How Book Blogging Changed the Way I Read

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I’ve been remotely following the bookish community ever since I signed up on goodreads. It was way back in 2011. I kept track of the books being released, tracked my own reading, reviewed books, and read other people reviews. But being on goodreads isn’t the same as actually being in the book blogging community.

As of November 2, I would have been blogging for 8 months ♦ I have always loved reading, but I never actually thought I’d be a book blogger. I mean, I didn’t even think I would be this dedicated to my blog, I thought it was just a temporary thing 😛 Having been on the book blogging community had changed a lot of things in me, but most importantly, it had changed the way I read.

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Before I started blogging, I only reviewed books on goodreads and sometimes not at all. By then, my reviews consisted of mostly ‘aaaahhhh’ and ‘ooohhhh’ and ramble about how the books made me feel. Sometimes my reviews are even more useless and super short. I don’t want to post short and useless reviews on my blog, that’s why since I started posting reviews on the blog, I tried to write a better, more comprehensive review that not only focuses on how the book makes me feel but also on the more technical aspects. 

I started to analyze every aspects, the pace, the plot, characterization, world building, tropes, twists, climax, ending, even the writing. I also always try to find the good and the bad on every book I read and that turned me into a completely critical reader! Sometimes I hate myself for that, I could no longer just enjoy a book without over analyzing its elements :’)

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Ever since I became more critical with my review, I found it more and more difficult to rate a book 5-stars. There are almost always some things that kept me from giving all the stars. The way a book makes me feel isn’t my only deciding factor anymore. That being said, my standard has drastically changed. It has definitely gotten higher and I am getting harder to please. 

And this is a problem because I’m a notorious re-reader. I keep finding more and more problems with my old favorites and that is just sad. Books I once deemed as my ultimate favorite no longer felt like it. The other month I was rereading Harry Potter and turned out I disliked some of the things I previously adored </3

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I’ve always been following the trend in the bookish community, but before I started blogging, I never had this urge to read a book right on its release date! I was usually patient enough to wait a couple of months for the books to arrive on our local bookstores but lately I’ve been feeling like I’m always in a rush to get my hands on latest release :’) I mean, when the whole blogging community is raving on a certain new release, it’s really hard not to want to read it too. You’re gonna feel left out if you don’t read it 😛 and I really don’t want to miss out on whatever everyone else is reading! Hahaha….

Which is why the delay of imported books arrival has been such a huge struggle for me! At this moment, I’m dying inside because my copy of Gemina still hasn’t arrived yet 😦 the paperback version is already available on local book store but I wanted the hardback and already ordered it </3

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Book blogging is definitely making me read books I never thought I would.  Of all the genres in this world, I probably only read fantasy and contemporary with a bit sci fi and paranormal occasionally. And I didn’t read diversely, all books I read portrayed characters who are mostly white and straight and I couldn’t imagine otherwise.

But ever since I started blogging, I tried to branch out to other genres and subjects. Initially it was because I didn’t want to feel left out or miss out on what everyone’s reading, but lately it was because I have realized the importance and benefits from reading diversely and more genre-wise. 

If you read my discussion post about diversity, you must have known that I used to never care about being represented in books. If it wasn’t for the bookish community and #DiverseAThon, I wouldn’t have picked up a book like, say… Homegoing. It’s a historical fiction (a genre I kind of dislike) and set in Ghana, a country I probably knew nothing about. I wouldn’t have picked it up on my own, but I’m glad I did. It was so enlightening and really really precious ♥

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If you’re an international book blogger like me, you may have experiences difficulties on getting the newest books paperback. Which is why I used to resort to ebook, it’s more affordable and faster. Most of the books I read from the previous years are on ebook.

However, ever since I started blogging and bookstagram-ing, I’m no longer happy with them. I want the physical versions that I could photograph :’) technically you could take photos of ebook, but it’s just not the same. This really complicates things because I might go bankrupt from buying too many books. I even planned to buy the physical version of some series I have read on ebook. And I bought wayyy too many books this month, I’ll show you my haul on this month recap 😛

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P.S. Send HELP 😦 I totally blame bookstagram for this…

But do follow my bookstagram account @sparklingletters_ 😛

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The truth is, reading is a solitary activity. I used to read alone and never really had people to talk to afterwards. I mean, I did talk to my friends and my family and sometimes even persuaded them to read said books, but it wasn’t satisfying because either they didn’t enjoy the books or they did but didn’t want to talk about it all the time.

