Fun Questions | What kind of reader are you?

October 12, 2013 Fun Questions 33

Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

What kind of reader are you?

I used to devour books. I would read them so fast that I would even miss really important details, because I knew I’d have time to read them again. I probably wouldn’t have anything to read at some point and could pick them up again.

Then I found Shelfari and joined an Urban Fantasy group. Suddenly I had a lot more books I wanted to read. But I didn’t own many of them and couldn’t get them super easily at the library, so I slowed down a little bit – it might be longer before I could pick the book up again, but I definitely still would.

Then I became a book blogger. Suddenly I have books coming out of every nook and cranny in my home/e-reader. I have a reading calendar to keep straight all the books I need to read by certain dates. My TBR list on Goodreads has more than tripled in the three short months since I started blogging. Yes, I still will reread books (I’m currently rereading the Hollows with Kim Harrison’s Read-along), but it will be reserved for absolute favorites. As a result, it’s radically changed everything about the kind of reader I am – from picking a book to finishing a book.

The bookstore/library

I used to get 95% of my books from the library. I didn’t have the money for a lot of books – so I only bought books by my favorite authors or after I knew I loved it. Since I started blogging I have only checked 3 books out of the library. Why?

I don’t need to! I have books being sent to me for free – review requests, blog tours, giveaway wins, NetGalley – all the time! I do still read books that aren’t specifically for review, but a lot of those are audio books. And I buy my audio books – I find it frustrating to try and check an audio download out from the library (the one time I tried it was a disaster) and I get two Audible credits a month. I listen to more than that a month – but I several books that in my library already, because every time Audible gives me a deal, I snap it up. And I encourage people to gift me audio books/credits. And I’ll drop money for an audio book I am pretty confident will be good – especially since I know that I can return it if I don’t like it.

I also discovered Amazon Deals. I was semi-aware of them before, but now that I’m reading blogs all the time and follow so many bloggers and authors on Twitter I’m super aware of them. And I just can’t seem to resist that 1 click button. Every week I seem to pick up at least 5-10 books on Amazon for Free – $2. I probably spend a lot more than I realize because these are such small amounts on their own. I try not to think about that.

Actually Reading the Book

I no longer rush through books the same way I used to. Now I’m marking me thoughts the whole way. I’ve never been opposed to writing in books – perhaps because I’m a historian and know how valuable marginalia can be to future generations trying to learn something about the past… sometimes you learn more from marginalia than from the actual text! Anyway, I’ve never been opposed, but I’ve also never had anything I felt like I needed to write, because I was devouring. Now I underline, highlight and jot notes all over the place. It helps me write my review (or my Thursday (WIR) While I’m Reading Posts), plus I feel like I’m savoring the book more. Most the time I’m reading eBooks or listening to audio books anyway – so those marks do nothing to hurt the book itself. In my last audio book I had 109 bookmarks with notes!! 

I also used to be a real stickler for stopping at the end of a section – not necessarily a chapter, but a complete thought. I still prefer to do that, but I’m reading now at times that I wouldn’t have before. I used to just read before I went to bed or when I had a good amount of spare time. Now I listen to audio books while I get dressed in the morning, while I’m on the bus, while I walk around campus, and when I work out. I read every time I’m sitting and don’t have to be doing something else. The result though, is that I can’t always wait to get to a good stopping point. So I stop in much weirder places now and often have to go back a paragraph/30 seconds to get myself reoriented.

I also always have two books going at once. This is new for me. I used to focus on one book at a time. But since taking review requests, blog tours, etc I’ve found that almost every physical book I read is one that I also feel I need to read. Don’t get me wrong, I want to read them too – I never accept a request/tour that I don’t actually want to read. But there’s still a time obligation there that I’m not entirely used to. My audio books are the no pressure, read whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want books. So I’m always reading 1 book and listening to another.

Finishing a book

This for me is the best part of being a book blogger. When I used to finish a book I’d want so badly to talk about it with someone and rarely had anyone to share that with. So I’d finish a book, dream about it a little bit, then pick up the next one. Now when I finish a book I’m so much more excited, because I know I’m going to be able to talk about it. I pretty much immediately start work on my review. Not the actual review you’ll eventually see here, but a quick rambling of my immediate thoughts when I finished the book, coherent only to me. I also jot some notes about the characters – what I liked and didn’t like – and the plot, key elements and my response. Then I leave the book and move on, get some space from it. But those notes will eventually come to form my review sections (My initial thoughts, the characters, the story) and seasoned with a little bit of space will help to make my concluding sentiments section.

