I have been reading for as long as I can remember. It is in my genes. My family, including both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, are all voracious readers. Our home library is bursting at the seams. As technology has advanced, so has my reading style. Join me as I share how my reading habits have evolved over the last decade.
Before I dive into my book reading habits, allow me to share how I consumed information over the past decade. As a business owner, I need to stay updated. Not just with the latest trends in my industry, but also those of my clients. Design, technology, fashion, beauty, retail, and more recently, food. The list goes on. I spend at least two to three hours reading each day. And then there is the reading for pleasure.
The naughts were when blogs were more or less at a nascent stage, particularly in India. The twenty-tens were when they finally came into their own. In the early years, RSS feeds were huge, and Google Reader was a favorite to create reading lists. But as is always with Google (I still miss Inbox by Google), it pulled the plug on the Reader in July 2013. I had moved to Feedly by then and was not left rudderless as were most users. Feedly had its limitations and I eventually moved to Pocket app. Social media (particularly Twitter) finally became my tool of choice to stay updated.
Coming back to the topic of books, my love for them has only grown in the twenty-tens. I was more into paperbacks at the beginning of the decade. As the decade progressed, I gradually moved to ebooks. Particularly for the accessibility and portability. I entered forties mid-decade, and ebooks were definitely easy on the eyes. I do pick paperbacks occasionally. But as a reader and reviewer, I do prefer the digital format.
I joined Goodreads in July 2016. Up until then, I never kept a record of what I was reading. A Goodreads member has great power but also an immense responsibility too. This was when I officially started rating and reviewing books. Looking up reviews, I was aware of galleys (uncorrected proofs, or ARCs as they are commonly called) but never signed up for it.
2018 was the year I came across the Juggernaut app. I had been hearing a lot about it and decided to check it out. There it was on the top of the page, Jasmine Days by Benyamin, a book that I had been waiting to pick up. I signed up and have been a subscriber ever since. Not just published books, the app also provides a platform for new and experienced writers. Some of the newbies could give established authors a run for their money. Two of my favorites, Jasmine Days and Letters from Kargil were Juggernaut reads. The app has come a long way from being author-centric to reader-friendly. And still has a long way to go.
As I launched my blog towards the end of April 2019, my reading now had a purpose. I wanted to read and promote those lesser-known books that missed all the hype and hysteria. It was more due to the fact that popular books often disappointed me. I finally signed up at NetGalley and Edelweiss, and now have an opportunity to read, promote, and create buzz around books before they are published. I don’t just review books now, but also recommend my favorites and discuss reading in general.
I have dabbled with Audible, but it never really worked for me. Only one book a month, seriously? After a lot of contemplation (and recommendation from the girls at Book Dragons India), I subscribed to Storytel in October 2019. I haven’t looked back since. A mix of both good quality audiobooks and ebooks. And a vast library at your fingertips, all in the genre I enjoy reading.
Below is a chart depicting where I stand now. As you can well see (this one is 2019 specific), the digital format makes a sizable chunk. Uncorrected proofs are ebooks too, so 78% of my reading is digital. No complaints though.
My reading tastes too have evolved. It probably has to do with maturity, although I still love feel good books. Non-fiction though has always been a constant. Earlier I read in phases. There was a time when I picked only fantasy and then only mythological fiction and then moved to only literary fiction. Now my reading is more balanced (as you can see from the chart below, again 2019 specific) where I explore different genres.
From print books to ebooks to audiobooks, my reading habits have definitely evolved in the past decade. I am curious to know what the next decade has in store. How has your reading evolved? What is your choice of format? Do you experiment with genres? Do share in the comments below.
This post is a part of ‘DECADE Blog Hop’ #DecadeHop organized by #RRxMM Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul. The Event is sponsored by Glo and co-sponsored by Beyond The Box, Wedding Clap, The Colaba Store and Sanity Daily in association with authors Piyusha Vir and Richa S Mukherjee.