Lacy Literacy

Book Reviews, Discussions, Listicles, More

A week or so ago I was organizing my bookshelves and picked out my copy of Shadow and Bone. Upon opening it up, I came across something horrifying: I dog eared pages of the book.

I KNOW. Who was I back then? Today, I simply don’t dog ear pages (okay, partial lie. I have been know to do it with school books), and that got me thinking: How have I changed as a reader since becoming apart of the book community?


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Before becoming a blogger, I used to buy books on rare occasions. Unless I wanted to read a book right away, it never really occurred to me to buy books when the library was right there. As of right now, I buy a scary amount of books. I still actively use the library for audiobooks, but the amount of physical books I buy rather than borrow from the library has increased drastically.

My habit of buying so many books is partly because of materialism and partly because of awareness. The materialism of the book community, especially bookstagram, is no secret. In a way, I felt obligated to buy some books and was doing it subconsciously. Did I really want to buy some of those books? Probably not. Did I still do it? Yes. I got caught up in the wonder of everything and didn’t stop to think if I really was going to get around to reading them.

Also, I’m more aware of books being released today. There are a ton of amazing books being released each year. Since I’m so involved in the community, I get to hear about all them which I’m so grateful for. I didn’t know about many LGBTQ+ books before joining the book community, but since then I’ve been able to hear about them and it’s invaluable to be able to know about books that have people like me in them (and then being able to promote them in turn).

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While becoming a college student has greatly impacted my reading frequency, joining the book community probably has more. I have less time now that I blog about books in addition to reading them, but I’m also more conscious with my reading choices.

My time is split between college life and book blogging which means I have to be intentional about the time I spend reading books. Before, I would read whatever book I stumbled upon even if it wasn’t a genre or premise I was that fond of. I read to read. That was not the best choice considering that I 1 stared most of the books that I read, which has left me with an infamously low rating average on Goodreads. Even though book blogging has made me have less time to read, I’m so grateful that it has taught me to value my time more. It prevents me from having to rag on books that weren’t for me in the first place, and I get to read more of the good stuff because I filter out my TBR.

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Thinking about all the genre’s I’ve neglected since starting a blog makes me kind of sad. Besides my penchant for Romance, I’m open to reading most genres. When I started this blog I wanted to focus mainly on Young Adult novels and then Romance. Because of that, I’ve started to read less and less books that aren’t either of those things. It means I read a lot less Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy now because a lot of the time I don’t like spending large amounts of time reading long books, which I won’t ever review on here. I’ve been trying to give myself more leeway with stepping outside of genres. Hopefully, I’ll get back into my mixed genre reading habits.

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Oh bookstagram, how you’ve conditioned me to love the finer things in life.

I did not give a shit about what book edition I owned before joining the book community. Did I buy part hardcovers and part paperbacks for the same series? Yes. Did I buy special editions? What are those. Did I wait until I could find the hardcover to buy over a paperback of a certain book? Literally never.

My hardcover phase was interesting for a couple reasons. It started because of bookstagram. I loved the look of hardcovers. And who doesn’t? They look clean on shelves, and a lot of the time the covers of hardcover books tend to look better designwise.Β  The funny thing is I’ve never actually liked reading hardcovers. I prefer the feel of paperback books. I find them a lot easier to read and hold (my puny hands don’t like hardcovers). Also, they don’t usually take up the same amount of space that hardcovers do. I didn’t really think through why I was doing this until one day I was like “wtf why do I have so many hardcovers”. Sometimes I will still get hardcover books over paperback, but now it doesn’t bother me when there’s no hardcovers.

As for special editions, I recently bought those Waterstone special editions of Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows despite being long off the Cassie C train…… I couldn’t resist. I still need to go through a special edition intervention.

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One of the things I’m most grateful for since joining the online book community is being introduced to indie authors. Most of the books I read where traditionally published. I don’t know if it ever occurred to me to seek out indie books. Even if it did, I don’t think I would’ve been able to navigate finding indie books. There’s a lot out to wade through, and if you don’t know where to start it can be a lot. Plus, I’m a big library person and finding indie books at the library can be difficult.

Without joining book Twitter specifically, I would not read as many indie books as I do. I’ve been introduced to so many amazing books and authors that I seriously doubt I would’ve ever stumbled upon if it wasn’t for other readers promoting them on Twitter. I truly think Indie books tend to be better than traditionally published ones. Like anything, you have to know where to look and there is “the bottom 90%” to get through. However, I’ve had a lot more luck with indie authors, especially in Romance. It’s kind of amazing how much better indie romances can be than traditionally published ones. Most of my favorite romances are indie (or in the cause of Hate to Want You by indie author who is now with a big publisher).


