Friday, August 23, 2019

Discussion: Before I Was a Blogger


This Week’s Topic: Before I was a blogger...



In the past few weeks, I have seen a lot of post about when people first started blogging or how blogging has changed, and it made me remember my bookish ways before I was a blogger.

  1. I used to spend a lot of time interacting with other readers, NOT bloggers, in online groups. When I started pleasure reading again, I read a lot of my daughter's YA book, but I also read a TON of romances. Let me tell you, romance readers can be quite rabid, and I was able to find many groups, where we would just talk about anything romance related. I still interact with readers, but this was definitely on a different level. 


  2. I entered a LOT of giveaways. I remember one year, I tracked the stuff I won, and I hauled about $1000 in Amazon gift cards (don't tell the taxman), plus books, plus a Kindle Fire, plus swag -- I felt really lucky. I am not sure if it was luck or just that I entered a tremendous number of giveaways. However, it's a very time consuming practice, and I use my time differently now. I sort of miss the rush of the win, but I love being a part of this community. 


  3. I was afraid to comment on blogs. I have always followed a lot of blogs, but, no lie, I thought you had to have a website to comment. I saw the "name", "email", and "website" boxes, and I thought you had to fill in all three. After many, many, MANY months, my daughter told me it was not required, and I would drop a few shy statements, here and there. 


  4. I read recklessly. Back in the day, I had a library card and a Kindle Unlimited subscription. I was all about trying a book and DNFing if it wasn't working for me. I still do take some risks, but they are more calculated now. I find myself thinking of how books will pair together or looking at a calendar and seeing when I will need a book that would be a definite review book. I am pickier, because I only like to feature full reviews for books that rate 4 stars or higher, but I usually do circle back to some of those on-the-fence books via audio. 


  5. I used to turn my nose up at audiobooks. I wondered why anyone would listen to a book, when they could read it, and like most people, thought it would be B-O-R-I-N-G. Now, I consider audiobooks my saving grace. That is where I have unlimited freedom. I will listen to anything my little heart desires. I will pick that book, which sounds good, but has a low average rating. Why? Because, audiobooks don't work into my weekly TBR plan. They are an "extra", which are just for my enjoyment and serve no blogging purpose. 



Now it's your turn!

Can you name that tune from my first gif? 
Let us know in the comments!

56 comments:

  1. Did you REALLY have to rub salt on my wounds? Yes, I'm older enough to remember the love we shared in September haha. (For all the young folks out there: we and Sam never had an affair! I was just quoting from "September" by Earth Wind & Fire - the tune from that first gif. I LOVE EW&F, by the way. I own many, many CDs from the era, including theirs).

    Quote: "I saw the "name", "email", and "website" boxes, and I thought you had to fill in all three. After many, many, MANY months, my daughter told me it was not required".
    LOL. Bless your daughter.

    And...how many giveaway did you enter??? Because it's just wild, all the stuff you managed to win!

    Before I started blogging, I rarely - if ever - bought new books. I mean - I have a very strict budget (it can't be helped), so that never really changed LOL. But I started blogging PRECISELY when I discovered that the handful of YA books I'd bought on a whim during the past few years were part of a vast, wonderful world, and most of them were underhyped for no valid reason, and THAT HAD TO CHANGE! I WOULD SEE TO THAT! (I was so delusional LOL. But all the same...I've never stopped trying, and I don't plan to!). And I sort of discovered book blogs and Goodreads at the same time - I don't even remember how - but I never commented before I started my own blog, just because it never occurred to me...it's not like I was following any of them at the time (I never even investigated the different ways of following back then, not until I decided to start my own blog).

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    1. I still don't buy a lot of books, because I get lucky with review books and have always used my library, but my daughter used to buy a lot of books, and, I paid for them back in the day. I like that you are there to hype the under-hyped books. Your like a book-justice warrior. I think my daughter being a blogger turned me on to blogs and GR earlier. I am not sure if I would have gone there on my own.

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    2. Haha, I've been called a lot of things, but "book justice warrior" is new! Love that!

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    3. You're welcome for the new moniker. 😜

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  2. Before my blog got so busy, I was spending most of my spare time over on bookcrossing or taking part in Goodreads groups. I miss the forums on bookcrossing and I talked to a lot of people over there. I'd like to get back on there and also spend more times on Pinterest!

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    1. I miss spending more time on GR. I used to catch up at work, when it was slow, but they have since blocked it. *sad face* Pinterest is a blackhole for me. Once I start pinning, I can't stop. I have to severely limit my time there, otherwise, I could lose a whole day.

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  3. I used to visit the library. πŸ˜€
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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    1. I haven't visited the physical library since my daughter was younger, but I use my online resources. I get all my audiobooks from the library and even some new releases.

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  4. Earth, Wind & Fire!! I love that song!

