It’s Sunday, and time for the final installment in The Reading Series. This is when I write to think more deeply about books, why we read, and why literature is so important in our lives. This collection of discussion posts aims to explore different ways we read, what effect they have on us, and why. Today’s topic is…
Reading for Pleasure as a Blogger
Reading is a very important part of my life, and I do it for so many different reasons. Throughout The Reading Series, I have discussed different ways people read, and have experienced them all myself in some way, but reading for pleasure is something that I feel is more widely done than any of the others I have talked about. Those who enjoy reading don’t usually mind acdemic reading, whether fiction or non fiction, but they also enjoy reading as a hobby, as one might play video games, watch TV, or do some knitting. There are so many ways that reading can be enjoyable, and my main reason for being so infatuated with literature is escapism, and the depth that stories can go into, that steal a part of my mind throughout the day, even when I’m not reading. It’s not just the reading that I find pleasurable, although it is the biggest part of it, but being surrounded by books in their physical form, the scent of their pages, the colours of their spines, and the designs on the cover can provide hours of entertainment for me. I always feel at ease when I am surrounded by books, and the more books there are, the better. Admit it, I’m not the only one who stares at their bookshelf after it’s been reorganised, or a new book has been added to the ever-growing collection! Bookstores feel like a safe haven if I ever need to go out and get lost in a different world, and the bigger the bookstore, the better.
A friend recently pointed out to me that the time I spend reading can be sometimes be imperative for running a book blog, and my desire to do this successfully. It is a major part of the work I do for my blog, even though I had never considered it work until this was made clear to me. After my blogging hiatus, when I had taken some time out to catch up on personal reading, it dawned on me how much I wanted to read, and how many books on my shelf I still hadn’t read. So when I came back to blogging, I out a not up on my review request page, letting authors and publishers know I was no longer accepting books in exchange for reviews. In a sense, I was having too much fun reading books from my personal TBR. I have found there is a major difference between reading for pleasure and reading for my blog. When I read from my TBR, and find myself immersed in the story, it’s a lot easier to write a good review. Similarly with books I don’t enjoy as much, I find it easier to write about what I didn’t like. When I was reading books that were sent to me, I felt less connected to them, because I was reading them with the constant thought that I had to review it after. I therefore found that I wasn’t enjoying the story as much.
Even now, when I’m only reading books from my personal TBR, I have seen a change in how I read. I always have an active mind, thinking about what I might write in a review, but I find this a good thing, and makes me more of an active reading, being able to engage in the story. Most of the time, this makes it easier to write a review, because I have so much to say. My next step is keeping tabs on what I think, writing post it notes as I go, because otherwise I just forget! When it comes to actually writing the review, it can sometimes be a laborious task, but that’s when I know I’ve enjoyed the books, and I’ve got so much to say, I just want to get it all down on!
So overall, yes, reading a book when you know you have to review it after can take away from the pleasure of reading, but I find it can sometimes enhance the reading experience as well, making me think more deeply about the writing and the story.
What do you think? Do you sometimes find reading books a chore when you know you have to review them? Do you find it takes the pleasure out of reading sometimes, or puts more excitement into the reading experience? Let me know your opinions on this post in the comments!
Until next time…