How Blogging Helped Shaped the Reader I am Today

Once upon a time I read 5-11 books a year. A YEAR. Now, those were the early formative stages of my bookish soul. And consuming such exceedingly shuddersome, infinitesimal amount had more to do with the fact that I wasn’t in love with reading. Yes, there you go. I said it. Once upon a time you wouldn’t catch me holding a book (except, well, textbooks which don’t count anyway) or wonder what a hardback To Kill a Mockingbird doing in the cabinet, on top of my clothes, when there’s already a stack on my bedside table (Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is the first title you’ll spot, shh) or why I left Vanishing Girls and Noggin in my uncle’s office that one afternoon*. No. For 16-year-old Shelumiel reading was an erratic diversion. A pastime. A casual activity.

Until he started blogging.

This isn’t an origin story so I’ll spare you the minutiae of my Tumblr days. But I’m here to remark that back in 2012, I’ve never heard of the term “young adult” or “YA.” And you’re probably thinking, he’s kidding, right? HAHAHAHA. No.

Stumbling upon YA was highly pivotal for me. Because if Harper Lee kindled my love of reading, it was Stephen Chbosky and John Green who made certain I stayed in love. So I become a mostly-YA book blogger and never looked back.

If it weren’t for book blogging, I would have no idea which contemporary novels to include in my radar. I would have a sorry excuse of a list for diverse reading. I wouldn’t pay attention to publishing houses—as we speak, most of my favorites are from HarperCollins and its imprints—and release dates or anticipate upcoming titles. I would be perpetually in the dark where hyped books are concerned. Heck, I wouldn’t even know you can request advance reader copies (ARCs)! And I wouldn’t have an outlet for fanboying (!!!).

Book blogging helped paved the proverbial yellow brick road that leads to fellow passionate bibliophiles, authors and publishing people. And you can argue that blogger exhaustion is real, because it is, but being a part of this wonderful community made me a better reader. So yeah. Presently, I eat up 4-5 books a month and that’s quite a big deal for me.

How did book blogging help shaped the bookworm that you are?

*A home office. I currently live with my aunt and uncle. No, I am not an orphan.

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

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15 thoughts on “How Blogging Helped Shaped the Reader I am Today

  1. Oh, Miel, it’s fantastic to see how far you’ve come! I did think you were playing around with the don’t know what YA means BUT that’s because I’ve been reading since I was 5.

    I’m new. You know that. But so far; it’s helped me find awesome content and awesome people. And if course spread love for authors, books, etc. It just feels good to be able to spread your love of books and talk with people who are, too.

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    1. Thank you, Wesaun! But, um, yeah. We have suck a fantastic, wonderful, amazing community who care about books and the reading life. It was hard to imagine before but, now, I cannot see a day where I wouldn’t be reading or thinking about a book or fictional characters.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read a lot before I started blogging (reading Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and anything by Meg Cabot when I was 14 inspired me to regularly visit my library) so that’s what lead me to blog in the first place because I needed that creative outlet to share my experiences with others (my friends don’t read near as much as I do).

    But since I’ve been blogging, I find I am way more conscientious of what I am reading and when. Before the books I read were whatever my library had in. It isn’t really like that now–though to a degree what I read now is dictated by my library holds. But what books I put on hold are often influenced by the blogosphere. Is there a popular book that everyone seems to be reading and reviewing? If so, I put it on hold if it interests me.

    So between blogging and GoodReads, my TBR list has expanded exponentially. Reading reviews has really helped me eliminate books from my TBR that I would have read and not enjoyed so I can focus on all those awesome books I do love. Whereas before, I was simply judging a book by its cover and synopsis to see if I would like it.

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    1. Oh gosh, most of my friends pre-Blogging Era do not read at all! There are casual readers here and there but only one seriously loves reading; she’s the one who got me started actually. It’s the Twilight Saga. Yeah, we didn’t know of the bigger world then. Like, I’m not saying I regret reading the books coz I thought they were fun at the time, but there were obviously far more interesting and engaging other choices. I digress!

