5 reasons I keep on writing book reviews

Reviews are kind of the black sheep in the book blogging community, which, when you think about it, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I mean, we, bookworms, screaming about books all day long, are supposed to thrive on book reviews, aren’t we? Aren’t book reviews the best way to scream about the books we adore? Aren’t book reviews supposed to be the backbone of book bloggers, our very reason to be?

Another blogging expectation crumbling, burning down to ashes here.

The unpopularity of book reviews has been highlighted and talked about many, many times in many discussion blog posts, by an amount of wonderful bloggers, me included and we all came to the same conclusion. Book reviews don’t bring in a lot of traffic, they don’t rise a lot of discussions, they don’t give us a lot of comments, when you compare them to other popular blog posts. Book discussions, blogging discussions, recommendations lists are thriving. Blog posts when you talk about a lot of books, bookish tags when you talk about books in fun ways, are working really, really well, too and all of a sudden, what you imagined to be the backbone of the book blogging community, just slowly fades out in the background.

The thing is, book reviews are so, so hard to write.

How the hell are you supposed to write a proper book review? How are you supposed to rate a book? What are words when all you want is to mihkeyzgrkeibzebgkrabjhbrek your way out of this, because the book was too good and you’re just not finding the right words to say it all? (My wonderful friend Malka wrote a very interesting blog post on that very struggle of reviewing that I’d definitely recommend!)

So why bother? In front of book discussions, recommendations, bookish lists thriving, in front of recommendations threads on twitter, endless captions on instagram talking about all the books, why bother and write an old school book review that, apparently, no one will read and comment on?

☂️ Related blog post: On book reviews: unpopularity, comments and other struggles.

Most of it all, do book reviews really make you want to buy* a book?

*Or get the book from your library, if you can. Or add it to your TBR, these work too, obviously.

Or are book recommendations lists, endless shouting, tweets and bookstagram pictures, more efficient? I mean…. weren’t book reviews made for that? To recommend other people books and make them want to read them? So, what do we do when there are other, maybe more efficient ways to do that? Do we just give up on reviews, because apparently they’re worthless here?

I’ll admit two things here.

First, that I might be exaggerating here and might be a little bit of a drama queen and I’m sorry about that, but also, not really, because things are changing. The community, the way we blog, the way publishers want to promote their titles, too. Bookstagram tours, social media campaigns, other things are put into place to promote books than big old book reviews and appreciated by publishers a whole lot, too. The world’s changing.

☂️Related blog post: Is book blogging still relevant ?

Second, that, for me, if book reviews aren’t the most popular thing ever, I’m still on that old school path and I’m not quite ready to leave it just yet.

I write book reviews now and I am publishing a book review per week on my blog, have been almost ever since I started book blogging four years ago. If things have changed, if the way I blog, the way I write blog posts, the way I’ve found my own blogging voice and what I really like writing…. book reviews have always been a constant here and I don’t think that will change. I’m not saying I might do less than one a week, because sometimes, that’s a lot. I’m saying that, someplace, I feel like I will always give some space for book reviews.

Why I keep on writing book reviews

  • Because I enjoy spotlighting one book -or a couple books when I’m doing mini reviews- and really talking about them. The thing is : when you’re writing book reviews, you’re really talking about the book, something that doesn’t happen too much when you write recommendations posts or book tags. Sure, you’re mentioning the book, maybe writing a paragraph about it, but reviews feel more focused.
  • Because, as hard as reviews are to write, I actually get an immense satisfaction when I’m writing them and finish writing them and I like this okay.
  • Because, as complicated as it is to give a review and a rating, I love to reflect on my experience while reading a book and to pinpoint exactly what I loved about it all, to better recommend it to others afterwards.
  • Because book reviews give me the chance to spotlight specific books, yes and, no matter what general opinion might say or think, maybe some people will want to read the book because of me. I make a point of writing spoiler-free reviews every time, to allow everyone to read the review if they want to and, hopefully, have the feeling that they need this book on their TBR afterwards.
  • Because…. well, despite how unpopular it may seem, I enjoy reading book reviews and therefore I want to write what I enjoy reading, too.

