Imaginative Discussions: Is Blogging Restricting My Reading?

Posted July 16, 2014 by Kara in Imaginative Discussions / 17 Comments


The question:  is blogging restricting my reading?  Answer:  Yes, I think so.

Today’s discussion is brought to you because of a tweet I kind of glanced over a few days ago while scrolling through my timeline.  I didn’t think about it too much at first, but ever since I saw it, it’s kind of been nagging at me in the back of my mind.

I like to talk a lot about how blogging has opened up my reading world.  And it has, especially at first.  When I first came to the bookish community I had only just started reading again.  I was new to the YA world especially.  So meeting all these new bloggers and other bookish folk opened my eyes to the wide array of books I needed to read.  I took a good amount of time learning who I am as a reader and what I like and don’t like.  Now, I’m a champ at figuring out what I should and shouldn’t pick up (but of course, there are always surprises.)

Fast forward a couple years and I feel like a seasoned pro.  I know what’s coming out, I know what people want to read, and I know (for the most part) what reviews people are looking for.  I’ve carved out a niche and people know (I hope) that I’m a YA reader and I read a lot of review copies of books.  It’s gotten to the point now, though, that I’m on a pretty regular schedule.  There isn’t very much room for straying from that schedule – especially right now as we’re preparing for the mad rush of Autumn releases, plus the fact that I’m reading slow.

I would love to be able to curl up with some old favorites.  I was talking to a friend of mine the other night, and we were going over some of the books on my shelves and how much I love them.  I wish I could take some time to reread old favorites.  Or maybe pick up a couple books I’ve had on my shelves for a while but haven’t read yet.  My harsh blogging schedule doesn’t allow for that.

This restriction in my reading ripples out in different ways, too.  There are books I’d really like to read that aren’t exactly in the genres I’m used to reading and reviewing.  I’m so lucky to have joined Great Imaginations, though; this blog covers quite an eclectic variety of books and I’ve been able to branch out into some adult here and there.  But there are nonfiction books I’d like to read, too.  This isn’t to say that I’m not physically able to read and review these books, but after three years of blogging YA, I don’t feel comfortable or like I have the authority to review in these genres and categories.  Maybe this is my own insecurity, I don’t know.  But how could I even begin to review a memoir?  See?

Bloggers:  do you think that blogging restricts your reading at all?  And to the readers here that aren’t bloggers: do you prefer the blogs you read to stick to certain genres and age categories?


17 responses to “Imaginative Discussions: Is Blogging Restricting My Reading?

  1. For most of blogging, I’ve had a fairly strict reading schedule. Although I’ve read MORE books than I ever did before joining the online community, it’s mostly new releases or upcoming releases. There hasn’t always been much time to re-read or pick up older books. I’ve changed that a lot recently – partly because I have stepped back quite a bit from the blog – and so I can kind of understand Rachel’s comment. I think I put pressure on myself to read the books I thought people wanted to see reviews for. So I guess, in a sense, blogging did restrict my reading.
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…Review: Shimmer by Paula WestonMy Profile

  2. I don’t think blogging restricts me at all. I do read a lot more YA than I probably would have before, but that’s because the majority of blogs I follow are YA, so I’m exposed to more YA to be excited for. However, I do try to stick in adult books (mostly older titles) and different genres on a regular basis so that my blog doesn’t become a YA book blog. That’s just not who I am, even though it is a genre I love. For instance, this month I have a lot of Chick Lit reviews going up, which is the genre that I read the most of when I was 13-18.

    Coincidentally, I just wrote a review for a memoir the other day! I am a fan of nonfiction, and I’ve been making room in my schedule for them again. I have two reviews drafted up so far! It feels good to get back to it. 🙂
    Angie F. recently posted…Wishlist Wednesday #58: Tape by Steven CamdenMy Profile

