Musing Mondays #13: Reading before blogging vs. now

Posted April 28, 2014 in Discussion, Musing Mondays / 0 Comments

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Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
My Musings:
Here’s a guest post I did for a friend’s blog.
 
Reading: Before blogging vs. Now
   Reading for me has changed a lot since I became a blogger. Before, reading was more a ‘just for fun’ thing, a ‘when you have time’ thing. Now I spend almost all of my free time reading or blogging about books. It’s become my life.
My bookshelf: I started my library when I was very young. I kept all the books I received because I liked to re-read them. I still do. I’ve given away a lot of those, but I had the entire Magic Tree House series (up until the first Merlin Mission), a few Junie B. Jones, and a bunch of others. Gradually my collection expanded along with my horizons and soon I had more variety on my shelf. I had a lot of Middle Grade books and a few young adult. Now I have more young adult and adult, but still a good deal of my books are MG. It’s hard to give them up. Most of them are still really good. Since childhood I’ve added a bookshelf and now my collection probably has around 400 books (I counted the books on a randomly picked shelf- 40- and multiplied it by the number of shelves). It doesn’t actually take up that much space. But I’m still looking forward to when I have my own house so I can have an actual library room.
As for how it’s changed, aside from growing larger, I’ve also organized it by genre, author, and series, in that order. It is in no way shape or form alphabetized. That would be too painful and unnecessary. It’s easy enough to find things already. A huge addition was an entire shelf devoted to ARCs. I don’t read them as quickly as I request them, so they build up, and soon I realized I had to have a designated space for them. Piles on my desk just wouldn’t work. Thus the ARC shelf was born. (It’s in chronological order of when I received them so I can start with the oldest.)
Actual reading: No longer is reading just a casual activity. For me it is a job now, a job that I LOVE doing. (Seriously, I’m planning to be an editor so I can just do this all day.) I go into each book thinking, I am going to analyze the HECK out of this thing. I am going to get the MOST I can out of it so I can write a SUPER AWESOME AND DETAILED review that helps a lot of people. I am going to FIND THE DEPTH that I may not have noticed before whether it actually exists or not. The author was thinking something when they wrote this. I am going to discover what it is and FIND THE MEANING. I won’t let anything slip by unnoticed. I will find connections. I will live and breathe this book. And that’s exactly what I do, to the best of my ability. I think about every single aspect of the book: plot, characters, writing, ending, etc.
Life: My life is pretty much centered around books now, when I’m not being social or doing work. I’m constantly thinking about books. It’s actually pretty easy to get gifts for me now because before, I used to always want to buy everything on my own so I can get the best deal on it (I do that now with books) so getting gifts for me was hard. But now everyone knows all I want is books and I will very likely have a 7-page list of books I’d like on hand for you. (True story. The 7-page list was of books that would complete the series’ I already have parts of on my bookshelf. I have a number of completed series’ now, whether I’ve read them all or not, but I am far from finished with the list.)
Shopping: One word. Books. Another word. Online. I save most of my weekly paycheck, but if I want to buy anything, there is a 95% chance it will be books. I always hunt for the best deals on Amazon, eBay, AbeBooks, and other online retailers. You can get books pretty cheaply if you know where to go. The only problem I have now is shelf space. Before I was a blogger, it was less of a big deal. I wouldn’t buy books so frivolously. I would read the ones I had on my shelves and get new ones on holidays, and that was pretty much it.
   So my life has changed a good deal since I became a blogger, and for that I am glad. I didn’t appreciate books as much as I do now. They are so important.
Writing
   I know a lot of you out there may be writers. Readers and writers, maybe, or just plain writers. Maybe even readers and bloggers and writers. Goodness you guys must be busy. But I guess that’s kind of what I am.
   I’m mostly a writer in that I write reviews. But I started off doing more ‘for fun’ writing than I did reading. I’ve been keeping a journal for years, that hasn’t changed. But I had a lot more short stories when I was younger. Now I have poems and the beginnings of novels, but I work on them considerably less often. I devote more time to reading and writing reviews and posts.
   However, I do have a writing notebook that I carry around all the time. I’ve got sections for: reviews, journal, essays (for fun), short stories/poems, ideas/extras, letters, and lists. The journal section is by far the biggest. (And that’s not all of it. I have a journal notebook, a journal on my computer, and the one in this notebook that I write on loose-leaf paper. I prefer writing on loose-leaf paper instead of in a bound notebook because you can shuffle the pages around as you see fit.
   Do I prefer handwriting or typing? That’s a good question. I like both. Both have advantages. It’s easier to carry around a paper journal, but when typing, I can type fast enough to keep up with my thoughts and consequentially end up writing more than I would on paper. On paper, it’s much slower and kind of a pain to keep my writing neat when I’ve got good ideas flowing. But there’s something about putting a pencil to paper that makes it more real, genuine, heartfelt. A computer is cold and unfeeling. But it’s a bit more convenient, speedwise. I do write some reviews in my notebook to later type up, though. I always end up adding more on the computer, but it’s good to get the main points down on paper.
So what about you? Are you a book blogger or a reader? Have you changed in your bookish ways at all? And what about writing?  Handwriting or typing? Let me know in the comments!
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