      It’s magical, right? When one book makes you realize you’d want to read more. So yaaay to Ann Brashares and Meg Cabot for you and Lee, Chbosky and Green for me!

      I can totally relate with the “between blogging and Goodreads” part but I’d also want to add Twitter in here. I won’t be able to count, even if I tried, how much of the titles I’ve added on my TBR in the last 3 years I wouldn’t have found on my own. That’s why I really love having people who’s opinion I value recommend me stuff. Because it’s like you have your own algorithm but it’s even more personalized.

      So yeah. I’m glad you found an outlet for your bookish fangirling! Like I did. 🙂

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      1. Haha no shame with the Twilight Saga my friend! I was totally caught up in it too when it first came out. I reread Twilight immediately after finishing it 😛

        But The Perks of Being a Wallflower–that was the first book I can remember laughing out loud to and then cry 2 minutes later. One of my all time favourites!

        I haven’t jumped on the Twitter bandwagon yet–but I’m very close (probably within the next 2 months). I know, I know but it took me 4 years to breakdown and get Facebook for myself. I’m not sure if my TBR list can take the hit haha

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      2. WHUUUT? Sorry, it’s quite unusual for me to hear of a bookworm, who’s also a blogger, not having a Twitter account. But. You do you! 😉

        I reread Breaking Dawn before the adaptation came out. But my best friend read all four books too many times for me to count! She was obsessed.

        And TPOBAW!!! Gods I love that so much as well! It’s the book that made want to sneak in reading time during my break at work or, like, before going to bed. I thought the film was amazing, to boot. Have you seen it?

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      3. LOL my friends totally had a competition to see who could see the first Twilight movie the most so I reserve all Twilight-judgement

        YES I HAVE SEEN THE TPOBAW movie! I saw it as soon as it was in a theatre near me and totally shed some tears! I also own it 😉 Probably one of my all-time favourite book adaptation movies ever!

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  3. Prior to blogging, I was already an avid reader. My mother literally forced me to read at a very early age. But I can definitely say that blogging has shaped me as a reader. I experiment with more genres now and I discovered authors I wouldn’t have noticed in a bookstore!

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    1. YES! 1000 awesome points to your mom, Miggy! Gaaah. If I didn’t join the blogging community I don’t think I would’ve picked up Winger or even stumbled upon Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda on my own. You know me, obviously, so you feel the weight of this observation. Because, like, at the moment, I CANNOT IMAGINE I DAY I WOULD SHUT UP ABOUT WINGER AND SIMON.

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  4. I’ve been a reader practically all my life. The pivotal point which saw the number of books I read per month increase drastically was the day my sister received her library card from our public library when I was 9. There was no apparent loan limit, so there were time I would bring home 30 books. It helped that MG books aren’t all that thick and I was devouring a lot of series. Lol. Sadly, as I grew up, schoo and other commitments took over, so even though I was still reading, I read significantly less. I got back to reading more in my final year of uni but what really sent me off the charts was my discovery of book blogging. Prior to blogging, I would wander among the shelves at the library and pick up whatever looked interesting. Then I would check ratings and reviews on Goodreads to decide if I should borrow them.

    Blogging, specifically, has opened up the world of books so much more for me as I discovered books I hardly even glanced at before. Also, as much as I love contemporary, I’ve come to read a lot of fantasy & sci-fi as well. I did like those genres before blogging but I had no idea what the good titles were, so I wasn’t so invested.

    I think it’s interesting that a lot of bloggers read more after setting up the book blogs compared to before, when technically there should be less time left to read. Lol.

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    1. Haha! Precisely. Like, blogging takes a portion of your day, right? But I guess it’s because we want to keep talking about books that we, however consciously or otherwise, always have something ready to pick up. We want to be always reading.

      So we almost have the same story! I’m so to have befriended you along this journey, Joséphine! 🙂

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  5. I don’t think the amount that I read has really changed since I became a blogger, but blogging has led to me discovering new blogs and new books. For example, I wouldn’t have read The Lunar Chronicles by now, if it wasn’t for a fantasy read-a-thon I participated in – this is now one of my favourite series.

    I’m glad that blogging has expanded your knowledge of books! 🙂

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