  3. Nope, not at all. Granted, I’m still a baby blogger. I have, sadly, very few followers. But I didn’t start blogging for others, I started for me. My blog has been and will continue to be for me. As long as I enjoy it, that’s all that matters to me. Even with gaining followers, and I hope to someday still gain more, I don’t conform myself to any one thing. I have, and will continue to blog about what I want to blog, the books I want to blog about. One thing I like is that MOST times when I get comments on my blog is from people saying they have never heard of half of what I’m reading. I don’t read what everyone else is reading. There are already a million reviews for Fault of Stars (and I’d never read it, blech!), so why would I want to add to that. I read what I want to read, and will continue to, and hopefully provide readers with new and exciting authors they probably never heard of, because they are only reading what everyone else is reading. If I interest just one person in an author or book they had not heard of before, then I’m doing what I have accomplished as a blogger, sharing my love of reading and helping someone discover something fun and new.
    Karsyn @ KaKiJoKoJa recently posted…It’s Monday! What are you Reading?My Profile

  4. Kat

    In that way, blogging can be a double-edged sword. I LOVE it, but I did find in the past that I was completely cutting out whole groups of books that I wanted to read because I felt like I HAD to review upcoming releases. Once I realised this, the ‘you can’t make me do anything I don’t want to’ part of my brain kicked in and I started reading whatever I felt like – IT WAS SO LIBERATING.

    I do think we should let those languising books get read if that’s what we feel like – and I for one love reviews of non-fiction and memoirs so you’d at least have me reading them 😉
    Kat recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: Talon & RandomMy Profile

  5. I can see how being a book blogger you might feel restricted reading current or new releases only,so that you can stay up to date with the book community. However I try to read at least one book that is not new but still has good reviews just for fun. I don’t want my book blogging to turn into a chore by only reading new books.

  6. Recently I’ve started to realize just how much book blogging has limited my ability to read the books I actually want to read. It’s probably because all the books I’ve been reading recently (all of which are ARCs) were either 2- or 3-stars, and I’m just feeling really tired of constantly being on the fence about a story. I’m kind of surprised I haven’t gotten into a reading slump, what with all these mediocre books!

    So yeah, like I said above, I definitely think that book blogging has restricted my reading a whole lot… though I have to admit that it’s partly my own fault for requesting so many ARCs right before I took a hiatus from blogging last year. So now I’m left with like a bazillion overdue books to review and no time to read the physical books on my shelf. It’s sad that 90% of my bookshelf is unread because I have to focus on what’s inside my Kindle instead.

    Everything has pros and cons, so I guess this is one of the cons of book blogging. I haven’t lost the love for it yet, but sometimes I do wish I had more freedom in choosing what to read, rather than always working on a strict schedule and making sure certain reviews are published before a book’s release date and yada yada yada. I’ve learned my lesson now, though! Gonna have to practice more self-control so that I don’t request more books than I can handle.

    Thanks for sharing about your experiences, Bekka! Hopefully we’ll all be able to find balance between reading and blogging. It won’t be fun if we let blogging dictate our reading life too, you know? 🙂
    Megan (Adrift on Vulcan) recently posted…Short Books Pack Punches Too: The Truth About Alice, Jennifer MathieuMy Profile

  7. P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

    For me, I would say it doesn’t restrict me. This is my second go at blogging and I’ve decided that what I can offer in my posts that no one else can is me. There is no other me, so if you check out The Sirenic Codex and more specifically my posts, you get to see what I’m reading, and I do have a certain type I like. Maybe this is a bit harsh of me but I feel like I don’t have obligations to my audience beyond being honest. If I constrict what I’m reading, I end up being extremely critical and it’s not much fun blogging.

    I think what makes me happiest is when I introduce a book that isn’t really on most people’s radar and give it some love. I mean, if me, a primarily YA reader can enjoy a certain book, then there’s bound to be some people that feel the same way, and diversifying my reading is only a positive.

    On the other hand, I’m unlike most bloggers in that I do extremely few “for review from publisher” books. The vast majority of books I read are what I pick, and I’m actually extremely happy with that because it puts less pressure on me. My last go at blogging involved piles of for review books, and it was incredibly stressful and led to burnout. So, who knows?

    Sorry for the really long comment… this was a great discussion topic!
    P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex recently posted…WoW – Adrenaline CrushMy Profile

  8. Some of my favorite blogs have a wide variety of books, or at least age ranges. I moved to reading more MG last September and started to lose interest in a lot of the YA titles, I was getting sick of love triangles and bad romance shoved into a plot. With MG books, I find some solace from that, there’s maybe a budding friendship/romance at worst.