    Before I started blogging, I read more from my own shelves, just rereading the same books over and over again. Now I'm at the library practically once a week and don't reread as much. I also never listened to audiobooks before I became a blogger.

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    1. That song is great - catchy, and a total earwig. I have always been terrible about reading from my shelves. I started back by reading my daughter's books, then I read as much as I could via my eLibrary, and I was all about my KU subscription, which I canceled, because I was ignoring my shelf books. I used to have "thoughts" about audiobooks, but then I tried them, as a blogger, and they have been the best for beating my backlist.

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  5. Before I was a book blogger I did TV show reviews. I was trying to get into the industry as a writer when I was still a student. I dropped the episode reviews because I found myself not enjoying the shows as much. I started Musical Monday's which I loved but I got busy. As a book blogger I've become a bit more versatile in reading and I find I enjoy reading more now cause I have other people to discuss books with.

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    1. It interesting how much your blogging has evolved. I started as a book blogger, and this is definitely my comfort zone. When I first started blogging, I thought I needed to read more widely (genre-wise), but that got old quick for me, and now I stick to what I like. So, not a lot of growth there.

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  6. I remember entering so many giveaways before I started blogging too. πŸ™‚ I was always intimidated by commenting but eventually I just tried and have met some really people along the way.

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    1. That first comment was the hardest, but once I started, I couldn't stop.

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  7. I remember I used to win so many giveaways!!! I don't enter anymore. Or if I do, I'm selective. As for commenting, I didn't know I could do that LOL. I think I just wanted to write my thoughts of books. I didn't know this whole community existed until waaayyyyy after.
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

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    1. Entering all the giveaways was so time consuming, but the payoff was good for me. I just don't have the time any longer. Right! I thought only other bloggers could comment. It's funny, because my dream is to get more avid readers involved in the conversation, and I wonder if they are as intimidated as I was.

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  8. i miss visiting the library and bringing home a bag of books, stacking them in the order to read by my lounger and digging in.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. I still have no discipline, and I use my library often. I am really trying to limit my review books to 50% of my reading month, so I can have even more freedom with my reading.

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  9. This was such a great list. Wow, you won a lot of giveaways!

    Before I was a blogger, I was honestly a little intimidated by bloggers. They seemed so smart and well-read to me that I felt kind of awkward interacting with them. Would they judge me for a punctuation error in my comment? Would they make fun of me for not understand a specific literary reference?

    Then I got to know a few and realized they were regular people like anyone else. So many of them were super nice, too, so there was nothing to feel awkward about. :)

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    1. I miss winning all those giveaways. I would have these terrible days, and then I would come home to a notification, and it just made my day better. *sigh* Those were the days.

      I don't want to intimidate anyone, and I would be over the moon to get some power readers active here. Maybe those readers are more comfortable in forums and reader groups? I know I was very active there.

      You're so right. I think one of the first blogs I commented on was Shannon's, It Starts at Midnight, and she is the sweetest.

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  10. Before I was a blogger, I actually had time to read more books. Writing reviews, formatting blog posts, and visiting others in the book community takes up a lot of time! Time that I used to use to read! After finishing a book, I would browse my shelves for something to read next. I was a total mood reader. Now I have deadlines and due dates and can't seem to find time for my own stuff.

    When I first started blogging, I just posted my reviews and otherwise ignored the blog. I spent most of my time on Goodreads and interacted there. I miss the Goodreads interaction but some of the changes to that site made connecting more difficult. I wish I had the time to be active on my blog and Goodreads but there just aren't enough hours!

    I love blogging and getting the chance to talk about all of these great books but I sometimes miss the way it was before I started my blog. Great post!

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    1. I refuse to give up any of my reading time. I let other things go instead, like time I used to spend on social media. Same. Totally miss "chatting" with readers on GR. It was my most favorite social media platform, but there are only so many hours in the day. Definitely different type of interactions on the blog, but I love them both.

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  11. Before I was a blogger...I rarely read lol I didn't know anything about reading forums or groups and I read about 12 (non-fiction) titles a year and even those were part of my New Year's Resolution to force myself to read!

    So basically, everything changed for me because of blogging.

    Now, over the years since blogging, the way I read has changed - and some of that is similar to your path. Being more selective and things like that.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Wow! This is quite a revelation for me. I wonder how many book bloggers started out the same way as you, and grew into the power readers that they are?

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  12. I remember before I had a blog I'd participate in lots of yahoo reader groups and loved it. It took me quite a while to stumble across blogs and when I read them I never thought to comment on them. :/

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    1. Most of the blogs I followed before I was a blogger were due to giveaways. No lie. I think I found a lot via GR, because I spent a lot of time there and later, on FB groups. I commented only if the giveaway required it though (once I knew I was ALLOWED to), and then I wrote something terribly generic. I have come a long way.

