Saturday, July 6, 2019

When you’re a reader, and you call your little slice of internet a book blog, what does that mean when it comes to reviews? How many books do you review, what books do you review, and how do you review in a way that keeps your followers coming back for more?

Reviewing is hard, guys.

I think it’s a pretty well-known factoid that reviews in the book-blogging world just don’t get as much love as other post types. Memes, tags, recaps? They can get up to dozen of responses, but it’s rare when I see someone comment on a book review… which, how ironic is that, when reviews are the paragon of what we do? They are the bread and butter of book blogs!

Reviews take time, commitment, and a voice. If you don’t have a voice, your reviews will most likely get lost in the shuffle. (And I am 99% convinced that my voice sucks.)

Reviewing every book I read is stressful.

For the majority of my time as a book blogger, I’ve reviewed every book that I’ve read. That’s several hours of my life brainstorming, highlighting, writing, deleting and re-writing, and quoting… and reviews still intimidate me! That’s probably why I have such a hard time posting them. I procrastinate oh so bad with my reviews.

A lot of reviewers go super in depth and review each category, too: characters, plot, pacing, writing, etc. I feel inclined to write lengthy, majestic paragraphs about the setting, but let’s face it… I struggle just putting my feelings into legible words, instead of going asdfghjkl all the time. 

But should I still review everything I read?

Unfortunately not everyone cares about every book I read. I’m going to read newer books, I’m going to read older books, and I’m going to read books that aren’t out yet (mostly thanks to NetGalley & Edelweiss). In today’s blogging world, I feel that the reviews that will get the highest response will be for the books that are in pre-publication, or those that are still in their prime right after being published. These are books that people may or may not have gotten their hands on, and there is a heightened curiosity surrounding them. Newer books still deserve that special review spotlight, whether or not they get the full attention they deserve.

But mini reviews are more my cup of tea – short, sweet, and to the point. Although I think I am done writing single-post reviews for every single book, I still want to post mini reviews for the books that I’ve read that aren’t up and coming releases – because writing reviews is also something that I do for me. My memory is NOT great, and I rely heavily on my written reviews to help me remember why I liked (or didn’t like) a book. So I’ll periodically do Abbreviation posts, where I’ll write 2-3 mini reviews per post.

Reviewing is an art we shouldn’t take lightly. We spotlight these books for these authors, and rain praise on their words (or the opposite), and that’s a BIG THING. Whether it’s a few, awestruck sentences, or a long, ranty post about why the book absolutely did not work, REVIEWS ARE IMPORTANT. I’m going to keep doing my best to shout my opinions into the void about the books that I read, even if they will no longer be the lengthy posts they once were!

This week’s Book Blogger Hop question was:

Do you review all the books you read?

Short Answer: Basically, yes. I review books that I receive from NetGalley and Edelweiss, and I do smaller reviews for all the other books I read.

How do you feel about reviews? Does their composition stress you out? Do you read other blogger’s book reviews? 

3 Responses to To Review, or Not to Review?

  1. Reviews are indeed the paragon of what a book blogger does!

    Oh..yes, reviews take time and committment. But most importantly, you have to identify your voice and leverage its authenticity. This, alone, takes an immense amount of time.

    You hit it on the head regarding reviews – ” That’s several hours of my life brainstorming, highlighting, writing, deleting and re-writing, and quoting.”

    You made a great point regarding the reviews that get the highest number of pageviews – pre-publication reviews!!!

    I have thought about writing a very simple, yet very structured, review for every book. However, it will still take time away from reading to do so. Oh…the decisions!

    I invite you take a look at my answer to this week’s question.

  2. Kyra Morris says:

    This is a great post! I used to review every book I read but that didn’t work for me. It took way too long (I write quite in-depth reviews) and due to having a rule that I had to review the book I’d finished before starting another one, it slowed my reading down quite a lot! Now I mainly review books I get sent, and if I want to share my thoughts on a non-review book I condense several mini-reviews into a single post. 😀

    • I probably really should review a book before I start a new one, because all of my thoughts disappear after I’ve started another book! Maybe that would cut down my procrastinating a lot, too. I might try that! ? x

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