SHORT DISCUSSION: NOT Reading Made Me A ‘Better’ Reader Than Before // Blogging & Reading, A Potential Nightmare?

So i don’t think it’s a secret that i took… a long break from blogging. like super long. and I feel like I needed that. But, also, while not blogging, i wasn’t reading much either… because I simply did not have the time (and I guess i haven’t really spoken about it really).

here’s me trying to turn that into a positive.

* in no way am i saying that if you don’t do any of this you’re a ‘bad’ reader. I’m only talking about myself, and my reading experience *

it’s been a while since i’ve done a discussion post *cracks knuckles* I’m SCARED! please don’t get offended, i really don’t mean to offend anyone at all. I’m just talking about my reading experience.

made me love reading again

the break from reading reignited my love for reading.

reading and having a book blog kind of makes reading feel like a chore sometimes, because you see everyone else reading all these books that you haven’t read and sometimes you feel pressure to read loads (+i’m a mood reader so i literally cannot force myself to read a book if i really don’t want to read it).

even now, yes i feel a little bit of pressure, but i try to ignore that and focus more on the fact that I’m a reader first, and a blogger second. That may not be how everyone sees it, I’m not saying that’s how you should, but that’s just how I like to look at it. If i don’t look at it like that, and separate the two, I get anxious over the number of books i’ve read. which is silly, but it’s true.

I look at loads of other bloggers and some are reading SO much more (hence why i don’t really communicate on GR because it’s INTIMIDATING) and so even when i read 9** books in a month, i still feel like i should be reading more to be like other bloggers.

but what’s important is the books I’m reading, not the books other people are reading. and taking a break from blogging, and reading, had helped me realise that and help me ignore the pressure from other bloggers (pressure that they don’t even mean to put on others)

**not the norm for me!! only during lockdown!!

picking books more closely.

really debating what to read –> higher chance of LIKING IT. ENJOYING READING.

What i mean is, i now debate a lot more whether or not I’m going to read a book. there’s nothing wrong with reading books on a whim, i think that’s actually great (a really old post about that here) but right now, i want to be picky with what i read. I don’t read a lot of books / buy a lot of books so i really want to make sure that what i read i will enjoy. (obviously, some books will sound really great and turn out to be hot trash but,,, not every book is going to be loved by every person that reads it)

i did a major tbr purge on my GR, actually evaluating which books i wanted to read or not realistically. some had been on there since i first got Goodreads and now would not touch with a ten ft barge pole. totally worth it. there are now just over 30!!

I know not to waste any time on books that i know I’m not going to like. I’m not going to pick up a book if I’m not too sure about it yet. I’ll wait, read some reviews, and reassess later. I know you never know if you like the book or not until you read it, but you can DEF!! filter the books on your TBR and see if it’s something that sounds good/interesting and look at other reviews of it before purchasing it!

paying attention.

I’m not saying that before i payed no attention to what i was reading. before though, i was very happy with the books i was reading. But, sometimes, because of that, i felt I wasn’t critical enough, like it was a problem that i was enjoying the books i was reading.

Not reading, and not doing any reviews kind of gave me a blank canvas to start on. obviously, there are books that i love love love and want to build shrines for. but i think having that break from reading (and maturing) has made me approach books in a different way.

I now pay wayyy more attention to what i’m reading. I have more critiques for books,– rather than completely flying through them and claiming “i love them!!” — even if i do love them. do you get what i mean?

I’m not saying you have to be critical to be a good reader at all. but, where i’m at now in this middle-ground between what i was doing and being critical makes me feel like my reading experience is better.

what do you think? have you ever taken a break from reading / blogging? have / do you feel similar pressures from blogging? Let me know!!

47 thoughts on “SHORT DISCUSSION: NOT Reading Made Me A ‘Better’ Reader Than Before // Blogging & Reading, A Potential Nightmare?”

  1. taking breaks is so nice! i think i never let myself take breaks when it comes to reading (at least like… actively. i slump all the time lmao) but i definitely do when i blog. i’m thinking about the blog hiatuses i took and how that affected my reading and honestly i don’t think my reading got any better? (usually because i stopped blogging because i was busy with other things so that meant no reading time haha) but! i do think that once you take a break from blogging, you really do feel less pressure to read all the time. i think it’s the culture to just be reading new books constantly, so once you’re not seeing other people reading it’s just so much less pressuring haha. great discussion!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. actually taking breaks is good and shouldn’t be a shameful thing for we bookworms at all 😭 the worst part is, I never EVER had a book slump before blogging. I read a lot, but there was no pressure and it literally didn’t matter if I didn’t read for a few weeks because who would notice except me? So I kind of think too much pressure is put on bloggers (not just by us; by pubs and authors too) and we want to help and promote a lot of people but afadkslad it’s hard and we are tired.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just reflecting on why I read books made me do a massive clear out of my goodreads TBR as well (it went from over 1000 books to about 20 but obviously that number’s gone up a bit since). I’ve definitely gotten pickier with books over the years, a lesson learnt from requesting way too many books in the 2016/2017 era; I know my own tastes better now and know that my time is limited.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh my gosh CAS!!! hi!!! how are you???

      it’s such a good feeling isn’t it???? (mines gone up a little too bc new releases sound so good??) oh gosh similar thing here — not with ARCs but just thinking that I had to read every new release EVER and be all up to date with the new releases when I acc prefer to read behind the new releases if that makes sense???/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lu!!! Hello!! How are you?? I’m good, things are slowly getting back to something like normal?