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  13. Well before I was a blogger ...I never bought book merch nor did attend bookish events. I already talked with other readers on Goodreads and read twice as much books as I do now as blogging takes time! But Sam 1000 USD in giveaway wow!!!!

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    1. I entered SO MANY giveaways. I would come home from work, and sit on my computer for 2 -3 hours, cycling through my groups and hitting all the giveaways. I definitely don't do that any longer. One hour. I give it one hour of internet each night. I did attend events as my daughter's chaperone, so, I guess I had one foot in the world prior to blogging.

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  14. OH MY GOSH-your winnings are seriously impressive. Before I blogged I read a lot and droned on to my husband, who ignore me.

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    1. I was getting mail all the time and so many email notifications about wins - books, ebooks, gift cards, swag -- I loved it! So, is your husband glad you found other people to chat books with? =)

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  15. I love this post!! I'm so glad you comment now Sam!! I really enjoy seeing your name pop up on my comments list and seeing what little thought you leave me. ❤️ And that is a unique way to see audiobooks. I really like it! I just wish I had any time to listen. I normally put on kpop if I can listen and its normally just 1 or 2 songs worth.

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    1. Aww, shucks. You're too sweet. I have the most freedom with my audiobook selections, because I rarely review those books on my blog. I get them all from the library, so no monetary investment, therefore, I am really willing to try anything when it comes to them. Once upon a time, I had a really difficult job (programming), then I was teaching (difficult for my mental health), and now I have a little desk job, that I could do in my sleep. I get to work, more or less, by myself, and it's easy to listen to audiobooks, while I grind away. I feel like it a nice bonus in addition to having a stress-free job.

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  16. I used to enter a lot of giveaways, too, and you're right... totally time-consuming. I've all but cut it out. Now it's only for a book that I'm truly excited about and already knew that I wanted. #3 was so me! Before I was a blogger and I was just visiting blogs I totally thought you *had* to have a website to comment. There was a space for it so I figured it had to be filled it. LOL I've also done a 180 on audiobooks over the last few years but I still have "rules" about what I'll listen to. There are certain books, the ones I'm super excited about and am sure I will love, that I will always, always chose to read (physical book or ebook). I want that experience of reading it myself. I may later do a reread on audio, though. Other books I will go straight to audio. Like the Marked Men series - I've only ever listened to them on audio. Totally enjoyed them but it's not like they rocked my world and I though they would be truly special to me. :)

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    1. I have discovered favorites on audio. Books that slipped through the cracks, which I couldn't fit into my reading TBR, but I am really happy I downloaded them on audio, because, otherwise, I would have missed out. Ha! Glad I am not the only one with that website thing.

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  17. When I first started receiving review books, I thought I had to read EVERY SINGLE PAGE of EVERY SINGLE ONE. This led me to write some scathing reviews because some of the books I was sent were really, really bad. Nowadays, I accept books with the caveat that I can quit reading it at any time. Not only am I much more selective in what I accept, but if a book isn't grabbing me within the first chapter or so, I'm done. Makes life as a blogger a lot easier!

    Thanks for the fun discussion :)

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    1. I don't get unsolicited ARCs, so I pick the ARCs I get, and I do read most of them. However, I don't like to feature books that rate below 4 stars. Their reviews will only go on my Goodreads, but I link to them in my weekly wrap up.

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  18. Before I was a blogger I read whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and never worried about my TBR or ARCs.

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    1. When I started blogging, I would request books outside my norm, but I quickly reversed that. So, I am reading what I want, though, I may be more tied to a schedule than I was before.

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  19. Ahh I love this post so much. <3 Before I blogged, I rarely talked about reading and books with... well, anyone, with the exception of my sister, so finding blogging and a gigantic reading community there made me so happy <3

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    1. It's awesome that you really found a place to share your thoughts and mingle with other readers. The community is definitely something I love about blogger too.

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  20. Okay first of all I will now be singing September all weekend thanks to you. :) But that's okay because it's September and it's awesome! Anyway, on to your point. I remember giveaways- I used to enter a lot too, and even hosted a few (I haven't done one in AGES). Winning is pretty fun. :)

    I think for me it's more a case of discovering all the bookish goodness online all at once? Like when I started blogging all the community stuff, the sheer number of book blogs, Goodreads... I was new to all that. It was quite eye opening! Who knew? I certainly didn't haha. I'm glad I finally jumped in when I did. Lately I've been looking at posts from like two years ago (just an arbitrary point of time I picked out) and it's interesting to see bloggers that have left the 'sphere or gone inactive, and who's still around, and some of the things that were going on. There has been a lot of talk lately about how blogging has changed, and I think it's fascinating to reflect.

