Discussion: How Blogging Changed My Reading Habits

Discussion-Reading-habita

Book blogging may seem like a harmless little hobby, but all who enters be warned, you will emerge sparkly and different.

Here are some perplexing, at times good, at times terrible changes to my reading schedule, all thanks to blogging.

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1) I’M MORE CRITICAL OF BOOKS

In the blissful days before blogging, if I didn’t like a book, I would breezily move on and promptly forget about all the flaws of my previous reads. Now, I sit there staring at a blank document for an hour, stewing over all of the things that turned me off: character development inconsistences, gaping plot holes, uneven pacing — the whole she-bang.

Whereas I could happily break up with a book silently in the past, I now announce it to the world, and have to examine every aspect of the unhappy relationship in microscopic details. It also means I am more alert shortcomings in books. Gone are the days where I could mindlessly read a novel. Sometimes, I mourn for my lost innocence *dabs eyes*

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2) I READ A TRUCK LOAD MORE BOOKS

I have to admit in shame that prior to my blogging days, I was a sporadic bookworm at best. One of those people that read only when she was on a plane or found a new series to obsess over. Do I lose my bookworm badge for admitting that out loud? I HOPE NOT.

Now, thanks to the wonder that is my blogging friends and Goodreads, I read about 4 books a week! Will I get burned out and stop reading so crazily at some points? Undoubtedly. But then someone on twitter will rave about a book and I’ll be headed right back in.  Plus there’s Netgalley! And catalogues! AND SO MANY SHINIES. I wish I started reading in earnest earlier because I feel like I will never catch up on all the series!

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3) I READ MORE RECENT RELEASES

I don’t remember the last time I read a book that was published before 2010! Thanks to marketing and friends, my world has been constricted to primarily i) ongoing series and ii) the latest release of the month. I feel a little short sighted, and would love to backtrack and find some oldies once in a while. While reading 10+ reviews of Queen of Shadows will never get old for me (I LOVE IT SO MUCH), I do appreciate the bloggers who break the mold and feature some older reads, I want to be a little like them!

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4) I KIND OF FOLLOW A READING SCHEDULE

The dreaded day has come where I have to form some concrete plan on what to read next. As a person who sucks at adulting and organisation in any form, my body still rejects this. I use to just read whatever the heck I felt like, but now, due to meeting ARC release dates and whatnot, I have to be RESPONSIBLE. BZUH?  This clearly means I need to request less lmao. I am grateful forever for all the books that I receive, though!

I’ll confess though, when I come across a book I think I’ll love, I still drop all responsibilities like a hot potato and do what I want 😉

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5) I’M MORE AWARE OF KEEPING DIVERSITY ALIVE IN MY READING LIST

If there’s one thing I am grateful about in terms of blogging, it’s how it’s made me a more socially aware reader.  I never paid attention to whether I was reading a diverse book or about the representation in novels – now I go out of my way to read at least 2-3 titles of the kind a week. Because I want diversity to be forever and I want everyone involved to succeed. So if you know any great diverse fantasy, please rec away ❤

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How about you? Has book blogging changed your life as a reader in any way? Please share ❤

108 thoughts on “Discussion: How Blogging Changed My Reading Habits

  1. Yesss, blogging changed me too! I wasn’t a sporadic reader exactly…but I really only read super old Historical Fiction books. NOW I READ EVERYTHING YA AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I am way more critical though. XD Like, I was even talking about this with my sister, before-blogging I would just say “eh I didn’t like that” but now I have a 5ft long list of WHY and WHAT and HOWs of the dislikes. So in a way it’s kind of cool? Because I feel like I think about what I read more. BUT OH FOR THE DAYS OF lovING EVERYTHING HAAH. *ahem*

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    1. Omg yes, I read so many more YA books nowadays – I used to only read adult fiction and fantasy back in my high school days so I feel like I have regressed genre wise? IDEC THOUGH I LOVE IT. YA is the best, I firmly stand by this. I know I kinda want to go back to loving EVERYTHING I read,veteran book worms have it tough!

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  2. Yeessss, this is so me, too! I used to read books and just LOVE them, based on purely if I had a fun time reading them and that’s it. Now I try and break it down to a rating, judge what I loved and what I didn’t love so much and then decide if I want to continue on with the series purely out of the time that I have.

