By: Celine | February 14, 2014 | (23) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a discussion post of all things bookish.

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Hey guys! Today it’s Celine, because Mel is at a school camp and I love doing discussion posts, even though I suck at coming up with topics. Recently I’ve been thinking about how much my reading habits have changed, so I decided to discuss this with all of you! I do find that reviewing and blogging have changed the way I read quite a lot.

To be honest: before I was a reviewer/blogger, I was not a critical reader at all. My only demands of a book were a) that it wasn’t too boring, b) that it wasn’t too confusing, and c) that it wasn’t too ridiculous. I didn’t mind instant love and bland characters and the writing style at all, simply because I’d never really thought about it. I just read, and that was enough for me. Things started changing when I got into reading in English. I discovered Goodreads and I discovered reviewing. That’s when I really started to think about things. That’s when I started to read critically.

Since I first started blogging, I’ve become a lot more nitpicky for sure. I’m most definitely bothered by an underdeveloped romance when I wasn’t before. I really dislike it when female characters are weak and only there to look pretty. I’ve grown absolutely sick of unnecessary love triangles, and stalkers and abusive males can leave sooner rather than later. There are so many things that can bother or annoy me, when they didn’t before. With reading critically comes a lot of disappointment. But am I sorry that I discovered reviewing and blogging and became far less easier to please?

No. Not at all. Because while I dislike a lot more books now than I would have done back then, I can enjoy the good ones more. Before, I would like nearly everything, but apart from the Harry Potter books, there were no books that I loved so much that I wouldn’t shut up about them. There were no books that made me smile just thinking about them. There were no books that really made me marvel at the skills the author displayed. Nothing truly set my heart on fire.

Because there’s this other side of critical reading: the wonder, and the appreciation, and the amazement. Because knowing that there is so much you dislike, that it’s so difficult to write a book that has it all, means that loving a book feels that much better. I now read books that make me do a silly little happy dance because they’re so unbelievably perfect. I can lay awake at night thinking about that one perfect scene (and it’s so much better than sleeping). Knowing that there is so much that can go wrong and still finding a book that feels perfect in every way? There’s nothing that feels better than that to me. There’s nothing better than finishing something and screaming at the first person you see because you need to share this feeling with someone. There’s nothing better than looking at your shelves and reliving every story, remembering everything it made you feel, and feeling it again. That’s why I would never want to go back to the days before. Blogging changed the way I read, and I’m so grateful for it.

Has blogging or reviewing changed the way you read? Would you like to go back to the way you read before?

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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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23 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (23): How Blogging Changed My Reading Habits

  1. I certainly think blogging changed my reading habits in a certain way. I’m more aware of all the new books and I can easier describe what I like/dislike. I certainly don’t have to go back to the way I read before, because I enjoy books just as much as I did 🙂
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 233. Amalie Howard – The almost girl.My Profile

  2. Siiri says:

    “To be honest: before I was a reviewer/blogger, I was not a critical reader at all.” LOL YES! This is sooooo me! I kind of miss that, because I want to love all my books and put down the ones that aren’t interesting, but who would want to read my only 4 and 5 star reviews and take me seriously at that? 🙁 “I’ve grown absolutely sick of unnecessary love triangles, and stalkers and abusive males can leave sooner rather than later.” Yes to all of this! I agree with setting the heart on fire (which is a great metaphor heh). Now, if I really adore a book, I will talk and talk and talk about it and just non-stop fangirl over everything. There are two sides to every story and I completely agree with all of what you said. I sometimes go and re-read books that I adore and some of them, I have come to realize, don’t really make me feel all the feels anymore so it really depends on a lot of things whether or not I will re-read books. Anyhow, this was such a great discussion, Celine! I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day 🙂
    Siiri recently posted…3 in 1: On Valentine’s Day, Estonian Sweets and a Celebration GiveawayMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yeah, from time to time I really do miss that ability to love each and every book! It also made book buying a lot easier, haha. (I only want to have books on my shelves that are 4 stars or higher. I don’t even know when I decided that, but that’s just the way it is now, haha.)

