Posted in Discussions

Yes, I’m A Book Blogger Who Doesn’t Like Book Reviews

It was midday and the passageway quiet and cool.

First line in Thick As Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

Hi, today I wanted to explain why I’m weird. And maybe make you feel less weird because you feel similarly about book reviews. The title explains this post quite well: Why I find book reviews to be the least interesting blog posts, both to write and to read.

Why I Don’t Write Many Book Reviews

I felt the need to make a post about this because I often see the term ‘reviewer’ being used as a synonym for ‘book blogger’. It has made me feel a little odd because I don’t consider myself a “reviewer”, although I obviously identify with the book blogger term. I do write reviews on my blog, but if we’re talking full, dedicated reviews, I only do them for about 20% of my reads. The rest only get a mini-review in my wrap up posts, but I consider them more like “book chats” than actual reviews. I more or less focus on my reading experience instead of trying to “sell” them.

So why is this my approach? Well, mainly because I started a book blog to discuss the books I’ve already read. I wanted a place where I could talk about all the books I’m reading in detail and find out what other readers thought of the same books. My main goal has never been to get other people to read a book. If they happen to pick something up because I liked it, then great! But that’s still not the purpose of this blog. Which I can tell is a weird thing to say in the bookish community. The same goes for the #supportauthors thing that seems important to reviewers. It’s not a focus for me, but if it happens anyway, great! My blog is not a job for me and only something I do for fun in my spare time, so I don’t feel like I have any obligations of that sort, even though publishers are trying to convince me (and the community in general) of the opposite. I know this sounds kind of harsh, but it’s just a way to explain my thought processes. It’s not as if I go out of my way to NOT support authors. It’s just, again, not the point.

Why I Don’t Read Book Reviews

Why I don’t write a whole lot of reviews is only one part of this discussion. The other part is that I don’t read other people’s reviews either for the simple reason that I don’t want to add more books to my TBR. It’s long enough, and even though I avoid reviews, it’s still growing. I don’t have trouble finding good books to read. I do, however, have a few exceptions to the rule because I do read some reviews:

  1. I’ve already read the book being reviewed and want to discuss it.
  2. The book is already on my TBR, and I just need to know if the person liked it or not (I check the rating and quickly skim the review).
  3. It’s from one of the very few reviewers I know makes the kind of review I like. Not formulated like a sales-pitch, includes both negatives and positives, no matter if the rating was 5 or 1 star, etc.
  4. Multiple short reviews in one post e.g. a wrap-up post.

So why does it matter that I don’t read book reviews? Well, it matters in the sense that I sometimes find it difficult to support other book bloggers, which I really want to by reading their posts and commenting and all that. But if a blogger only writes book reviews… then I can’t. It has recently made me realized that I prefer BookTube content over book blogger content, simply because most of them do fewer reviews. I’m sure I’ve committed book-blogger-treason for saying that, especially with how little attention BookTubers pay book bloggers. However, I do find that friendly and important discussions are most often found on a book blog, and those are still my favorite type of content to consume. I just wish there were more of them.

Basically, I think there’s so much more to book blogging than writing book reviews. You can find so much amazing content where people are being creative, inquisitive or just flat-out entertaining. That is the type of content I love. Also, this is not me telling other bloggers to stop writing reviews. Please keep doing that if you love it! I simply want to highlight the fact that you don’t have to write a single book review to be a book blogger.

I would love to discuss this! What is your take on reviews? Both in terms of reading and writing them. What is your favorite type of content? If you watch BookTube, do you think their content differs from book blog content, and if so, what do you prefer? See you in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Yes, I’m A Book Blogger Who Doesn’t Like Book Reviews

  1. This perfectly sums up how I have been feeling lately. I’m not the definition of a reviewer. But I enjoy talking about my experience of reading. Thank you so much for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel a lot of this. I enjoy reviewing but I only tend to read them to talk about books I’ve just read, and increasingly my reviews trend that way as well. And the non-review stuff definitely tends to be more fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one to feel this way. I also try to write my reviews in a way that encourages people who’ve already read them to talk about them with me.

      Like

  3. Can I just put my signature under everything you said? You probably expressed my thoughts on this topic better than I could ever have myself, including that list of types of book reviews that you will read – that describes my review reading habits to a T! 😁

    And I also often find myself spending more time on BookTube than on book blogs, though I am also really grateful the blogging community is here for people like me who are much too shy to ever share their thoughts on video 😅 And some types of posts do work better in written format, I think!

    As to actually writing book reviews – they’re not my favorite posts either, usually because I want to include so many thoughts that they take me FOREVER. So halfway through, I really won’t want to write them anymore. And I just never feel that they’re that creative! But I do try to write one once a month (I slacked a little recently due to exams) because I know some people look forward to them and because I myself actually love going back to read them after some time has passed. It’s like a time capsule that tells me what my initial reaction to a book was! And recently, I’ve discovered that experimenting with the way I format my reviews makes them much more fun for me to write – I actually had so much fun with my most recent one for Midnight Sun because it was written in a completely different style from what I usually do 😂 Still, I definitely don’t write full reviews for even 20% of the books I read, probably more like 5%. So I’m actually impressed you still do that many! Though I must admit, my wrap-ups usually turn out pretty long because I do go into quite some detail there…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so very happy that you like this so much and felt like it was an accurate description of your own thoughts. 😀

      And yes! I’m also so grateful for the blogging community. I never considered making a BookTube channel because just… no. And I actually think that most of the posts you write are some of the ones that work better in written format, so there’s no reason for you to go on video 😄

      Writing creative and inspiring book reviews is something we all aspire to, but we all feel like we do it wrong 😂 I’m doing a lot of the same as you. I switch review style depending on how much I have to say about and whether it’s mostly negative or positive. The book decides what kind of review it gets. I also like to do the more spoilery ones for the more popular books so that I can just share all my thoughts. But that’s mostly for the ones I really liked, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you think most of my posts work better in written form – I think most of yours do, too! So I guess we can both stay well away from BookTube and be socially awkward without the rest of the world seeing it 😂😂

        And what you said about the book deciding what review style it gets is so true! I also prefer to write reviews for books I really liked; then I can gush as much as I want. Though sometimes, if I really despised a book, it can be a lot of fun to rant about it, too 😅

        Liked by 1 person

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