I Read Like I’m At A Buffet

Before & After is a sporadic series I do which chronicles 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. Check the end of the post for previous Before & After’s.


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 I was more loyal to the authors I loved. What do I mean by this? When I found a book that I really LOVED I then went out and would get ALL of the books from that author. Immediately. Mostly because I didn’t know what else to read next so that was a good place to start.

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I realized in answering a question about my “most read author” for my A to Z survey (Goodreads has a cool feature I shared to look that up) that I have read A LOT OF BOOKS FROM A LOT OF DIFFERENT AUTHORS SINCE I STARTED BLOGGING. The majority of authors on my list I had only read 1-2 books from. I realized I don’t read straight through an author’s backlist anymore as I used to before. I think this is due to 2 reasons:

1. A lot of the authors I read now are debut or “newer” authors so they don’t HAVE a huge backlist.
2. Prior to blogging I didn’t really know WHAT to read. I didn’t have a ton of recommendations coming at me, as I talked about last week, so I would find an author and then just devour their works so I had something to read.

I still try to read my favorite authors entire works but I find that I have SUCH a variety in authors that I know of now and all these new books to try that I’m always flitting around to try new authors like I’m at a buffet. Trying a little bit of everything so that it takes a little more time to read all the works of an author I like.

 

Let’s Talk:

Has this happened to you since blogging (if you are a blogger)? Do you tend to read the entire backlist of a new favorite author as soon as you discover you love them or do you seem to read a lot of different books from lots of authors?

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
Having People To Talk Books With- 5/8
Knowledge of the Publishing Industry — 5/15
How I Picked Up Books – 9/18

Before & After #13 : How I Picked What Books I Read

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 said I would bring this series back up when I felt like it after taking a break for a while so I’m dusting it off for a couple weeks.

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 I didn’t have many ways of getting recommendations. I mostly browsed those tables at Barnes and Noble and then would just go browsing through the shelves if I didn’t find anything worthy on the tables to buy. I would also browse the library a lot. I didn’t have A LOT of people who read so personal recommendations were limited. In 2008 I joined Goodreads and then that became where I found all my recommendations because I became active in the groups on there until I joined blogging in 2010. So basically I did lots of browsing to find books, both in stores, libraries and on Goodreads, so I relied a lot on the summaries and sometimes the covers.

YA-book-bloggerI pick up books now based on blogger recommendations and already knowing what’s out. I’m always aware of what is coming out each season so I guess I still do a lot of browsing but now it’s of publisher catalogs. On occasion I’ll still browse the library (mostly for adult fiction) but mostly I find my books because I’m so involved in this community. I like having a ton of options because sometimes I just had no idea what to pick up before blogging but I do miss that feeling of going in blind and not having heard about a book SO MUCH (I mean, because really, in blogging we hear about books MONTHS and YEARS before they are released so by the time they are in store I’ve already heard SO much about it).

 

 

Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — Has the way you picked up books changed before/after blogging? How did you used to find out about books?  If you aren’t a blogger — Before reading book blogs how did you find out about books?

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
Having People To Talk Books With- 5/8
Knowledge of the Publishing Industry — 5/15
The Variety of Genres — 5/22

Before & After #12 : The Variety of Books I Read

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.

This is the conclusion of this series for now — unless I think of something else and feel like bringing this back! I saved one of the BIGGEST changes for last!!

book-blog

 I read pretty much exclusively literary fiction and classics with the occasional travelogue thrown in. Once in a while I would throw in a YA book if I had heard good things about it. I was not very adventurous in my genres either — it was almost always of the contemporary variety or historical fiction. It was rare that I picked up romance, fantasy or paranormal. Like maybe once.

YA-book-bloggerThe variety of books I read is crazy! I could go from reading a non-fiction book to a YA paranormal to a contemporary romance to a fantasy book. It’s amazing how blogging has expanded my tastes. I still have my favorite genres but I’m not afraid to read out of most genres these days. I don’t discriminate anymore. The biggest change is the fact that I read MOSTLY young adult fiction now which is such a departure from what I read pre June 2010. I love this fact because YA has really gotten me into all these genres. I still read adult fiction and non-fiction but it’s way less than before. I am trying to be a little bit more balanced because I miss reading things that aren’t YA.

 

 

Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — Have your tastes changed since you started blogging or have they stayed the same?   If you aren’t a blogger — How have your tastes changed throughout the years? Has reading book blogs changed your reading tastes? For everyone — what are your go to genres? Which genres will you not try?

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
Having People To Talk Books With- 5/8
Knowledge of the Publishing Industry — 5/15

Before & After #11: Where Books Come From

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.

