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.
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?