Thursday, September 15, 2011

BBAW #4: Readers & Reading- How Blogging Has Changed What I Read

Today's topic for Book Blogger Appreciation Week is Readers. BBAW asks,
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?
Book blogging has definitely changed the way I read! Right from the start I made an effort to read more new releases and current books, because I thought that would give me something to offer- a reason for people to stop by. I mix that up with older books and books that dovetail with my personal interests; these days I'm trying to swing it back towards the latter but I think I can show my personal taste through which recent books I choose. Recently I started tagging my reviews by publication year so a visitor to my blog can see not only that I read lots of new books but which ones I pick.

I have discovered lots of books that I probably never would have noticed and have found myself encouraged to go deeper in areas that I'm already interested in. The challenges I'm doing, especially the Complete Booker Challenge and the Europa Challenge, have helped me dive into those books and I've made it a project to eventually read all of the Booker Prize winners. Having the support of the challenge group has made a big difference in both cases. Frances's Art of the Novella Challenge encouraged me to explore more of those books that had already caught my eye and introduced me to the wonderful publisher Melville House. And getting to know bloggers in different genres, especially science fiction, has encouraged me to be more open-minded about stepping outside my lit fic home turf.

One of the best things about blogging, as I've said ad nauseam, is the friends I've made. I can go to practically any major city in the US have at least one friend to meet up with if I want to, and I've met lots of bloggers who either have traveled to or already live in my local area, including folks in my own neighborhood. I love talking to fellow readers about books and I've found having a blog is a great gateway to a lot of awesome conversations with smart people. Blogging has strengthened old friendships and helped me make lots of new ones, too.