        It is an amazing feeling! And yeahh so many good new releases, I’ve cheated a little by making a new shelf called “would-read-but-no-time” which has a lot more books that pique my interest but realistically I know I probably won’t get to. And omg me too especially with hyped books ahh

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m good!!
          omg i totally get what you mean!! but I think it’s way better to set aside books that you’re not 100% sure you want to read. i call them the ‘bonus books’ if I read them, GREAT, if I don’t? at least I spent my time reading books that I really wanted to!!
          ahhh thing is I don’t really like reading new releases AS SOON AS THEY COME OUT. I like to wait??? and see?? if they’re any good??? i rely on reviews A LOT!!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah absolutely that’s a good way to think about it! And ooh that’s interesting, I usually just go for it if I’ve read the author before or it’s been hyped up a lot, but with library new releases / new releases I wanna read but don’t want to buy it usually takes like a month after release date before I can get my hands on them anyway

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah my library is CRAP and nowhere near me and never has the books I want to read, let alone the new ones!! the ya sections are totally out of date honestly and it’s all mainly white-cis-het authors talking about white-cis-het romances that I’m not interested in reading!!

              Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t been blogging regularly since like spring 2019 so as someone else who has taken a break and come back I SO RELATE.
    When I first stopped blogging it was because I literally had no time to read anything, and as someone who also really hasn’t read that many books (I always think I have and then struggle with book tags to not mention the same few books every time) I was just struggling to come up with content. But taking that break has meant my love for reading has been totally rejuvenated now that pressure has gone!
    Loved reading this post!💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LITERALLY SAME HERE. I’VE BEEN SO ON AND OFF.
      yeah??? like rn I feel like i WANT to blog because I had a break from it, and it doesn’t feel like a chore, but more like something to do now that I have a lot of time.
      and omg having a break from reading, while really depressing, was SO needed in hindsight!! SO GLAD FOR YOU TOO!!
      thank you so muchhhhhh ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lmao this is so true!!! and nINE books congrats!! i’m clocking in at reading 3-5 a month 😦 in quarantine at least. i also hate rereading now cause i feel judged!!! hhh all i wanna do is reread aftg even though i read it less than a month ago!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANKS!! 3-5 is what i used to read in a month???
      Honestly, I think rereads are great and we don’t cherish them enough *hugs the rereads* REREAD UT!!! I read it so many times once i’d first read them #noshame

      Liked by 1 person

                    1. maybe reread it later on once you’ve had a while to really get into something else!! I haven’t reread it in ages and for some reason can’t bring myself to even though I know I love it sm

                      Liked by 1 person

  6. fellow book blogger here! I feel like having my blog incentivizes me to read more but i definitely relate to you in that I feel like I should read certain books because they’re popular. I’ve had so much time in quarantine to read and blog and I don’t know how well I’ll be able to keep up when things go back to normal. Really insightful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah def it’s good and bad at the same time??? Yeah same here, I’ve read so many books this month (and blogged) and it’s such a shame that we wont be able to keep it up as much when things go back to normal!

      thank you!!

      Like

  7. I loved this discussion and I agree with it so much! ☺️ I’m not a book blogger, but I do understand the mentality of being a reader first and a blogger second because you blog BECAUSE of your love for books. Mixing up the two can be hard. For me, I have to separate being a writer and being a blogger, because I have always loved to write, and I blog because I write.
    But this was also really interesting to read, because it makes me think of my relationship towards reading and why it’s changed so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH ❤

      I'm glad some one else relates to that feeling?? I think it's super easy to get swept up in the fact that you're blogging rather than what you're blogging about if that makes sense?

      ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yeah I recently took a break from reading for a while (I was still reading, but only 1-2 books per month, I usually read 5-9) and not reading so much made me miss it so much when I actually started wanting to. And the pressure to read a lot of books is so real! Lately I’ve been prioritizing books I know I actually want to read but the nagging feeling sometimes is there. Also, I remember when I didn’t know of the book community at all and I never thought of books in the way ‘I liked them’ or ‘I didn’t like them,’ – I would read just to read, and I loved doing so. Spending time in online book communities has definitely made me so much more of a critical reader (I mean, I wasn’t even one at all before) and I find myself disliking most of the books I read, even though I’ve been anticipating them / the people I follow leave them glowing reviews. But I love this post!! It was really detailed and relatable 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad im not the only one that feels that way??? yeah the nagging feeling is there for me too, but I try to brush it away!!

      ahh it’s a shame you’re not liking the books you’re reading!! i hope that you find a book you love soon!!
      thank you so much, ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this post! I recently came back from an extended blogging break – I was so busy with finishing up school that I just didn’t have the bandwidth for blogging (or, really, reading in general). I’ve noticed now that I’m more likely to pick up a book because I want to read it, instead of because it’s what’s popular with other bloggers, and there’s so much less “ARC envy.” I’m also way more likely to DNF a book now if I’m not enjoying it, even if it’s loved by everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much!! ahh i hope your break was good, and everything with school went well! Yes omg I totally get you!@ and ahhh ARC envy, i don’t take ARC deals personally, but i get what you mean! yeah oh my gosh i DNF-ed a book this month, when before i would have just made myself suffer through it!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I just “take breaks” when I’m in a slump so I use the time to catch up on movies and tv shows. But what I have noticed is that I read less now that I’m conscious about picking up books that will widen my knowledge and I do notice criticize more. Its taken me a while to accept that it’s a good thing because now every book really matters while before I barely remembered what I read the previous year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I’m not the only one!! Yeah exactly, I found myself not ENGAGING 100% with what I was reading, and just reading anything that somewhat appealed to me! I think its great to read less, but enjoy what you’re reading more!

      Like

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