Thursday, September 15, 2011

BBAW, Day 4: Reading Habits!

Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!

Book blogging has drastically changed the way I read and the books I choose. I mentioned in my previous post that before I started blogging, I belonged to Yahoo! Groups, and that's where I really gained my introduction to talking (typing) about books with others. Like so many of my fellow bloggers, I don't have a ton of friends in my daily life who read, so I was looking for a bookish, conversational fix.

With all that conversation -- and with the rise of book blogging -- came LOTS of recommendations! With a decent library system in the town where I live, coupled with the MANY Half Price Books stores, along with my Nook addiction, my book collection has exploded. Given, it was much worse 7 years ago than it is now. I realize I can't keep everything and I won't re-read everything, so I purge quite often, sell books to used bookstores, and donate quite a few of them to my stepkiddos' school libraries and the college library where I work.

Since I've been blogging, I can look over previous years' reading and see lots of ebb and flow. In 2009, I had a decent year as far as the numbers went, but I only read ONE novel. ONE! I have no idea how that even happened. 2010 was a lesser numbers year since I had a baby and took on some new duties at work. So far 2011 is the lowest numbers year I've had in about eight years, BUT, thanks to reading lots of lovely blogs, I made a big decision for myself. If I'm going to read less, I'm going to read more fulfilling-to-me material. Typically, I feel quite rewarded by reading literary fiction. That's totally personal preference and not a judgement. Those are the books I usually hug when I turn the last page and they go on my keeper shelves.

With this personal proclivity in mind, I dove headlong into prize winners and sundry literary fiction this year. I made it a personal goal to read through all of the 2011 Morning News Tournament of Books contenders (probably won't finish by the end of the year, but it's been fun trying!). I also joined the Orange July event and I've paid more attention to awards this year. I've also begun to turn down many review books that are offered to me and only request the novels I REALLY want to read (The Night Circus, The Summer Without Men).

Bloggers, of course, have fueled the fire of my interest in literary fiction. Blogs like Nonsuch Book, nomadreader, and Literary Musings are just a few of the lovely enablers I read regularly.

16 comments:

  1. I think reading quality books (vs. quantity) is something I lean towards as well. I do read close to 100 books a year, but when I see people reading more than 200 a year, I gasp a little. I don't think reading would be enjoyable for me at that volume. Like you, I lean heavily toward literary fiction...there is something about character driven novels with beautiful writing that suck me in every time.

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  2. My book collection has exploded since I started blogging too. I need to remind myself constantly that I am running out of room!

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  3. I prefer literary fiction, too -- except for about half of the Bookers I've read (lol). I prefer Oranges and Pulitzers. I also like the NYT list, etc.

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  4. I agree that quality vs. quantity is the right way to go. I love the book blogging community but it definitely makes my shelves explode with all of the great books that I learn about from other bloggers!

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  5. Book blogging has definitely expanded the range of what I read. I get most of what I read from the library, but since I started blogging, I've been exposed to more small publishers, and self-published works that I probably wouldn't have known about before.

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  6. I definitely think quality counts more than quantity. Better to read one book you adore than ten mediocre ones. But my book collection has exploded too - although I don't think I'm as good at purging as you! I should work on that.

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  7. I read less in regards to numbers every year, but I read much better quality books than I ever have by sticking to classics. When I'm done with my list, I doubt I will continue to read classics exclusively, but now that I have them in my life, they will always be there.

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  8. I had a strange sift when I started blogging. I started to read more and to read "better" novels. Currently I am in a definite downward shift as far as quantity goes, but I think it was time to come down from the 120 books/year speed.

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  9. My book collection has grown, too!

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  10. I love reading about how blogging has influenced bloggers...we are such a varied bunch! I may not read a lot of books as well but I mostly enjoy what I read and that is what is important to me :)

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  11. With a young child and a demanding job, I can certainly understand why your numbers are down. Quality is much more important than quantity.

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  12. Good for you for letting books go. I struggle with that, until it's time to move again and I'm kind of forced to purge a bit. Good for you with your decision to read the most fulfilling books! That's such a great principle to have guiding your reading, especially when your time is limited. I'm trying to reign in my review commitments, too, with the hopes of finding more time to read what I really want to read.

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  13. Speaking of The Night Circus . . . my co-worker had it today and it made me think of you! I almost asked her, "So, Andi got to you, too?" Instead I just told her that I'd heard a LOT about it :)

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  14. Quality is way more important than quantity, though I do like to read a lot of books simply because my shelves are filled with books I haven't read yet. I agree about literary fiction; there's something about it that's so satisfying to me.

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  15. If you have to limit the number of books that you are going to read, then you definitely need to read books that make you want to hug it when you close it!

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  16. This is my lowest year in quantity, too. So far, I've only completed 26 books! Hard to believe there was a time when I was reading closer to 80/year. Wonder if Facebook has anything to do with the drop in numbers...

    Speaking of Yahoo groups, are you still active on OTPS? I tried to get back into it, but just couldn't find the extra time.

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