How Blogging Changed My Reading

BBAWBook blogging has definitely changed the way I read. I’ve always been a reader. Once my parents taught me how to read, I devoured any book that crossed my path. As an adult reader, I was generally drawn to classics, from Jane Austen to the Russian greats. I only read contemporary novels when people I trusted sent them my way.

In 2006, I started hanging out on the Rory’s Book Club message boards and created the first version of this blog on vox.com.  This shifted my reading a little.  The RBC members were still pretty heavy on the classics but they were also discussing what the original Rory’s Book Club list called “smart contemporary” books. Since I was now a part of that community, I started reading more of those books.

But once I took my blog to the greater book blogging community in the fall of 2009, my reading shifted drastically. People were reading the books that were out now, and I was even introduced to ARCs which allowed me to read a book BEFORE it was released. I also started reading many more young adult novels. Book blogging has given me some insider information into the world of writing and publishing. I know when books are coming out and my ever-growing TBR pile has reached impossible heights.

Just the other day I mentioned to a friend that I was a little sad that book blogging has taken me away from the classics. I am currently reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, a book I am sure I would have adored five years ago. It’s become something of a chore to get through it because of all the shiny new books that are vying for my attention. No matter how much I vow to read some older literature, or even just the backlist of contemporary authors, I know I will never be the same reader I was before blogging.

I am thankful for book blogging every day. I’ve found a wonderful community and made some amazing friends. I’ve been exposed to fantastic books and been given opportunities that the normal reader doesn’t have. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But sometimes I feel just a bit of nostalgia for those simpler days.

If you are a book blogger, has it changed you as a reader? If you aren’t a book blogger, what kind of reader are you?

26 thoughts on “How Blogging Changed My Reading

  1. Kyle September 15, 2011 / 7:52 am

    Are you going to do a review of North and South? I own it but haven’t read it yet…maybe you will motivate me! I’m pretty sure I’ll like it, but like you, I feel like I need to read all these newer books first.

    And to answer your questions, blogging has definitely changed me as a reader. It’s much easier for me to find books that I am interested in just by reading reviews instead of standing and staring at shelves in the library. I’ve also started reading more dystopian, solely because of reviews on blogs and it’s becoming one of my favorite genres!

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    • Michelle September 15, 2011 / 1:38 pm

      I will definitely review North and South someday. If I ever finish it. 😉

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  2. Sandy September 15, 2011 / 8:47 am

    Actually it was book blogging that brought me back to classics. I had squat in high school, and then I got on this true crime kick, then mystery/thriller kick, and I lost all sense of what I would call “good literature”. While book blogging is all about the latest hit, many of you out there have such passion for the older treasures. I am so thankful for that!

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    • Michelle September 15, 2011 / 1:38 pm

      That’s fantastic that blogging brought you back to classics. It’s so interesting to see how blogging changed people differently.

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  3. Jenny September 15, 2011 / 9:30 am

    I agree that I wish I didn’t care about reading all the newer books because there are so many backlist and classic books I also want to read and am sure I would love!

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    • Michelle September 15, 2011 / 1:37 pm

      At least those books will always be around when we need them.

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  4. Maria September 15, 2011 / 9:32 am

    I find the topic today very interesting even though I can’t relate to most people’s experience. I still read classics and pretty much the same books I would have read anyway, and to be honest I don’t think I get the blogging world’s apparent obsession with newly released YA books. Which is why I will say that I think North and South is a wonderful book and I hope reading it stops being a chore for you.

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    • Michelle September 15, 2011 / 1:36 pm

      I actually am enjoying North and South (I’m about halfway and it’s definitely picked up in the last 100 pages or so). I think it’s great that you still read the same books. Maybe you are more immune to peer pressure.

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  5. zibilee September 15, 2011 / 10:15 am

    Book blogging has really made my tastes change as well. What’s funny is that before starting the blog I read less of the classics and my reading was just more hodge-podge all together. Now I read more non-fiction, more historical fiction, and more memoirs. So I guess that blogging really opened up quite a few avenues for me, reading-wise!

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    • Michelle September 15, 2011 / 1:35 pm

      I definitely read more nonfiction as well. Which is great because I was really missing out on some good ones.

