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How Has Blogging, Or Reading Blogs, Changed Your Reading?

Kind of a long title, but that’s really what this post is about:

How has blogging, or reading blogs, changed your reading?

I have to say that I’m a lot more compulsive about reading, partly because reading other people’s blogs has made my TBR list ridiculously long! That’s not to say I don’t savor books, I’m just much more aware of books waiting in the queue. In fact, it’s partly due to not having enough reading time that I’m going to try taking public transportation to and from work. My employer will give me a bus pass for free…so with soaring gas prices and the thought of extra time devoted to reading, I’m sold!

On the other hand, blogging and reading blogs cuts into my reading time. I mean, blogging takes A LOT OF TIME! Not only the writing part, but reading comments (which I would liken to crack…and would always like to see more of!) and visiting the blogs of people who comment.

Has blogging or reading blogs changed your life in other ways?

| Tags: , , 27 comments »

27 Responses to “How Has Blogging, Or Reading Blogs, Changed Your Reading?”

  1. Jen

    Blogging and reading blogs doesn’t cut into my reading time too much because I *shhh!* do that most at work.

    Blogging has made me much more purposeful about what I read, and much more likely to pick a new book instead of rereading something. I might purposely pick a couple of short books so that I can get some reviews ready before I launch into something huge, or I might read some short stories concurrently with the huge book in order to have reviews.

    Also, like you, blogging has hugely increased my TBR pile. Not only have I been getting a ton of books I might not have otherwise read from publishers and authors, I’m also getting too many ideas for new books I want, far too many of which show up on BookMooch and then in my mailbox. Three or four months ago I had about 2, 2.5 shelves on one of my bookcases that were TBR. Now the entire bookcase is TBR and not all of the books even fit, every shelf but the one with my books that were sent for review has 2 piles of books in front of the books that are put away nicely!

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  2. Lezlie

    I’m with Jen. I do most of my blogging at work. If I’m ever suddenly unemployed, you’ll know why. 🙂 My reading habits haven’t changed much, other than I get a lot more of my books from the library so I can experiment with recommendations more freely.

    Lezlie

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  3. Meghan

    It takes away some of my reading time, too. On the other hand, it has opened up a lot of books – thanks to recommendations and review requests, I’m reading many books outside of my normal range, and loving some of them. My TBR list is stupidly long like yours, so I’m starting to prioritize what I need to read and selecting books based on how they might interest other people and not just me.

    The only thing I don’t like about blogging, though, is that I feel guilty when I read longer books, because I know there won’t be a review for a few days and I won’t have a chance to be reading ARCs. I’ll get to them when I move and receive fewer review copies. though. =)

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  4. Connie

    Blogging has helped me find my “voice”. Although, my posts reflect whatever I am thinking about in the car on the way to work! No specific theme. My creativity has been in a slump and the blog has helped spark it somewhat. Reading blogs has been entertaining and educational. You develop a friendship of sorts with bloggers all over the country. I am a member of a book club and read a huge variety of books, blogging has added to the TBR list as well! I tell my husband (we work together in a family business) I don’t have time to work…I would rather read!

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  5. Amy

    It makes me insanely busy, because I maintain two blogs and contribute to a third and they are all on different subjects with some crossover but mostly different targeted audiences. sigh.

    As far as reading..it’s opened me up to a lot more reading.

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  6. Florinda

    I have less time for reading books, but I have more books to read! Book blogs are my main source for learning about interesting reads now, but since some of the time I used to spend reading books now goes to writing and reading blogs, I’m not getting through books as quickly. But since I blog about the books I do read, I think it’s made me a more careful and discerning reader.

    So to sum it up – blogging has changed my reading in about the same ways everyone else has already mentioned. And I’m trying to cut back on the blogging at work :-).

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  7. chartroose

    Oh hell yes, blogging has changed my reading habits considerably! I spend a great deal of time reading and commenting on other people’s blogs or writing posts for my own blog. Sometimes a post can take a couple of hours to write depending on my familiarity with the subject matter. So, I’m spending less time reading and more time computing.

    Plus, I’m always getting off my reading path because someone will send me a book to review or I’ll spontaneously purchase a novel that is not on my TBR list because one of the bloggers I respect liked it. This offends my OCD need for syncronicity, and I’m never going to finish my TBR list, which, when I think about it, can sometimes send me into spasms of absolute terror!

    Also, I wasn’t expecting my blog to become so popular. I’m not bragging or anything–I just kind of expected to remain hidden. Since that hasn’t happened, I feel the need to satisfy my customers, and I ocassionally freak-out about this too. I’m not as popular as you, Trish (thank God), but I’m beginning to hear from more and more authors and agents every day about their novels. Some of these authors are well known. It’s beginning to get a little overwhelming.