In the book blogging community, I have found people who are as excited as I am about certain books and willing to talk about it non stop. Even years after the book was released, I could still find at least someone who wants to rave or rant about it. So yes, meeting people who are as crazy about books as I am is just the best thing ever 😛

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Well, those are 6 ways book blogging have changed the way I read. OH, and I definitely read A LOT MORE books than before I started blogging! ♦ What about you, have you noticed changes in you ever since you started blogging? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥

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31 thoughts on “How Book Blogging Changed the Way I Read

  1. I want to applaud you for writing this post, it’s so damn good. I think I agree with every single thing mentioned in here. My earlier reviews also consisted of my constant fangirling but now that I’m blogging, they’re a lot more structured and informative. My standards have raised drastically, and now when I go back and see all the books I had rated 4/5 stars, I shake my head over how stupid I could have been. Rating a book 5 stars is a lot more difficult now, but then, finding a new 5 star book in a sea of average ones is all the more special and memorable.
    Reading new books is another thing I wholeheartedly agree on. Till last year, I didn’t really care about what new books were releasing except for the series I was reading. Ever since I’ve started blogging, I’m much more concerned about reading a healthy mixture of new as well as old releases.
    AND, the physical books point. Up until an year ago, I hardly owned about 70-80 books and I didn’t really care much as long as I could get ebooks and could rent books. However, ever since I started watch booktube and bookstagram, that has undergone a massive change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh thank you so much Anushka! ❤ Exactly! I want my review to be more informative especially for people who want to know what the book is actually about because I think only reviewing based on feels is kind of subjective 😛 but I still love to know how the books make people feel though hahah oooh I agree! It's like finding a masterpiece every time a book passes my 5-star standard ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post is so good! I agree with everything you said in this post. Blogging has definitely made me more critical with books. I find it really hard to find books that really worth my 5 stars 😀 And book community also make me branching out my reading, and makes us more aware of the issues in the real life 😀 It’s really amazing how something that’s started out as a hobby turns out to give a lot of impact for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. totally agree on being keeping up with new release.. despite I review mostly Indonesian books since becoming book blogger, I had urge to be among the first reviewer books that I like or anticipated so my review can be index in page 1 google or getting more like on goodreads.. Interesting post 😀 But I had different experience.. My review basically still depends how I feel about the book, so I did not change that much before and after become book blogger.. Hahaha.. maybe because I rate based on goodreads rating system and I think goodreads rating is depend on how I feel about the book, not how good/perfect the book is.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh it’s been a while since I read a fantastic Indonesian books! :’) I recently only read books written by authors whose books I’ve previously read and loved 😛 will stop by your blog for recs later! 😀

      That’s okay, I think everyone is entitled to review (or not) books using whatever approach they see fit 😀 I still talk about how the books make me feel but I also throw in some technical aspects objectively 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am the same way as you are when it comes to blogging. I did not pay enough attention to how the book went, as long as I love it. I am starting to be very critical with books because of how I would review. It helps me to understand the books better. I used to just rate books on Goodreads and that would be it.

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  5. This is a fantastic post! When I created my blog several months ago, I began tabbing pages and highlighting like crazy on my EReaders. I soon noticed my approach to reading was completely different! I but I still “ramble about how the books made me feel”. While I will throw in some critique on writing style on characters, I think we all have a personal approach to reviewing. Mine happens to actually be more about how the book makes me feel. That is the aspect I enjoy sharing with others.

    I am also a bit of a slacker when it comes to new releases haha. I am very indecisive at times and love a ton of genres. I am hardly ever current. Sometimes I am guilty of putting off new releases because I am afraid of being disappointed after the hype (it happens a lot for me).

