I was planning on writing a book review today. I haven’t written one in ages and in between all of those recipes I’ve posted recently, I figured it was high time for another review. So, I looked through the books on my “Read” shelf on Goodreads to find the perfect book to write a review about. But… I couldn’t really find one. I’ve had plenty of interesting reads recently, so that’s not the issue. I also haven’t been in a reading slump, so that can’t be it either. What is it that made me go “meh” about writing reviews on these books?
Book reviews have been a highly discussed phenomenon in the book blogging world for as long as I can remember. They’re a staple of the book blog – it’s basically what keeps us all going, right? If not for the book review, what would we all write about? I know I couldn’t fill an entire book blog with discussion posts – I don’t have that much to discuss. I think that when most people think “book blog”, they think “book review”. When I tell people what my blog is about, I say “book reviews and recipes, basically”.
And yet it’s been a while since I wrote a review. I used to write a ton of them (then again, I used to post two times a week…). But I always noticed that my reviews got fewer comments and likes than my other posts. Of course, it’s not all about the likes and the comments – I know that. I write what I like, not what I think other people will like, but nevertheless, it is nice if other people read my stuff. I always like to chat with people in the comments. The interaction is what makes blogging so much fun, after all. Otherwise, I could just sit and talk to a wall or something.
I guess that’s what writing book reviews feels like sometimes; talking to a wall. This has more to do with my own blog-reading habits, though. Confession: I hardly read any book reviews. The only reviews I read are of books I’ve already read and books I already planned on reading anyway. If everyone reads as few reviews as I do, hardly any of them would get read at all. Do you get where I’m going? I don’t read many book reviews (anymore), so I don’t really feel like writing that many either.
It’s not that I really don’t enjoy writing book reviews. They can be fun to write and they’re much more intellectually satisfying to write (for me) than recipes, for example. I like putting my thoughts and opinions out there. I just sometimes wonder if it is any use. Do people still read reviews on book blogs?
I highly doubt whether this post makes any sense at all, but I just wanted to spew my thoughts, which are many and incoherent. Do I want to stop writing book reviews altogether? Definitely not. But I do think I need to make it a little bit more fun for myself again. I’ve already gone and did that a little by taking a certain specific approach in some of my more recent reviews, like these ones:
- Turtles All the Way Down and the Importance of #ownvoices
- 6 Reasons Why Illuminae Surprised Me
- What I Learned about the War from a Children’s Book: The Secret of the Blue Glass
- Why How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis Is the Perfect Book for Female Bookworms
Just coming up with good, eye-catching titles made writing these reviews more fun for me already. I think I want to keep going with this way of writing reviews; picking one angle and going with that. By doing that, I am making things more difficult for myself, though. There are some books that I simply loved without there being a specific angle. I do want to mention those books on here, but do I want to devote an entire post to them? I’m not sure.
As you can see, I’m still searching for what I want with all of this. I feel like I need to do something to make blogging easier again for myself. Today I spent way too long trying to figure out which of my recent reads I should write a review on, just because I thought I should write a review. Normally, I would’ve either pushed through and written a review that would probably have been mediocre at best or I wouldn’t have written any post at all. But today I decided to just make a post out of the entire experience and that’s been way more fun and satisfying! And that’s what it’s all about, after all.
I’ve drifted away from the title of this post a little, but my question does still stand. What are your opinions on book reviews? Yay or nay? Do you like to read them? Do you like to write them? I would love to know! Let’s chat in the comments!
25 thoughts on “Book Reviews: Yay or Nay?”
Beautiful photo! I like reviews, but this is YOUR blog so write posts YOU enjoy writing!
Thank you very much! Yes, that’s definitely my motto – I never write posts I don’t enjoy writing. But it’s always fun to know about the other opinions out there! I’m not going to stop writing reviews, but I am going to give my own spin to them 🙂
Yeah I agree, go you!:)
Definitely Yay! Especially when you write about your own thoughts&feelings provoked by reading a certain book, I really enjoy your book blogs. And that has nothing to do with me being your Mum…
Thank you, mama! ❤
I read tons of reviews, but rarely comment on them. I think they’re a really valuable part of a blog, it’s just that they tend to generate less discussion because there’s not much for a reader to say unless they’ve also read the book. So they end up feeling less satisfying because they get less comments.
I totally agree with you! 🙂 Whenever I do read a review, I usually just think something along the lines of “ah, that’s interesting”, but I don’t have anything really worthwhile to comment, unless I’ve read the book in question as well. I’m definitely not going to stop writing them because I do love reviews, but I think I’m going to continue putting my own spin on them, just to make writing them a little more fun for me. Thanks for your comment!
I’ve found I don’t read as many book reviews as I used to, mostly bc most book bloggers are into a lot of YA and fantasy and those aren’t my forte. I do still have a few favorite book bloggers though, and I love the way you have done yours, where you tie a book review in with a commentary/discussion on something else.
