3 Ways Blogging Has Changed My Reading: A Brief Chat

I’ve had an interesting shift in my reading since I started blogging. Originally, I started my blog because I loved reading and wanted a place to discuss books – I didn’t have very many friends who read in “real life”. As the months went on, though, I noticed my reading change from the amount, the types of books, and my overall enjoyment.

This may be the post I’ve needed to write to finally admit exactly why I’ve been in a 6-month or more reading slump.

Let’s talk about that for a bit. I’ll also be attempting to address a fix to my problems, suggestions are welcome!

I READ FAR LESS

The prominent difference between pre-blog and post-blog is that I actually read less than I did before I started. Who knew? When I was creating my new GoodReads account, I realized as I was entering Read dates, that I went from reading 5-10 books a month to being lucky if I even get to one (if you haven’t already been able to tell from all the wrap-ups or lack thereof)

I think this has to do with a few things, which I’ll address later, but the central one is time. Reviews are probably the least read posts on blogs which pushes many of us to write more discussions or recommendation lists. If you know me, you know it takes me a long ass time to write anything. Fundamentally, I didn’t put in the time to read because I needed to write discussions to truly discuss anything with y’all. 

The Fix: I mentioned this in my wrap-up the other day, but I’ll be posting less for a little while. Instead of 3-5 times per week, I’m going to try for 2 times per week (not including reviews if I do write them). I’m hoping this will help me write more posts further in advance, opening up so much free time to read! (This will most likely be temporary until I can catch up)

I DON’T ENJOY BOOKS AS MUCH

GASP! Let me explain. I love reading, I still love books. I have noticed that with the responsibility of writing reviews came this trend of me disliking more books than ever before. I became more critical of what I was reading. I nitpick at things that probably wouldn’t have bothered me at all pre-blog. I also find that I will be thinking about my review while reading instead of concentrating on the story. This helps when I sit down to write my review, but a great reading experience that does not make.

The Fix: I’m probably going to post an entire discussion about this because there are so many conflicting views – but to put it simply now, I’m going to read a book without critiquing it too much. I don’t want to nitpick or be looking for negatives while reading.

CHOOSING BOOKS HAS GOTTEN DIFFICULT

Pre-blog, I only knew about the books on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. I didn’t read any book blogs or go online to find the newest release. This is a double-edged sword. I’m finding so many amazing books. I’ve discovered more authors across all genres and subgenres. I have so much to choose from – but it’s that amount that can simply get overwhelming for me. I want to read a book I think I’ll like, but I also want to read a book I think will spark discussion with anyone else.

I tend to look at my TBR pile and feel defeated, which results in me not even picking up a book.

The Fix: Really, I have no idea how to manage this feeling. A book ban is not going to work (hello, ACOWAR, Avenged, The Crown’s Fate, Romona Blue, and so much more!). I’ve tried schedules but if I tell myself I have to read something, I hate it. Suggestions welcome!

All of this could explain my slump. Owning my own business, running a blog, trying to keep up with social media, and having my real life with my husband to tend to, takes up a lot of time. Add on that there are so many books to read, and that I’ve become very critical of books, I just read less. This appears to be a sort of habit that I’ve formed over the past two years and will take time to reverse, but gosh darn it, I’m going to try!


How has blogging changed your reading? Do you read more or less? How do you manage your time and TBR to not feel that defeat?

  • I totally get this, I write book reviews a lot, they are never negative I usually leave that out because I feel bad writing it. But when I was writing it reading began to feel like a chore because with almost every book I read I was putting reviews up.

    • Negative reviews are sometimes my favorite to write and read hahah

      Right now, I review every book I read, but I’m only reading 1-2 books a month at the moment so it’s not too much. I could see it becoming stressful if I was reading more though!

  • I’ve been thinking about doing a post similar to this, about how blogging has changed my reading habits – I wouldn’t have expected your discussion to be so different from mine! I can understand, though, that with everything that goes along with blogging, plus keeping up with your personal and professional lives, that actual reading could take a backseat!
    As far as liking books less, I also find that I am critiquing every book I read, even if I’m not going to review it. I really have to remind myself to just read for fun sometimes. I find I do better with rereads, since I know I’m not going to review it and I know I’ll like it. I can kind of turn my brain off and just enjoy reading.

    • Ah, everyone recommends rereading books but I just dont think I could! I would get bored >.< But maybe I'll give it a try one day.

