Yesterday, in Is Bigger Better?, I blogged about the size of my unruly TBR pile. This was inspired by Dani @ Dani Reviews Things, who wrote a post discussing how growing up and reviewing books has changed her reading habits. I’m turning this into a mini-series, as there are a few things that have changed for me from Before Blogging to After Blogging, so I’ve split them into separate posts for your reading pleasure :D.
I Like(d) Big Books And I Cannot Lie
Before Blogging, I LOVED big reads. The bigger the better. The longer I could stay in my fictional world with my favourite characters, the happier I would be. I also had the (albeit misguided) notion that bigger books were better value. Why pay £6.99 for a 300 page book, when you could get a 500 page book for the same price? To me buying smaller books was insanity. I was also under the illusion (though this one has stuck with me just a little more) that bigger books meant better story-telling, because you got to spend more time walking around in the protagonist’s shoes and really getting immersed in the story. I held this notion, in one way or another, pretty much up until I started blogging. When you have to read the book, take the time to summarise your thoughts, write a review, AND make your sentences coherent and at least somewhat entertaining, all of a sudden those big reads aren’t as appealing any more.
It wasn’t too long after I started blogging, that I began to check the number of pages in a book before committing to it. If it was over 350 pages, chances were I’d put it back into my TBR pile and pick again. Before Blogging, big reads excited me, but when I began to feel pressure to create regular content and reviews for my blog, big reads became very unappealing. Though usually enjoyable to read, a 500+ page book could take me up to 2 weeks to finish depending on what else was going on in my life (and let’s be honest, depending on the execution of the story!). Sometimes, this “pressure” would even affect my enjoyment of the book, because I’d feel rushed to read quicker, or be distracted from the story by thinking about how long it was taking me to read the bloody book. The love affair was over. Big reads became intimidating.
Sometime towards the end of 2015, I had what can only be described as a blogging slump. I didn’t let it beat me, I rolled with it, and waited to come out the other end. Thankfully, I survived it. However, the slump really put my reading, and blogging, into perspective. Reading, and now blogging, are my hobbies. They’re not my job. I shouldn’t feel pressured about them, I shouldn’t feel stressed out over them, and I definitely shouldn’t let them dictate to me what I can and can’t read, and what I should and shouldn’t enjoy. If I fancy a chunkier read, I’ll take the time to read it (I recently finished The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and it was loooong). If I want something short and snappy, then that’s what I’ll pick up next. I’m feeling much better about this new-found perspective, and can once again gladly proclaim that I like big books (though perhaps not all of the time…).
My blogging slump also affected my ARC habits, which will be the next topic in this mini-series! So, are you a big book lover? Or do you swoon after smaller reads? Has blogging changed your preference? Let me know in the comments!