    Thanks for the timely question. I guess I really needed to get this off my chest. Now I’m going to go lie down for a little while…

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  8. softdrink

    Same as the others, although I spend equal amounts of time blogging at work and at home. At least if I get fired, I know I’m in good company.

    I’ve read things I never would have before because I’ve seen them on other blogs. The Twilight books, Octavian Nothing, and many others…

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  9. Jill

    Blogging has really helped me to think more critically about the books I read. Before I started blogging, I used to accidentally reread books. Sometimes I would get about 50 pages in before it started sounding familiar. I think this was also a symptom of my chick-lit addiction. It wasn’t often that I strayed from that genre and so many of those books have the same plot. Reading book blogs and having readers suggest things has really helped me to broaden the range of books I read.
    By the way, thanks for your comment on my book swap loot pile! I’m in the midst of East of Eden and you’re right – it IS great.

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  10. Dawn

    Oh, I wish I worked “outside the home” and could read while commuting! I’ve found that reading while carrying laundry up and down the stairs can be dangerous!!

    My TBR pile has grown, that is, I have many books actually “waiting” to be read, and a bunch more that are still on a wish list and not physically here yet.

    Like Jill, I’ll say that blogging has helped me to think more critically about what I read. I take the time to digest and take in a book; then I can (hopefully) blog a coherent review that will help others decide to read (or not to read) the book.

    I enjoy reading other’s posts and comments, and spend a good amount of time commenting also. I try to comment to add to a conversation, not just chime in “me too” (unless it’s a really strong ME TOO!)

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  11. Rebecca Reid

    I find that I read less in some respects. At the same time, book blogging has opened up new reading lists to me.

    I have to make sure, though, that what I read is what I want to read. I’ve only been book blogging a few months and the first few months, I found myself changing my immediate reading list as I read reviews. I’ve realized I can’t do that or I’ll never get the books I want to read. I’ve decided I can add books to my tbr, but I can’t bump it forward until I have good reason to.

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  12. 01crazymomma

    Blogging is keeping me sane. Reading blogs, although I love it, drives me nuts due to eye strain.

    I have found some great reads from checking out blogs. And it has also given me the desire to start a second blog to keep track of what I’ve been reading and would recommend to others.

    ICLW

    http://1crazymomma.typepad.com (personal blog)
    http://01crazymomma.wordpress.com (book blog)

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  13. Katherine

    Blogging has actually made me a little more conscientious about my reading–it forces me to be more interactive with the books I read and to think about them more critically than I have since college (and maybe even more so–since more people than just a professor are reading my thoughts!).

    Like other people, my TBR pile has grown exponentially. I’m always reading about new books that people have read and reviewed, or maybe books that they’re interested in reading that then get me interested. The good news is that I have Shelfari to help me organize all this stuff electronically, otherwise I’d be lost.

    My sister and I are moving in together next month, and the first thing she said about the bookshelves in my current apartment was, “let’s use one of the shelves on this bookcase to put our TV.” Since I’m always acquiring books, you can imagine what my reaction was!

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  14. Susan

    I have the same problem as the other bloggers. Blogging cuts into my reading time. I just built my blog about a month ago. It has sometimes cuts into my own free time with my friends trying to built up readership. Which I have asked some bloggers to add me to their blog roll. And now I have even written to some author to send me their books for review. So all of this takes time. I don’t know if other bloggers did it this way. But this is the way I started. I have devoted much time to building my blog. And then adding another blog to that.
    But it has helped me to read other books, and add new ones based on the bloggers review. And the book buzz that is out there.
    I am addicted to book blogging than on top then there is the social reading network, ning, library thing, and good reads. Which I have not been able to devote to maybe in the future I will, but not now. Then it will really cut into my life. I thought it was bad enough when I visited publsihing websites and author, but blogging has taken a whole new direction in my life. Not sure if this is a good thing or bad.

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  15. Melody

    Oh, blogging has definitely changed my reading! I’m more open and not as choosy as before when choosing books to read. And I have my book bloggie friends to thank for (and that’s including you, Trish!). 🙂

    I agree blogging and reading blogs can be time consuming, but the thing is, I really enjoy doing them!! I am glad I don’t own a car so that I can spend some time catching on my reading. And yes, it does help! 😉

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  16. CitizenReader

    This is a really interesting question, that I’ve not seen anywhere else. Thank you for that.

    I find that reading blogs about books has really helped me spread my reading around; I’ll always try a book that a blog author I trust (or who makes me laugh) suggests, even though it might not be my favorite subject area or genre. I primarily browse nonfiction for myself so blogs help me keep an eye out for novels I wouldn’t normally find on my own.