  • I can definitely understand what you’re talking about. I’ve become so much more critical whilst reading books and my experience is very different pre-blog. That’s a good and bad in many ways. I’m feeling so overwhelmed right now. I’ve got like 6 books to read this month – LIKE WHAT? I feel so behind on so much sometimes compared to other bloggers (who don’t even try to sympathise with me???) Lack of time is just starting to take it’s toll. Getting behind on assignments, reading, gosh blogging is stressful and busy.

    • GOSH. I stopped doing ARCs and accepting review requests (with a few exceptions) because I suck at schedules and I’m already so behind. I can’t make a TBR of books I have to read in a month because it makes me NOT want to read any of those books! >.<

  • Ah, I totally feel the first one! I’ve been reading SO MUCH LESS since I’ve started blogging, and I haven’t been able to get back to how I used to be! I’m hoping that since I’ll be basically doing nothing during the summer, that I won’t be as busy as I am during the school year!

    I feel like I’ve always read critically! But then again, I had a Goodreads account for a good year and a half, and used that a lot, so that might be the reason why! 😂

    I’m still terrible at choosing books no matter what! I’m just terrible at making decisions lol

    • I’m terrible at making decisions. My trick right now is to read all the unread books on one shelf of my bookcase then moving to the next shelf when I’ve finished. So far it’s working. It’s helpful too that my shelves aren’t organized my genre because I can read a fantasy or a contemporary – so hopefully no slumps!

  • I’ve been reading less since I’ve started blogging, actually since the internet became a thing, because, even if I love reading, I also love the instant gratification of social media and YouTube. During highschool I had homeworks, a boyfriend, lots of friends, ballet classes, but I read A LOT, much more than now. I recently decided to stop writing book reviews, because it made me feel too anxious and then also to ditch my editorial calendar and now I noticed that reading for pleasure is again a thing. The blog made me feel like I HAD to read certain things and I completely burned out.

    • See, I didn’t get super into social media until AFTER I got my blog hahah so I read SO MUCH more before Bookstagram & blogging. Sometimes I feel like I have to read certain things as well, but I’m just trying to ignore that. Right now, I’m just reading what’s already on my bookshelves — then I’ll move into those “hot new releases” that I want to read/everyone else is reading lol

  • Hi Molly,
    I read more since I started blogging. Before this, I used to read for school and, like, every zillion years, I’d pick up a book from Barnes and Noble. What helps is to have options throughout a week/month in regards to what you want to read. But, like, narrow it down to a couple of books you want to read, and then pick and choose. The other thing is to dedicate time to reading. I’m crap at this part, but I have been trying to write it down in my schedule for the day.

    Maybe it’s because I have a really small blog, but I think you just write what you want. Sometimes, that means a discussion or a book review. You do you, and I’m sure people will come visit regardless because: a) You’re sweet, b) Smart, and c) Always raise very great points in your posts. I know I’ll definitely stop by.

    *Hugs*

    • Thank you, Dina! Yeah, I definitely write what I want, but blogging does take up a lot of time – I also run an online store and then just regular life, but I’m trying to read every evening now. It’s helping some! Right now my method of choosing books is going one shelf at a time on my bookcase. I’m reading all the unread books on one shelf before moving to the next one haha

  • I’ve noticed reviewing has affected how much I enjoy a book quite a bit, and it actually adds pressure while reading. Haha this problem was getting so bad that I finally ended up sitting down and pouring all my thoughts into a post in hopes that would help me figure things out.

    I used to just browse through my local library every week or so and come home with a stack of new books, so I wasn’t exactly on top of new releases. I don’t recall not finishing too many of the books I started in those days, but these days, I’m dnfing left and right. Haha a rather unfortunate side effect…

    Cassidy @ Quartzfeather

    • Ah, yeah. I’m switching to taking notes of my thoughts AFTER I’m done reading the book rather than during the reading of it — it’s helping me just focus on the book, but I’m also forgetting a few things when I finally do write down my notes.

      I actually haven’t DNF’d too many books since blogging — only like 2? I think it’s because I put a lot of books “on hold” which basically just means I stopped halfway through and HOPE to get back to them but probably never will. I’ve only ever returned to a few of the ones “on hold” haha

  • I completely get where you’re coming from. I read so much less now that I blog. I think it’s because I tend to do something blog related, like commenting on posts or editing my site, instead of reading. It seems kind of silly because you’d think having a book blog would mean you read more but it just doesn’t seem to work like that 😅. I think before I started blogging I had no idea how much time it would take up! I’m also way more critical of books that I was before, I wan’t to inform people of issues in books so I’m always scrutinising them and it definitely impacts my enjoyment sometimes😔 . Great post!!

