Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions #1

Hosted by For What It's Worth and Midnyte Reader
While stumbling across blogs, I came across this meme where book bloggers, like myself, can make confessions. Every other Monday, the hosts post a topic and that's when we come in and share more about it on a personal level

This week's question: How has blogging and reviewing changed your reading habits? Do you read a genre now that you wouldn't have tried prior? Or have you been turned off by a genre you used to love?

My answer:

In my pre-blogging days, I would reread the same authors and books, not knowing exactly how to expand and feeling quite comfortable in my little book space. I did feel a little disappointed when I finished a series and realized that I was left without a book to read.

Now being a blogger, I have such a big stack of books to read that it feels impossible to finish them all. NetGalley, library, recommendations from others...so many! On the bad side of this, I realized that I haven't found any time to reread my favorites. I feel as if they're my pets and I haven't shown any affection to them while I'm watching over someone else's animals for a while. It makes me a bit sad.


EDIT: I forgot to mention that my sister Shelver is actually having a reread month in May where we get to reread without any pressures. Stay tuned for more details later.

As for genres, I think it goes with my explanation for rereading. While I still have subgenre preferences, I've expanded my tastes more. Instead of having all contemporary on my shelf with The Hunger Games, I now have The Farm, ARCs of The Hunt and The Different Girl and will be having Cinder with my Sarah Dessen, Ally Carter, and Jen Calonita books on there as well. The second genre question made me think a little harder. While I read YA, I read Adult even more so in my pre-blogging days. Now with NetGalley and the blog (which is dedicated to only YA), I haven't been able to read Adult as much and once again, reread my favorites. But I'm not turned off by the Adult genre, time just seems to be an issue. Besides that, I don't think I'm particularly turned off by a genre as I am careful. My tastes have broadened, but when I read, I seem to put it under a microscope.

Which leads in to my next point about how I process books antithetically now. Before, I would read a novel. That's it. Read it and put it up. If someone asked me about it, I would give a noncommittal response unless it was a book that I fell in love with to the point of being lumped in fandom. If someone asked me what I liked or disliked about it, I wouldn't be able to pinpoint it. "I just like it, okay?" Or the other way around of disliking it. I didn't know how to figure out what made me exactly like or dislike it. Sure, sometimes I would be able to say something intelligent about the characters or the plot or dialogue. I would read something that the characters repeatedly did and think, "That's stupid, I don't like that." But the idea of writing a review for a book was more than daunting.

Now? It's not as if I sit down and ten minutes later, I'm up. I still have to think about what exactly I didn't or did like about a book. But this time, I actually think about it while I'm reading it. Sometimes I even take a picture of it. I still keep reminding myself to actually write things down as I read like so many great bloggers do, but I haven't reached to that point of organization yet. I process my novel so differently now though that I think of every book as a "review book" before I even turn the first page.

So the answer to the confession question: a big, fat YES.


It amazes me how one thing can change another thing. I become a blogger and my tastes have broadened, my reading habits change, and my love of books has intensified.

To all you bloggers and even blog-lurkers, has YOUR reading habits changed? Are they like mine?

Comment below! 

51 comments:

  1. This is EXACTLY what happened to me. I love how much more analytical my mind has become and how I can dissect a book so much more intelligently now. (It helps me in school too!) And my TBR list has definitely grown and seen WAY more non-contemporaries. It is almost eerie how precisely your experience matches my own.

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    1. Yes! It helps in school and helps with explaining to others. We're just so alike ;)

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  2. I analyze more now as well! Before I just would say, "I liked it" or I would launch into this lengthy explanation that more often than not ruined the entire book for the next person because I just told them the whole story. Now I'm constantly analyzing everything, which is good and bad because I think sometimes I would just like to sit down and read a book without thinking :P

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    1. Exactly! It was hard explaining without completely rambling or without giving away the whole thing or just failing in general at explaining. I'm with you there ;)

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  3. Before I joined goodreads this summer I just had a set of authors I would read, but now with goodreads I'm constantly trying new authors and my to be read shelf is ever expanding.

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  4. This is a GREAT post. I do believe you're right. While I used to know why I liked or didn't like a book, to be able to articulate why is a skill that became honed with book blogging. I think that blogging has opened up a lot of genres for everyone. I used to re-read a few faves every once in a while, but to be honest, there are so many books out there I often felt guilty doing that.

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    1. Thank you so much! That's another thing, I sometimes feel guilty for rereading and hear my blogger self telling my regular self "What are you doing? Do you know how many books you have to read to be up-to-date?!" It's kind of pathetic.

