Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Readers

Wow this week is just flying by! Today is the fourth day of BBAW and  the topic for discussion is all about being a reader.

Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!

I love this discussion point – and I am going to address all of the topics.

Before I became a book blogger, I read maybe 30 books a year. I often went days without picking up a book – distracted by life, television, or simple lethargy. When I discovered the world of book blogging, my reading increased to close to 100 books a year. I became obsessed with books – reading them, talking about them, writing about them. I had always been a reader, but now I was an uber-reader (is that even a word?). Not only did the volume of my reading increase, but the quality of the books I was reading was elevated. I joined several Yahoo book groups and began to be exposed to more literary fiction – a genre which very quickly became one of my favorites. I subscribed to hundreds of blogs and found (much to my delight) more and more exceptional recommendations for books I might never have considered reading before. I started joining reading challenges which quickly got out of control.

And then book blogs began to garner the attention of authors and publishers…

Suddenly my home was inundated with books. “Free” books started arriving at my house, but that did not stop me from purchasing the latest fiction being released. I was glued to my computer, jotting down books that my favorite bloggers were recommending, creating wish lists of books I just had to read.

I have, since those early days, calmed down a bit. Practicality dictated that I needed to stop obsessively accepting every review book and recognize that there were not enough hours in the day to read everything I wanted to read. That said, I still have more books on my shelves than I can read. And I still routinely visit bookstores and buy books which call out to me. My reading has not slowed down.

Perhaps the best part of all of this literature frenzy was not the physical books, but the people behind them. I have met some wonderful people through my blog – people who I now consider my friends. I have connected with publicists, authors, other bloggers, and readers. I never get tired of sharing their enthusiasm for books. I am constantly amazed at their generosity and kindness. Book blogging has most certainly enhanced my life…and I am very grateful for this community.

How about YOU? How has book blogging changed YOUR life?

Read other bloggers’ thoughts on this topic by visiting this post on the BBAW blog and following the links.

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30 comments

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  1. Oh my, what a reading frenzy you got caught up in! I think at some point you have to accept you can’t possibly read all books in the world, not even all good books (I’m still trying to come to terms with that).

    I already read a lot before I started blogging and still do but now I feel more pressurized to read faster, faster, and get all those books off my shelf. It’s hard to accept that we can’t. Sigh.

  2. Blogging alsp puts a lot of pressure to read. Maybe that is one BIG reason for my reading slump. So I let go of it. Now I don’t mind NOT reading..

    Here is my post:

    BBAW 2011: Readers

  3. I’ve always read every day. I have trouble sleeping if I don’t read before bed. I do agree that the people are the best part of book blogging.

    • Erin on September 15, 2011 at 05:31

    I definitely know that frenzied feeling! I think it happens to a lot of bloggers, especially when they’re just starting to get going. My reading jumped like yours did, though, about which I can’t complain! I’ve also started keeping better track of what I read as well as a few stats about it that I find interesting. I recognize books when I’m out and about from different people’s blogs, which is fun. I definitely love getting caught up in the enthusiasm of the community, which makes reading the books that that enthusiasm centers on even more fun!

    • Trisha on September 15, 2011 at 05:44

    This is my first year getting out of that reading frenzy since I started blogging. When I realized that I had enough books in my TBR pile to cover me for the next two years, I thought maybe I should slow down a bit. 🙂

    • Wendy on September 15, 2011 at 06:56
      Author

    Judith: Yes, a frenzy is a good way to describe it…I sometimes lament that I will never get to read every book I want to…and then I just accept reality and keep on reading 🙂

    Gautami: I do think that if we let it, blogging can become something pressurized rather than enjoyable. It is a balance. When I find myself feeling pressured, I try to remind myself that this is not a job, no one is going to die if I don’t get a particular book read, and life is too short to stress over something we should find fun. Mostly that works 🙂

    Kathy: I always read before going to sleep too…it helps me wind down from a busy day.

    Erin: I don’t really mind the frenzy because, as you point out, the enthusiasm for books is something I enjoy. I used to keep more stats, but I have to admit that letting go of some of that became necessary!

    Trisha: Ha ha! Right – slow down *grins* I think I have enough books in my house to keep me reading for the next ten years – but, I keep bringing more in. What’s up with that?!?!?

    • Andi on September 15, 2011 at 07:02

    I had much the same experience you did, especially coming over to blogging from Yahoo! Groups. Sadly, the number of books has not increased, but I’m OK with that since the culprit was my son. lol

    I, too, have calmed down a good deal from those early days. Otherwise I would live in a house made of books!

    • Wendy on September 15, 2011 at 07:08
      Author

    Andi: I just ran over and read your post – and I agree with you about quality over quantity. Re: living in a house made of books – LOL! Sometimes I feel like that is a good definition of my home!!!

  4. I decided not to post on this topic today, but the short answer is: it’s made me read more. I’ve always loved to read, but just as I now know there aren’t enough days in the year to read all the books I want to, it made me realize I enjoy reading more than I enjoy many other things I used to spend a lot of time doing. Now, I read more, and book bloggers have helped me identify more great books. Spending less time reading books that aren’t for me perpetuates my positive reading cycle.

    • Margot on September 15, 2011 at 08:06

    I had somewhat the same experience. The only problem is I haven’t slowed down yet. I’m thinking that should be one of next year’s challenges. lol I definitely agree with you on the choice of literary fiction. Prior to book blogging I didn’t pay it much attention. Now I know what I was missing.