    Enjoyed reading this very much 🙂 Great topic to bring up ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you! ❤ Ohhh yes!! Well technically I never highlight or take notes, but I take a lot of screenshot of pages I want to talk about or quote! 😀 yes I think the way people review differs from each others and that's one of the thing I love to notice when reading reviews. I personally throw in both though, the technical and the emotional parts 😛

      Ahh yes the hype! And sometimes I'm afraid if it is indeed great, the wait for the next book would be insufferable and end up postponing instead 😛 thank you! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Book blogging has definitely changed the way I read! I think the worst way it’s changed me though is that I can’t ever just read through a book and enjoy it. The whole time I’m making notes of the good and the bad, thinking about my rating, planning my review. I feel like I need to somehow train myself to still notice the good and bad but to also just enjoy and not worry about ratings and reviews until I’m done.

    It has made me more aware of new books and release dates too. I don’t usually read the big popular books that other bloggers constantly talk about since most of them just don’t interest me, but I pay more attention to new releases in general, like in the publishers I like and whatnot, because of ARCs.

    But actually having people to chat about books with is the best ❤ It's definitely nice knowing that when I have something to say about a book, I'll have people to share it with who will understand. Reading doesn't feel like such a lonesome thing anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes! I could never read a book without automatically conjuring up a review in my head! 😛 but it does make writing reviews easier for me hahah but sometimes I still read only for my enjoyment and not even bother writing review at all 😀

      I know right!! It’s so hard to find people who are as excited as I am about books in real life! They might like the same book but they don’t want to fangirl over and talk about it all the time :’) I’m so glad to find the bookish community ❤

      Like

  7. Love this post, Puput. I can definitely relate to so many things you mentioned. I definitely read more critically now and I’ve read so many books that I never would have. Having people to discuss things with is so great too. And haha, I know what you mean about physical copies. I’m not a bookstagrammer, but I LOVE buying books.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this post! I’ve had a lot of the same aspect change for me reading wise since I started blogging. Especially reading more critically. It used to take very little to please me when it came to a book (and I’m still not all that hard to please) but I’ve noticed that a lot of the books I once loved I don’t love so much anymore because I’ve noticed little things that I overlooked that bother me. And now as I read a book I do find myself being more critical of it and not overlooking the things I once would have. Also, I actually recently talked to someone about how book blogging made me want to branch out diversity and genre wise. Especially when it comes to mysteries/thrillers. I never had any interest in that genre before blogging but now I want to read them all lol. Great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome!
        You should try Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Rohrig. It’s a YA mystery but it’s not really scary just suspenseful in the sense that you want to find out what happened. 😊
        I get not being into scary things. I’m a huge scary/creepy/horror fan when it comes to movies but I always regret it when I can’t sleep. 😂

        Like

  9. What a wonderful post, and congratulations on eight months of blogging, that’s amazing! I can relate to a lot of things you said, especially on critique. I have become so much more critical since I am reading more books, and also trying to think about them in order to write decent reviews, haha. And getting other blogger’s point of view definitely bring some things into perspective 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I completely agree with all of these points! Book blogging has definitely made me more selective about the books I choose to read, and it’s definitely made me more critical as well. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I totally relate to re-reading HP. I loved it so much the first time through and was just in this little magical happy bubble where everything was AMAZING. The 2nd time through there were THINGS I didn’t like and I didn’t like how that made me feel about this series that I held up so high. So yeah, I just try to ignore those little nagging things and focus on how much love I do have for it.

    I hear you about standards, but I try really hard not to get all technical in my reviews. I just want to share love (or lack of love) and don’t like talking about technical elements. But every blogger should totally review in a way that makes them happy and makes them feel like they are getting their POV out there.

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. This is awesome, and SO accurate! I have gone through pretty much all the same things (well, not being international, but I used to be fine with ebooks and now, NOPE!) BUt I have definitely become wayyy more critical, unfavorited favorites, branched out a LOT… and definitely connected to some fabulous people! It’s so funny too about release dates- I NEVER knew them before book blogging, unless it was a sequel I was dying for. Now, I have way too much space in my brain for release dates that could probably be used for way more productive stuff 😉 LOVE this!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lovely post. I’ve recently started book blogging and am trying to get in the swing of it. I think it’s definitely going to take some time to work on a reviewing style that isn’t just a long ramble, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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