Bloggy Musings: 5 Ways I’ve Changed as a Reader Because of Blogging

 
 

My 4-year blogoversary is this week! And each year I like to do some sort of post to commemorate the event. (The word ‘commemorate’ makes it sound like a big deal when it’s really not lol.) Anyway, this year I decided to talk about some of the ways my reading has changed since I’ve started book blogging. Are all of these changes because of blogging? Are some of them just correlation but not causation? Who knows! That’s science. This blog is about books. And sometimes games. But mostly books.

:-)

So here’s how being a blogger has changed my reading habits!


I’m more critical

I’ve definitely gotten more critical of books. I notice more issues with them than I used to. I’m more aware of tropes and cliches and things that just aren’t great writing. I’m not entirely sure it’s blogging that caused this—I think I was starting to get more critical anyway—but, if nothing else, blogging introduced me to a lot of other bloggers, reviewers, and readers, and I’m sure their thoughts have influenced me and has helped me spot more issues and problematic things.

 

I read more traditionally published books

As a kid/teen, I only read traditionally published books. I didn’t have an Amazon account and didn’t even know about self-pub books. (Side Note: When did ereaders and self-pub actually start becoming a thing?) But when I got back into reading some years later, I was reading mostly self-pub. They’re often cheaper, they were what I was stumbling onto, and I was loving them. Nowadays I think I read kind of a 50/50 split between indie/self-pub and big pub, thanks to ARCs and library books. I still love indie/self-pub because there are some amazing books out there, but it’s nice to also have the chance sometimes to read books I’m interested in from bigger publishers.

 

I read graphic novels and webcomics

I honestly don’t know if I ever would’ve started reading graphic novels and webcomics if not for other bloggers (and I wouldn’t have known about all these other bloggers if not for my own blog). It started when I kept seeing Saga recommended and finally decided to try it. Webcomic reading also started because of a recommendation, although that was from an author. BUT I wouldn’t have read that author’s books and been subscribed to their newsletter if not for other bloggers. And many of the other graphic novels and webcomics I’ve tried since then have been because of recs or because I found them in some way due to blogging. BLOGGERS FTW.

 

I read more new releases

I never knew about or kept up with new releases (aside from the super popular ones like Harry Potter) until I started blogging. It’s not even that I care so much about reading new releases (there are lots of older books I still want to read), it’s just that I know about them, and then I want them, and they’re what I’m able to get (ARCs).

 

My tastes have expanded

Again, maybe this would’ve happened without blogging, but who knows? Other bloggers have introduced me to lots of books I’d never had heard of otherwise, and sometimes their reviews have convinced me to try books I wouldn’t have otherwise tried. Being on sites like NetGalley and Edelweiss and being contacted by authors and publishers to review books has also helped me find more books and given me the opportunity to read them.

 
 
 

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  1. Greg

    Happy 4 years! Wow, it flies huh? :) I agree with all of these, although I don’t read as many indie/ self pub books- I kinda wish I did, cause I know there’s hidden gems out there. In fact that’s one of the cool things about your blog- I always see stuff here I wouldn’t see on my own! So thanx for that! :)

    New releases *nods* I NEVER followed new releases before like I do now since blogging. And same here with expanding my book tastes- that’s one of the awesomest things about blogging, I think- discovering all the new books I never would have tried.

    Greg recently posted: Sunday Post #305

    1. Kristen Burns

      There really are some hidden gems! That’s why it makes me a bit sad that I read less indie/self-pub, but I guess I still read quite a bit.

      That’s definitely one of the most awesome things about blogging!

  2. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Yay for reaching your 4 year blogoversary (I think I forgot mine, I don’t even know how long I’ve been blogging). I’ve been wondering how blogging has changed me as a reader too (I feel like it’s just made me read and buy more books and I do a bit less rereading). I hadn’t thought of how it made me more critical, I definitely notice flaws in books more. And yes to tastes expanding and trying new things. I don’t think I would have realised the sheer range of books out there if not for blogging.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I never actually remember when it is, I checked at the beginning of the year and and put it in my blog schedule spreadsheet so I wouldn’t forget lol.

