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:
- I’ve already read the book being reviewed and want to discuss it.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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!