Before & After #10: Having People To Talk Books With

So you guys. Since early 2012 I’ve been working on this post I wanted to do about the differences between myself as a reader before I was a blogger and after I became a blogger because my habits have changed SO MUCH. I kept putting it off because of wedding plans. I wanted to make this cute graphic that was a list but, when I finally started to work on it this year, it was just looking TOO crowded with about 30 different things and overwhelming and not AT ALL what I had in mind. Then I decided…why not make it a series? The more I thought about it — it would lend to a better discussion if I just give you one at a time. I’m kind of glad my original idea didn’t work out because I’m liking this better. Check the end of the post for previous Before & After’s.


 I’d finish a book and literally had nobody to talk to and all my thoughts would just stay put in my heart with nowhere to go. I had one friend who was a reader but we read vastly different things so our recommendations would just go in one ear and out the other to each other. We’d politely listen to each other talk about our reads but just because we both loved books. There was no squeeing and excitement and FREAKING OUT!  I didn’t have anyone I trusted to give me a recommendation so I mostly just got them from magazines or displays at the store. Mostly I just browsed.


When am I NOT talking about books or flail or rage or SQUEEE?? I can pop on Twitter and instantly talk about a book I was reading or write a review and share my thoughts and people will TALK BACK ABOUT IT — and on a personal level also. It’s honestly incredible to have so many people to digest these books with. It’s even more amazing to now get PERSONALIZED recommendations from people who know what I like in books. I’m never without a recommendation. Though sometimes I kind of miss just browsing without any particular recommendations in mind (but honestly it’s so amazing to be at a bookstore and be like TWITTER WHAT DO I NEED TO BUY??)



Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — Did you have people to talk books with before blogging? Anybody with similar tastes? Where did you get your recommendations from prior to blogging?  If you aren’t a blogger —  Who do you talk books with? Where do you get your recommendations from?

Previous Before & After’s:

The Time In Between Two Books – 2/27
Being Up On New Releases — 3/6
Book Real Estate — 3/15
Re-reading — 3/20
Meeting Authors + Myths About Them — 3/27
The Number of Books Read Per Year — 4/5
Recommending Books — 4/10
Chunky Books —   4/17
Reactions To Books — 4/24

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Oh Twitter…. YES I love going out on twitter and talk books. But mostly I am excited having found people who are reading the same books and also nearly around the same time! That is awesome and so I know whith whom to talk about the books directly. Sometimes I even tell my closest blogging friends to read a certain book because I need someone to talk to about it 🙂

  2. I actually worked at a bookstore for a couple years before I was a blogger, so had WAY more people to talk books with there. One of my coworkers and I had – and still have – very similar reading tastes, so we passed recommendations on to each other. But after I left, I only had one person who read YA left to talk about, and we have somewhat similar tastes but not ones that completely match up. I think I was lucky that I always had someone to talk books with. Now that I’m blogging, I have even more folks to discuss books with, though, which is awesome. I can never get enough of sharing my thoughts and having others to instantly interact with.

  3. I love nothing more than talking about books to people I don’t always agree with. Such as you. On twitter we’ve had some hardcore discussion about books that we don’t agree on the others opinion, BUT we respect the other persons opinion which is always the important part to me. I’m also lucky, I have a group of friends who love books and we discuss them a lot online and off.

    The funny thing is, even though I have a blog, I still scare discussing books and recommending them, because OMG what if the other person hates the book and they judge me?! But then I remember friends will mock me anyway (as I mock them.)

  4. Me and my BF at school used to talk books, but we both went to uni and now don’t talk. It’s the best thing to find people who just want to chat their opinions on books and recs. I love it.
    I have four BBF’s now across the world and not one day goes by that I don’t get an email from one of them. 😀

  5. I agree that blogging has really allowed me to “squee” and “gush” about books I love so much more. Before I started my blog, I did have a few people who read “some” of the books I liked but they may have read 1-2 per year vs my 1-2 per week so, basically I think they got tired of listenting to me… Now that I have people to talk to after a review or after viewing their review, I absoltuely love it and love the reccommendations too – that is how I came across one of my best finds this year “Flat Out Love” – I may never have chosen this myself, but I couldn’t imagine a world where I didn’t read and LOVE this book. Happy Wednesday everyone!

  6. I’m like you… I had people to talk books with, but they all read different things so it was mostly nodding politely. I also would get kind of awkward about books so 9/10 times when I got excited about a book and would tell someone… I’d get embarrassed. Prior to blogging and reading YA I’d basically just go look at the library and pick random books that caught my eye. After discovering YA I didn’t really know what to read. I followed a couple blogs, but it wasn’t until I really got into it that I finally had people to say “you must read this” which has been great. While I do some perusing on my own, it’s fantastic to have a group of folks who basically can pick out your next 5 reads! I’ve absolutely loved having an outlet to be weird and awkward and flail about over books WITHOUT feeling embarrassed!

