Happy 6th of May! We hope you had a great Cinco de Mayo! 7 years ago, we graduated college on May 5th, so we initiated the tradition of doing tequila shots together each year to honor the anniversary! It’s been too many years for us to do one for each year at this point, so we just call each other and do a shot or two together now. But this year, we got to thinking about how college affected our reading habits, and how they’ve evolved since, especially now that we’re doing this blog. So we’re each going to talk about that a bit.

Jeriann: During college, I pretty much only read books for class (of which there were tons, as an English major), and the occasional series that Bethany got me into. So I read the Patricia Briggs books, and some other series, but otherwise, mostly just assigned reading.

Bethany: I was probably a terrible college student, because I read more books that I wanted to read than books that were assigned. Even of the books that were assigned to me, I only read the ones I wanted to read. For example, in my Gothic Novel class, the only book I read was The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis…out of, like, sixteen books we were assigned. In my defense, that book was 416 pages of straight up gruesome grossness and it burned me out right at the beginning of the semester…Anyway, I read a lot of whatever I wanted in college and got Jeriann hooked on a couple of series with me so that we could talk about them together.

Jeriann: After college, I kind of fell out of the habit of reading. I got to the point where I was reading less than five books a year. So a few years ago, I started keeping track of the books I read each year. This helped me read a little more- I read 13 books in 2014, 8 and 9 in 2015 and 2016, and 20 in 2017. Then we started the blog, and the numbers jumped significantly. On average, I’m reading a book a week now, which I love.

Bethany: When we graduated, I was given a Kindle Fire for my birthday and I started voraciously reading every free book I could find. I’m not going to lie to you, the free book options have seriously gotten better since 2012 because now I don’t have to worry about quite as many typos and…just…poorly written crap. Kindle is the reason I became comfortable dropping a book and never picking it back up again when I didn’t like what I was seeing. Seriously, when a book about a lawyer kept calling statutes “statues,” I actually left a review in the hopes that the author would learn something…

Jeriann: When I was a kid and teenager, I read all the time. It’s what I did after school for fun. I would get stacks of books from the library and read through them as fast as I could to get another stack. Since college, I feel like I only read if I have a particular reason to read a book. That might be part of why we start off our book reviews with how we found or why we read this book. That part of the story is important to me. The blog gives me a reason to keep looking for new books, and to actually buy books I’m interested in. It’s made my to-read list longer, but also given me motivation to put a dent in it. I don’t know if I burnt out on reading after college, or if I just started needing structure to motivate me to read, but I’m definitely a more varied and frequent reader since deciding to write a book review blog.

Bethany: Like Jeriann, I read stacks of books from the library on a regular basis as a kid/teenager. That pace didn’t really slow down for me, but after college my preferences leaned heavily toward escapism as opposed to thought-provoking. If anything, this blog slowed me down because I have to think about what books I want to read, what books I want to share with you all (you don’t think I review every book I read, do you?), and what I want to say about the books as I am reading/writing the review. The blog also motivated me to read a few more thought-provoking books every now and then, and I’ve found that I have more fun conversing about the stories I have read for the blog than I used to about the free books I devoured on Kindle every day.

So that’s our Grad-versarry un-review! Has school or another life event affected your reading habits? Tell us how in the comments!

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