    I don’t let my blog schedule get too set. I am picky about blog tours, the books have to be something I definitely think I will be reading or something that looks fresh and like something I would like. We maybe have 3 tours in a month (if that). Otherwise, I read what I like. I sprinkle review books between library books, books I’ve bought and when I really need a break I just binge read manga and don’t review it. Sometimes I’ll do a series review, but that’s about it.

    So, I don’t think blogging has changed my reading habits, if anything I think it pushes me to keep reading even with my busy schedule.
    Kristen recently posted…Book View: Seesaw GirlMy Profile

  9. Kat

    (FYI I saw a Kat while I was reading the comments – we’re not the same person)
    I’m still starting off as a blogger, and while I blog often, it’s not something that takes up so much of my time – I’m not an intense blogger. Therefore, I would disagree. I review a lot of books that have already been read by many or that are very old. I would agree that it opened up so many new books; before I was strictly contemporary, but these days I also read a lot of dystopian and sometimes fantasy or sci-fi.

  10. I’ve been blogging for a bit over a year and, for me, blogging doesn’t restrict my reading too much. I don’t receive a lot of ARCs or review copies, so I kind of just read whatever I want in the meantime. I’d say school restricts my reading way more than blogging, since usually school trumps reading time. I can definitely see why you feel that way though! Sometimes when I have a bunch of ARCs for books all coming out at the same time, I feel overwhelmed because I want to be able to review them all but I’ve kind of let myself be ok with not getting to every book if I can’t. I love that bloggers can read books before they come out to tell people what’s good, but for me, I try not to let it run my life since it’s my hobby.

  11. I try really, really hard to not let this happen to me. I’ve seen it happen to so many bloggers, so I’m doing everything I can to avoid it. Basically, even though I have a lot of unread ARCs that I need to get to, I try to only read a few each month. I don’t want to get bogged down with review books and have no time for the stuff I really want to read personally. And then I also make sure that I have a little variety in the stuff I read each month — like I don’t read ALL YA and I always have at least one nonfiction in the mix.

    So far, this system has really worked for me and I don’t feel pressured or find it to hard not to let blogging interfere with my enjoyment of reading…but it’s so easy to understand how that could happen. Especially when I look at how much my reading habits have changed since I started blogging. I think the key is just to find a system that works for you, though. There’s got to be some sort of a happy medium out there for everybody!
    Miranda @ Tempest Books recently posted…The Antebellum Era {Historical Fiction Spotlight}My Profile

  12. I totally get what Rachel was saying. I actually decided to “restart” my blog at the beginning of the month. I was getting so caught up in scheduling posts and making sure I was doing everything I could to get more readers and promote, promote, promote. I realized that I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should, so I’ve gone back to how I used to blog. It’s nice having an idea one day and writing it THAT day, rather than scheduling it. And it’s nice to read whatever I want to and have fun with writing a “review” on it … if I want it to be a review. Maybe I’ll turn it into more of a discussion based on the book? Whatever … I can write what I want! It’s nice having that freedom again. I also find that it’s not restricting what I read anymore … I’ll read what I like, when I like.

    Great discussion!
    Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) recently posted…{Book Review} My mixed feelings when it came to going away for universityMy Profile

  13. Yep, so I changed things up a few weeks ago. I deleted my TBR list, Goodreads account, no longer write traditional reviews on my blog and I also no longer rate books at all (goodbye pesky stars!). My reading had become so bogged down by rules and restrictions, in part because of blogging, that it was no longer enjoyable. I realized I needed to make some pretty drastic changes, to get things back on track. I now pick out books based on what catches my attention when I go to the library. That’s it 🙂 It’s been amazing so far and I have absolutely no desire to go back to how things were. I’m still a book blogger, but I now read whatever books I feel like reading, and I think my blog is better for it.

    Just found your blog and I’m now following through bloglovin 🙂
    Finley Jayne recently posted…We’re Back!My Profile

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