      I do more rereading now than I used to, but idk if that has anything to do with blogging. But seriously, blogging puts so many new books in our lives!

  3. Suz

    Interesting post.

    I don’t do so much blogging these days, but I have several blogs I subscribe to (like yours) which introduce me to books I probably wouldn’t have come up against by myself.

    Congrats on the 4 year anniversary.

  4. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    This is such a great post! I feel the same way about a couple of these, especially the fact that I’m a much more critical reader that I used to be. I think writing reviews has made me that way. I never thought about things like characters or world building or themes or tropes until I started writing reviews and reading other bloggers’ reviews. I actually miss the good old days when I could just read a book for fun! 🤣

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think it’s hard to not become more critical when you analyze your likes and dislikes and all the elements of every book so that you can review it. And reader other reviews makes you notice more too. Right? I kind of miss just reading books for fun lol.

  5. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Happy blogoversary! 4 years is awesome. :)
    I think I’m the opposite in that I read more indie books as a blogger than I did before. I think before blogging I was unaware of indie authors and self-publishing. Learning about that opened up a whole new world of books and some new favorite authors to me!

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted: The Sunday Post #162

  6. Sam@wlabb

    I have been such a new-release-ho, when I used to just read my daughter’s books or library books. I am finally working in more backlist book, and am finding that I have been missing out.

  7. Angela

    Yay, congrats on 4 years!! That’s incredible! I definitely agree with a lot of these – I used to just read a lot from my own shelves or buy a lot of older, cheaper books but now I read way more new releases. I also read way more genres than I used to! I think blogging has helped make me a better, more well-rounded reader.

  8. Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

    I’ve gotten more critical now. While writing reviews has trained me to think critically about what I read, I agree that it’s not entirely because of blogging. Reading more has exposed me to more tropes, cliches, and styles of writing.

    Other peoples’ blogs have exposed me to books I wouldn’t think about picking up, I believe I’ve actually narrowed down my interests in reading over my blogging years. Now that I know what I love, I tend to read mostly within a few favorite genres, though some rave reviews will lead me to pick up a book outside of these genres from time to time..

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, just the more we read in general probably makes us more aware of issues.

      In a sense, I’ve also have learned what I like and narrowed mine (although I don’t think that was due to blogging) since I only read SFF now, but I feel like I’ve expanded into subgenres I never had before, so it’s a bit of both lol. I’m glad blogging has helped you to narrow your tastes and find your fave genres!

  9. Karen Alderman

    4 years IS a lot to celebrate!!! Especially these days. I’m glad you’re still around :-)))

    The fact that I read as much as I do is a big change for me. I went from about 12 books per year and now anywhere from 100-200.

    I read way more genres and I’m willing to try new authors/styles with recommendations.

    But yes, I’m more critical and I’m not sure I could ever go back to just reading without noticing things which is kind of sad.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you!! :-D <3 I was just looking through the feed of blogs I follow yesterday and realized how many have apparently stopped blogging :-/

      Wow, you really did increase your reading! That's funny cuz it seems most bloggers read less since the blogging part gets in the way.

      I don't think I could go back to reading without noticing things either, and that is a bit sad.

  10. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    Happy Blogoversary Kristen! It’s always interesting to reflect on how blogging has impacted us. I know I definitely read a lot more new releases now as well and that I’m more willing to try different genres, especially if a trusted blogger friend recommends a book highly.

  11. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer

    Funny this made me think a lot about myself too. I actually because less critical! Odd. And I read more new books and traditionally published books too. Before I’d just read whatever caught my eye. And buddy reads have helped me to read outside my comfort zone for sure. Before I’d have given up! hahaha Happy blogoversary Kristen. ❤️

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s so interesting that you became less critical! But yeah, my reading was very random, just whatever caught my eye, before I started blogging. Thank you!

  12. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Happy blogoversary!!! All of these points apply to me as well, except that I’d say blogging made me read MORE self-pubbed books (at first) and then eventually I shifted back to almost exclusively reading big publishers again. I do still have a handful of self-pubbed authors who I love, but as I’ve gotten more review books, I tend to stick to the bigger publishers nowadays. My feelings on that are conflicted.