  7. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    I found this community because I was looking for others to talk books with. In my personal life, I didn’t know too many readers. I’m a talker and needed that outlet! So yes, I am very very thankful I found this nitch of awesome readers. It completes the reading experience for me when I can talk about the things I’ve read.

  8. My blog isn’t popular yet. And my friend like yours reads different things. I base my pickings off reviews. Unlike before I based it off what the description said. Before blogging I stuck to genes I know I’d like and I didn’t try to branch out…after blogging I try new genes and different types of books. It’s great.

  9. Much like you, I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about what I was reading before I started blogging. I had friends and family members who read just as much as I did, but we read things that were completely different. Now I don’t even need to wait until I’m done a book to talk about it with other people. Some of my blogging friends basically receive texts of my reactions as I’m reading and it’s just great to have people I can turn to basically any time of day and talk books with. It’s definitely one of the things I like the most about blogging.

  10. Awwww, I do love this. Now, I do actually come from a family of readers, and my friends almost all love to read, but they don’t necessarily read the same things I do or like to talk about them as much as I do. Now I can go on Twitter and be like “HAS ANYONE READ THIS THING?!?! MUST DISCUSS!” and people will flock to me. It’s awesome. Or, if I know you read something, I can be like “Jamie, THE TWIST, omg.” And you will flail with me or rant with me or whatever. Which is how I met you, ranting over that one book that I can’t remember the title of. “They’re Young. They’re Stupid. They’re in Love.” That one. Nobody But Us? I think?

  11. Love this! I big reason why I just started a blog is because I felt like I needed to gush about the books I am reading. No one in my life reads like I do. Love this book blogging community!

  12. Before I was a blogger, I talked to a handful of school friends including my college roommate, 3 teachers & people in my high school book club – I still keep in touch with them today including the head librarian, and for the trendier books, a handful of family and friends (as that’s all most of them tend to read even though I always recommend other books to them…sigh).

    After I became a blogger, I started meeting more people with similar interests but I started out as a TV & Film blogger with books & Broadway in the background. Only in the past year have I started blogging more about books and reaching out in the book blogging community so I still don’t have that many people to talk to about books but hoping to network at BEA and as you mentioned, Twitter is awesome!

  13. I love this! It’s so true! Before I became a book blogger, I had NO ONE to discuss books. None of my friends read, let alone read the way I do. I could discuss classics with my parents, but they don’t know anything about YA. I think finding a community of bookish people has been the best part about becoming a blogger. There’s ALWAYS someone available on Twitter or Goodreads to rant with or swoon with!

  14. This is actually a huge reason on why I started a book blog. I wanted to be able to express my feelings about the books I read to other people who read that book.

  15. I definitely did not talk about books with people as much as I do now that I’m a blogger. But I did find that my sister and I (once I was in university) talked about books a lot with each other. We read the same kind of books so were always sharing our books and talking about them after. And now that I’m blogging she takes like 8 books from me at a time and we will talk even more about them.

  16. What a great idea for a series of posts! This is exactly why I started my blog. I was reading all these amazing books that literally nobody knew about until it became “the next big box office hit.” Most of these books that are now movies I had had read months, even potentially years ago. Nobody else knew about them, nobody was talking about them, and there my excited thoughts about this awesome series sat in my head. Then once everyone else started reading them, I was all ehh about it. It’s way more exciting to talk about a book that you’ve just discovered with someone else who has just discovered it. Also, without starting my blog, I would have never came across the awesome books that I’ve read recently or that are patiently waiting in my TBR pile. Having a blog has exposed me to so many new books that would’ve been impossible to discover just browsing shelves at my local book store.

  17. Like you, I basically had nobody to talk to about books prior to blogging. I’d devour one after another and squeal/sigh/swoon/rage over them, but have no one to discuss this with. Obviously, now that I’ve started blogging, I get to share ALL THE FEELINGS with other people who will care and talk back to me. I think it’s particularly amazing how I can share all these feelings and thoughts and there are people who actually care and want to discuss it!