You don’t have to write book reviews to be a book blogger. Other blog posts are more popular, other blog posts are easier to write, too. You don’t have to do anything you don’t genuinely enjoy doing. For me, book reviews work. They might not be easy, sometimes they might bother me as well, like any other thing in life. Yet, I don’t think I see my book blog being without book reviews at all.

How often do you write book reviews on your blog? Do you enjoy writing them? Why, or why not?

Do you see yourself not writing book reviews at all? I’d love to hear from you in comments!

 

 

 

 

Twitter ☂️ Goodreads ☂️ Bloglovin ‘☂️ Support the blog

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

166 thoughts on “5 reasons I keep on writing book reviews

  1. I love writing book reviews. I mean, they are the hardest thing to write ever, and I am one of the best procrastinators ever, but I still keep writing them! I’ve been doing 2-3 per week to catch up on my immense backlog of books I haven’t written reviews for, but one day I think I’d like to drop it back to 1-2. One day when I catch up!! (which will likely be never unless I don’t read anything for 3 months…)
    I also love reading other people’s review. But in saying that, I tend to only read them if I have heard of the book, or it’s a genre / author I read, it’s on my TBR, or I have already read it. It’s mostly the last one. I like to gush with people or debate points of interest. But if I’m not so down with the book, then I’ll probably scroll, like the post and then move on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahah catching up on reviews is impossible, I know I won’t be able to do that… well, I’ve kind of given up on doing that and going with the flow hahaha. So many books, so little time 🙂
      I get that, I also tend to read only reviews of books that might interest me, too, there’s only so much time in the day unfortunately and we can’t be interested in everything, either!
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I often wonder about this! I love book reviews, writing them and reading them! They’re my favorite posts, and weirdly, they are quite popular on my blog (God knows why, haha!)
    I enjoy discussions etc, but I wish book reviews would get the appreciation they deserve! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a really interesting discussion! The unpopularity of reviews is definitely talked about but I feel obligated to with books I’m sent by publishers (not necessarily a bad thing though). I have shifted into discussions a lot more in the past year or so but I still love reviewing; it’s what got me into blogging in the first place! I’m at a stage where I no longer feel that it’s necessary to write long, full length reviews of books I love; I can get the same message across with less effort through a bullet point review/gif review, for instance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, so happy you enjoyed it 😀
      I’m with you, I’m at a lace where I no longer feel like I need to write long, thoughtful reviews and can also make my point with shorter reviews or lists and I love both so much 🙂
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I write book reviews whenever I have enough thoughts to share. Or when I’m reviewing an ARC or a book I received from the author. Mostly I write full reviews whenever I feel like sharing more of my thoughts on the book I read, sometimes I write short reflections on goodreads. It all depends on how much I have to say about a specific book. 😀 I do enjoy writing reviews, that is actually what got me into blogging in the first place. To be honest, I write reviews mainly for myself – as I love looking back at them. Because of that I don’t ever see myself stopping writing them, even if they aren’t the most popular posts out there. 🙂
    Amazing post, as always!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you, it all depends on how much I have to say on a book, sometimes I can say a lot, while some other times I don’t feel too inspired ahah 🙂
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This was such a lovely post + discussion, Marie! Even though book reviews are not very popular, I feel that they are the spine and a key staple of the community, and I personally like seeing other people’s takes on books, especially since everyone’s opinion can vary so much! I’m literally the worst at doing reviews but I’m going to try and do better. I’m not sure how, but I’ll find a way to make this happen. I really like reflecting on the experience of reading a book, my thoughts on it and just analysing it, so I do like writing reviews! I hope you’re having an amazing day 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much, I’m so happy to hear you feel that way about reviews, it makes me so happy and I’d love to see more reviews from you, I’m certain they would be AMAZING 😀
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. When I think about the purpose of my blog I just can’t get rid of book reviews… even though its tempting! You’re so right that publishers are starting to see that other forms of promotion are just as good as a review but I feel like reviews are for readers. I think that’s why I love Goodreads so much even if its an imperfect platform. It surprises me to see what blogger friends have read of books I’m thinking to read. It’s a way to connect even if its not on my blog. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on that! I love reviews and I’m so surprised to see just how helpful they’ve been to me ever since I’ve been in this community. I love them so much for that, too, so many have guided me to my next favorite books ❤
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Dani! ❤