As for my own reviews, like you I’m not going to stop doing them, but I do get less interaction on them than other things. I get tons of likes but few comments (except for my most recent one; that one has gotten a lot of interaction for some reason). I post mini reviews monthly to track what I’ve read and what I thought of it; it’s typically 3-4 books per post. I’ll probably never stop unless I quit reading, which is highly unlikely. Interesting discussion!
Thank you, Sarah! That means a lot to me that you like that about my reviews. I do read quite a lot of YA, but there are still sooo many reviews out there of YA books I don’t plan on ever reading. I also mainly read “backlist” books (because there’s no way to keep up), and I always feel a little insecure about reviewing those. Does anyone still want to read that? I don’t know!
Yes, I’ve also been thinking about writing more mini reviews. On the one hand, it makes me a little sad that people (including myself) no longer have the attention span to read something longer than a “mini” review, but on the other hand… It’s an easy way to review more books, and people do seem to like them! And then I could just write full-length reviews for the books I do have a lot to say about.
Thanks for your input! I really appreciate it 🙂
I don’t know about others, but I want to read backlist reviews! I’m always late reading new releases, too, bc they’re more realistic for me to get later on. Also I think part of the beauty of books is they can be appreciated no matter when you read them, so review what you want!
I so agree with you! I’m definitely going to remember that next time I feel insecure about backlist reviews! 🙂 They might get less engagement, but they’re still worthwhile, and there’s probably always at least one person who appreciates it!
I like your book reviews and your recipes – if reviews aren’t working for you right now, take a break for a while.
Thanks Cathy, that means a lot! I’m definitely going to keep writing book reviews – I think I just need to find a way to keep it interesting for myself. This post and its comments are really motivating, though!
I love your bookblogs and your writing style. It always amazes me again, but then again you already wrote small stories the moment you knew how to write. So I hope there are more blogs to come.
Thank you, papa! I definitely won’t stop writing book reviews, even if it’s just so you can read them 🙂
I feel like all I write is reviews most of the time, and TTT posts. I don’t think I’d have much of a blog otherwise But I’ve definitely heard that from other reads, that reviews aren’t so popular anymore. I guess I figure if one person reads a book because of my review, that makes me happy. And for the most part, I enjoy writing them still. But the get low engagement, that’s for sure.
There’s definitely no shame in that! Book reviews are the backbone of the book blogging community, I think. Plus, as long as you enjoy writing them, it’s all good, right? I really do still love book reviews, but they can just be a bit of a struggle sometimes. 🙂 I also like TTT posts, but I always feel like I don’t read enough books to make my TTTs diverse enough. It feels like I keep mentioning the same books over and over! But I definitely want to get back to doing a TTT every now and then. 🙂
I don’t read reviews as thoroughly as I used to. I much prefer mini reviews that cut to the chase of what someone thought of a book. I tend to skim longer reviews just to get the gist of what the blogger thought.
Same, I do that too! On the one hand, it makes me a little sad that we’ve no longer got the attention span to read a full-length review… But on the other hand; mini reviews are also fun to write, and if there’s a book I *do* have a lot to say on, I can still write a long review for those! Definitely going to write more mini reviews, though, I think. Thanks for your input! 🙂
I definitely think book reviews bring in my least amount of traffic too.😂Like I can get dozens of comments on a list or tag, but then book review? It can often be crickets. But I do get that! Like sometimes book reviews are spoilery (even unintentionally) and I often like to go into reading a book with no prior knowledge so I’ll only read reviews of books I’ve READ which definitely cuts down on how many I click on. But I also know that reviews are hard to get comments on, so I make an effort to read/comment on others’ reviews so…um, listening karma? Pls come back to me.😂
I don’t think we have to review though if we don’t want to! Your blog should be whatever you want it to be!
Whoops, late response! Yes, it all totally makes sense. And I still love the book review. In fact, now that I haven’t written one in a while, I actually miss it! It’s such a staple of the book blogging community, and I think that if it were to disappear, everyone would miss it!
I love reading and writing books review. but I think I am in the minority with the reading of them! I was thinking about moving my reviews to goodreads, but then I am not sure what I would post on my blog!
If you like writing reviews, I’d just keep on posting them on your blog! You could always post them on both your blog and Goodreads, of course! I did that for a while as well, but now I usually write short reviews on Goodreads for most of the books I read.
When I was a freshman in college, I ran a fairly successful book blog. I had loyal followers, and I enjoyed reviewing books. However, I deleted the account within the span of a year. I enjoyed writing the reviews, but I couldn’t churn them out as quickly as I wanted. In order to keep on growing, I had to post regularly. I couldn’t do that while I was in school. I wish I had taken it slower. If I hadn’t burned myself out, I would have still had my previous blog. Now, I’m stuck growing my audience from the ground up. Don’t burn yourself out. Write one when you want to write one. In the meantime, feel free to explore other types of book related content. Good luck!
Oh, that’s such a pity that you deleted your blog! I’ve taken breaks from mine, but I always come back to it, and I still love it so much after 5 years of doing this. Thank you for the tips! 🙂