All that would have been pointless before – but now I know that people are going to read my thoughts and tell me what they think, maybe they’ve read the book or will actually read the book because of my recommendation (I used to recommend books to friends all the time, but they almost NEVER actually read them, taking out all the fun!).

So yes – being a book blogger has radically changed how I read – but for the better. Who can complain about having too many good books to read and an awesome community of people to share them with? I sure can’t!

What kind of reader are you?

Has blogging changed your reading style?

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

33 Responses to “Fun Questions | What kind of reader are you?”

  1. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    My reading habits have changed A LOT since I started blogging – in most the same ways that yours have. While I still don’t write tons of notes, I’m definitely finding that writing some is helpful. I also often find myself reading two books at once (which I NEVER used to do) and don’t get nearly as many books from the library. The one difference is that I rarely listen to audiobooks (except for an ongoing listening of The Wheel of Time series, which I just listen to in bits and pieces – it’s taking me FOREVER to listen to it all!).

    • Berls

      I think it’s interesting that so many of our habits change in the same ways – I like to think we’re all becoming better readers. Certainly more aware of what’s out there! I think it’s made me more critical – I still love books, but I’m just really thinking about what works and what doesn’t while I’m reading. I love audio books, but I know they aren’t for everyone. I read them more quickly, but you’re not the first one to tell me that they’ve been listening to one audio series for a long time!

  2. Chene Sterckx

    Great Post Berls! I agree with you about how your reading changes. I am currently drowning in reviews as everything came in at once, So sometimes it feels like a speed read and miss a lot, but I have changed a few things about my reading strategies as I remind myself why I started blogging in the first place, because I enjoy reading and want to share it with fellow book lovers 🙂
    Chene Sterckx recently posted…Book Review: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by CassandraClareMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Chene! I’m currently drowning in reviews too – I got a little over excited and thus over extended this month. You’re right, if we keep in mind why we’re blogging, I think it does end up changing out reading strategies. Most important is to keep enjoying what we’re doing 🙂

  3. Lark of the Bookwyrm's Hoard

    My experience is very much like yours, Berls. Blogging has changed the way I read in a number of ways. Like you, I used to re-read a lot, partly because I read really fast and couldn’t afford to keep buying new books, and partly because re-reading books I enjoy is comforting. Since I discovered NetGalley, I barely have time to re-read (though I occasionally go on re-reading binges!) It’s usually all I can do to keep up with the books I’ve agreed to review.

    That also means I feel more pressure around reading, which sometimes sucks the joy out of it. I’m trying to request fewer ARCs, and only books I really want to read, but every now and then I get a bit too request-happy and ask for too many.

    I’ve cut back on downloading ebook freebies & deals, but I still end up with between 1 and 4 per week — none of which I’ve managed to read so far. Again, I’m trying to cut back to only books I really want to read, but it’s so darn easy to press that button when a book is free!

    Before blogging, I was a serial monogamist when it came to books. Now, I usually have one audiobook and at least one ARC going at a time, but sometimes I have a few others as well. Right now, I’m in the middle of 2 audiobooks (one solo, one with my husband) and there are several books I paused in the middle of so I could finish something else.

    I’m enjoying blogging, especially the fun of getting access to new books before they come out. But sometimes I miss the carefree days of reading anything I was in the mood for, instead of following a schedule.
    Lark of the Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…Sunday Post – 10/13/13My Profile

    • Berls

      I do know what you mean about reading have a new element of pressure now. I’m trying to make sure that I never request or accept something I don’t genuinely want to read. But just because I want to read something doesn’t always mean I’ll want to read it right now… and with deadlines, I have to put that aside sometimes. For me, the positives outweigh the negatives – but I have to make sure I focus on keeping my blog fun or it could really easily change from a huge joy to another job (which I do NOT need)!

  4. Felicia S. ( @ thegeekyblogger)

    Right now: A tired one 🙂

    Actually I am an all over the place reader. I get books from everywhere (library, 2nd hand, garage sales, book stores, online, on cd, from audible). I really am a bargain shopper! 🙂 🙂

    I read/listen on everything: ereader, mp3, tablet, ect.

