I’ve been a book lover since my earliest school days. I remember carrying a book around in my first little girl handbags so I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to read.

As a tween, I loved being dropped off at the mall and in addition to trying to look at cute boys and clothes, I would spend a lot of time with my girlfriend looking through books in the bookstore until we found the right one to spend our money on. I used most of my $10 of mall money on books every time.

I started blogging about books because I love them, I am awestruck by authors and I want to keep writing my own stories.

But book blogging has had an impact on my reading habits. Here are a few ways it’s affected this lifelong book woman.

I pick up titles faster. Now that I’m looking for books to write about, shout out or feature in #blacklitchat, I am reading new releases earlier. Naturally I hear about them earlier because I’m focused on publishing and then I feel I need to jump on it to make sure we’re talking about what’s available right now.

I’m reading more broadly. As I get more recommendations from social media, I’m now reading more of every kind of book. For instance, I read Precious Williams’ Color Blind because of reading her on Twitter and after a recommendation by another author. I don’t usually read memoir – I’m so glad I read hers. I also bought Aliya S. King’s Platinum after reading her on Twitter.

I buy more books. I do get some review copies and I am still a library lover. But I also buy more books. I buy them on Kindle so that I always have something to read and I buy hard copies, sometimes solely for the purpose of finding the next #blacklitchat book. I have probably bought more books in the last 6 months than I did all of last year.