How Blogging Changed How I Read

As I’ll soon be drawing to the close of my second year of blogging– the first year in which I started really expanding and curating more content– I know the “how blogging changed my reading habits” post to be pretty much canon among those of us who blog and have Book Twitters and Bookstagrams. It’s always interesting to see how other members of the online book community have evolved over the years, and I have certainly noticed changes in my own life, so I’ve been feeling inspired to craft one of these posts of my own!

I’ll preface my list here by saying that in the first year of operating my blog, I treated it purely as a place to compile reviews of what I was reading. I didn’t participate in tags– I didn’t even know what they were, or that there was this worldwide network of other people also blogging about books. I read whatever I wanted at whatever pace I felt and then I put my thoughts together and published it on a personal blog. I really became (more) serious about content, aesthetic, and community engagement about eight months ago, so it will be these months to which I refer when recounting things that have changed my reading/life habits.

And now, grab a snack and a glass of wine, and away we go!

First: My reading selections are heavily influenced.

I attribute this to two things in my life that have changed over the last year: my online presence, and my involvement in a book club. I’ll start with the latter. My mother has been in a book club of epic organization and revelry for eighteen years (yes, you read that correctly, this group celebrated EIGHTEEN YEARS this September!!) and as I grew into more of a reader (and an adult) I toyed with the idea of joining, but my hesitance sprung from one thing: I was not ready to relinquish the autonomy of selecting what I read. Our meeting in three weeks will mark my first anniversary of having joined (yay!), and I have, obviously, been enjoying myself immensely! I can fully count on one read per month being selected by a member of my book club, and this brings me to the next point. Since starting a bookstagram account, I find myself buying and reaching for novels that I would otherwise not give the time of day. I mostly chalk this up to a win, as there are SO many books in the world and expansion is great, but I have also experienced many moments over the last year of not feeling particularly inspired by a book but committing myself to it anyway because I feel the need to entertain this novel for the sake of my online presence. I’ve recently emerged into the school of thought that:

Life is too short to read anything other than what YOU want to read!

so perhaps I’ll resolve to let myself be *less* swayed. Of course I will not be completely immovable or stubborn, but I’ll be a bit more intentional about what I pick up!

I have more people to talk with books about!

I am very much one of those people who NEEDS to discuss books with someone. An old roommate of mine would frequently be subject to my calls/texts of, “Hey, I know this doesn’t mean anything to you, but I’m fairly confident that I just guessed *this plot twist* about *this book* that I’m reading… it’ll probably happen in *this many pages* but I just wanted someone to know that I called it!” And bless her, she was very supportive about it, and very pleased for me if I turned out to be right.

BUT NOW! There is a whole world of tweeters and instagrammers who’ve read a lot of the same things I have (and vice versa 🙂 ) with whom I can share little quick thoughts and overviews. It’s. Lovely. The community of individuals just like myself who also love reading and books and bookish things might be one of the best things I’ve gotten from this endeavor.

I spend *more* time online.

This one is… not so great. While it is so much fun to connect with other readers from around the world, it has vastly increased the amount of time I spend tweeting or editing a photo or worrying about blog content. As a result of this, too, I sometimes start to feel a little guilty if I’m not reading at the pace of some other bloggers or not posting as frequently, sometimes at the expense of actually reading! This is something for me to grapple with in the near future, and to remember why I started this in the first place: to read!

The final thought I’ll post, and perhaps the best, is….

I read more!

That’s all there is to it! I become so inspired by other readers and by all of the amazing works there are in the world that I have found my desire to while away an afternoon or evening just cuddled up with my book is stronger than ever! And what a gift that is!

If you’re a blogger or on any bookish social media, how has it changed your life or reading habits? Let me know below!

As always, thanks for stopping by, and happy reading 🙂

Xx.

4 thoughts on “How Blogging Changed How I Read

  1. Maggie,
    Thanks for your thoughts on how blogging inspired your reading. As I also occasionally blog about books, I have a question: how do you balance blogging about things other people might have read (and helping to create that community you mentioned) versus reading and writing about things that are niche or less-known? Or do you just read what you like without thinking too much about it?

    Like

    1. Part of my system in planning reading lists lately has been to pick one thing that’s been on a list for a while, one thing that’s getting a lot of buzz, and then I always have one book club book to account for, which is chosen every month by a rotating member of the book club!

      Like

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