I recently took a trip down memory lane and glanced back through the list of books I’ve read since I first started tracking my reading in late 2012. As I skimmed through the titles, something struck me. For the first few years after I began tracking my reading, I remembered something about every book, whether it was the plot, a character I particularly connected with, or a specific memory of reading the book. But as time passed, this happened less and less. And I wondered, how can I remember the books I read several years ago but not those I picked up more recently?
The change didn’t occur overnight. Instead, it happened over the course of a few years of blogging. When I first started out, I posted a review whenever I finished reading a book. I didn’t try to keep to any particular schedule and wound up posting approximately once every other week. Over time, I fell into a groove of reading and reviewing one book a week, which eventually evolved into two books a week. And although I kept up with that pace for quite some time, the way I approached and read books began to change.
In an effort to read all the books that came across my path that I was excited about, I read faster. Not so fast that I couldn’t write a clear review, but enough that once some time passed after finishing, I couldn’t remember much about the book.
I also started reading more books at a time. I’ve always been a fan of having a couple books going at once—maybe a nonfiction for before bed and fiction during the day, or an audiobook and physical copy, or a fast paced read and a slower chapter a day book. While reading two books at a time, I could still retain plenty from both books. But after combining these tactics, I was reading three or four books at a time, and the amount I could recall after the fact dropped significantly.
This certainly wasn’t intentional; I was just so eager to read great books and share them! No one told—or even asked—me to read more. No one said this is the only way to blog about books. But somewhere along the way, I got the idea in my head that to be a book blogger I had to read 100 books a year and constantly be talking about new books. And in doing so, I stopped giving each book the space it needed. Or rather, the space I needed to fully absorb a book.
My reading habits changed again after having a baby. Then I couldn’t remember books for a whole different reason. (Mom brain is a thing!) But at that time, I was forced to slow down and rethink how I would be able to continue book blogging with new reading habits.
In this new season of life, I’m trying to find a balance that will be consistent and sustainable. Reading has and always will be a part of my life, and blogging about books has helped me find a community of like-minded readers that I don’t want to lose. So, in figuring out what book blogging will look like moving forward, I’d love to hear from you! Please share any thoughts you may have on this subject in the comments or, if you’re so inclined, take this short survey about your reading and blog reading preferences.