      Like

  7. Honestly I’m happy being a book reviewer, rather than a book advertiser. There’s room for all of us, and the book blogging community has more breadth than it is given credit for, particularly among those bloggers where stats and social media likes are the priority.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a great post, Marie! I personally love reading book reviews. Hell, that’s mostly all I do! I read some before buying a book, while reading a book and after reading a book. I adore seeing what others thought of it and it always open my eyes on some things I could have missed. And, as you said, book reviews are hard to write and I love to support it as much as I can!
    I do love writing book reviews, though I don’t do it as often as I used to. Maybe I should get back to it, it’s always nice to have something to reread in a few years to remind yourself what were your thoughts on a book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you love book reviews! ❤ I find them so, so useful and they have helped me picking up books for years now and I'm SO grateful for that, too ❤
      Thank you so, so much for sharing your thoughts ❤

      Like

  9. I’m very new to book blogging (and I just discovered your blog so wow, hi!) and I didn’t know this! I personally love reading reviews on goodreads because I think everyone has something interesting to say (did they like it because of the protagonist? is the plot too fast-paced to appreciate?). I’m surprised that it’s fallen out of fashion, though it makes sense. Reviews are harder to write and read in a world of quick consumption.

    But hey, I still read them, and I made my blog specifically to write them! (Or rather, to cater to friends who like the same tropes I do). I appreciate you staying to write them 🙂 Thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Frankie and welcome to book blogging, yay!! I hope you’ll have tons of fun 😀
      I’m so happy you love reading reviews, and I agree, there is so much to learn from them and it’s always so great to read reviews and see what others thought of the book, too, I love that so much 🙂
      I’m so happy you enjoyed this post, thank you so much!! 😀

      Like

  10. I am right here with you in the book review camp! I find that traffic on my reviews actually depends on how popular the book is. I also have spent quite a bit of time learning how to better format my posts for SEO and it has really helped. Maybe the initial buzz happens on social media for books, but people definitely still read reviews when they want to decide on purchasing a book. I think we still play a large role in book promo as reviewers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you’re saying that and it makes me so, so happy and feel a little better about my reviews, too, haha 🙂
      You’re so right, reviews might not feel, important in the moment, but they’re great in the long term for sure 😀
      Thank you so much! 😀

