I’ve been blogging for nearly 4 years.
Which is a lot (sheesh, I feel like an ancient blogger here,) although I’ve only been book blogging for 2 years.* Blogging is a huge part of my life. mostly because a) I love writing reviews, b) I adore fangirling over books with fellow ‘worms, and c) I like to think of my blog as my author platform, so, you know, when I’m published my book will be like a mega-bestseller in 2 days.**
But what were my reading habits like Before Blogging?
Believe it or not, I still reviewed books. Yes! Before Goodreads and blogs, I did “book reports” for school and this gradually evolved into a notebook collection of personal reviews.
I still have those notebooks. And you want to see them, right? RIGHT?
Okay! KEEP CALM, MY PINEAPPLES, I SHALL SHOW YOU.
* At first the blog was all about travel! YES. Imagine that. Then it was writing focused, then books. And I have never looked back. You can see proof of this in our archives, but seriously, don’t. Please.
** This is a realistic dream. DO NOT DOUBT ME.
In the era-before-blogging…I didn’t read quite as fiercely.
I read (probably) 50 books a year for school (not counting Mime’s school books, which I’d read too…because: BOOKS) and then there were infrequent trips to the library. I became very interested in libraries when I was 16. We moved from a small town to a large one and LO AND BEHOLD, they had a decent library.
And so it began.
Here, we see, The Seven Keys of Balabad, which I borrowed from the library.
Clearly I botched the first review since this has been sticky-taped on top. Perfectionism in reviewing is important, crucial even. Seeing as though my first thoughts were “not incredible”, I’m guessing I did not love this book.
And here we see Mara, Daughter of the Nile, which is a school-book that I loved to pieces.
But we need to talk about my ridiculous rating system.
It’s exactly incredibly extremely backwards. 1 = awesome and 5 = horrible. Because normal star-ratings are mainstream, okay? If anything, I was incredibly hip as a hobbit-sized child.
Unfortunately I’m kidding at the reference to me being a Hobbit as a child. Yes I was short and partial to delicious food, but I haven’t grown since I was 14. I really can’t make jokes about being “small and young”. I’m small and old, now.
Here I am rating To Kill a Mockingbird with the star rating of, what I’d now say, “4-stars”.
And oh! But look at Fellowship of the Ring!
Blogging has obviously changed my review style and my opinions on books.
But I think time would’ve done that anyway. You mature. Your feelings on certain matters change. You develop preferences. These are all good things, and mildly useful.
After I started blogging I realised that I like:
- fantastical and magical books
- first-person narrative the most
- a brisk writing style and no no no to old fashioned ramblings
Blogging has also made me read more.
Of course it has! I get books from publishers for review. Can we talk about ULTIMATE DREAM here?! As soon as I figured out what ARC-reviewing was, I wanted to do it. And, I’m not exaggerating, I still squeak when I get a book in the mail.
POSITIVE WAYS BLOGGING HAS CHANGED ME:
- Blogging has made me nicer with my reviews. I have an audience for my preferences now. (HELLO, PINEAPPLES.) I’m not as callous.
- Blogging has made me read books I wouldn’t normally try. Which is an excellent thing, because HELLO MAGGIE STIEFVATER. The Scorpio Races was my first Maggie Stiefvater read and it’s not something I would’ve touched 5 years ago. BUT IT CHANGED MY LIFE.
- Blogging has given me bookish friends. Before, if I read a book that Mime hadn’t read…I had to keep opinions to myself. Very sad. Very lonely. How did I survive? (Can we take a moment to shed a tear for poor, lonely Younger Cait? No? Okay whatever.) Now I can talk to all of you about it, and that I absolutely love that.
NEGATIVE WAYS BLOGGING HAS CHANGED ME:
- Blogging has given me way. too. many. books. I get overwhelmed. I get a lot of unsolicited books form publishers, which I’m eternally grateful for and usually love. But sometimes they all come at once. With release dates ALL ON THE SAME DAY. Do I freak out? Ha! Of course not. I take it all in my stride. I’m joking. I totally freak out.
- I’ve experienced reading slumps. Please, don’t show me another book for like sixty two years. Agh.
- Sometimes I feel like I’ve “heard it all before”. Seriously, name a book and I can tell you 3 others just like it. After a while, everything SOUNDS EXACTLY THE SAME. The longing for an “original” or “unique” tale is like a battle against killer rabbits for the holy grail. It’s tough. Ohhh, my aching head.
But looking at my past reviews has reminded me of one thing:
I’ve always loved to review.
And even though it’s sucky to review books I hate and send negative reviews to publishers or authors….aaaand sometimes review posts don’t do well on the blog — REGARDLESS OF THIS: I will probably always be reviewing books. I have 499 reviews on Goodreads. I have a million “favourite books”. I flail like a pineapple frond over new releases and pretty covers. I love books.
Although, here, let me whisper you a small secret. Sometimes I kinda miss those days of reading without pressure and scrawling cryptic remarks in notebooks with no pressure on liking or disliking certain books.
But, see my frightful chicken scratchings of handwriting?! I should’ve been a doctor.
has blogging changed your reading habits?! for better or worse?? do you ever miss the days of reading with “no pressure”? have you always been a book reviewer, or did it only start when you began blogging? oh and, most importantly: HOW WAS YOUR CHILDISH HANDWRITING? horrific? (as bad as mine?! HAH HA. Impossible.)
Cait @ Paper Fury
…is currently cringing at her use of words like “entrancing” in her old reviews. How delightfully proper she was. Now she uses “ajfdlksa” and probably should be sent to grammatical prison but sometimes there are no words for the feels books give a person. Currently she’s reading Altered by Jennifer Rush and is partially disturbed by the amount of time these dudes spend shirtless for NO APPARENT REASON.