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    1. Now you know what it's been like in my head all week. Ha! That is a jam though. Truth! I recently imported all my Bloglovin' blogs to Feedly, and it was shocking how many were inactive/defunct. I miss some of them, but I get that sometimes you outgrow a hobby or focus your energy on BookTube or Bookstagram.

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  21. Wow, Earth Wind & Fire. That really takes me back! Fun post too. It's always interesting to think about my reading habits prior to blogging. I definitely read less newer releases and more from my backlist. And this will probably make me sound like an idiot, but i had no idea that giveaways for books even existed until I stared blogging. I think Goodreads was probably my first exposure to them, but I was on social media for years before I came across my first one.

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    1. I think I learned about all the giveaways via the reader groups I belonged to. I read a lot of self pub/indie back then, and those authors interact with their readers a lot more, than big press authors. I know I read less new releases, because the bulk of my books were from the library.

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  22. Okay, first of all, thank you for that GIF. I sang it and now the song is stuck in my head after the radio played it for their Classic Sunday segment yesterday.

    Before I was a book blogger, I was just a general blogger. I had a personal blog back then but I grew tired of it and closed it around 2010. Anyway, before I was a blogger, I was a constant resident in MySpace, Friendster and Imeem (idk if anyone still remembers this but this was a music site where people create their own profiles through playlists and it was so cool because not only you get to interact with people, you get to listen to music and customize your profile). Anyway, I was part of numerous fandom forums because social media wasn't really a big thing back then compared to now. As for my reading/bookish days, I didn't discover Goodreads until early 2013. Before that, I just read and don't talk about books because I didn't know anyone back then from the sites I joined who are interested enough in reading. So it was kinda lonely.

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    1. Oh, beware. If you are familiar with older songs, I have a habit of planting earwigs. At least September is a solid jam, right? So, you were always sorting of sharing things about yourself out there. My daughter did a lot of that sort of thing too, but it wasn't a thing when I was kid, so this is a new experience for me. I think my daughter introduced me to Goodreads too. See, this is why you have children, so they can teach you all the new stuff, and keep you up to date.

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  23. Wow, you were lucky with the giveaways! I see giveaways constantly on Twitter, but I rarely enter them. Before I started blogging, I didn’t track how much I read; I reread books often; and I didn’t have a TBR. I’d go to the bookstore or library and pick out a few books. When I finished them, I’d get a few more. No massive stack of unread books sitting around.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. The rest of my life might have been utter crap, but coming home to all those wins made it a little bit better. I am surprised to hear you feeling tied to a TBR, because I know you read your own books, other than when you were judging. I do like tracking my books, because reading is really the only part of my life I am excelling at right now. Gotta keep a record of it.

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  24. I actually read this post a little while ago when I saw this on twitter and I love this post! I mean, before I was a blogger... I reread the same books a lot and only read books from authors I already knew with the occasional foray into new things when I impulse bought things at the bookshop or borrowed stuff from the library. I never commented on blogs even though I followed a couple and I used them to find a few new books. I had fewer unread books as well.

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    1. It seems we are all guilty of having more unread books, than before we were blogging. I think I was always willing to try new authors, because I have a great library and seldom buy books. I am able to get more books now, but I always liked sampling new authors.

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  25. Oh gosh, I used to enter tons of giveaways and I won some cool things. I did this even while blogging, but I don't enter as many these days - it does take a lot of time, and I think finding some giveaways are harder now. There used to be a way to find blog giveaways really easy via Google, but it doesn't seem to be an option anymore.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Entering contest is very time consuming. I will do a few for gift cards or an easy retweet or tag someone in this post sort of contest, but all those rafflecopters I used to do took forever.

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  26. I never even considered that non-bloggers might not realize that a website is not required in order to comment. Now I feel like I need to reassure them!! Oh, and I feel the same about audiobooks---they're like my "bonus" books, and I don't have to fulfill any requirements with them (though I do sometimes listen to review books I've gotten behind on, but even that feels like getting something "extra" off my list, so it still feels good).

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I am so guilty of listening to past due ARCs (I just posted a review for one today. In all fairness, I set the book aside, because it wasn't working, and then I really liked the audio. So, this was a win)

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  27. This was such an interesting post! I didn't know about the blog world until I joined it, and then discovered it in all it's wonderfulness! I used to read but my reading would be limited to me, my family, my friends who read sometimes, and Shelfari. I used to put reviews there (until I discovered blogs, I think via Shelfari.) I just enjoyed reading. I was under 14 though, so it was normal to not read as much as I did now. I read all genres though, even adult and classics already :P I remember when I started blogging I entered ALL the giveaways too. But man, you won SO MUCH!

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    1. I think I knew about blogging prior to becoming a blogger, because of my daughter and from all my romance reader groups, but I am jealous that your whole family likes to talk about books.

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