On Reading and Reviewing

Last year, Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner wrote this amazing post about hanging up her hat as a reviewer and, even though she shared it almost a year ago, it has stuck with me.  I've been having a really tough time with reviews lately and feeling like I SHOULD have reviews on my blog even though a) they are really hard posts for me to write and b) they rarely ever get any comments.  This just makes me feel like I can't see the point of writing them anymore.  In the past six months, I have only reviewed ARCs, with the exception of a few mini-reviews that I shared in the summer and my gushy word vomit after I finished How to Love.

When it comes to reading others' reviews, I am always amazed and impressed by the effort that some of my favourite bloggers put into reviewing books!  Seriously, the amount of time that goes into writing some of those reviews, and the eloquence with which they are written, is possibly what paralyses me when it comes to typing out my own reviews.  As hard as I try not to, I do sometimes compare my own blog to others, and definitely feel inadequate over the quality of my reviews.

I also have to admit that I don't always read others' reviews.  This is often for a few reasons: a) I haven't read the book and don't want to be spoiled, b) I'm really anticipating the book and don't even want to see any advance ratings or c) it's a title that I'm just not interested in reading.  If it's a book I've already read, I do enjoy reading other bloggers' thoughts on the book, and will then take the time to comment if the blogger has pointed out something that I found interesting.  Talking about books is one of the reasons why I love the blogging community!

This brings me back to my original thought: whether or not I want to continue with reviews on Writer Grrl Reads.  At the moment, I have about a dozen ARCs and finished review copies to read and review, and will definitely still commit to those.  I'm also toying with the idea of just writing up monthly mini-reviews on what I've read, similar to what I've been doing with my WWW posts.  In all honesty, sometimes my thoughts at the end of a book are, "Holy crap, that was GOOD!" which just isn't enough for a full review!

What do you guys think?  Do you like reading and writing book reviews?  Share your thoughts in the comments below -- I'd love to hear what you think!



  1. I usually only read reviews of books that I've already read because I don't want to be deterred or go in with any knowledge of the book at all. I do love reading reviews of books that I've already read though because I love a good discussion/fangirl session!

  2. No, I don't like writing reviews, which is the primary reason why I changed the direction of my blog. Book review type posts were so time consuming and tough to write and they just don't get the views or comments that other posts get. I know we all say we blog for ourselves, but at the end of the day, I still wanted some interaction on my posts! Plus, I just wasn't a natural reviewer - it all felt too much like school work lol.

    As for commenting on book review posts, I rarely do that either. There are only a few book bloggers I still follow and I often skip the book review posts because if it's a book I haven't read, I really don't have anything to add in a comment. On the rare chance it's a book I've read, then yes, I will most likely have something to say!

    I think, if you enjoy writing book review posts, then you go girl! But life is too short to write posts you don't enjoy writing just so no one can enjoy them as well, you know?

  3. I generally only read reviews on Goodreads or Amazon, when I'm actually looking to buy. Actually, what I like most are the status updates that Goodreads has. A short little quip about something going on in the novel is usually both more interesting and easier to digest than a full review. If it's a book I know nothing about, better to hook me with something short!

    About the only thing that other people's blog reviews are good for is when I scroll through bloglovin and see the same covers over and over again. Then I know what's popular and/or what the publishers are really pushing. That does make me curious. But I rarely read them if I'm not already interested in the book and I don't get many pageviews or comments for mine.

    On the other hand, I don't see myself stopping any time soon. I actually like writing reviews. The quality of mine might reflect the fact that I don't stress over them, but still. They may not be a big hitter for my blog, but I don't particularly need them to be since I don't spend a lot of time on them.

    I understand why bloggers don't see the value in putting reviews on their blogs, but I'd hate it if all my friends stopped putting things up on goodreads. I have come to rely on that when I'm in a bookstore and have to pick just one thing to spend my money on. :(

  4. I very rarely read reviews before I read the book - it seems, from this post, that we're about the same when it comes to reading them. I just don't find reviews so often AFTER I've read the book. I'm more likely to read reviews on Goodreads after finishing, just because they're so much easier to find.

    I love reviewing books, though. Reviews might be one of my favorite posts to make, next to discussion posts, even if they are more challenging. I do feel like there are MUCH better reviewers than myself out there, and reviews aren't the most popular of posts, but I think the time I stopped writing reviews would be the time I stopped blogging, as for me it would take away a huge part of the experience.

    My feelings aside, though, I don't think there's a problem with not reviewing books on your blog. If you don't like them, or find them stressful, that's more than enough reason to quit. I really feel that your blog should only have posts you can enjoy writing - after all, blogging is a hobby, not a job!


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