Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Reading as a blogger

A little while ago, I started a series about reading (what with this being a book blog and all!) and I talked about whether reading was gender based or personality based. It was a fun post. Today, I'm going to tackle a topic close to my heart. Reading as a blogger. As you may know, having a book blog is all about the love of books, and reading and reviewing books. I've asked my bud who also has a book blog called Bambi Unbridled  to answer a few questions about being a book blogger. She reads a heap more than I do, probably because (1) she has more time than I do to read and (2) she reads a lot faster than I do. While I read a respectable 160 to 170+ books a year, Bambi easily reads double that amount. In fact, one year she read as many as 591 books for the year. That seems like such an impossible number to me.

Reading stats

Without further ado, here's Bambi ...

How long have you been a blogger?
19 months

How many books do you read each week / month for your blog? 
I read 5-7 books per week on average.

Do you have a reading schedule? 
Yes, I have a very detailed and color-coded reading calendar.

How do you pick your books to read?
For the most part, I am a cover whore. If the cover grabs me, I will either buy the book or read the blurb to see if I want to request it from the publisher/author. Other times I am looking for my favorite authors new releases.

Is there a particular type of book you read for your blog reviews or do they vary? What are they? 
I read mostly within the romance genre, but stray outside of it occasionally when I need a palate cleanser.

Do you ever think you'd like to not read what is scheduled, like read off schedule?
Yes, there are times that I do not want to read the next book on my schedule. Usually its because I am just not in the mood for that particular sub-genre of the book, not because of anything the book or author has done. It happens. Sometimes I just have to power forward and go with it... but every once in a while I will go off schedule if I am really feeling that I just can't read whats on the calendar.

Reading calendar
Light blue, dark blue, teal blue and red are all books to be read for the day. Phew!

Does your mood affect the way you read and how you approach the books on your schedule? 
I would say that my mood affected my reading more before I was a blogger.  I would get on a kick and read one type of book for as long as the kick lasted.  Like a month of romantic suspense or fantasy romance... then when I got tired of it, I would move on to the next trope/genre. Blogging doesn't really allow for that because you are scheduling your reads months ahead of time.

Is every book you read for the blog or do you read for fun too? 
I put everything on the blog whether I am reading it for myself or whether I'm reading a review copy.

Do you review every book you read for the blog? Anything you don't review? 
I review pretty much everything for the blog. There have been a few times when I just really didn't like a book and I didn't feel like I had anything constructive to say, or I didn't want to waste time writing a review for a book I didn't like, that I have elected not to post a review.

Have your reading habits changed since becoming a blogger? 
Yes. I can no longer go off on my reading kicks/tangents, and I can no longer just scroll through my library to see what looks interesting and pick it up. Once its on my calendar, I try to stay in that order.

Do you read differently as a blogger now compared to when you were reading without blogging? 
Yes, now I take notes and make comments as I read so I can remember things to incorporate into the review.  I never did that when I was just plain ol' reading.

How has thinking about writing a review for your blog changed the way you perceive a book as you read? Do you think differently while reading? 
Yes, I am always noting or highlighting things that I want to mention in my review. I also make playlists if the book happens to mention different songs/music.  Basically, I am trying to note anything that would make my review more interesting.

Writing with pen
Photo credit: e_walk via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

How long do you think you will keep blogging for? 
I haven't the foggiest idea.

Do you ever think "I'd like to read without thinking about the blog"? 
Yes.  Sometimes it does start to feel like a job.  It hits me a little harder when I get behind in my reviewing and I have to sit down and write 5 reviews and 5 blog posts.  The whole process takes much longer than I ever thought it would.

Would you continue reading even if you didn't have a blog? 
Of course!

How many books in your "to be read" pile?
We should just call my TBR pile the Neverending Story.  A serious reader will have an endless pile.

Is there a difference between your "to be read" pile and the list of books you need to review for the blog? 
No. I really try to only accept or request books for review that I would be interested in reading.

ebook / paper book? Why? 
Ebooks and Audiobooks are the way to go for me simply for convenience. Paper books are more work. You have to hold them, you can't read in bed without a light, you gotta remember your page, and they are less travel-friendly IMO. Whereas if I read an ebook or audiobook, I can read it on my phone or tablet, which I always have with me. The device remembers my page/place for me, I can highlight and make notes and bookmarks easily, and I don't need a light to read in bed (or anywhere else).  I still buy paper books, but they are usually keepsake copies which are signed by the author.

Open Kindle with specs
Photo via VisualHunt

So there you have it. What it means to read as a blogger. Was it what you thought it would be? How are your reading habits different from this?

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  1. Hi Bambi! Question: Do you think you're more critical of books now that you're a blogger? What sorts of things irk you in a book?

    1. Cara, I don't know about Bambi, but I most certainly am. It has helped me define what I like and don't like, and certainly be able to articulate it a lot better. While I read, I am simultaneously analyzing the story - plot, pacing, character development, romance tropes. Sometimes I even write lines of the review in my head as I'm reading and if it's good, I'll stop reading to jot it down so I don't forget it. And in case you're wondering, does it affect my enjoyment of the reading experience? No, it doesn't. I think it actually makes for a richer reading experience as I feel more, see more, go much deeper into the story than the average reader would. It makes me think about the message the author is trying to convey in his / her writing. Like your Lamis Odg for example. The link to modern day terrorism is very obvious to me and I see that thread clearly through all your cyborg books, with the exception of Dale's story.

    2. No, I don't think it has made me more or less critical. I tend to notice things in a story... like sexual positions that are not physically possible. Or body descriptions that are weird. (Deanna - remember the couple dancing where his erection was hitting right beneath her boobs, making him super tall, but he his hands were still able to tickle her thighs, making him have some kind of freakishly long arms?) Things like that have always stuck out to me - so maybe I have always been a critical reader? I always bring up weird things in the books I am reading to Deanna... her reaction will make me realize if I am being unreasonable or not. The bottom line is - I like what I like. The only thing blogging has changed in that regard is that I have to actually articulate why I did or didn't like something. Sometimes that is hard... especially with a "meh" read.

    3. Omg yes! I remember the guy with the giant dick and extra long arms. It was hilarious.

  2. WOW Bambi that is a lot of books and work I read a fair bit as well depending on how much of life get in the way LOL and review all the ones I read although if I don't like it I usually don't but then again that doesn't happen to me much. I really need to work out a plan on what I read normally it is what I feel like at the time:)

    Have Fun

    1. Yeah, Bambi is a big reader. I don't know how she does it. I'm in awe of her reading abilities.

  3. Reading to a schedule is big here too. I don't even know if I'd be able to read without one now if I stopped blogging. It would be SO hard to pick a next read! I didn't realize her blog was so young! Woo!

    1. I read to a schedule but leave myself a little leeway each week to pick up a book to read which is part of a series or an author I like that I need to catch up on. I don't get to it all the time but at least that way, I can keep up with my series reading.