    • Aths on September 15, 2011 at 09:22

    Wow, even your post felt deja vu-ish to me! I used to read very less before blogging. After finishing a book, I may forget about it and do something else, like watch tv, play something, etc, and days later, get back to some book. Now, I always have a book going! Wonderful post! I love how we have so many more recommendations coming in through blogs every day.

    • Amy on September 15, 2011 at 09:55

    Awesome post! I really enjoyed it.

    • Serena on September 15, 2011 at 10:23

    I’ve always read a lot, but I read a wider variety now….which is definitely a good thing.

  5. I actually think I read less since I’ve been blogging. My reading time is limited (as all of ours is) and I spend a lot of time reading blogs so that cuts into my reading time. I’m constantly trying to find the balance and haven’t done such a great job of it lately!

    • Amused on September 15, 2011 at 10:31

    I had to laugh, the amound of books I’ve been reading each year since I started blogging just grows and grows too! It’s addictive!

    • Kailana on September 15, 2011 at 11:47

    I think I started reading more because it was so fun to have a place to talk about books. The more books I read; the more I had to discuss with other people. Now, I sort of wish my TBR pile could have remained at a decent size instead of growing magically…

  6. Uber-readers are TOTALLY book bloggers! I mean, how could we not be? We practically LIVE on books, after all. 😀

    • Amy on September 15, 2011 at 13:36

    I had or am having a similar experience, Wendy. I have always loved to read and have almost always had and have a book with me. But since I started book blogging the number of books I read per week and per mointh has increased and the quality of the books is better (I think). I have learned about so many morw authors and books than I used to know. Now I spend hours on book-related activities…reading,, researching authors and books, writing about and talking books and authors…. I love it and it’s all thanks to this great community.

  7. “I still have more books on my shelves than I can read. And I still routinely visit bookstores and buy books which call out to me. My reading has not slowed down.” My book acquisitions certainly haven’t! However, as Kathleen commented, my actual reading probably has a bit, because of time now spent on blogging. But I’ve always read every day, and still do, even if it’s only a few pages. And I still need to have my next read waiting on deck.

    • Amy on September 15, 2011 at 14:35

    I agree with your thought that the best part is the people 🙂 That being said, I definitely read more and better books now! Uber-readers unite! hehe

  8. I too started off in Yahoo book groups and I’m so glad that I did. I wish that I had more time to participate in these groups and join in on the group reads because they helped to begin my relationship with the blogging world. I love how everyone has shared the different ways in which blogging has changed their reading habits…everyone has such unique experiences 🙂

  9. Hi
    The amount of books I read hasn’t changed much, it’s still over 200 books a year, but now that I can actually share what I think about them, I think more about what I have read.

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

    • Anna on September 15, 2011 at 16:44

    I read a lot more books now, too, because of bloggers. I buy a lot more books, too, because of bloggers…I have to blame it on someone. ;P

  10. I’ve been in the frenzy period of book acquisition too! Once you get that first review copy, it becomes addicting! I’ve been getting better about not accepting as many to try and make room for books I want to read for other reasons, but I still have way more books on my shelves than I’ll have time to read 🙂

    • Stephan Hilson on September 15, 2011 at 18:45

    It is nice to know that there is a book-blogger appreciation week. I haven’t tried much of book blogging before. But I love reading books especially the fictional books ans suspense thriller novels. My book acquisition habits seems to affect with book blogging especially if they provide good reviews about a certain book. Maybe I should check out reading challenges in the near future. Thanks for sharing the nice article.

  11. Its like we are two pees in a pod….LOL I started like you…. review book crazy. That has mellowed for me too but I still do not miss the library sale two times a year which usually brings another 70+ books into my home between the two, as well as browse books every opportunity I get. My shelves are loaded with books I have yet to read…. I hope to read, and yes, my reading went up up up after fiding book blogs. 🙂

  12. pees? Shhheeeesh…. I mean peas 🙂

    • Wendy on September 16, 2011 at 15:05
      Author

    Carrie: I agree – and I never understand the “reader slump” thing – since I’ve been blogging and reading book blogs, I don’t think my reading has ever fallen off!

    Margot: Exactly. I don’t think I even knew what literary fiction was until I started book blogging *laughs*

    Aths: LOL!!!

    • Wendy on September 16, 2011 at 15:09
      Author

    Amy (I Ponder the Page): Glad you enjoyed it!

    Serena: Yes, I agree, my scope has broadened too.

    Kathleen: Ah, balance – that elusive thing I am also always striving for…let me know if you figure out how to do that!!!

    Leah: Well – there are probably far worse things to be addicted to LOL!

    Kailana: I agree – discussing books makes them far more fun to read!!!

    Anastasia: LOL! Of course, you are 100% correct!

    Amy (Seven Tails): I do the same thing – I spend a lot of my time doing book related things now…I never used to research anything when I read. Now, I find myself looking up historical references, symbols, author bios, etc…It has made me a better reader on many levels.

    • Wendy on September 16, 2011 at 15:14
      Author

    Florinda: One of my absolute favorite things is to anticipate that next book waiting for me 🙂

    Amy (Amy Reads): That would make a good t-shirt 🙂

    Samantha: I had to step out of my Yahoo groups a bit because I just could not keep up (at one point I think I belonged to about fourteen groups). Now, I belong to just one which I try to participate in more consistently. There just is not enough time in every day!

    Shellyrae: If I ever read 200 books in a year, I will be jumping up and down!! I am always so in awe of people who can do that…and I agree, that blogging forces us to really think about what we are reading.

    Anna: LOL – yes, blame it all on the bloggers – I do 🙂

    Kim: It is a sickness LOL

    Stephan: It is always so nice to hear from a reader who loves the blogs. You should definitely try out the challenges – they are quite addicting!

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