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 I had the vaguest notion of how books were published. People wrote them and then there were publishers who printed them? I really didn’t know much about the various publishers — I would see HarperCollins or Random House on a back of a book and not really pay attention to it. I just really knew NOTHING about the world of publishing. Books just magically appeared on shelves and I read them.

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It’s insane how much I know of the industry now as a blogger (especially because I’m not also a writer). I could name tons of publishers, their imprints and a list of the some of their bigger titles and could definitely tell you the publisher of any recent book I’ve read in the past 3 years. I could even name agents and editors for some of my favorite books or ones that I’ve taken notice of.  I understand more the process of how a book goes from author to the shelves of your bookstore. I’m aware of sales going on and I pay attention to industry trends. It’s honestly AMAZING how much I’ve learned about the publishing industry not even setting out to learn about it — definitely makes me appreciate each and every beloved book even more. I do think in some ways that I wish I didn’t know SOME of the things I do because sometimes being a reader without knowledge of the industry is bliss but I wouldn’t trade everything I’ve learned. Not at all. It’s an industry I care about and definitely am glad to be a part of it.

 

 

Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — As a blogger do you feel like you know a lot more about the industry than you did before or have you stayed unaware of a lot things? Did you know a lot about the industry prior to blogging? What are some things you have learned that may have surprised you? Anything you wish you didn’t know?   If you aren’t a blogger Do you feel like you know a lot about the industry? Do you prefer not to know or just never had an interest in it?

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
Having People To Talk Books With- 5/8

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.

book-blog

 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.

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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

Before & After #9: Reactions To Books

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.

book-blog

 I’d finish a book and the extent of my thought was “that was good” or “ehh I didn’t really like it.” Unless I had to think critically about it for school I didn’t really explore all the reasons why I liked or didn’t like it.

YA-book-blogger

Obviously now as a blogger I DO think about why or why not I enjoyed a book. Blogging has challenged me to be able to explain the things I liked and didn’t like when someone asks rather just than saying “it was good” or something like that. I’m much more  likely to talk more in depth about all the reasons I like a book though like I admitted here I’m not the most scholarly or whatnot in my reviews. Overall I think this is a positive thing to keep thinking critically and be able to explain myself BUT I will admit that there are some days where I miss the days of NOT having to explain why or why not I liked a book. I just want to either like it or not. lol. But that’s mostly on the days when I feel lazy or when a book maybe just doesn’t seem to lend itself to be talked about MORE.

 

 

Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — Did you always think critically about books before you were a blogger or would you kind of just have a simple that was good or that wasn’t good mentality? Do you sometimes miss the days when you didn’t think about every book to death?  If you aren’t a blogger — Do you feel like you think critically about what you are reading or does it hover around “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it.” ? For everyone — Curious if there are certain genres or types of book that are a challenge to think MORE about outside of “it was good’ etc. I think for me sometimes it is those lighter, fluffy reads because I LOVED them but sometimes I can’t think past WHY except that they were fun and enjoyable.

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

Before & After #8: Chunky Books

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.

book-blog

 I read chunky books often and without even thinking twice. If it was a book I was interested in it didn’t matter how thick it was…I was going to read it and wasn’t scared off by how big it was. I didn’t feel like I was slowing down my reading pace — I wasn’t even thinking like that. 1,000 pages? NO PROBLEM.

YA-book-blogger

I rarely ever read chunky books anymore. Any time I want to read a book that is borderline chunky I side eye it. I wasn’t aware about how this habit changed but I know I felt pressure to read more books so I could review them. I would think, “Well in the time it would take me to read this book I could read 3 or 4 other ones.” I HATE that my subconscious thinks this way and prevents me from picking up those massively huge books more frequently. It’s not that I don’t read thicker books anymore but I’m just less frequent about it and it prevents me from picking up books I really want to read. One of my bookish resolutions this year was to read more chunky books so I’m really going to try to achieve it!

 

 

Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — Do you read more or less chunky books than before? If you read less is it because you feel pressure to read more so that you have stuff to review? If you still read a lot of chunky books how do you make it work for you blog and having reviews? Or do you just not let it bother you? If you aren’t a blogger — Do you read chunky books often? Do they ever intimidate you or make you feel like you could be reading MORE books in that time? For everyone — Curious as to what the biggest book you’ve ever read is? What chunky books are on your TBR?

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

Before & After #7: Recommending Books

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.

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I was reallyyy hesitant to recommend books to people. I think I wasn’t confident in my recommendation skills and mostly that was because I didn’t feel like I read enough and was really limited in my knowledge as to what books were out there. Also, a fear I still have to some degree, but I was so scared that someone would HATE the book I loved and had recommended to them.

