So I like to post on my blog around three times a week – I don’t really have a set routine on the things that I post on here, but I always make sure to post a book review up every weekend. Because it makes perfect sense for me to post book reviews on my book blog… However, since I’m in such a slump lately, I failed to post a review last week and may not even get one out this week, either. So since there’s no review going up this week, I thought I would write a small discussion post on the topic of writing book reviews.
(Emphasis on ‘mini’ because I’m still struggling with writing right now, but anyways…)
Lately I’ve been slacking with reading, blogging, responding to comments, and posting comments. I’ve slowly been getting back into it the past week but I’m still having a hard time with reviews. Two books I’ve read this past month, I decided to not write reviews on. If I were to write reviews on these books, they would be pretty positive ones since I enjoyed both of these novels. But I just don’t have the energy to write them, and I feel incredibly bad for it – especially since one of the book’s afterthoughts/acknowledgements/whatever, asked readers to please leave reviews online. I still feel so bad for not writing one, but I probably wouldn’t do the book justice in my current state anyways.
So I tweeted about this, and I said that sometimes, I don’t really enjoy writing book reviews. And I was surprised by the response. Because everyone that responded agreed with me! They said that sometimes they struggled to write reviews, or that their reviews felt repetitive (I completely relate to that one!). One follower said that reviewing books can sometimes take the fun out of reading for them, because they’re thinking about the task of writing the review as they’re reading.
This is one of the reasons I like to request ARCs from NetGalley one at a time. Because in my experience, writing book reviews regularly can get overwhelming, and the requirement that comes with ARCs to post reviews really gets me stressed sometimes! And in those moments, writing reviews is really not fun for me. Blogging for me is a hobby, and there’s no point in me doing this if I’m not having fun with it. (I currently have like 5 ARCs to read & review, too. I don’t know how it got so out of hand!)
That’s not to say reviewing novels is a huge chore, because of course it’s not, I wouldn’t be doing it otherwise. But sometimes I really struggle with them. If it’s a highly positive review or a negative one, writing reviews comes easily to me since I have lots to say! Three star reviews are the most difficult for me to write (funnily enough, they seem to be the most popular rating on my blog), because they feel really repetitive, and I think to myself “Am I saying anything unique here? Why would anyone even read this when there are far more entertaining and informative reviews elsewhere?” and those thoughts make me feel like I’m not doing my ‘job’ as a blogger up to a good standard. I depend on reviews a lot when it comes to deciding whether to add a book to my TBR or not, and because of that, I too want to help people with the same decisions by writing reviews of my own.
Sometimes I wonder whether my technique is part of the problem. I have a set layout of details/intro/characters/chemistry/plot/conclusion, then at the end I add who I would recommend the book to, and whether I would re-read the novel. And these reviews are around 700-1000 words long. Maybe I need to change it up a bit? Shorten it, add more images or colour? Even this post is a bit boring-looking. Maybe my issues with writing reviews lies with my technique and organisation (or lack thereof!).
This post is quite messy, and I feel like I had a lot more to say on the topic, but I wanted to ask you, do you enjoy writing book reviews? How often do you write/post them? Do you feel obligated to write them because you have a book blog? I’d love to know your thoughts!