    I had never even taken TIME into account when reading before blogging. Now I have to think ‘should I do that before I read this ARC?’ ‘Should I start this series before the library books I have?’ And it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for me to read anything and not review it. I feel as if I’m wasting reading time – it’s crazy!

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    1. YES YES YES, this is also me, I am like ‘omg I need to finish this book within this week because I need to write a review’ – I am afraid the process of rushing myself diminishes the enjoyment a little – so I have been slowing down lately and then the blogging falls behind LMAO I CANNOT WIN. AND YES I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE I’M WASTING READING TIME IF I’M NOT REVIEWING.

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    1. Yes, I think it has to do with whenever you ask for a rec, you instantly get a new title from your fellow bloggers. We swim in a different reading pool to the rest of the world I am afraid. BUT I LOVE IT 😀 I love the diversity awareness as well, I just would not have cared or think about it that much otherwise.

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    1. I need to add audiobooks to my repertoire as well but I just have such a hard time concentrating, I am a visual rather than an auditory learner, I’m afraid. But glad you could relate 😀

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  3. I think it’s about the same for me. 🙂 I’m more critical of books, sometimes unconsciously even. I read way more, especially recent releases or even upcoming ones. I also have a sort of schedule and same with diversity too. xDD Haha. Though I also got a lot more friends who also love reading than before. 🙂

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    1. I definitely think I love reading more than before because it’s become a more active rather than passive process 😀 And I think it’s great that you are becoming more critical, awareness is awesome ❤

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    1. Oooo reflective is a great word and I think it perfectly encapsulates what I am feeling, though my brain could not think of it 😀 I think knowing about diversity and how much it affects the publishing industry is so awesome!

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  4. Definitely have found blogging to do this to me, too, on most points. I’ve found the genres of my reading material has expanded—crime, thriller, horror, were some of the books I’d never even glanced at, but now considering I try to write in-depth reviews, I like to gradually move out of my comfort zone. The one point I haven’t mastered yet is reading a lot more. I’m lucky if I read 2 books a month, even less. I think it comes from either being too tired, or getting into the habit. Fingers crossed that’ll change!

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    1. That’s great to hear your genres have expanded, I feel like mine has as well – I used to stick firmly to just fantasy – but now I am considering other stuff as well. I feel that I am trapped in my comfort zone of YA nowadays though, so I need to make an active effort to move out of it. I hope you find more time and energy for reading ❤

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  5. I am SO much more aware of tropes and stuff now because I’m reading so many books now (though I probably read more before I was reviewing since I wasn’t writing notes or reviews). I’m more aware of new books being released and their release dates too due to all the flicking through catalogues. I had to rely on Booktube or bloggers to tell me before!

    And I read A LOT more fantasy now because of you!

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    1. I am so glad you are reading more fantasy because I love fangirling alongside with you! I still have no clues on exact release dates to be honest, I still rely on my fellow bloggers to inform me haha. I AM A CLUELESS SOUL?

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    1. Blogging has changed my reading habits because like you mentioned in your maths of blogging post, it means I dedicate whole HOURS of my week towards reading and the blog. I ADORE THAT POST BTW.

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  6. I think because I’m new at book review looking, I can totally see how these habits could form, because already I’m trying to plan my reading schedule and what posts I want to write, as well as, making attempts to diversifying my reading materials…trying out new genre or authors I never tired before. I also get the whole point on being more critical of books, suddenly I feel the need to explain in a comprehensive and organize manner as to why I like or dislike a book. Although, I am one of those reviewers who review whatever I’m reading, be it older published work or if I manage to get my hand on a new release, thats what I’ll review. So far I’m not signed up to receiving and ARC pieces so no rush or worrying about reading and getting a review out before release dates. 😀 I do think the best part of book blogging really has been making more attempts to read more, like you I was a sporadic reader, but now I read at least a book or two a week (not as many as you though). 😉

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    1. Yes, during my first month of blogging I rolled my eyes when people harped on about reading schedule and their TBR — but it really does happen, you are sucked in and your time management spirals out of control unless you are an organised person in advance haha. ARCs are a blessing and a curse that way. I love that I am reading more AND that I have people to chat to about it, though.