      And YES, that is the exact same problem I have with re-reading! There are some books that I used to LOVE and now I’m just very ‘meh’ about them. It’s always a sad thing when that happens 🙁 And thank you, you too!

  3. Aimee says:

    Same thing here, Celine. I used to just love any book as long as it had romance, not minding any plot holes or crappy character development. And of course, after reading a lot more and discovering that some books could suck, I started to notice all the flaws in books. The good thing about this is it really makes me appreciate the really good 4 or 5 star reads, because they’re a bit rare for me now. Great post, Celine!
    Aimee recently posted…Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. JensenMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yup! And I can’t turn it off anymore either, that critical way of reading (or watching, for that matter. Suddenly I’ve found a lot of insta-love in movies, haha.). But the ones that I enjoy so much that I give them 4 or 5 stars are that much more special now <3

  4. Omg yes I totally agree! I actually wrote a discussion post about this and I literally loved EVERYTHING. Like I could pick up a book and was pretty much like, “Yep this one’s a definitely read I love this one!!!!!!!!11111!!111!!” and then the trend would continue over and over again. I didn’t really understand the difference between good and bad everything just seemed good to me. I’m really glad I started blogging though because now I can tell the difference, but it’s definitely a curse. I tried to read a book the other day for me, without reviewing it and just to enjoy it, and it was SO annoying because I kept pointing out this ridiculous stuff that kept making me so angry when all I really wanted to do was enjoy the book and stop with the technical stuff. Fantastic post, Celine! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler Tour StopMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      YES that is exactly how I was! I basically rated everything 4 or 5 stars, haha. I agree with you about the curse thing – it’s impossible to turn my brain off now. I can’t just say to myself, “this one’s just for fun” because now I will always be able to see the flaws.
      Thank you so much <3

  5. Candace says:

    I think I’m pretty much the same as you. I use to just grab books from the library randomly and I wasn’t terribly picky about them. I went through a period where I read Dean Koontz and there’s NO WAY I could suffer through one of those books these days. Many of them are just plain silly and ridiculous. I’m definitely more particular about how a story plays out now. I guess all the years of picking them apart now have made it pretty automatic.
    Candace recently posted…Fire & Ice: Rosamund Hodge Guest Post + GiveawayMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Haha, my library system really consisted of “which ones have the prettiest covers?” I really picked books that way – I didn’t even read the synopsis half the time. I have to admit, covers are still important to me, but not THE most important thign anymore. But’s a whole other discussion 😛

      And yes, I had the same thing with the House of Night series. I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I LOVED that series. I recently tried to read the newest book because I want to know how the friggin story ends, but I just couldn’t do it. It was absolutely horrible, haha.

  6. I can so see your point Celine! Reviewing has changed me too, suddenly, especially this year, I’ve noticed that books I would have rated a 5 stars to, books that I loved, aren’t quite perfect enough, and they don’t quite make it. Other books have features in them that I would never have been bothered about previously, and other books that I would previously have not minded are now a little disappointing. It’s strange how much looking really powerfully and critically at a book can change your feelings towards other books. This is a fantastic post Celine, you really know how to pick a good topic girl! 😀
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Five Friday Favourites #3 – Favourite CouplesMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      It is pretty strange how much of an impact it can have! There are a lot of books that just don’t make the cut anymore, but the ones that do feel that much better <3 It's quite funny actually how much can change in such a short period of time - I feel like it took no time at all to make that switch from the person who loved everything to a critical reader!

      Thank you so much <33

  7. This is a fantastic topic, Celine! I would say that my reading habits did change after becoming a book reviewer. I don’t think I’d want to go back to my old habits. I love finding new book bloggy friends and sharing my thoughts with them. It also allowed me to discover new books to read, which is always amazing!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Book Review 127 : The Red Circle by Brandon Webb, John David MannMy Profile

  8. Definitely! I think ever since I started blogging, I’ve started reading more and more (although my Kindle is also one of the factors… the fact I can bring so many books on the go made me more motivated to read them all!). Just like you, I’ve started becoming more critical and I’m now able to single out stuff that I didn’t use to mind before. I remember loving James Patterson’s mystery books just… I don’t know, because? But now I look at them and I wonder what made me like them so much when many had such shoddy and big plotholes. Hahaha! I don’t want to go back to my reading habits before because that meant reading mindlessly, like a zombie, and I don’t like that. I want to be able to think for myself and to justify my reasons for liking and disliking a book.