 

And that’s a wrap.

 

How have you changed as a reader since joining the online book community? Or have you not changed at all?

18 thoughts on “How I’ve Changed as a Reader Since Joining the Online Book Community

  1. I can relate to a lot of those changes in reading behavior. I was always really keen on having my books in pristine condition, but now I want specific editions from specific countries. I care a lot more about what my friends think about books and if something gets hyped too much, I might not even touch it. It’s strange how it all influences us. Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      Thanks! 😊

      I love getting foreign editions! I travel quite a bit so I’ll get foreign editions if I don’t already have the book (and sometimes I wait to buy certain books because I like the intl. edition more). The only exceptions are for my favorite series (HDM and Mistborn) which I have serveral foreign editions of πŸ˜‚.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A confession: It feels like I’ve been buying more books rather than reading them. Now, I sell my books so I could buy more because I’m not rich. The money I get from selling books (that weren’t exactly my favorite) are now reserved for interesting new releases. I’m also not a popular book blogger and my library doesn’t stock up on popular books either, so selling books is my way of getting new releases. It’s kind of like a vicious cycle. πŸ™ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      Oh, no! I hope you can break the cycle πŸ˜…. The temptation of new books can be hard to resist. I feel you.

      Like

  3. I think we have all changed after we became a part of the community. I know my book buying has changed for the very same reason you mentioned. I’m more aware of what’s available, I’m more exposed to new releases and I have so many more recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      For sure.

      A lot of people only talk about how they buy more books to “fit in” when a lot of it seems to just be the fact that we just KNOW about more books.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve thought about the β€œfitting in” aspect lot actually. I know that some people probably do buy books just because others are reading them. Probably more than I know. But when I think back to before I found blogging and BookTube – plainly put, I didn’t know what to buy! I didn’t know what people thought and I was always taking chances on a synopsis that sounded mildly intriguing. Most of the time I was disappointed and it didn’t suit my tastes and interests.
        There are so many sides to this discussion!

        Like

      2. lacyliteracy says:

        I ran into that problem a lot too! I read SO MANY bad books from the library just because it was what I could get my hands on πŸ˜‚. At least when I buy a ton of books now I know I’ll end up liking them…. if I ever get around to them.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. πŸ˜‚ finding the time to read ALL THE BOOKS is just so hard!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. CattleCapers says:

    I’ve found the library a great resource for discovering new authors. On occasion I’ve loved a book so much I’ve purchased it so that I can reread it whenever I want. Or sometimes an author I love has a series and I have to purchase the novels that the library doesn’t have, because, oddly, they’ll carry only part of a series and not every book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      I love the library! I use it for audiobooks all the time. I have multiple library cards so I don’t have to worry if one of them doesn’t have a certain book in the series as the other one usually will πŸ˜„.

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  5. I love how we all end up reading *less* once we become book bloggers lol. But it does make sense since we now have to spend some of our time blogging. I also have narrowed my focus to certain genres, although for me it wasn’t specifically because of the blog. It was just me eventually figuring out what I like. And funny enough, indie books are actually the main reason I ended up *starting* my blog. I kinda stumbled onto them and realized they were amazing but not getting much attention, and I wanted to fix that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      Great! That’s such a good reason to start blogging.
      Indie books can end up flying under the raydar, which is so sad when there are amazing ones out there 😭.

      Like

  6. You know, I neglect a lot of genres I used to read a lot too. I read far more YA and far less romance, because romance doesn’t really feature on my blog. I’m going to change that though, I miss them.
    Cora ❀ http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    Like

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      Yes! I hope you get back into reading those categories 😊.

      Like

  7. Katie says:

    I feel you on getting stuck with reading only certain genres. I try and make a conscious effort to read widely, but I notice that some genres get more attention on my blog. I think I subconsciously (or maybe a little consciously) like that and then keep reading those genres intead of the other books I like. I’ve also noticed that I’ll feel a bit embarrassed to review a book that’s been out for ages, but I haven’t had a chance to read until now. I feel like I always need to be reading and talking about new books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      Yeah, I definitely get that. Reviewing backlist books can be hard. I usually only review them if I notice that I don’t see many other people reading them. For really popular backlist books, I don’t bother reviewing them because I think it’s a waste of my time when a bunch of people already have opinions on it.

      Like

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