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  5. "On the bad side of this, I realized that I haven't found any time to reread my favorites. I feel as if they're my pets and I haven't shown any affection to them while I'm watching over someone else's animals for a while. It makes me a bit sad."
    Love the analogy LOL. But yes, though I've only been blogging for a very short time, I hear you. Because one feels actually compelled to give priority to new books...while it's great to come back to an old favourite just for the sake of it, and savouring said book again. Maybe we should take a week off from blogging, say, once a month, and use it for rereading a beloved book!

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    1. Ha! I'm glad you liked it so much. I actually forgot to plug in it, but my sister Shelver is actually having a reread month in May where we do that!

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    2. Does she have a Blogspot page as well?

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    3. Yes, she does! http://shelversanon.blogspot.com

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  6. I find myself thinking more about books now too. I used to just know if I liked a book or not. Now I spend more time thinking about what I liked. Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

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  7. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Blogging has changed my reading habits a lot as well. I used to judge books by their cover and title and I didn't know how to find more books either. After I started blogging, though it's only been about 3 months, I have a lot of books on my TBR shelf and I try not to judge the covers as much, still trying to break my habit. As for the genre, I'm picking up all kinds of books because I've joined challenges and book clubs but most of the books I find are YA.

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    1. I'm still trying to learn to review a book properly, it's harder than I thought. But I take notes now and do think about what I could say while I'm reading it

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    2. Yes! I have to be careful to not judge covers quickly as well. I need to join a challenge. Thanks for the comment!

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  8. OMG I'm the 400th follower! Congrats :D
    I'm new at blogging, but I can still feel a difference in my reading habits - now I've got piles of books to read and no time at all (cause I spent it on blogging LOL).
    I started reading indie books, something I've never done before. I am surprised to see how good they can be!!
    I love blogging, and I can't wait to read 400 followers like you!! ^^

    Please please follow back. Thank you!!
    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

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    1. YAYAYAY! Thank you so much :)
      Exactly! Blogging takes up a lot of time so I thought I would be such a great reader (which I have improved), but now I barely have any time!
      Ooh, indie books. I still have to try some. Any recs?

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  9. Good point about re-reading your favorites. I would re-read entire series before but I don't have time anymore. Too many other books to get to.

    Sometimes reviewing and analyzing books drains the fun out of reading but now I save a few *fun* books just for myself - no review required.

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    1. Mhm, blogger problems.

      I need to do that! I think I'll start setting aside some books that requires no analytical processing :)

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  10. What a great meme! Haven't heard of it until now surprisingly. Interesting to see how your reading habits have changed! I do make a habit to do rereading because it makes me so happy! If I'm ever in a funk its the best cure! It is so hard to get all the books I have read though. Lots of pressure :(. Love the gifs and great post <3

    Jasmine

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    1. It really is the best cure :) Tons of pressure, my gosh, I get you there. Thank you!

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  11. Oh, my reading habits have definitely changed since I started blogging. For one, I read way more. Between review books and audiobooks, I read 3-4 books a week, compared to finishing a book every couple of weeks when I first got back into reading. Also, I've found that I love contemporaries when I initially thought I hated them. And the books I used to love with paranormal elements are really starting to wear on me. It's the same old story told a thousand different ways. And, like you, I read analytically now, not just for pure enjoyment. Whereas I used to would have answered the "Did you like the book?" question with a simple yes or no, now I have all of this reasoning to back up my answer. :) Great post, Sunny!

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    1. Agreed on reading more. With the pressure and finding new books combined and my love of reading increased, I read way more so I get you there. Yay for loving contemporary now! Ah, we're so alike :) Thank you, Jen!

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  12. I used to read a lot more Adult before my blog started, too. I'm not sure why exactly (perhaps because I didn't enjoy reviewing Adult books in quite the same way), but I decided by blog would only focus on the YA side of things. That's probably the biggest change for me. And I suppose the genres I go for now have changed a little, too. Pre-blogging, it was essentially all paranormal romance after paranormal romance, but now, I like to delve into a mix of genres. Contemporary, especially, is a genre I would never have considered before blogging. Now, although it's not my favourite, I have been visiting it more often than I ever thought I would.

    Great post! And thanks for sharing. It's an interesting topic to think about. :)

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    1. Wow, we sound so similar, it's crazy. It really depends for me on the contemporary. While I know there are "issue" or dramatic books in the contemporary genre, I usually go for contemporary when I just want a fluff book without any thinking.

