Changes in My Reading Life

by - November 19, 2019

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I've been a bookworm ever since I learned how to read. But thanks to the book blogger community, I've learned to broaden my bookish horizons in just one year. Here are some of the biggest changes in my reading life

1. I started reading and loving YA

Would you believe that I only started enjoying YA in my twenties? Sure, I read The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner in high school, and I loved them, but that was the extent of my YA experience. I tried John Green. Hated his books. For the longest time, I was very snooty about it too (I might write a blog post about this someday).

But then some online friends recced me YA novels (enemies to lovers ones, specifically) and from there... I fell in love. YA got me out of a four year college-induced reading slump. It made me love fantasy. It gave me faith in books again. It gave me badass female protagonists, believable romances, and a new appreciation for other genres. YA got my head out of my ass, and now it's the majority of what I read.

This is the biggest and the best change!

2. I started to enjoy fantasy

For the longest time, Neil Gaiman was the only fantasy writer I could read. Sure, I loved magical realism writers like Haruki Murakami or Jorge Luis Borges, but that's not stereotypical genre fantasy. I couldn't get into the complexities of Tolkien or George R.R. Martin. I was tired of the usual male protagonist goes on a quest, defeats the evil wizard, and gets the girl who's obviously just there as a love interest. 

And then I discovered A Court of Thorns of Roses. I read the entire trilogy in... 2 weeks? Sarah J Maas made me love high fantasy. She made me realize I wanted to read and write high fantasy. Listen, she changed my perspective on an entire genre. It also helped me realize that I prefer romantic fantasy, because the romance is what pulled me into reading ACOTAR in the first place. But now... I can read all the complex high fantasies just fine! I just needed a gateway that reminded me: yes, there is a lot of fantasy out there that is not male-centric, that caters to me, and that is accessible. Sometimes you just need that tiny reminder.

For that, I am so grateful.

3. I can actually finish series now

WARNING: this number will get name drops. But again: it's just my opinion!

I am so bad at finishing book series even if I adored the first book. In a lot of cases, I feel like the continuation is unnecessary (A Curse So Dark and Lonely or Give the Dark My Love), or maybe the plot gets boring (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), or the characters change in a way that I no longer like (Burn for Burn).

I can count the number of book series I've finished in my life before 2019 on one hand:
  • Harry Potter
  • The Maze Runner
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
That's... it. Seriously. But here are the series I finished in 2019:
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses
  • Charlotte Holmes
  • The Song of the Lioness Quartet (aka the Alanna books)
(The Charlotte Holmes series is one of my absolute favorites of all time)

And the ones that I haven't finished yet, but am planning to read the final book soon:
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper (tbh, I am not ready to let go of this series yet. IT'S SO GOOD)
  • The Winternight Trilogy
  • We Hunt the Flame (it's a duology; the final book comes out next year)
(The only reason why I haven't finished this series yet is because I'm not ready to let go of Audrey Rose and Thomas ;___;)

I cannot count how many series I haven't finished (I blame the fact that every SFF book seems to be a series nowadays. Standalones are my true love), but I'm getting better at reading them!

4. I support the publishing industry more

There are so many ways to get books. Brand new from the bookstore. Secondhand from a used bookstore. E-books on Amazon. And... as an aspiring author, I want to actively and smartly support the publishing industry. It's more painful on my wallet, but money speaks. It's unfair to expect quality and not show your support. Now I:
  • Prioritize buying books brand new from my local brick-and-mortar bookstore. I only buy secondhand if the book is old, obscure, or I already have copies of the author's other books. I want my money to go to the author directly!! And if you can't afford a brand new book, then please use your library if you can. Libraries are also essential to supporting authors!
  • Avoiding Amazon if I can. I only use it to buy e-books and indies. The contemporary publishing landscape is... a far cry from the landscape even ten or twenty years ago. Monopolies are forming. It's scary how much power certain companies have. Barnes & Noble is pretty much the biggest US chain bookstore left standing. Amazon acts like the rules don't apply to them. Very recently, Amazon broke an embargo and sold Margaret Atwood's latest book The Testaments a week early. This affects smaller stores whose shipment hadn't even arrived. And while a smaller store would be punished for doing this, publishers can't afford to punish Amazon. Don't even get me started on Amazon's terrible treatment of employees... and all the other shady things they do.
  • Actively spreading the word about books I like. Now I actively tweet about books and rate them on Goodreads. Because I've got a niche following, I know that my community likes the tropes that I like too. So many of my friends and followers have admitted to picking up books that I recommended on Twitter and it makes me so happy! These authors deserve the love. If you aren't spreading the word about their books... then who else will?

These are the biggest changes in my reading life. How about you? Do we have anything in common? What changes have you noticed about yourself?

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  1. Spreading the word about books you liked is such an important thing to do.

    My TTT.

  2. I think one of the things I've loved most about joining the book community is spreading the book love and finding others who also loved the same books as me (especially if they're lesser known books)! Great list :)

    My TTT post

    1. Absolutely!! I have so few bookworm friends IRL with the exact same taste, so the online bookish community was a real lifesaver :)

  3. I couldn't agree more about spreading the love for books, especially the ones you enjoyed. That's what I try to do as a book blogger, reviewer, and author.

    1. You're doing good!! Thanks for spreading the love <3

  4. That's really cool about how blogging has changed your reading taste. It's great to hear it got you into YA and fantasy! Especially good to hear it helps you finish series :D