#BookChat [2] | Reading Habits & Bookish Quirks: Before and After Blogging

#BookChat is a feature on my blog where I make discussion posts on anything book-related. So, let’s chat!

As book lovers, we all have our own little reading habits and bookish quirks.  These habits may have started in childhood and stayed with us as we’ve grown. Or maybe they’re brand new habits that you’ve recently just discovered. Once I got into book blogging, I’ve noticed how much I’ve changed as a reader and unearthed some bookish quirks I’ve either attained or realized I’ve always had.

Before Blogging:

  • I was an extremely picky reader. As a child, I was very selective of my books. At this age, big books (like the Harry Potter series) intimidated me thus I was more prone to read slimmer books. I didn’t read much as a kid because many of the books I picked up failed to interest me. The constant disappointment led me to not pick books for pleasure for the rest of my child and teen years.
  • I rarely went into bookstores. I barely read, so why go to bookstores?
  • When in bookstores, I walk straight to the manga section. No one really recommended me books, so I was really lost on where to start reading. A majority of books I’ve tried to read didn’t interest me at all. Because of unfavorable past reading experiences, I found that I really enjoyed reading manga. During my teen years, manga was the only thing I read (with the exception of required school reading).
  • I didn’t care how I handled books. I did try to be careful with my books, but sometimes I still snacked while reading. If I did damage a book I could just shrug it off.
  • I hated reading paperback books where I could easily break the spine. Self-explanatory. I hate cracked spines.

After Blogging:

  • I’m still an extremely picky reader, but I now give books a chance. I’m still selective of what I want to read, but I’ve found that there are books for me.  The online book blogging community is really awesome about sharing books and their opinions on them. A lot of reviews have really helpd me discern what kind of books I want to read. I’m catching up on the years where I didn’t read and now my TBR list is growing exponentially.
  • I walk into used bookstores and thrift shops more often. This has really been a problem for me because my bookshelf is overflowing. But I’ve found the joy of reading, so it’s really hard not to peruse through books.
  • When in bookstores, I browse more sections. I still go straight to the manga section, but I also go into the young adult section, the mystery section and foreign language section. This goes to show how I’ve broaden my reading horizon.
  • I’m more careful with how I handle my books. I don’t snack while I read. No dog ears or writing on pages. At home, I read hardcover books with the dust jacket on. When traveling with a book, I take the dust jacket off (for hardcovers) and keep the books in my laptop case before putting it in my bag (reason: I’m very careless with my bag and books have been damaged while inside.)
  • I still hate breaking the spine on books. Some things never change.

What about you? Have you noticed any reading habits and bookish quirks after you started blogging? What kind of habits or quirks do you have?

Want to read more book-related discussions? Check out Let’s Discuss!

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24 thoughts on “#BookChat [2] | Reading Habits & Bookish Quirks: Before and After Blogging

  1. I have become a little less picky on my reading. While I still stick to YA fantasy/dystopia/sci-fi for the most part, I am more open to reading a contemporary or fairytale retelling or something along those lines. Doesn’t happen often, but moreso than they would if I weren’t blogging!

    And yes! I used to dog ear my pages all the time. It’s only within the last two-three months that I’ve finally started using bookmarks. I blame all the bad looks I got from the blogosphere 😉

    • I think being less picky and being open to more books is a good trait to have. Being selective could also mean missing out on good books, so I’m trying to change that. It’s interesting how blogging can make you open to more genres 🙂

      Before I wouldn’t mind dog ears, but now I use anything as a bookmark (old receipts, post-its, etc.) Haha, I think the blogosphere can be divided into two sections: those who want pristine pages and those who can mess with their pages.

  2. Love this post! It’s so interesting to see how we change as readers, once we start blogging. I think I’ve actually become MORE picky since I started blogging, but that’s probably partially because my TBR list is so long now, I don’t want to inflate it with books I’m only slightly interested in.

    You know what’s weird is that I don’t think I’ve ever broken a spine in a paperback book. Like, I see/hear people talk about this and how they don’t like it, but I can’t really relate. Is that weird? Maybe I’m extra gentle with my books? I dunno…

    • Thanks! I agree it’s interesting how we change as readers. As time goes by, I think my habits will change the more I blog. Also, my TBR list is getting ridiculously long and shelves have gone from barely any books to overflowing. Not quite sure if this is a problem or not?

      I think you’re just one of the lucky people then 😀 When I buy paperbacks, I’m very wary on the size they’ve been published in. If I feel like I need to break the spine to read comfortably, I’d prefer not to get it.