    • Exactly! I always find other things to do rather than read – I also run an online store so that takes up time…then just life in general haha … I’m trying to be a little less critical just because I want to actually enjoy my book. If I nitpick, I don’t enjoy it, and it might not even be THAT BAD of a book, you know? Ugh, blogging & reading don’t actually go that well together lol

      • I’m also trying to be less critical, it’s really hard though. I feel like I have a book blogger brain and just look for issues without even meaning to now!😂

        • ahh yes, that’s one of my problems. I’m trying to not do it but, yes, it is very hard!

  • “I also find that I will be thinking about my review while
    reading instead of concentrating on the story. This helps when I sit
    down to write my review, but a great reading experience that does not
    make.” Ugh, yeah, I hate that I do this now too ever since I started blogging. I’ve tried to force myself not to do that, to just enjoy while reading and worry about the review after, but then that gives me stress because I know I’ll forget things I wanted to mention. Still haven’t found a great balance/solution for this.

    • Yeah, I used to take notes WHILE reading – which kind of makes it worse. So now I’m saving my notes until RIGHT after I’m done. I can’t wait too long to do the notes or I forget a lot of the points I wanted to make. But I do forget some things this way and it’s kind of stressful when it comes to the review – but at least I’m actually enjoying the book! lol

  • Huh, you know what I strangely agree with some of your thoughts on how your reading has changed since blogging. I can’t agree that my reading has gone down (seriously, I have so many books I pretty much read in my spare time now) but I do agree with your thoughts. I have sat reading a book and been planning how the review will go rather than enjoying my reading. Sometimes it does mean I enjoy a book a bit less as I get all critical first, but if I am so easily drawn from a story I notice there is a problem with the book keeping my attention anyway.

    Choosing books has gotten crazy difficult, though. I am indecisive at the best of times and find less choice means I choose faster so now I have so many books at my fingertips (and more I want to buy) I do sometimes struggle to choose what to read next.

    Blogging has definitely been a double edged sword. I mean, I have discovered so many more books and some I would never have discovered if it hadn’t been for blogging, but now my biggest drawback from blogging is I often feel guilty if I spend a couple of days reading nothing. My freetime is sometimes a bit less varied. I do manage to do other things and over time I do feel less guilty about the periods I’m not reading but it took me a while to get to that point.

    • See, I have so many books I just get overwhelmed and find something else to do besides read lol xD I’m also easily distracted by my review thought process even during my favorite books, so I’ve just been trying NOT to take any notes while reading and saving it for after I’m done wih the book.

      Your last point is exactly how I feel. I’m always feeling guilty if I don’t read consistently. I went an entire month reading NOTHING and by the end of it I was like “am I even a book blogger” haha

  • I have actually read more (I have NO idea how) since I started blogging- but part of that is because I MAKE myself read more. Like, before blogging a Goodreads challenge was just for funsies, but now I feel like I must read ALL the things, which is kind of silly, tbh. But I agree completely with your other points! Before blogging, almost everything got at least 3 stars unless it was a ridiculous mess. But now… not so much. And OH the TBR struggles, they are VERY real. Ugh, I am trying to decide what to read next now, and I just stare at my bookshelves, totally overwhelmed. I really hope that your fixes will go well!

    • I think I just get lazy (which is funny because reading is sort of a lazy activity) so I just want to watch TV – or the other way around and I think of all the things I have to do and feel guilty for reading. I don’t know, double edged sword haha. HAHAH see, for me, everything gets close to 3 stars – either up or down – but before blogging everything was THE BEST BOOK EVER lolol I’ll probably reach your point somewhere down the line when I’ve been blogging longer/reading more, though!

  • Sorry that blogging has made your reading a bit more stressful—it’s hard to balance blogging and enjoyment sometimes. I read a lot more than I did pre-blogging, but I’ve definitely had times where I’m pushing myself to read and not just mindlessly and happily reading. Hope you figure out how to get that spark back!

    • thanks! Yeah, it’s all about balance. I’m working on it 🙂

  • This is such an interesting post, Molly! I found that my reading habits changed a lot since I started blogging. I definitely read way more than before, there are just SO many books I want to read now – but I guess this is also because my life changed a lot as well and I have lots and lots of commute that allows me to have this time to read.
    I am way more aware of books that are being released and I am anticipating so many book releases now. Also, YES to the reviewing and being more critical of books – this happens to me just as well and I’m trying to get rid of this definitely bad habit to enjoy what I am reading a lot more 🙂

    • Oh, yes commuting can help! Especially if you like audiobooks. I don’t have a commute so I just have to MAKE myself read every day haha

      Yeah, making myself just read & not be super critical has made me like the books I read a bit more. I stopped taking notes WHILE reading and wait to do it until I’m completely done with the book.