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!

Posted in Book Memes

Are TBR’s necessary to be a book blogger?

“Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world.”

First line in Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Hi, guys and welcome to another Let’s Talk Bookish post. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books. Each week we discuss a new book related topic and this week we’re on the topic of TBR’s. The specific question is whether TBR’s are necessary to be considered a book blogger or a reader.

I will start off by saying that the only thing necessary to be considered a book blogger is that you talk about books. Nothing else. In what way or how much you do it are solely your own choices. Therefore, no, TBR’s are not necessary to be a book blogger, but they can still be convenient.

If you’re able to stick to your monthly TBR (more or less), I think it’s a great way to let your followers know what to expect on your blog. Personally, I like to look forward to a review on a book I love because I’ve seen it on someone’s TBR. That also means, of course, that it can be frustrating for your followers if you post a TBR and then don’t stick to it at all. I know that I don’t like reading monthly TBR’s that include 20 or 30 books, because I know they’re not going to read all of them anyway.

I don’t post monthly TBR’s myself because I never know what I’m reading, and it would stress me out too much to try and stick to it. For me, seasonal or maybe even yearly TBR’s work better.

Posting about your TBR (not necessarily monthly) could also just generate some buzz around those books. Through your comments you can find out what other people think of them and find out which ones your followers look forward to your review of the most. It could help you pick out which books to read first if you care about that sort of thing.

That was it for me this time around. Do you think TBR’s are necessary? Or do you find them too restricting? If you’re someone who do monthly TBR’s, let me know why.