    I have blogging for 5 years (bookish way–longer personal) so I am not sure if it changed my reading habits or not. I read more 🙂 🙂 I looked at my average ratings and they have been pretty consistent (so evidently I am as picky as ever LOL)
    Felicia S. ( recently posted…Dewey’s Read-a-thon Check-In Hour 19My Profile

    • Berls

      LOL I bet! Congrats on making it through your 24 hour read-athon and meeting your goal 🙂

      Wow I didn’t know you’ve been blogging so long. I wish I had found this earlier – I love it so much! I can see why it would be hard to remember if Blogging has changed you. It’s cool that your ratings have stayed so consistent – I’m curious to see how mine will be a year from now.

  5. Trish @ Between My Lines

    I can identify with so much of what you said apart from the Audio Books which I never listen to. I used to read super fast just to get the story and then re read, it makes me laugh now to think of doing that. Nowadays I read slower, take lots of notes, am a highlighting fiend and think more about things like worldbuilding which I never really thought about before. I think reviewing books has made me a better reader as I think more about the nuts and bolts of the book now
    And free books, I’m still in awe that I can get so many! I’ll never get tired of that 🙂
    Trish recently posted…The Sunday Post : Get your Bookish NewsMy Profile

    • Berls

      LOL I’ll never get tired of the free books either 🙂 I agree with you about being a better reader now. I’m so much more aware of what’s working or not when I read than I used to. I often wonder if I would still like some of the books I used to think were good, now that I read with so much more awareness/critically.

    • Berls

      Thanks Jennifer!! I’ve definitely slowed down – I try to savor the books more. Plus I spend so much time blogging that each book takes me longer to get through LOL but somehow I do mange to read more books than before. I think it’s because I have two books going at once and I’ve kind of cut out a lot of other fun activities to keep up with my blog. Which is ok, because I love it more than all those other things combined.

  6. kimbacaffeinate

    I use to read one book at a time, not anymore. I have one on my nook, one on my nightstand, one on my phone and sometimes an audio. Unless things change i do not take notes even with review books. I do highlight quotes on ereader or stick a post-it on a page with a quote I love. I am very disciplined about writing my review within 48 hrs, and really only ever need to reference the book for dates, or spelling of weird names etc.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Ghosts Are Real by Coral RussellMy Profile

    • Berls

      Wow! No wonder you get through so many books! I don’t think I could keep that many story lines straight at one time. I realize that I don’t actually refer to my notes very much while writing reviews – but I think taking the notes helps me process the things that will later help me write the review. I wish I were so disciplined about writing my reviews. I’m good at putting together my initial quick notes that will form the review, but the reviews themselves get written a bit later.

  7. Pamela D

    Since I started using GoodReads and posting book reviews, I have started to finish books faster and read fewer books at once.

    I am sorry that checking audio books out of your library was a disaster. I love using overdrive on my phone to listen to audio books from the library. I would encourage you to try again, if you tried a long time ago. If your library uses overdrive, it really is seamless.
    Pamela D recently posted…Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon II Kick OffMy Profile

    • Berls

      I’ll have to check it out again – it was a while ago and I don’t know what system they use now. You’re not the first person to tell me they like getting audios from their library, so it’s probably worth trying again. And I certainly wouldn’t mind saving some money 🙂

        • Berls

          I’m so glad you suggested I try it again. I just looked up one of the audio reads I wanted to do this month and they have it with Overdrive. I’m downloading now. So hopefully it will be painless 🙂 This will be great if it works! Thanks!

  8. Bookworm Brandee

    This is a great post, Berls. 🙂

    I LOVE words…so I read slowly so I can enjoy all the words. And I underline, highlight, sticky note, and take notes…because I’m a nerd. 😉 But I find I like to be able to reference things, particularly in a series. And I keep book journals where I write my thoughts/reviews once I finish a book. (I said I was a nerd) And I love having a blog where I get to discuss everything I liked or didn’t like about a book. I remember last year when I finished Iced by Karen Marie Moning, I waited patiently for someone else to review it just so I could talk to someone about it! LOL

    Oh, and my TBR is so gargantuan…I’m not sure I’ll live long enough to read all the books on it!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Stripped ~ Brenda Rothert**My Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Brandee!