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      1. Hahaha! I’m just really unorganized…so that’s a little worrisome! I don’t think I’m in a position to request for ARCs yet…not enough readership…hopefully that will change sometime. I agree, I do love having ppl to talk to about what I’m reading….usually I just finish a book and sigh to myself either sad it’s over or glad it’s over LOL

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    1. HAHA same here, they expect me to explain myself now that I am a fancy blogger – unfortunately I have not gotten any more coherent or eloquent as a side effect of blogging XD

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    1. You are like the pinnacle of organisation, Ms Publicist! I am so impressed by you and how you’ve made your blog a platform for authors as well 😀

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  7. I read way more recent releases too! Before I’d just read whatever was at the library but now I’m a big fan of preordering haha. I also buy a lot more books now too. I like owning them 🙂

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    1. YESS I use to have a kindle version of everything, but seeing all those photos on twitter and instagram makes me want to own all of the things in hard copy as well!

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      1. I know! I’ve got some ebooks but I find it hard on the eyes sometimes to read something that bright so I tend to just stick with plain old books

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  8. I completely agree with all of these. I was a fad reader. That is to say I enjoyed reading but only did it in compulsive batches. 20 books here, 5 books there then I would move on to video games or art then come back to reading. Since blogging I have done less of this and simply kept with it which is really nice. I also agree with wanting to see more reviews/read older books. That’s why I started doing “mini” reviews on older published books to jazz things up. Just because a book has been around for a long time doesn’t mean others have heard of it. All books deserve a chance! 🙂

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    1. Yes I remember my batches of reading, followed by months of ignoring books all together. Blogging has definitely made me more consistent! Mini reviews of the older books are an excellent idea, thanks for sharing it Ashley!

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  9. YES. I 100% agree with this one. Especially #2. I used to maybe read 1 book a week before blogging but now I’m reading 3-4 which is fun. I also think it’s because I’m aware of more books. I want to change the new release thing. It’s all I seem to be reading and I want to read more of older releases. That’s going to be one of my blogging resolutions for next year.

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    1. Yes I think I’ll start reading older releases as well – there’s so many old titles that people rave about yet I’ve never read and I don’t want to be missing out. Actually thinking of buying and starting Princess Bride today 😀

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    1. Readathons are great, but I am horrible at sticking to them because of the nature of my work, I usually have to read around that schedule haha.

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  10. I totally get you with the only reading new releases. I’m exactly the same. I always want to try and keep up with the conversation! I have a vague plan to try and read one older book a month. If a few of us start blogging about old books, maybe it’ll catch on.

    I think knowing that you have to write a review can be really beneficial to the reading experience. Wanting to write something insightful at the end of it makes you that much more engaged when you’re reading. The other side of that though is that I am getting really sick of predictable plots now. When you read too much it can sometimes end up feeling like the writers are all following the same basic plot plan.

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    1. YES I feel the same, I want to join in on the chat and that’s a big motivator for reading, e.g. that is the only reason I began reading the Throne of Glass series. But I do agree we should start reading older books as well.

      I like the active side of blogging and how it forces me to engage and question the text – but you’re right, I do get trend and trope burnout quicker as well.

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  11. Literally all of these things are what blogging has done to change me! I have become extremely more critical, and that has been a result from my English class in school too! I think I tend to analyse a book extremely now, (unless it’s the Throne of Glass series, I see no faults in that series. EVER.)
    And blogging has definitely made me read more! Before blogging I was pretty much like you. A sporadic reader. And you definitely DO NOT lose your bookworm badge! 😊
    Wonderful post, it is lovely! 💋

    xoxo, Josie’s Book Corner

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    1. I bet you are flying through English class now that you’re used to thinking about books via blogging. haha for the series I love, I give them a lot more room for errors as well, I meant WHAT ERROR, TOG IS FLAWLESS.

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  12. I have only been blogging for less than two months but I agree completely with everything you said–except I’ve always been an avid reader ever since I learned to talk. The difference is that until four-five years ago I used to read classics, fairy tales from every different countries (I know almost all the Russian, Korean, French and of course Bangladeshi fairytales by heart) and books written by Bangladeshi authors. Now, I mostly read YA but I plan to break that routine soon!

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    1. Ah yes I used to read more non English titles when I wasn’t blogging. I hope to get back into it soon! Being able to read in multiple languages is awesome!!

