Have Book Blogs and Booktube Changed Your Reading?

I have finally begun the painful job of reorganizing and purging my bookshelves.  I suspect that my husband is no longer amused by my piles of books in the office that won’t fit on any bookcase in the house.  As I was trying to select books to gift or donate, I started to realize how much my reading tastes have evolved during the last year.  I have always gone through “phases”, but this is more than that.  Suddenly my shelves (and piles) were filled with books that I didn’t just happen upon in the book store, but books that I would actively seek out and special order based on a recommendation.
This is probably the part where I should explain that I do have friends IRL (swears!).  I do not, however, have any that read very much.  When they do read, it tends to be the kind of books that you find on the big table up front at Barnes and Noble or on the front page of Amazon.com (yay marketing).  In the past I would usually wander around at my local used book store and find books based on covers, titles, blurbs, etc.  I was satisfied with this method for many many years.
When my husband started a new job that required us to move, I didn’t think much of it.  There are bookstores everywhere, right?  WRONG.  We currently live in a very rural area and the nearest bookstore is a TWO HOUR DRIVE ONE WAY.  Obviously, that trip doesn’t happen very often.  My books are primarily purchased online and my recommendations come from the awesome people I have found by their book blogs and booktube videos.  I am grateful to all of them for sharing their insights and opening my eyes to incredible books I might not have ever discovered on my own.

Mercedes @ MercysBookishMusings and Rincey @ RinceyReads – Both of these ladies have inspired me to read more diversely.  Mercedes has reviewed quite a bit of Japanese literature that I had never even heard of before.  Rincey has talked about reading more books by people of color and made me take a look at my own library (quite a lot of white men on my shelves …).  Incidentally, both of these ladies are part of a new International Reads bookclub on goodreads that is focused on reading more books from all around the world.

Lesley @ WordsofaReader – Lesley has reviewed several books that I have since picked up to read.  I will always and forever love her for introducing me to W. Somerset Maugham.  I have not read all of his works (yet) but I love him already.  And The Painted Veil is now one of my favorite books.


Andi @ EstellasRevenge – I originally found her on youtube, but she can also be found here.  She is a pretty big fan of the short story.  I was pretty certain that they sucked and I had REASONS.  Then she “called bullshit on all that“.  So I proceeded to prove her wrong and picked up The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy.  Aaaaaand I loved it.  Then I loved The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson.  Yesterday I picked up The Complete Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham from the library and I love the intro because he just called bullshit on me and my reasons, too.

Mabel @ Journal of a Lit Student – Not only do I enjoy her blogs about classic literature, but she inspired me to write about what I read on my own blog.  She convinced me that the blogging police wouldn’t come after me for not knowing what the hell I’m talking about.  I have a BS in Biochem and I was fairly certain that somebody was going to realize that I was not qualified to talk about books.  Ridiculous, I know.  I love this quote from her blog.

My posts are journal entries – footprints as I progress through literature — often captured at the end of a long day when I only have a few moments to capture a response. I am not attempting to speak with authority. As my literary friend Montaigne would say, there is far more wisdom in asking questions than in always speaking decisively. And as Ralph Waldo Emerson would say, changing one’s opinion is a virtue. So nothing I say here is permanent. I have every intention of thinking my prior posts ridiculous.”

Has a booktuber or book blogger influenced your reading?  Who and how?

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4 Comments

  1. Aw, I'm glad you're inspired to write about the classics! I am pretty passionate about reclaiming classics from the academics who think all literary chatter is SACRED. Dickens and Shakespeare wrote to entertain! They have only become sacred because someone declared them sacred. Classics are history's VOICE, you know? That belongs to everyone. 🙂 Good to meet you!

  2. LOLOL! I'm seriously LOLing at your “I call bullshit on that” quote. Ha! I'm so glad you've found some short story authors and collections you enjoy. I'm seriously in need of some more Shirley Jackson stories. I've loved her novellas, but I've still only read the short story, “The Lottery.” Thank you SOO much for the shout out!

  3. Thanks! And I agree, it's that kind of attitude that intimidates people from reading the classics in the first place. Which is just crap. I'm happy to be a part of this community that can change that way of thinking. 🙂

  4. And thank you to you as well! I just love the conversational tone of your blog and videos. I'm originally from San Antonio and you remind me SO MUCH of home. I live in the heart of the bible belt now and my friends here are … different. Definitely less entertaining. LOL

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