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  6. Mrs. Q: Book Addict September 15, 2011 / 10:18 am

    Rory’s Book Club was great, it really gave me a sense of community. I was still in university, and classics were high on my priority. My vox blog started to turn into a book blog, because I was discovering more book blogs.

    I think my reading habits have really changed, and book blogging has exposed me to many more new books. YA has exploded, and I’m really enjoying the new reads.

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  7. Linda September 15, 2011 / 11:58 am

    I’ve heard so many good things about North and South. I had hoped to get to it this year but I might not.
    I feel the need to read more classics since so many bloggers talk about their favorites. I still have not read Pride and Prejudice so I feel like I’m missing something.

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    • Michelle September 15, 2011 / 1:34 pm

      I have read P&P at least 3 times. I hope you do get to read it someday.

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  8. Erin September 15, 2011 / 12:03 pm

    Great point about blogging as giving insight into writing and publishing as well as keeping you up to date about what’s coming out. And oh, the towering TBR pile…!

    That’s really interesting about how blogging took you away from classics a bit. Having only “known” you recently, I would not have guessed you started with classics just because they’re not much in your reading now! Blogging has done the opposite for me, making me interested in reading books I’ve long avoided as being “hard” or “scary.” I’ve been encouraged to try classics again and have been enjoying them. But then, I’ve also been encouraged to dig deeper into YA, explore literary fiction, read more memoirs… the list is endless!

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    • Michelle September 15, 2011 / 1:33 pm

      I love that so many people are saying blogging makes them read more classics/chunksters. Maybe there is hope for me yet.

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  9. amanda September 15, 2011 / 12:35 pm

    I’m not a blogger but reading blogs has changed me as a reader. I read alot more books in a year and I listen to audiobooks which is not something I used to do on any sort of regular basis. I read and lust after new releases in a way I never did before. I used to try and read one classic per month but my desire to read all the books you guys blog about has gotten in the way of that.
    My tbr and tbl pile are now larger than I ever imagined they would be and I spend way too much money on books but all I all discovering book blogs had been a positive experience for me and made me a better reader.

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    • Michelle September 15, 2011 / 1:33 pm

      I find this very interesting. Reading blogs has changed your reading in the same way blogging has changed mine. But I suppose my changes also come from reading others’ blogs.

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  10. Trish September 15, 2011 / 2:16 pm

    It’s hard not to get caught up in the more contemporary titles with all of the buzz on twitter. I haven’t gotten caught up in the YA like it seems everyone else has, but I do miss seeing the classic titles in my Google Reader. Hope you enjoy North and South. Part of me thinks we’ve (collective we) strayed away from classics because they take longer to read which means more time between posts!

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    • Michelle September 15, 2011 / 3:03 pm

      Yeah. I read War and Peace last year and if I didn’t read other things at the same time, my blog would have been pretty boring for at least two months. That’s a big reason I read fewer classics.

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  11. Amy September 15, 2011 / 5:56 pm

    Yes, it really makes it so much harder to read the chunksters and other books that require thought doesn’t it?

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  12. Kailana September 15, 2011 / 7:00 pm

    I have met lots of amazing people through book blogging, too. It makes a lot fun!

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  13. Bailey - the window seat reader September 15, 2011 / 9:17 pm

    I definitely see what you mean about blogging taking you away from the classics at some level. For me, though, blogging has shown me that classics can be somewhat ‘cool’ and ‘popular’ … not to sound like a tween there lol. In high school, though, the classics were required reading, and it’s been nice seeing in the book blogging world that classics can be enjoyed and can be relevant in today’s world all the same!

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  14. Anastasia @ Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog September 15, 2011 / 11:50 pm

    vox.com! Man, I remember that site.

    I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been having a harder time sticking to a chunkster, even if it’s something I really want to read. The trick, I’ve found, is to be completely away from the internet and the rest of my books– and then I can focus on that book only. Actually DOING that, on the other hand, is kinda tough. 😉 I end up missing Twitter/email/etc, haha!

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  15. Michelle September 24, 2011 / 2:44 pm

    I know what you mean! My reading has shifted drastically as well. I will say for as many ARCs as I’ve read this year I think I’ve done really well to shake it up and include a lot of backlist as well. Far more than I would expect. I thank participation in readathons and other events for some of that.

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