  13. ShootingStarsMag

    I’ve been blogging for 12 years, so things are definitely changed. I do keep up with newer releases more often instead of just reading randomly from the library shelves. I took a class in college on graphic novels and that got me into more of them…but blogging has helped me find a lot of new ones to check out that I’ve loved. As for my tastes, I definitely read a lot more mystery/thrillers then I used to and I think blogging was a big part of that.

    -Lauren

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted: Show Us Your Books: Adult, YA, and MG Mini Reviews

    1. Kristen Burns

      Twelve years is so impressive! That class on graphic novels sounds really cool! I love that blogging has helped so many of us expand and/or refine our tastes and find genres we love.

  14. Roberta R.

    First off – happy fourth blogoversary! 🎂 You’ve built a unique and comfy place 😃. Here’s to 4 more years…or maybe 40! LOL.

    I don’t think blogging changed me as a reader that much, if you don’t count the handful of authors I’ve had/still have the pleasure to work with (even as in, beta-reading their books), whom I’d never had met if I didn’t start blogging. The most notable difference is that now I’m more aware of new releases…but since I rarely read popular books, it doesn’t make much of a difference LOL.

  15. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Hey Kristen! Cool post! And yes, my reading habits have definitely changed since I have been blogging, whether it’s as you say, a causative factor or not, I’m not sure, but I’m thinking blogging has something to do with some of the things that have changed.

    I think blogging has led me to more less traditionally published books than I might have ever otherwise found without blogging! Annette Marie was a blog tour random find, so that was amazing! :)

    The Frontlist – I never knew as much about frontlisted books as I did when I started blogging and this year with my blog falling behind I’ve noticed I’m out of the loop again!

    And it’s highly possible my tastes have expanded too. I didn’t realise that I like UF before! :)

    Di @ Book Reviews by Di recently posted: To Blog or Not to Blog? What to Do When Time is Against You

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Yeah, who knows, but blogging must have caused at least some of them lol. I love that blogging has caused some people to find more indie books! And yaaaay blogging made you a UF fan! :-P

  16. S. J. Pajonas

    Happy blogoversary! E-readers became a thing in 2008/2009 with the invention of the Kindle. There were other e-readers before that (Sony, etc) but that’s when it really took off. I am also more critical of books now than I used to be. I think that just comes from reading more. Have a great week and weekend!

    S. J. Pajonas recently posted: Sunday Update – July 7, 2019

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh, thanks for the info! I started reading them in like 2012, so I was a few years behind. I think the criticalness might just come from reading more. Then again, I read a lot as a teen and wasn’t critical, so who knows.

  17. Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    I agree with 4/5 of these (I don’t read a lot of comics or graphic novels), especially before my hiatus. Another one I would add is that I almost felt pressured to read only YA novels because of my blog (but I’m working on this now that I’m back from hiatus). I noticed that my non-YA book reviews or book lists wouldn’t get as much love as my YA ones – now I just don’t care because I want to LIKE blogging again. Pre-hiatus, though, I was more aware of this.

    1. Kristen Burns

      YA does seem to be the most popular book blogging community, and it’s hard not to feel pressured by the things that bring your blog more attention. I’ve also been trying to figure out how to adjust my blogging so that I feel less stress and more enjoyment.

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  20. Tânia @MyLovelySecret

    Happy bloganniversary! =D As a kid/teen I also didn’t know about Book Depository (I still don’t use Amazon much because of the shipping prices), but I discovered all about it when I was finishing my first year of uni – one year and half after I started blogging.

    Blogging also made me more aware of new releases, which means that I also read a lot more new releases than I did before blogging (before I barely knew which books where coming out when).

    Happy readings! ;)
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

    Tânia @MyLovelySecret recently posted: Book Tag. Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! I definitely didn’t know what books were coming out or how to even find that sort of info before blogging. Seems we all are more aware of new releases now!

  21. Cam @ Camillea Reads

    Since blogging, I’ve discovered the non-traditionally aka indie books! I’ve even become a part of an FB group where authors and readers interact! Like you, I never used to keep up with newer releases! But now I do and I’m glad I’m in a position where I can pre-order books.