Monday 22 April 2019

How my reading habits have changed thanks to the internet

I have always been an avid reader, but the way that I choose and read books has changed a lot over the years. The other day I was thinking about how much my reading habits have changed since the internet because a regular part of my life.

One of the first book related websites that I discoveredwas Bookcrossing. You register books that you want to pass on, then you leave them out 'in the wild' for other people to find, hoping that they will enter the unique code into the website and you can see where they have ended up. I released lots of books, and although only a couple were ever registered I hope that whoever found them appreciated them! I also spent quite a bit of time reading the discussion forums and it introduced me to lots of new books that I had never heard of. The website doesn't seem to be as active as it used to be which is surprising as almost everyone has internet access these days and is less suspicious of entering their details into random websites. Perhaps everyone reads books digitally instead...

...Which brings me onto the next big change in my reading habits - my Kindle! I wasn't keen on having a Kindle at first but I do love it now. I like that all the classic books are available for free so there is always plenty to read without having to spend anything, and if you keep an eye out for the sales you can often purchase popular books very cheaply. There are also lots of free Kindle books from current authors, although you have to be careful as they are sometimes sample books or the first one in a series.

Pile of books and a cactus
Photo credit the Bialons via Unsplash
I still enjoy reading physical books, especially to take out and about with me or on holiday. Amazon is brilliant for buying books, and I've recently started buying second hand books that work out much cheaper. I also like to browse through and see the recommendations, find other books by the same author, or look through the best seller lists.

I still borrow books from the library too, and I love being able to use the app which lets me see which books are due back and allows me to renew online. I can also easily request books that I want to borrow.

Social media is a great way to find book recommendations. A few years ago I was taking part in the Day Zero Project, and one of my items was to read 20 books recommended by others. I received a long list of books recommended by friends, and lots of them are still memorable to me today. Recently I was about to take a long haul flight, and so I turned to Twitter for some book recommendations.

Also over on Twitter I follow lots of authors, and like to keep up to date with the books that people are chatting about. I've also enjoyed discussing my reading over on Instagram, and I love how my post about which book to read next got far more interaction than my pictures usually do!

It's also great to read book recommendations from other bloggers, and I've often chosen a book to read that I've seen being talked about on social media. Sarah  for example writes regularly about books that she's enjoyed and she enjoys similar books to ones that I do, so if she's written a glowing review I can be pretty sure that I'll enjoy it too. I've definitely picked up books in the library that I remember reading about in a blog.

I love how the internet and social media has widened my horizons and introduced me to lots of books that I never would have discovered just by browsing library and shop shelves!

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