Friday, 11 October 2013

Discussion: Does blogging ruin reading habits?

Ever think that blogging ruins your reading? Like, you have so many books to read before a release date or before the movie or even before the next one in the series, and because you have to read them fast and in quick succession, do you really get the change to enjoy them?

I'm beginning to feel like that. I'm not necessarily saying it's a bad thing but considering I know I read slower than most of my blogger friends, I have no idea how you lot manage when I'm feeling overwhelmed! 

I almost can't remember how I read before blogging. Hell, before university even! In the last few years I've had book after book to read, for study or because I had a toppling TBR pile. And maybe it's just me, but I feel like because I've barely stopped, I haven't had a chance to really enjoy them. And right now, I'm trying to decide whether that's a good or bad thing. 

One major problem with this intense reading marathon is that we often suffer from reading slumps. Mostly, and luckily, they won't last very long and are reasonably easy to shrug off. But, thinking about it, the reason we get these slumps so often is probably because we read so relentlessly! Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining, but as I write, I am making all these links to blogger woes. Obviously they stem from reading so much and so quickly! 

Of course, if you're anything like me, you'll ignore pretty much everything I've just said because the pros of blogging definitely outweigh the cons. Blogging means we get the opportunity to read so many different sort of books that we might not otherwise have picked up. I almost certainly wouldn't have read Vivian Versus the Apocalypse by Katie Coyle if Hot Key hadn't offered it to me. Or have plucked up the courage to read The Drowning by Rachel Ward if Chicken House hadn't sent it to me.

I'm not entirely sure what the point of this post was (other than I needed something to post!). It seemed a lot more logically structured in my head but what I'm trying to say is, do you think that reading so quickly is good for you? Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about blogging, or reading such a great variety of books, but I do sometimes feel so overwhelmed by the amount of books I have to read that I almost wish I went back to before, when I re-read favourites all the time and relaxed into a book for days. 

So, what do you guys think? Has blogging and reviewing and owning toppling TBR piles ruined your reading habits? Do you even remember your reading habits from before you blogged? Ever wish you didn't have such a ridiculous amount of books still to read and had time to re-visit old favourites - because I certainly do after the week I've had! Let me know what you think, or if I'm just talking even more gibberish than I normally do! 


  1. I was talking to a friend of mine recently. And I always find it very bizarre when once in every six months or so he'll excitedly tell me that he's in the middle of or has just finished a book. One book in 6 months. I cannot imagine such a life. The last time I spoke to him about book he argued that he enjoys books MORE than me because he spends more time on them, letting the story and the characters run around in his head for longer. Whereas his belief of my reading is that I go through books quickly and because there isn't usually a gap between books, I must not be enjoying them on the same level as him.

    (I tried to be as respectful as I could in my response to him. Especially as he couldn't recall the main character's name in the book that he'd just finished reading)

    For me, blogging has definitely changed my reading habits. Not only do I read more but I'm reading books that I wouldn't normally have considered. I'm thinking about the books more critically than I did before blogging and I'm engaging in conversations about them.

    I think even if I wasn't blogging about books I would always have a massive TBR pile and I'd still read A LOT. But there wouldn't be as much self-imposed pressure on my reading schedule. I do often say that I wish I had the time to reread old favourites. But that's just silly really, of course I have the time to do that if it was really what I wanted to do. But I choose to spend my time on other things...

  2. This is a really interesting post. I have, since I was a kid, read relentlessly. I pretty much always had a book on the go all the time. However, back then, I used to reread books endlessly so while I read a lot, it was very limited.

    Blogging has changed my reading habits in that I read a much wider range of books now, and I reread far less than I used to. I did experience reading slumps a lot but it was, like you say, because I was forcing myself to read things for reviews etc. I don't find that that's conducive to a positive review at all and, since I stopped accepting review copies, I've read a lot more and enjoy the books a lot more. I don't think I'll ever go back to accepting review copies now.

    One thing I am a bit sad about is that the speed of my reading has slowed considerably. I don't think this is down to blogging, but to age and to reading on public transport where I found it hard to read quickly. Now I read a lot slower than I used to which is a bit rubbish as I was a really fast reader a few years ago!

    Wow, essay of a comment!

    Cait x

  3. I agree with Michelle and Cait that My reading habits have changed in that I with more pressure, more widely and I reread less, but I think the only thing that bothers me is the pressure.

    I've always read one book after another and I used to go to the library at least twice a week, so I guess that's changed too and I do miss that. I also used to love walking into a bookshop or the library and finding things I'd never heard of/never seen before - that just doesn't happen now I'm so attuned to the bookish world.

    Saying that though, I wouldn't swap my experience with blogging and reading that way for anything. I've discovered books, authors, genres and people that I never would have if I hadn't been a part of this community and I think that more than makes up for a few grumbles we have every now and again :)

  4. YES! YES! YES! I'm in a major reading funk at the moment and I can't read anything for more than five minutes, no matter how amazing it is and no matter how much I really want to read it.

    I feel so much pressure to read all the time and to read a certain number of books every week/month and I don't think it's healthy.

    I'm really grateful to blogging and now I'm trying to read what I want rather than because I HATE the pressure. It's so sucky!

    GREAT post, Anya!

  5. Completely agree with you! At times I feel like I'm flying through a book, just to put it aside, throw out a review and then go through another one. What seems to help is reading a "review" book, then one from my own TBR which kind of cleanses the palate in a way.

    There's definitely a lot of pressure in the blogging community like Lucy says but it comes with the territory and I wouldn't change it for the world :)

    Brilliant post!

  6. I haven't found that my reading speed has changed all that much, honestly. I've always been the type of reader who finishes one book, reflects for 5 minutes and then immediately starts the next! I don't like the feeling of not currently reading anything.

    That being said, I do get over whelmed at the amount of books I haven't read yet as I have a serious buying habit! I also don't do great with reading books that I *HAVE* to read - like uni and the occasional review book. I like to pick and choose what i'm filling my head with and when!