Does Blogging Change The Way You Read?
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
I started thinking about this the other night as I was trying to write a review of London Belongs To Me. I was struggling a bit and I wasn't sure why. After all, it was a book I had enjoyed. I should be able to express that in a brief review. But still, I struggled. All I could think to write was a bit vague, as if I was saying "I liked it, you might like it, read it." Not really an earth shaking review.
Then I realized, over the last few months I have developed two different ways of reading. I read to blog and I read to read. That is not to say that I read things only because they will look good on the blog. I read what I want because I want to read it. However, sometimes when I read I do so with the idea of having to talk about it afterward and sometimes I just read for the sake of reading. (Is anyone else feeling that the word "read" is losing all meaning after that paragraph?)
When I read with blogging in mind I do so with post it notes by my side. When I like a paragraph or sentence or thought I stick a post it note on it. That way when I want to write a review I can easily find the quotes I want to use. The problem comes when I don't decide that I want to write about a book until I am all done with it. Then there are no post it notes and I am left with the feeling that I want to start a conversation but don't know what to say. Sometimes a book is thought provoking and it is easy to know what to say because you can't get it out of your head. Sometimes though, you just want to say "I like it, you might like it, read it" just with more detail. Maybe I should read all books with post it notes by my side?
Also, a lot of books are read on my Kindle and you can't use post it notes with a Kindle. I know you can highlight things but I have always used that to save quotes that mean something to me. I am struggling a bit with adding quotes, not because they mean something to me but because they will be needed for a review. Maybe I need a notebook?
I am probably overthinking this. I overthink things quite frequently, but how do you balance the need to keep the analytical side of your brain awake with the need to just get lost in the book? Do you learn to do both? Reading has always been my escape and I don't want to lose that but I enjoy talking about books and that means I need to be specific sometimes. When I am talking in person about a book it doesn't matter if I have the quote exactly right but it sure matters when I am writing.
I will figure it out in time. I will find a process that works for me. In the meantime, I am sure I will spend a lot more time staring at a blank screen and thinking "I like it, they might like it too, they should read it."