The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration - Part XXIV


We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions.

BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett




What’s the one thing that has changed the most about your reading habits since you started blogging?


Uma says...
Many things actually! One, I’ve started to read more responsibly. Two, I’ve started reading with a more critical eye. Three, I spend more time reading than sleeping or even eating :P Four, I spend more time blogging than reading.

By starting to read more responsibly, I mean I strongly feel about representation now and don’t just read for the entertainment factor. Before I started to blog, I wasn’t aware of how minorities are underrepresented in books and all the wrong representation in books. I hadn’t realized it was problematic. Now I do and I consciously try to read more diverse books.

By reading critically I mean, I pay attention to details that I used to gloss over before I started blogging. Now since I review every book I read, I look at the plot with a critical eye and scrutinize my main characters etc.

And before I started blogging, while I was an avid reader I don’t think I spent maximum amount of my time reading. I used to read leisurely but now with my own books, author sent copies and ARCs from publishers, reading takes up a lot of time. Funnier still is the fact that blogging takes up even more time than reading. Writing reviews, scheduling posts, coming up with blog post ideas and such needs a lot of brainwork and precious time!

Amy says...
I can think of 3 things:

  • Like Uma - and probably most book bloggers - I try to read more critically now that I’m actually obligated to give a solid review of the book. I try not to skim read, I try to pay attention to the themes and messages the book’s putting across, and I try to dig deeper than the initial “I liked it or I didn’t like it” feeling. I also take notes, which I never used to do before (I had no reason to do so then).

  • I read a lot more. I always enjoyed reading because I started blogging, but I never read any books or knew about many. Now I read frequently and consistently.

  • I read many different types of books. I never used to read YA before I started blogging (SHOCKING I KNOW) but now it’s my most-read genre; thanks to publishers who send me books, I’ve been exposed to new genres and authors and it’s been amazing to broaden my interests.    


Do you use your local library?



Uma says...
Yeah I do but not to a great extent. The fiction section in my local library is seriously lacking so I very rarely get books from there. I mostly just go there to get books for college and studies. Sometimes I drop by the fiction shelves and while they have a lot of classics, they never get any new stuff! *sad*

Amy says...
I do, but not regularly. The selection is primarily books from years ago, and the YA selection in particular is very outdated. I’ll take a book out if it’s one I’m generally excited to read and I see it on the shelf, but I don’t take a book out just because it looks nice ; with review copies at home I don’t have time for that.

So yeah. I use the library when I see a book I know I want to read. Otherwise, I couldn’t be bothered.


Do you read Indie Books? Why/Why not?



Uma says...
Yes I do read Indie books. Truth be told, I read a book if the plot interests me. The publishing house/ publisher doesn’t really influence my decision to read or not read a book. I have read quite a lot of amazing Indie books and reviewed them on my blog too. Also we need to support authors who opt for independent publishing too! It’s not an easy process and they can use all the marketing/publicity help they can get from bloggers.

Amy says...
When I first started blogging the review copies I got were all indie, so I read a lot of them then. Now traditionally published books get first priority, but if I’m offered an indie book that looks awesome, I’ll accept it. Echoing Uma, if the book looks good who cares who published it? That isn’t going to determine whether I love it or not.

Unfortunately, though, indie books are also more likely to have a lot of typos than traditionally published books; they aren’t always proof-read as well. I am generalising, but there are self-published books and there are self-published books. It can really be hit-or-miss.
But that has occasionally made me hesitant before accepting some of them.



To see my answers make sure to visit the other collab posts!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our discussion post! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!