Before blogging, I was a very different reader. I’ve been blogging almost four years and in that time my tastes haven’t changed so much as been honed on genres I didn’t even know existed in high school. During those years, the blogging community and the act of reviewing has had an immense impact on my reading habits, in all the right ways.
Pre-blog, I spent much of my time in the library. I borrowed a lot of books and returned plenty of them unread when I didn’t click with them in the first few chapters (something I’ve discussed in more detail previously). I give up on less books now simply because I rarely start reading without some sort of recommendation from another blogger and a much stronger sense of my preferred genres and writing styles.
At my school library, there wasn’t really a defined YA section, so I read a lot more adult books. While some of these were great reads, it wasn’t until I started blogging that I discovered the absolute joy of YA books. Now, I’d guess they make up 80% (or more) of the books I read each year. I’ve also become quite passionate about defending YA and pushing my favourite books into the hands of people who doubt the brilliance of these books.
Since I started blogging, the variety and number of books I read has improved enormously. I used to stick to a select few favourite authors, like Jodi Picoult, whose work I always enjoyed. Now, with dozens of recommendations from my blogging friends, I have found so many new authors whose books continue to blow me away. While I still generally stick to contemporary, the range of books I read has also broadened thanks to blogs, Twitter chats and Goodreads.
It goes without saying that reviewing books has changed my reading experience. When I’m planning to review a book I take notes and think more critically about the prose, characters, themes and plot. This can have its downfalls, but as a whole I like being able to form more considered opinions about the books I read.
Perhaps the most exciting change blogging has bought to my reading habits is that I’ve found a bunch of awesome people from across the world who like to read the same books as me. This means we can discuss our favourite books and I can always trust them for a good recommendation. Pre-blog, I would often have to explain a book to someone before proceeding to talk about its brilliance. Now, I get to do that through reviews and discuss most books in detail with other bloggers who’ve read them too. Has blogging changed your reading habits? Have these changes been good or bad?