Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Journey of Rashika as a Reader (pre and post blogging)

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I think it’s appropriate that for my first official post here, I talk about me as a ~reader~.

I have been a life-long reader. I’ve been reading for such a long time that I don’t even know what it would be like to not read. When people say they don’t like to read, I just look at them and go WHAAAAT?? How is that even possible?

I started reading when I was around 6 years old. I didn’t speak English fluently, so I had all sorts of books pushed at me to help improve my language skills. Of course, I seemed to have caught on very quickly and my second grade teacher even wrote that I had a true love for reading in my report card! I still have that report card, thinking about getting it framed, ya know? MEMORABILIA.

Most of the books I read in elementary school were easy reads and during all those reading challenges in middle school, I preferred to read quantity over quality (not that the books I read in middle school sucked because I loved almost every single one of them.) When the librarian would recommend me a book over 300 pages long, I’d be like NOPE. TOO LONG. But as the years passed, I started to back down a little and tackle those 500-700 page monsters.

I may have been a reader for most of my life, and read faster than most kids but I didn’t start reading at the pace I do now until the second half of 10th grade, around the time I discovered Goodreads. Back in those days, I’d spend HOURS and HOURS scrolling through Goodreads looking for books to read. I’d come across a bazillion and add them to my tbr and then proceed to hunt them down and gobble them all up. I also interacted with SO many people on Goodreads. I’d spend hours looking at threads for some of my favorite books and responding and commenting and just generally fangirling over books.

Blogging has definitely changed those aspects of reading for me. I hardly ever spend time on Goodreads anymore. All the books I seem to add lately are books that are going to be published. I barely pay attention to all those amazing backlist gems unless someone I follow mentions something about them or I want to catch up on a new fav author’s previous books.

I’ve spent more time browsing through publisher catalogues/Netgalley/Edelweiss than I have on Goodreads in general. I barely interact with all the awesome people I used to on Goodreads and I only go there to add books to shelves and cross-post reviews. I am never on it ‘for fun’, which is kind of sad, isn’t it?

What made me realize all of this was a collection development project I was doing recently. The project required me to actually spend time looking through backlist books and I realized I kind of missed finding books that had already come out. It is so exciting to find something that you can immediately read instead of waiting for the book to come out or hoping to get an advanced copy of it. In some ways, I think I was a lot more enthusiastic about reading before blogging than I am now.

I know more about books now than I ever did before but at the same time, I keep feeling this pressure to read everything instead of just enjoying the books. 2013 was the year when I read 400 books (my challenge on GR says a different number because there were some books I didn’t add to my shelves for reasons… SHHHH) and that was the year when I first started blogging. When I didn’t feel under pressure to read a whole lot of books and was still in the inbetween of reviewing backlist books and arcs.

I seem to have rambled a whole lot and the entire point of all of this is not for me to say that I hate blogging and that arcs suck. I love blogging and arcs can be so exciting but at the same time, I have definitely changed a lot as a reader post blogging. Not just in my reading tastes (those are always evolving), but in the way I approach reading.

What do you think? Has blogging changed the way you read? How have ARCs affected your to-be-read lists? Do you read as many backlist books? Tell me all the things!

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Rashika has been tired since 2013. There are very few things that spark joy for her besides a nice cup of tea, warm, baked goods, good books and good TV shows. She is here to pile onto your giant TBRs and to-watch lists. Offer her a cookie and she might be nice to you.

9 Responses to “The Journey of Rashika as a Reader (pre and post blogging)”

  1. Hannah

    I adore ARCS, even though I don’t receive too many, so I suppose that helps me keep things balanced out – I try to read a mixture of advanced copies and backlist titles which I have on my TBR.

    • Rashika

      That is AWESOME! I usually try to throw in a couple blacklist titles too to mix up my reading palette but I am constantly feeling overwhelmed!

  2. Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

    Girl, I definitely get this. I quit blogging for a really long time because between the pressure of blogging and being an English major, it felt like I was reading because I was supposed to, not because I wanted to. I took a long hiatus, but just recently decided to start back up, hopefully learning from my mistakes the first time around. I’m only going to read books I want to read, and I’m not going to let the pressure get to me.

    Great, honest post!

    • Rashika

      OMG SAME! I am a lit major and for the past term, I’ve been reading SO many books for class + review books and that left me no room for reading books ~i~ wanted to. I checked out a bunch from the library and a lot of them were returned unread which made me sad 🙁 I am so glad that you decided to start back up! 🙂 Blogging is so much fun when we don’t constantly feel pressurize because we get to fangirl about all the books WE LOVE.

  3. Lindsay

    I know EXACTLY what you mean! I don’t read “for fun” anymore. I’ve met so many authors, and I want to read ALL THE BOOKS, but I just don’t seem to have the time to squeeze them all in. It actually causes a fair amount of grief and anxiety. So I’ve been slowly stepping back from blogging, in order to fit in some of the must-reads that I’ve missed out on recently. 😉

    • Rashika

      Same. Sometimes I’ll be staring at piles of books I own and I’ll be thinking about how I want to read all of them but then I cannot because I don’t have time, or there are other priorities. It drives me nuts sometimes. I am glad though that you’re stepping back and finding time to read books you want to! 🙂

  4. Lyn Kaye

    It is so good to hear that you are an avid reader, and had it from a young age. Adulthood killed my interest in books, but it was harder to find things you liked when the internet was a new thing. I hope you have a long relationship with reading! <3