      I’m a nerd too – which probably explains my obsession with marking up my books too. I love the idea of a journal. I guess that’s kind of what my blog is though – I have the UBB plugin and there’s a spot to right notes that you aren’t posting with your book review. That’s where I right little details that would be spoilers or too hard to articulate well.

      Oh and I’m pretty sure I won’t live long enough to read all of the books on my TBR either. It’s just too huge and I keep adding to it! It can be overwhelming to think about really!

  9. Jennifer @ Feminist Fairytale Reviews

    Such an awesome answer! Like you, I used to read so fast because I knew I would be re-reading books that I enjoyed soon afterwards. Now I rarely re-read unless I think it is necessary for staying up to date on a series or I am in a reading slump. I love audiobooks too! Audible is just amazing and the return policy has made me braver about what I buy. I could go on and on about other parts of your answer, but I’ll spare you that. Great question that has really made me think!
    Jennifer recently posted…STACKING THE SHELVES (11) and WEEKLY RECAPMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Jennifer! I appreciate authors that recap important details in the series now more than I used to, because I don’t have the time to reread like before. And isn’t Audible’s return policy awesome? When I found out I could return books it made me a lot braver about trying new narrators too. I’ve only returned two books ever, but I’ve bought more than I ever would have before!

  10. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    Blogging has really changed my reading habits too. I used to only read the books I wanted to read and had to budget to buy them as our library system isn’t the greatest. Now I find myself turning requests away, buried under a TBR pile I’m never gonna finish, and sometimes I can go months without buying a book. I live by my review calendar; it’s the only way I stay sane. LOL
    Carmel recently posted…Early Review: Secret Unleashed by Sierra DeanMy Profile

    • Berls

      I don’t know about you but I find myself shocked that I ever turn away requests. When I started blogging I never dreamed I’d GET any requests, so the thought of turning one away was unbelievable. I live by my calendar too. I think it’s the most visited site on my computer! Otherwise, I’d never know what was supposed to come next. LOL

  11. A Voracious Reader

    I find myself trying to be more descriptive in my reviews because people want to know why or why not, etc. I still don’t go into long flowing descriptions, but I do say more than ‘I love this book!’ lol However, I still have the same reading habits. I read multiple books at a time, I procrastinate writing my reviews and I speed read everything. Yeah, that much hasn’t changed. And my TBR pile is out of control. 😀
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…Saturday ShortsMy Profile

    • Berls

      LOL I think my TBR pile is the most significant change since I started blogging. I randomly reviewed books before and was really not specific at all – so that’s also a huge change.

      So you’ve always read multiple books at a time? I never had enough books I wanted to read before, to read more than 1 at a time. All that time I wasted not knowing about all these books… *shakes head* If I only I’d known!

  12. Sapir

    Blogging changed my reading habits too. I’m reading more like a critique now. When I liked a book, I never really thought about WHAT made me enjoy it. Now I pay much more attention to the reason I like or dislike books.

    And just like you, I have SO MANY MORE books now when I’m a book blogger!! I am never going to read all of them. Like ever.

    Great post and interesting question!! 🙂
    I’m a new follower via Bloglovin 🙂

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl
    Sapir recently posted…Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny HanMy Profile

    • Berls

      Exactly! I realize when I’m reading a book now I’m really thinking about what’s working and what’s not – I never used to do that. I just would like it or I wouldn’t.

      And yeah – if I did nothing but read for like the next year I’d still would have unread books on my TBR. And that’s assuming I didn’t add to it, like I do every single day.

      Thanks so much for commenting and following 🙂 Happy reading!

  13. Amber H.

    I really enjoyed reading this and comparing your reading to mine. Our big difference is I have only listened to one audio book and that was Alice in Wonderland. I found I had trouble listening to it fully because I would keep tuning it out. Maybe if it is a book I’m more interested in I can listen to it more! I will have to check that out!

    Amber @ Paradise of Pages

    • Berls

      Thanks Amber! I didn’t use to listen to audio books either. Then I discovered Amanda Ronconi (an amazing narrator). It’s amazing what a great narrator can do to your reading experience – I don’t zone out with a good narrator at all. Of course, it’s not for everyone, but I love that it’s doubled the number of books I can read in a month.

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