YA-book-blogger

I recommend books ALL OF THE TIME NOW. Not just through the blog and Twitter but to people in my life. I feel so confident now in my skills of recommending books to people because I feel like I have a good sense of what is out there and what people would like based on other books they have read and loved or based on what they are looking for in a book. I still FEAR recommending a book and they will hate it but I think I’m getting a lot better at being able to give personal recommendations and I LOVE doing it and feel confident now. Also, I just read so many darn books and feel compelled to recommend them! I recommend books in times and to people I probably would have never done so before. I probably would have sat quietly but now I don’t hesitate.

 

 

Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — Were you always a book recommender or do you think you do it MORE now? If you aren’t a blogger — Are you someone who recommends books a lot to people?  For everyone — Who do you feel comfortable recommend to — family, friends, strangers? Do you feel like you are good at giving personal recommendations that end up working out for people?

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
Number Of Books Read Per Year – 4/5

Before & After #6: Books Read Per Year

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.

book-blog

 This one, besides the book real estate thing, is definitely the biggest change in my life. I read probably 20-30 books a year — which I know was more than a lot of my friends or the average human being I’m sure. Like I said in my first Before & After, I waited a longer amount of time before I would pick up a book upon finishing one. Sometimes I would wait a few weeks before I picked up my next book so I definitely read at a slower rate PLUS I wasn’t spending as much time per day reading a book — I’d read for an hour maybe before bed. There were times when I would spend a whole day reading on a rainy day but most of the time it was just a little time here and there.

YA-book-blogger

I definitely read WAY more than I did before blogging — probably between 75-100 books a year (though last year was only 55 because of wedding planning, my job stress and moving). I definitely read more often and take less breaks in between books. I think there definitely is a pressure to read MORE as a blogger to make sure that I can have reviews for the blog. I confessed this in my Things I’m Afraid To Tell You post but I often feel bad because I know I can’t review as many books per week as many other bloggers because I’m simply not reading as much as them but that’s the choice I’ve made and have decided that 2 reviews a week is doable for me at the rate I WANT to read books. I don’t push myself to read when I don’t want to and there are times when I go for days without reading. I think I also read more as a blogger because I am so hyper aware of all the books out there –especially with all the habit of anticipating all the books as I mentioned in another Before and After.

 

 

Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — Has the amount of books you read per year increased or stayed the same since becoming a blogger? How much of a difference is there? Do you feel the pressure to read A LOT more so you can have reviews? If you aren’t a blogger — how many books would you say you read per year? Does this number fluctuate or stay pretty much the same?  For everyone — How much reading time do you think you put in per day? Do you ever go days without reading or do you pretty much read even a little bit every day?

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

Before & After #5: Meeting Authors + Myths I Had About Them

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.

book-blog

 I never met or talked to an author. I thought they just lived somewhere in the clouds above — inaccessible and they wouldn’t give two craps if I wanted to talk to them about their books. I had never ever gone to any sort of bookish event or signing — I don’t think I knew they really existed.  Truthfully, I thought all published authors (not self pubbed) were rich and famous. I mean, you WROTE A BOOK…surely you had to be rich?? haha. And I was WAY to intimidated to send a fan letter THROUGH THE MAIL or by email.

YA-book-blogger

Because I’ve been able to find out about book events, I have met so many authors — some of my favorites, debut authors and even really extremely well established authors. I’ve met or listened to authors I read as a kid or a teen — people who made impacts on my life and made me the reader I am today. I interact on a daily basis, through Twitter, with authors. It’s UNREAL just how accessible they are for me. I would have never thought I would interact/meet authors in this way before I was a blogger. I love that I can tell an author on Twitter just HOW much their book impacted me or realize that my favorite author and I have a favorite band in common. I’ve learned that authors are REAL people and not some aloof mystical being way up there in the clouds too famous to need to hear my words of love for their book. It’s really enhanced my reading experience in some ways to be able to speak with an author about their book and how it made me feel and to get to know them and hear their story. Sometimes the accessibility to authors CAN be a bad thing but I’ve really only had extremely positive experiences.  I think the only negative is that if I know they follow me and I’m not enjoying their book. I hate that they will have to see that. I don’t tweet them or alert them to it but I can’t help if they see it. It makes me feel self conscious/bad though.

 

 

Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — had you met authors prior to blogging? Did you interact with them before you were a blogger? Has the accessibility of social media made you ever feel self conscious about an author being able to easily see that you didn’t like their book?  If you aren’t a blogger — have you met authors and gone to signings? Do you talk to them on social media?  For everyone — Tell me about your experience meeting/talking to authors! Has it been positive? Did anyone else have any of the same myths that I did about authors — that they were inaccessible,that they were rich and famous, etc. Has being able to chat with authors easily about your book enhanced your reading experience?

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

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