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  13. Great post and all of your points apply to me too! Overall, I think blogging has made me a more “focused” reader in terms of what I choose to read and thinking about what I want to say about the book while I am reading it. I also read loads more new books compared to my pre-blogging days mostly because I have access to sources like NetGalley etc which is great but also means it’s harder to catch up with older books.

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    1. I have so much catching up to do from my initial NG request craze. Once that is down to a manageable side I hope to read more non review books! Glad you could find this post relatable!

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  14. All of these things are so true. In general you just become more aware of everything! When you start reviewing books you have to start thinking about WHY books are/aren’t working for you. You become more aware of time spent reading and you have to hold yourself accountable for finishing books, some at least. I think the most accurate thing you talked about here is the fact that you read primarily newer releases. This is the biggest change I have seen since joining the online reading community about 2 years ago. When I was in school I never paid attention to publication dates, star ratings, or any of that. I mainly picked up what I found and saw interesting at the library. Now I feel like I’m constantly aware of so many books that are coming out NOW. It’s a constant battle to keep up.

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    1. Agreed! Awareness is such a great word for it! I’m also more alert to debut authors as well which is fantastic. But I think to myself that I don’t actually need to know all this stuff as no one in real life amongst me does. I dream back of the day when a new release book was just whatever was shelved under that section at the bookstore haha.

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      1. I sometimes feel guilty (that might not be the right word to use here) if I go back and read a series that I heard about years ago because it means that I’m putting off new stuff. Sometimes it’s good to do that though because everyone is already talking about the newer stuff!

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  15. Great post, Aentee! Since I don’t blog, I can’t say it’s changed my reading habits, but being part of the book blogging community certainly has. I used to spend hours browsing for books at the library, but now I almost always put specific books on hold ahead of time, and even when I do pick a random book up off the shelf, I can’t help looking up the rating on Goodreads. I also read a lot more new releases than I used to, although I’m trying to be better about that. And, like you, I am definitely more aware of diverse books, or the lack thereof, and I go out of my way to read the ones that do exist.

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    1. Ah yes goodreads is such a great resource but also a terrible enabler! I feel like you are a blogger already Maraia, I still await the day you make the full cross over haha 😉 it’s easy to get sucked into the new releases and wanting to keep up with the conversations online though!

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  16. What a great post! I was thinking about this kind of discussion the other day, you were faster than me to write it, ahah 🙂 I recognize myself in everything you’ve just listed, and, in a way, I’m really glad that my blogging life has changed my reading habits. It makes me more aware of the books I read, more critical, too, maybe, but overall, it just makes me more aware of what authors are doing in their stories, the work it takes, and everything it brings into my life 🙂 I read more recent releases, too, now, and sometimes I would love to get back to some oldies, as you’re saying. I think I have to be missing some amazing gems! 🙂
    Such a great post! 😀

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    1. I would love to see your version of this post 🙂 lots of similar ideas floating about so there’s no reasons why we can’t all do our own iteration of it! Glad that you feel the same as I do haha!

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  17. I am soooo critical of books now. Even my mother tells me to stop whining about the crappy character development and just read the damn book. I’m lucky to get one or two books a year now that I really really like.

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    1. Haha same! It made me critical of everything even tv shows and movies. My friends death glare at me and accuse me of not liking books! Like what!! Just because I know exactly what I like does not mean I’m a bad person.

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  18. Book blogging definitely changed my reading habits. And I AM a sporadic reader, hence my blog name 🙂 But it did change. I do keep a reading schedule, too, but sometimes it changes, depending on my mood. I also read more recent releases. I think it’s because it’s fun to discuss books with more people. 🙂

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    1. Hehe when I was typing out that sentence about sporadic reading I actually thought of you XD I am in such a reading slump because of how busy life is this week, so I have basically left my schedule in the dust for now. I love being able to discuss books or book blogging things with the rest of the community as well – by far the most awesome part of the experience.

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  19. I totally agree with you on everything you’ve said. Blogging has definitely changed my reading habits. Before blogging, I used to read randomly and would check out both old and new releases but now most of the books I read are new releases and I also follow a reading schedule. There are really great old releases that I haven’t read yet so I need to catch up with them too. Great Post BTW! 😀

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    1. Yes if there’s anything I’ve learned from this post, it’s that everyone wants to read more older releases! We should try do this for ourselves as a new year resolution!