    Great discussion post! Happy Valentine’s!
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…V-Day Special: Letters to our ValentinesMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Haha, that is exactly how I look back on some books. Like “…” I just have no idea why they appealed to me that much O.o

      I also totally agree with you! Although it’s a pain sometimes, reading and actually thinking about what I’m reading feels much better than just reading. Unfortunately it also means that I can’t like every book anymore, but if that’s the price I’ll have to pay then I gladly will.

      Thank you, and you too!

  9. Blogging has definitely changed my reading habits. I read a lot more now, and I’m aware of so many more books because of other book bloggers. I was a huge reader even before, but now there are piles in my room just waiting to be read. Great post, it made me think 🙂
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…Write Life Saturdays: Top Ten Ways To Find InspirationMy Profile

  10. What a lovely thoughtful post Celine! Blogging has definitely changed the way I enjoy books as well. Before I would just rely on reviews on Goodreads or Amazon to choose the books I read, and when I realised a highly rated book was rubbish or not up my alley I would get really annoyed. Now I have bloggers that I trust and can rely on for having the same taste as me. I love that Blogging now makes you really passionate about reading and finding that elusive book that makes you want to scream in delight is awesome!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Fault in Our Stars by John Green Review: Love is undyingMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Thank you! And yes, that definitely changed for me as well. Before I just picked books on cover and synopsis – I never even looked at ratings. Now I have some trusted friends though, and they have helped me avoid horrible books and find the good ones!

  11. Book Nerd says:

    What a thought-provoking post! Now, that I have started blogging, I am able to dig deep in a book and find its genuine moral or theme. It has improved my reading and even my personality so much because I have started to learn lessons <3
    Book Nerd recently posted…Mr. Moonie….. (THE MOON)My Profile

  12. Tanja says:

    Celine I totally agree with you. Before I started blogging first I have read anything with nice enough cover from the library and I didn’t mind insta-love, predictable stories and etc. Now I avoid them as much as I can. But then again without Goodreads it would take me longer to discover YA and probably much longer to get courage to read in English 🙂 I’m really grateful for blogging. Great post! 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…ARC Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. JensenMy Profile

  13. Well, I do enjoy most of the books I have read so far. In fact, I try my best not to rate a book less than 3. But still, there are some books that I don’t have choice but to rate 1 or 2.

    I can’t say that it was blogging that change my view on each book. The thing is, most of the books I have been reading nowadays are almost the same. Same vampire stories, zombie apocalypse, star crossed lovers, etc. And the only thing that will differentiate them is the execution of the story or some “wow” factors.

    “there were no books that I loved so much that I wouldn’t shut up about them.” – this is exactly how I felt with Harry Potter too. My boyfriend teases me a lot that I’m too Potterhead and guess what, I’m proud to be! I agree with you too. I can’t think of a book right now that I will say has almost the same level with my love with the Harry Potter series.
    NocturnalReader recently posted…GravityMy Profile

  14. I definitely prefer the way I read now. I read a lot of great books when I was younger (before I reviewed), but I like finding different books through reviewing. I think I’ve branched out more and found new books/authors that I might not have tried in the past.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Review: The Lover’s Dictionary by David LevithanMy Profile

  15. I can relate to a lot of this! I don’t think I was always easier to please before I started reviewing books, but I definitely paid less attention to WHY books wouldn’t work for me. Becoming a blogger certainly got me thinking about the books I read in a different way, and it’s nice to be able to reflect and recognise all the technical reasons now. I am probably slightly more nitpicky myself too, but that’s largely because I read so much more now than I did before. And you’re right, it is easier to appreciate the stories that get everything RIGHT now. 🙂

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