  3. I always snack when I read. Especially if it’s a high action book, I always need to be chewing on something so that I don’t die of the awesomeness (this is the same with scary or suspenseful movies). I know, super strange. But I love waking up in the morning, making breakfast, and then sitting down to eat it with a good book.

    • That’s interesting! I do enjoy eating popcorn while watching movies. If I’m reading at the table, water and tea is the only thing I’ll have with me (got to make sure I won’t get greasy fingers or crumbs).

  4. It’s weird, but I don’t think my habits for reading have changed much since entering the blogging world. I’m still super careful with my books (for the most part), I still read YA and Adult contemporaries and historical fiction, and I still will happily spend hours in a bookstore. I can’t even say I’ve read more while blogging because my life and the time I’m given each day to read has been about the same.
    It’s funny to see everyone else’s changes though. I feel like I’m missing out or something.

    • I think I’ve changed a lot because I wasn’t an avid reader before blogging. This has steadily changed when I found out that the book blogging community can be really nice about sharing their love for books and stories. I don’t think you missing out on anything, there’s nothing wrong with having consistent reading habits 🙂

  5. I’ve definitely become less of a picky reader thanks to the blogging community! They really help you steer in the right direction and I too am obsessed with being careful with my books. (I too HATE cracked spines)! But I do admit to snacking while reading but I try to make it safe snacks like grapes. Great post! 🙂

    • That’s too true! Before I found out about the book blogging community, I was so aimless when it came to books. Now I’m finding so many interesting books from all kinds of genres. Ugh, cracked spines are the worst! Also, I found that I can be pretty careless when eating, so I’m not taking any chances with my books.

  6. 1. Picky reader- Yes. I was once like this but after blogging and discovering NG, Edelweiss and what GR has to offer, I felt that I need to come out of my world of pickiness and explore all those other books.

    2. Bookstores- Around 13ish, bookstores have been a favorite hang out of mine. But instead of buying those thick books, I go to the Romance Short Stories section and buy me some Tagalog Pocket books. xD

    3. Book handling- There’s no way that you’re gonna tear, mark or fold any pages of my beloved books. I even spend money to buy plastic covers to prettify them. Hahaha.

    4. Putting a branding stamp in all of my books- Yes. I buy those kiddie stamps and stamp my books with it so if anyone will borrow it, they know that it’s mine.

    5. I have an MS Access database for all my books.

    6. I don’t really like lending my books for fear that it won’t get returned.

    7. I usually torture my younger sister to draw my favorite book scenes. And I then store them in my scrapbook.

    Thoughts and Pens

    • 1. From the response I’m getting, people either are less picky or more pick with their books. But I’m all for open mindedness 🙂

      2. I think at that age, it’s easy just to stick to one particular type of book and never pay attention to other books. Also, omg my mom has some of those Tagalog pocket books hidden somewhere in our shelves, but I can’t read any of it (>_<)

      3. Amen to that! Although I personally wouldn't fuss with plastic covers.

      4. That's such a cool idea! I've never heard anyone doing that. I might steal that idea from you 😉

      5. I don't have too much of an OCD to do that, but it's pretty cool you have an organized system for books.

      6. I don't have to worry about that because no one has ever asked me to lend them my books. 😀

      7. Your sister's pretty nice to draw you stuff like that. I like to draw characters from books myself, even though the quality of my drawings are not to my expectation.

  7. I think I can relate to a lot of these. I was a VERY picky reader before getting into blogging, and the best about now is that I was introduced to all those different genres and writers and writing styles, that my bookshelf has more diversity now. I was also scared of REALLY big books, like GoT for example, but a 500 page book actually looks pretty awesome in my eyes. Especially if it’s hard cover. Which brings me to..

    I freaking LOATHE paperbacks. Sucks that they are the cheaper choice, though.

    • My bookshelf is primarily YA, but I am trying to diversify it more. I’m still pretty intimidated by big books. After watching Les Miserable in theaters I was all,”That was the greatest! Now I gotta read the book!”. I take one look at the size of the book and was all, “NOPE. Ain’t nobody got time for that.” GoT? Forget about it, I’d rather watch the TV series. I’m at awe with people that can read massive books.

      That’s a first for me. No one has ever told me they “LOATHE” paperbacks before. Can I ask why? 🙂

  8. I tried to come up with things that have changed, but the only thing I can think of is: buying more books, haha. But that’s because I have some more money now and when I was younger I always got them for my birthday (and I still get them). I honestly have been in love with books and reading as long as I can remember – and all the things I do or don’t do are the same as when I was younger.