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  20. Yes, it has to me, actually! I didn’t use to be critical at all, and I’ve also noticed the more I read AND review (this is important), the more difficult I am to impress and the less books I like. I tend to read more new releases as well, but I also want to get back into classics too because I feel I’ve read very few of them! Fantastic post and graphics, Aentee! 🙂

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    1. Haha I noticed with your disillusionment with mystery and thriller books! I really do think the more you read, the harder it gets to be surprised and delighted by books. I also feel that I have not read enough classics, I feel so ashamed as a bookworm because I have not ever even picked up a Bronte book haha.

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      1. You should really read Wuthering Heights! One of those Brontë books, haha. Pretty unlikable in every sense, but it ended up being one of my favourites. 🙂

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  21. I actually had the “old book” revelation a couple of weeks ago, and added some classics into my reading list. I’m trying to write reviews of them to fill the gaps in my blogging schedule… so on a day when I don’t have a newer book to review, I can post about a classic instead. It makes it less stressful to blog, because I always have a back-up that’s not time-sensitive. GREAT POST though, and so accurate!!!!

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    1. Sounds like you have reached a great balance! I need to copy you 😀 I am going to try and request less so I have more time to read what I want.

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  22. Lol, reading schedules?! What’s that?! I swear I’ve tried to do this with ARCs, but even then I’ve been horrid at it lately. Ugh. Great. Now my Kindle is glaring at me and making me feel all guilty that I have to read several ARCs by yesterday. *twitches*

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    1. So much for reading schedule, mine like crumbles every time I see a shiny book released haha. My kindle is so ignored these days because I buy so many physical books now. Bookstagram is so evil.

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  23. I absolutely agree with all of these! Before blogging, my reading happened in sporadic bursts, but now, it’s constant. And I haven’t read a book before 2010 either! Which is kind of sad on some levels, I suppose. And absolutely agree about diversity in books- I am MUCH more aware of whether books contain it. Fabulous post, and SO, so true!

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    1. Bloggers are the most consistent bookworms on earth, I am so dazed and awed by people who have been doing it for years haha! I hope to introduce at least one older book a month to my blog now, seeing as how many people lament about not being able to read them all. I do love the diversity factor and my awareness though 😀

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  24. Oh man, agreed with every single point here. I love that I’m reading more and that I’m thinking harder about the things I’m reading (i.e. becoming more critical as well). I have moved further away from reading whatever I felt like whenever I wanted to though, because you’re right, we bloggers do typically have to follow a schedule or a timeline depending on when books are released. The freedom is the only thing I miss.

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    1. I do really miss the freedom, but I don’t get loads of ARCs so I’m just really being whiny because I still have lots more room for flexibility. I need to start introducing one older book a week to the blog, I think!

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  25. I read sooo much faster as a book blogger. I have always loved to read but I used to do it at a leisurely pace unless the book turned insane and I couldn’t put it down. Now, I DEVOUR books. Also because I have to write reviews for most books I read now I’m much more critical, some things that I might have overlooked or wouldn’t have bothered me before annoy me now.

    Great post!

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    1. I agree Brittany! Reading is almost like a race to me now haha. I am obsessed with finishing so I can read all of the rest of the books.

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  26. The biggest thing I have noticed since blogging is how much more broad my genre choices have become. You would never see me with a contemporary. I was all about fantasy, fantasy, fantasy. Maybe with a couple of dystopian every now and then. Lately, I’ve been loving contemporary! Reading blogs have introduced me to books that I would have never known of otherwise. It’s such a wonderful thing. 😀

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    1. Ah yes, I have definitely started reading more contemporary as well, whereas it was a genre I flat out ignored in the past. It has definitely broadened my horizon which is AWESOME.

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  27. I’ve found that since I’ve started blogging, I have been way more aware of the new releases coming out and what’s happening in the literary world. I also can’t help but be more analytical when I read, though try to just read *purely* for leisure when it’s something I don’t have to review. Fascinating discussion Aentee 🙂

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    1. Glad you could relate! I can also imagine that the reviewing-hat is difficult to put away and definitely does not only affect the ways I read other books -but also things like TV shows and movies. I am just so picky about everything now XD

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  28. I’m on the same reading train. Ditto dropping everything else if I’m in love with book. I try my best to read and review slightly older books but I do think my ARC reviews tend to have more organised thoughts since I have a deadline in mind. Purchased/borrowed reads are optional for review but I have so much fun talking about them when the mood strikes. The optional reviews tend to be more personal in some ways for me. As for awesome diverse fantasy, I recommend Pantomime by Laura Lam. The magic system is interesting with its diverse mythology and the story follows a genderqueer protagonist in a circus.