    I also find that reading others’ blogs about reading makes me feel a lot better about the whole process and the world–I’m so relieved to find others reading so much and so joyfully. Each blog I read and comment on (ditto for writing my own blog and being fortunate to have others comment there as well) feels like a mini-book group. And one I haven’t had to clean my house or cook for, which makes it the best book group EVER.

    Great question!

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  17. Becky

    Always helps to remind me that I’m not alone. That’s probably the best part of it.

    Sometimes, tho, when I have a bazillion feeds/posts to comment on, I get tired of it.

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  18. mellymel

    yep, what you said. 🙂
    all of it.
    and i love the book blogging community because i don’t feel like such a freak for how much i love to read.
    kindred spirits and all that…

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  19. readerville

    I’ve had the same experience in that blogging, even just in the month I’ve been doing it, has made me more aware of what I’m reading and what’s coming up and less patient with the books that don’t hold my attention. It’s also made me a more attentive reader…or, rather, it’s helped me recapture some of those critical reading skills I had in college, as I find myself making notes as I read and paying attention to the details, symbolism, and character development in a much more conscious fashion. This makes my reading a bit slower–but not much–but it helps me appreciate what I’m reading much more and, so, is totally worth it.

    Great topic!

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  20. jill

    For the longest time, I read a book and moved on. Blogging has made me put some thought into how I feel about a particular book, more than just I liked it or I didn’t. I’m a more thorough reader, thinking of things along the way that I’d like to point out in my review. So many people, knowing how much I read, would ask for a recommendation, and everything I read was running together…so now I have a way to provide an in-depth opinion, and it makes the book stick with me longer, too.

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  21. Natasha @ Maw Books

    Great question! I’ve been thinking about this one a lot this year. My reading has never been so varied before. I keep adding tons of books to the TBR, reading new authors, new genres, etc. I’ve got a huge stack of review copies which I had no idea would be a fun perk when I started blogging. Plus, since blogging, I haven’t even turned on the TV. I’m talking about 7 months now. I feel guilty if I’m not reading because I want to be able to put up reviews. So yes, blogging has definitly changed the way I read.

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  22. Jena

    You know, I talk so much about books, I don’t really think blogging–or reading them–has changed much about what or how I read. I used to spend a ton of time on Bookcrossing forums, searching Powells.com, emailing friends about books (I was reading more than they were–blogging has actually replaced most of those emails), etc. I kept a reading journal for a long time, and blogging has replaced that too, except I’m a little more careful about how I phrase my opinions because now it’s out there for anyone to read. I do find that since I quit teaching and got my MA in English, I spend a lot more time on the internet and less time with my nose in a book, and my attention span is shorter, and I have less patience with books. I have to start a few books to find the one I want to read next. (Maybe that’s because I really hate giving bad reviews, although I could do a list of “Avoid These at All Costs”.)

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  23. Laura

    http://notjustreading.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-has-blogging-or-reading-blogs.html

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  24. Planet Books

    The book blog world is an endless vat of recommendations and thought that sometimes I get overwhelmed by it all. I love to read everyones blog as well as discover new ones but yes, it tends to cut into my reading time. I have had so much fun with my blog though and wouldn’t trade the on-line relationships/friends I have for anything because of all the great books I learn aobut through them. I have had to make a kind of schedule for myself though. I try to keep the blog reading to the morning between breakfast and getting ready for whatever the day holds for me and right now that can be a long period of time because the only ‘jobs’ I have are housewife, friend/lunch buddy, errand runner and book reviewer. I have to create a bit of a schedule for book reading and blog reading because sometimes the blog reading and commenting tend to win out in the end.
    I have enjoyed the correspondences I have had and hopefully will continue to have with authors who I approach and who approach me to read their books, review them and then have them write guest posts for Planet Books. I had the priviledge of talking on the phone with one author just the other day and the e-mails I share with authors are fun and it’s so cool who I’m meeting that way.
    So, yes, blogging and reading blogs has changed the way I read as well as what I read and put on my TBR shelf.

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  25. Elizabeth

    One of the most exciting things I’ve discovered in blogworld is unpublished writers who offer snippets of work they’re currently trying to get published. I took a cue from them and did the same, garnering some excellent tips and advice. So now I have three arenas to read in; normal books, blogs, and blog books. So exciting!

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  26. Kim L

    It’s definitely affected my reading habits. I read pretty much constantly and I always have a stack of books to read. Blogging has made me more aware of other types of books I probably wouldn’t have looked for on my own.

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  27. A Soldier's Girl

    Uh, yes!! I start reading blogs & before I know it three hours have passed! I love reading about other people’s experiences, hobbies, lives, etc. But, I do still read normal books a lot, too!

    Just have to have a good balance 🙂

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