      Thank you, Sam!

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  13. Great post. I now find myself reading and really enjoying so many books I would have never even considered before I started blogging.

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  14. I love this meme! I may have to join up. I also have trouble re-reading books these days, because as you said there are so many out there. And I like what you said about how you now process the books you read and have concrete things to say about them. That is one thing that I also love about blogging, especially because I read so many books. But blogging also slows down my reading, because it takes me hours to write a review usually. Reviewing is totally worth the trade off, but sometimes I wish that I could go back to reading one after another without thought.

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    1. You definitely should :) It's great that it's every other week so you don't have to miss a topic because of busy blogging schedules. Yes! It speeds it up because there's so many but I agree with you on the reviewing part. Reviewing, while fun, is a time-sucker and sometimes very tedious because it's so hard to word things even now. Agreed!

      Thanks for coming by, Lauren!

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  15. LOKI! WHOOP! Anyway, I am definitely the same. This has changed how I venture out into other authors as well. Before I sticked with the same authors too. Great point about reviewing, the most I did before blogging was write a sentence for the book on Goodreads.

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  16. Before I started blogging, I really only read contemporaries. I'm also a huge Ally Carter and Sarah Dessen fan :) Blogging definitely opened my eyes to so many great books from other genres. Awesome post!

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  17. Seriously, ditto to everything you said. You pretty much answered the question for me. :D

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  18. These are great, thoughtful responses Sunny, and I agree with so much of what you said. I think blogging can't help but change the way you approach reading and processing books. I'm like you and want to take notes while I read but I also don't want it to feel too much like work.
    It is always hard to branch out into other book categories than YA on my blog, but I do change it up sometimes and hope everyone will bear with me.
    Also- pre-blogging I would re-read more too, and it's something I really miss sometimes. I love the idea of Shelver's re-reading month!
    Great discussion post!

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    1. Thank you! Well, you should join and check it out when she has more information :)

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  19. WOW I can't believe it, I have finally found someone with the same name. My name's Sunny too. How cool! Awesome Blog, I'm a new follower. I run a YA Book Blog called A Sunny Spot and I'd love it if you could check it out. Happy Blogging, I think I might start doing this feature soon.

    - Sunny @ www.asupersunnyspot.blogspot.com

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    1. Well, technically it's my pseudonym, but still cool :)

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  20. WAIT JUST A MINUTE. I didn't realize you and Shelver were sisters. Sisters! (I'm saying that like Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap.) That is so awesome! I mean, I knew you were friendly and all, but hey--bloodlines are nothing to sniff at.

    Oh, your post. I totally relate to the "no end in sight" feeling, hah. It's a blessing and a curse all at once. And someone needs to do something about this unfortunate tendency to constantly covet MORE books on top of that...

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. HAHA! Yes, we are. We only act as if we like each other... ;)

      Yes! I'm pretty sure that if I ever went to a therapist, books would be the reason why. Either for feels, for pressure, for wanting more books.

      Thanks for commenting, Wendy!

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  21. I also used to reread a lot and now it's hardly ever. I miss some of my favorites, but I also don't want to miss out on all the fabulous new books as well.

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  22. It was fun reading this! :) I definitely think that I've explored more genres too. I totally loved seeing you mention Sarah Dessen, Ally Carter, and Jen Calonita (their books are all on my favorites shelf) but I also started reading some more SciFi/Dystopian (and I also recently started trying out more TV shows that bloggers kept recommending, like Doctor Who, Downton Abby, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries). Personally, I find that I get more nervous when people read a book based on my recommendation now(LOL, I keep thinking "I hope you like it, I hope you like it, I hope you like it!")

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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    1. Thanks :) YAY for all the shows that you started watching. Oh, yes, me too! I guess that was my problem pre blogging too, but definitely now blogging. After one of my friends didn't like a Jen Calonita book I recommended, I became especially insecure!

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  23. Ahaha, I fear I would never reach that point of organization when I'm taking notes too, so I wouldn't worry about it :) In the end of the day you read for your own pleasure. You really don't want to turn it into a chore.

    Great post, Sunny. I really enjoyed reading it! I have been reviewing books since 2005 and not much changed in my reading habits. I still don't limit myself with a genre and still need to find an inspiration for a review, so I usually don't force myself to review if I don't feel like it.

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    1. That's really true. I have to remind myself that this is FUN sometimes because I don't want to dread it.

      Thank you so much! Good!

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