Discussion: Online Presence of Reading

Rincey from RinceyReads made a video today on Book Riot about going offline with her reading. She discusses that she took an offline approach to reading this month and found herself not wanting to update so specifically what she was reading immediately as she read it. It made me think.

I love Goodreads, really I do. There’s nothing I like more than a little shaded-in progress bar that lets me know just quickly (or slowly, as is more the case) I am ploughing through a book. Even better if it’s a tome like The Faerie Queene, which, for the record, I never finished. However, I’ve noticed lately that I update my status way too much. I’ve become the person that updates for being on page 34 to page 56 which, okay, is progress, but it’s hardly something I would shout about in real-life… so why do I do it on the internet? In a world with the constant updating of Facebook and Twitter, I rarely post. I rarely have things I think are worthy of sharing. Because we all know that person who updates their Facebook status 10 times a day with the most inane life updates that aren’t all that interesting and yet we like ‘like’ out of a sense of obligation. But, with a life as mundane as mine, sometimes making progress on a book is all I do on a lazy day – so I feel the need to let Goodreads know that I am actively reading.

But somewhere, in the constant need to update this and rate that and move that book to the ‘did not finish’ shelf, reading can take a back seat. I noticed it most during Bout of Books which I loved but which made me realise – boy, all my desire to keep up to speed with book blogs and Booktube videos and comments and Goodreads really does get in the way of… well, actually reading. Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk about books, give me a soap box and a person barely listening and I will explain to you my passions. But sometimes I fall into that trap of watching seven tag videos in a row or browsing through recommendations on Goodreads only to realise that I’ve spent 2 hours thinking about books rather than actually reading books. Maybe it’s not a bad thing, but Rincey’s video just made me think about what difference it would make to not have this constant flow of information about the book you’re reading as you’re reading it. I know for a fact that having everyone else’s opinions about the book floating around in my head can sometimes make my own opinion hard to heard over the noise of all the excitable chatter.

But that’s just my two cents – what does everyone else think?

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