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    1. I say I have a reading schedule but it pretty much fall into the wayside whenever I see a random book I like haha! I think you have the perfect mix of lesser known and older titles + ARC reviews in your blog, I hope to be just as organised as you some day! Pantomime, which I saw on your blog, sounds amazing!

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  29. I admit that sometimes I “secretly” read a non-review book just to not have to think critically of it ;-). Also you should read Jemisin’s backlist to both read older books and read diversely and because her books rooooooooooooock! 😀

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    1. I have the bad habit of wanting to review everything I read, even if it was initially for leisure, because I feel that I don’t have enough blog content otherwise XD

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  30. I read a lot more recent releases now than I used to before blogging. Before blogging, I would just go to the library and stroll through the shelves looking for books. Now, there is so much excitement and hype around new book releases in book blogging that it’s hard not to get swept up in that. I think going to used book sales can be a good way of introducing yourself to older books. I usually stop by my library’s used book sale when they have them 🙂

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    1. Same, I pretty much found new books through bookstores and seeing the cute little paper reviews that was posted alongside with them. Now I have hundreds of other bloggers to rely on 🙂 The used book sales is actually a fantastic idea! THANK YOU!

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  31. It’s the same for me. I used to loved a book if I had fun reading it or if it has swoon worthy character. But nowadays I found myself take notes while reading, and think about the things I like/dislike about a book. I also become more aware of the new releases book coming out, and what books other bloggers are raving about. I still read some older books though. And last but the most important: My TBR pile is growing really fast since I started blogging and using Goodreads!

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    1. Yes, the taking notes or taking down quotes take up a lot of reading time, but I love it 😀 Goodreads is an evil enabler!

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  32. 1. YES
    2. OMFG YES
    3. YES
    4. I WANT to do this (Does that count?)
    5. YESSSS

    I’d say book blogging has changed my life! But yes, it has also totally, completely, irrevocably changed my reading habits. I keep track of my reading, read much more, even make an effort to go out of my way to read books I never would–all because of my blogging habit. Of course blogging has also helped me when it comes to writing more–reviewing is my favourite thing to do! And I read almost 4 books a day too!

    Rhea @ Rhea’s Neon Journal

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  33. I love your discussion posts, Aentee. I think I became more critical of books too. Also while reading I tend to note scenes or quotes that I can use in my future review. Before I just read and enjoyed, now there a lot of analytical word during reading. As for the amount of books, I actually read less books that I did before I started blogging. Also I’m one of those bloggers who read and review a lot of older books. As for the reading schedule, I just can’t. I’m a total mood reader. I also agree with you about diversity, I also pay more attention to this aspect in books now.

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  34. Lovely post, Aentee (I love the typewriter graphic)! Your number one point is so true. Not only has blogging changed my perspective on books but also time, I think. There are so many books I loved as a preteen, like Twilight (I know, I feel kind of ashamed as I type this, lol). And I think for me instead of reading newer releases, I’ve been paying more attention to release dates. Like before I was like “okay, whenever that book comes out one day I will buy it” now I’m like “why 2016?!!” XD

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  35. I definitely read a lot more recent releases as well, since I’ve started blogging! I’ve just seen so many awesome books around the blogging community and I can’t help but read them, to see what the hype is all about! And blogging has definitely made me more critical of books as well—though I guess when I compare to other bloggers, perhaps not that much. XD Love this post, Aentee! I can go on and on for days. You have a knack for writing awesome discussion posts, girl! ❤

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  36. Yes to all of these! What I love most about my change in reading habits, is that through blogging I discovered SO many genres I wouldn’t have tried before. I always used to take books out of my library but I used to stick to the junior section because the teen section contained so many books that looked daunting to me, but after being on Goodreads and being recommended so many books I ventured into the YA section and never looked back. I DISCOVERED SO MANY PRETTIES and I love how blogging gave me a kick in the YA direction. To think I didn’t even know what YA meant before I started blogging. It’s terrible, I know.

    WONDERFUL POST! ❤

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