  18. Before I was a blogger I only had one friend to talk books with, luckily at least we read most of the same stuff. Sadly, my husband would normally get an earful after reading the book even though he could probably care less. lol

    I love book blogging pretty much just because of all the awesome bookish people out there that want to talk books! It is basically why I started the blog in the first place. I love it. I’m glad you have found more people to talk books with as well! I need someone to yell about when that cliff hanger is a killer. 😉

  19. Fantastic post, Jamie! I agree, before I was a blogger, if I loved a book I’d sit there and go, “Wow. This was a really good book. Where’e my next read?” And now that I’m a blogger I can connect with the authors and fangirl like CRAZY. And I also loved browsing without being hyperly aware of what books were hyped up, but I also loved knowing which books that probably won’t let me down. 🙂

  20. This is precisely the reason that I started a book blog! My blog is very new, in its little, sad baby stage, but I’ve been reading all these books and wanted SO badly to talk about my most recent read! I would have all these thoughts about the book and would want to rant, rave or just simply gush about my new favorite book boyfriend and have no outlet for it. My friends read different genres and some don’t read (crazy, right) and when I’d tell them I was reading some YA book, they’d just ask, “why?” My fiance got to hear all my fan-girling and I’m sure he was just thrilled. =)

    So that’s why I finally put in the work to start my blog — I love that there’s a community where we can chat and recommend books we love!

  21. Before I started blogging, I just had my grandma to talk books with – I would try and connect with people at school or at the library, and it just never worked – BUT. Now that I have a blog I find that I can talk about books all the time.

  22. Jessica Conley says:

    I was a browser before I discovered book blogs via twitter and now, like you, I am never without a recommendation! I had friends who would talk books with me, but now they live thousands of miles away. End of story twitter is my new best friend!

  23. Before I started blogging, I had a few friends I could talk to about books. We tend to have similar tastes and we were in the same book club, so it was easy to get excited about books together. And then in college, I roomed with a bunch of readers like me, so that was awesome too. I would also get (sometimes force) my brother to read something too so I could discuss it with him. And before blogging, I used to get my recommendations by searching Barnes & Noble’s website using words like “fantasy” and “dragon” and see what came up. Or I’d go to the library and read the book blurbs to see if I thought a book sounded good.

    Since blogging, I actually feel like I have less people to discuss books with. My friends are all in different places now, location and life-wise, so either we don’t talk as often anyway or they’re too busy to read. Also, I read a lot more brand-new, just-released books and series, which they aren’t reading. My one friend doesn’t like to read a series until it’s completely finished because she doesn’t like to wait to read the next book. I still bug my brother to read some of the same books, or he’ll bug me to read some of his, but it’s a lot less often. And my blog hasn’t gotten a lot of readers yet, but I only just started getting involved in the rest of the blogging community and commenting on other people’s blogs, so hopefully that will pick up. Even if it doesn’t, my blog works great as an outlet. It’s one of the main reasons I started my blog. I wanted to gush out my feelings about the books I was reading, even if no one else ever read my reviews.

    • I just realized that my comment sounds very “woe-is-me” but it’s not meant to be. I’m not looking for pity, I swear. LOL. I have noticed a huge jump in my page-views since I started getting more involved in other people’s blogs and challenges, and I’m planning to start a book club in June (after my vacation & BEA). So yeah, I just wanted to clarify that. 🙂

  24. I had a few close friends in high school that I would pass books onto, but I never got really excited about them unless they were like, incredible amazing (like Percy Jackson), and even then, it was hard to actually get people to read them. When I moved to university, NONE of my friends read 🙁 I was kind of lost and confused, so I didn’t read as much any more. Then I started blogging! WOOH what a breather. I comment like crazy and spazz about books in my review 🙂 I love discussions and really need to get more into Twitter (which I feel like I have no time for :P)

  25. I had a friend or two before blogging that I’d talk books with, go to library book sales, etc. but it wasn’t consistent and we don’t always have the same tastes in books. I love that I can talk with an endless amount of people now! However, I do REALLY miss browsing. Now when I got to the library, I recognize most of the books on the shelf, and little things I’ve read or heard about a book will pop up and influence my decision whether to read it or not. I miss those days when I’d just grabbed what caught my attention, and come home with a big stack from the library to try out!

  26. Um. YES. THIS. I’m SOOOO grateful for my blogging BFFs because what in the world would I do without them? I had some people to talk books with before I started blogging because we were reading the same type of books/same genres, but it was not nearly as much fun or as enthusiastic as me + book buds + YA.

  27. YES, Jamie! I was the same way before you. I had a friend I used to be able to talk about books with, but our tastes have changed so much in the last years that now we don’t really talk about books much at all. I had one or two other friends who if I was lucky would listen to me go on and on from time to time, but basically I had no one. *sob* I joined GoodReads to find people!

    I’m so eternally glad for the book blogging community. I’ve found SO many like-minded people I can rant/rave/discuss books with and that means the world to me. I can get my thoughts out there, and some people agree, and some people don’t, and it. Is. AWESOME.

  28. Before blogging, I really didn’t have people around me that I could talk to or even gush about a book to. And then I joined the blogging community and BOOM! I had tons of people to talk to and I love it.


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