    I love your design 🙂 I’m a new follower!

    • Haha, now that I’m older I buy A LOT more books now too 🙂 That’s really cool that you’ve been in love with books for a long time. I honestly wished I read much more than I did when I was younger.

      Also, thanks for following! 😀

  9. I can relate. Before I started blogging, I was so picky (I still am a little) and it was too hard for me to find books to read that I nearly gave up. It was Richelle Mead’s VA books that saved me ;D And I’m not particularly careful with my books either, even though I try… I like to eat or drink something when I read, which is why I usually use my tablet and not the physical copies (if people knew how many I’ve ruined, they’d lynch me, bookish style : D). As for paperbacks… I’ve always hated them. I’ve always had a love for hardcovers!

    • Same here! It was SO DIFFICULT finding books before blogging. I have not read VA, but I started becoming an avid reader because of Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck. Because of that, I discovered the YA genre and now I’m hooked on reading! As much as I love my hardbacks, using my tablet makes reading so much easier (and I can snack while reading too).

  10. I’m definitely with you on the taking better care of books now! I’ve gotten far more excited about collecting books, displaying books, admiring book covers, and getting signed copies than I was before blogging. I don’t collect rare books or anything. I just like people who visit me to be able to recognize books I’ve read that they like too 🙂

    • Ooh! I should have added book collecting to my list too! Now, I like collecting pretty book covers and physical copies of my favorite books. I’ve never gone to book signings before (the authors I’m interested in never show up near my town (T_T)), but I would love to do that more often. Also, it is pretty awesome when you have people who visit you recognize a book on your shelves. That way you could talk about books for hours with someone 😀

  11. Before blogging, I used to spend an hour or more in a bookstore searching for the perfect book. Now, I know kind of what I want to buy before I get in the store. I think this might have more to do with having a kid now than blogging. If I had my choice, I’d still spend hours in a bookstore/library.

    I used to read primarily horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Now, it’s hard to find good horror (so many good horror books in the 90s!), so I read a lot of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopians.

    I used to dog ear books, but since I started getting signed books, I’ve stopped. I freak out if my kid handles my books. I try to use bookmarks now, since I have a ton, but usually I still end up using receipts, since I always have one handy.

    I still organize my books the same way and I LOVE organizing my books. I’ve tested the ebook waters and I still prefer having the physical book. Nothing makes me sadder than finding out that a book is not available in paperback. I just want to write to the publishers and cry. Why can some scrub who typos their own book name POD, but you can’t? I’d gladly pay $10-15 for books that I enjoyed on ebook to have the physical form.

    I’m still just as bad with buying books, however I’ve become much better since blogging of donating the ones I don’t want. I just donated two signed books to my library because I thought the books were SHIT. Before, I would have kept them. But now, my space is always limited.

    • Those are all interesting changes!

      Blogging had really helped me recognize so many books. I still take my time in bookstores, but I can now zone in on books I really want to read, haha.

      I don’t read much horror (because I’m such a scaredy cat), but I do remember reading some Goosebumps.

      I also use receipts too! I like pretty bookmarks, but a simple receipt or scrap paper is easy to have on hand.

      I honestly prefer ebooks over paperbacks, but I do love looking at how people organize their bookshelves.

      I think donating books is such a good idea! All the books I had as a kid and didn’t read anymore got sold/donated to my local used bookstore.

  12. Haha, I’m such a picky reader. I always was and probably always will be. And I definitely freqent the (online) book stores more since I’ve become a blogger. I used to read manga all the time too! I still do as well as watch anime, but now I read more ya and glbt books. I try to be (more) careful with my books, but well accidents happen…
    I hate cracked spines! But I’m capable of craking/breaking the spines of hardcovers as well so maybe it’d be better if I bought only ebooks…. But that’s not gonna happen, I love (the smell/feel of) real books too much for that.

    • Online book stores! That’s something I forgot to add to my list; my Amazon wishlist is filled with books now, lol. I will forever continue reading manga/watching anime, but I love how I’m more aware the varieties of books I like. Reading more glbt books are definitely on my list of things to do, but I just haven’t been in the mood to read one lately (>_<) Good to know I'm not the only one that hates cracked spines, but I've never actually cracked hardbacks before, haha. I love physical books too, but ebooks have been a nice alternative for me (especially when commuting).

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