blogs and decided I was going to start one. That was in June of 2012. I can honestly say blogging has definitely been a highlight in my life when some parts have royally sucked and I did not expect what happened when I started blogging.

Review Requests:
When starting my blog I had no idea some authors would reach out to me and ask me to read their books. I mean what!!! I'm no one special. I have no real writing chops or anything crazy like that. When I compared myself to other bloggers I totally felt my own reviews needed some work. I sometimes look back and my old ones and cringe a little. Anyway, I had no idea this was a thing.

I had a difficult time saying no at the time I started my blog and then I got so overwhelmed I had to stop taking them for a while. It's so hard to say no for me and even when I did there was nothing like that feeling of having an author contact you for one.

Blog Tours:

My mind was blown when I found out I could get super big books through things called blog tours. It was more difficult in the beginning when I didn't have a whole lot of people following my blog, but when I finally got my first one? I was ecstatic. I still am when I'm told I'm scheduled for a review or excerpt for a book I'm really excited for.

I have to say when I was in grad school blog tours were my saving grace. I could have pre-made content and it was just so much easier than having to do everything on top of 15-18 credit hour classes, practicum, and working.

Blog tours also introduced me to books I probably never heard of otherwise. My reading scope was widening and my TBR piles were going crazy. I was finding so many authors and series that I completely fell in love with and continue to follow religiously.

My Own TBR Pile:
I was adding close to 50 books a month on my TBR pile. It was insane. I currently have 2,125 books on my TBR pile on Goodreads. This year thanks to Lisa over at Lisa Loves Literature I found out about Cleaning Off My TBR Pile I have been working on cleaning off my TBR shelves more and more. It feels amazing to finally go through, but I still have over 2,000 books on my shelves.

I'm been exposed to so many more books than ever before and I couldn't be more grateful to the amazing people who run blog tours, who have friended me on Goodreads and on my blog. You all have opened up so many amazing worlds that I seriously would never have found otherwise.

How I Read:
Before I started blogging and probably the first year or so of blogging nothing really changed towards my reading habits. I was still reading hundreds of vampire books a year 🙄 and I was doing well on buying books and then reading them pretty much right after.

I'm not sure I can pinpoint what changed, but my reading habits changed severely. I was still buying a mass of books and then letting them sit on my shelves for eons.

I was also adding books by the tons to my TBR shelves that I didn't really find interesting but everyone else (seemingly) reading and I felt I had to read them too.

I was also reading waaaay too much. Now that may sound crazy but for the last 5 years, I was reading over 300 books a year. It was crazy, but I felt like I was always behind the hype and I was just reading everything I could and doing so many blog tours I had no time for the books I bought for just me.

Reading and blogging had become a point of stress for me instead of something I did because I enjoyed it.

This past year I went through a lot of hardships and I realized I needed to change how I was doing stuff with not only my blog but reading habits as well. I have stopped signing up for so many blog tours. I started cleaning off my shelves and my husband told me I'm on a book buying ban (trust me it's for my own good). I've been doing a lot better with my reading this year. I set my Goodreads goal pretty low in comparison to other years and at the half-way year point, I'm pretty sure I'll have finished the 150 book reading goal I set for myself. It's been a huge relief. Blogging and reading are supposed to be fun and I really wasn't getting that in at least the last year.

Now I open it up to you:
What has changed for you as a reader since you started blogging?
Anything you discovered while blogging that you didn't expect?

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