      Like

  11. When I started book blogging, people almost exclusively wrote book reviews! We still feature tons on our blog. I love writing and talking about books–that’s why I became a book blogger! Discussion posts are fun, too, but I want to be able to talk about books that moved me, fangirl over books I loved, and, sometimes, share my disappointment with books I wanted to love! It’s hard to do that in a discussion post. And our book-specific discussions don’t get much traffic, either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, and it’s so good sometimes to just rant away, fangirl or scream about a book really in length on a blog post, something we can’t really do well in recommendations or other types of discussions 🙂 reviews are always the best for that! 🙂
      thank you so, so much for sharing your thoughts on the topic, Krysta! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am so so so behind on reviews, and honestly I’ve pretty much given up on forcing it unless I feel like it. I wrote about it this week, but honestly, the more I think about it, the more I realize part of my problem. I feel weird writing reviews about books everyone else has already been screaming about – which is how it feels, on the internet, that everyone’s reading the same things. I’m shy about adding my voice to the crowd (especially if the book doesn’t represent me – how am I supposed to speak to the rep when I can’t?). I do think that as I hopefully expand my reading list out of my comfort zone, I’ll be inspired to review books that aren’t being screamed about as much. There really isn’t anything quite as satisfying as knowing someone added a book to their TBR because of you, because they’d never heard of it until you wrote about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I get that so much, I agree! I can’t help but want to read so many books because of the hype they’re getting, but then again, I can end up reviewing a lot of the same books people have talked about before, which feels unoriginal and frustrating and… well, sometimes I feel like I have nothing more to bring to the table about these books, either haha.
      I hope you’ll get to write reviews for books you loved and that you will keep on making me add books I haven’t heard of before to my TBR (because you do, A LOT). ❤ ❤
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Christine! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I write a book review everytime I finish a book now. I love writing about what I just read & kind of discussing it, y’know? I also feel that big wave of satisfaction when I finish one, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you write all the reviews and I admire you so much, I can’t write a review for every book I read because I’m just so. damn. sloooow for these things hahaha 🙂
      Thank you so, so much for your comment! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. This is such a great post!!! ♥️
    I have a weird relationship with book reviews. On the one hand, I love reading and writing them, because, as you said, they make it possible to focus on one title and to reflect your own reading experience; I love including quotes and speaking about characters, story and world-building in detail — and I think it’s so wonderful that you get to read other people’s thoughts on a book in so much detail, too. On the other hand, I am SO behind on writing book reviews, because they are the kind of post I want to be perfect and that stresses me out a lot 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Hannah! ❤ I get the feeling – I am so behind on book reviews because of procrastination, which is completely different, but it stresses me out as well 🙈 I feel like, I'm very satisfied once I managed to put reviews out there, but the work and commitment it takes to do so is frustrating, sometimes!
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment and keep on writing reviews, I love them SO much. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I get that, too. I’m the worst procrastinator, honestly! 😂
        Writing reviews is a lot of work, but I definitely agree that it’s worth it! Thank you so much, Marie 💕

        Like

  15. Wonderful post, Marie! I personally feel like the black sheep here because I love book reviews. I love reading them and as difficult as they are to write, I love writing them to because I like the process of sorting through my feelings and the accomplishment after I’m finished.

    I also find that book reviews tend to stay more relevant, so to speak. They may not get as many views/likes/comments in the 48 hours that it is first post but in my experience they are evergreen content that will continue to bring in traffic. Unlike lists and recommendations posts, which I find tend to get a lot of traffic right in the first 48 hours and drop off into oblivion.

    At the end of the day though, I write them because I enjoy it. I kind of miss being in university, and reviewing taps into that pedagocial part of my brain that thrives for literary analysis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you love book reviews as well, yay! There is this sense of satisfaction when you wrote a review, I love it too so, so much 🙂
      You make a great point here and I agree! Some posts don’t stay relevant too often, but book reviews always do. Some themed book recommendations might, too, but reviews are always searched and always appreciated, I know I love reading reviews and stumble upon “old” reviews that way, too 🙂
      Thank you so, so much for sharing your thoughts on the topic! I’m really happy you love reviews, too, let’s keep that love alive 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AHH I love that so much, we should have that on banners or something haha 🙂
        YAY that’s great! Some recommendation posts definitely work well and they’re fun to write too 🙂

        Like

  16. Oh this was such a wonderful discussion and really spoke to me, Marie! 💕 I actually started blogging, because I wanted to Review books and I still like to do that very much. I know that book reviews aren’t the most popular posts (though that depends on what book), but I genuinly like writing them 😊 For me it has always been imported to reflect my reading experience as well and now I have found a way for me to feature Reviews on my blog (I only do Arcs and 5 star Reviews, the rest are always up on GR), that makes me really happy!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Reviews are some of my favorite posts as well. Currently, I haven’t written one in over a year because I find it difficult to write them and I want to find my own “style” since I have so much trouble thinking them out. My biggest reason for reviewing books is because I read a lot of small press/ Indie books so I love being able to share them and highlight books that not everyone has heard of and I really miss that! I think I’m also a little overwhelmed with how many books I read and what ones “deserve” a review. I do love the accomplished feeling of finishing a review and having my thoughts laid out so I’m excited to get back into book reviewing hopefully soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you’ll be able to write reviews again, they can be exhausting to write at times and really difficult, too, but the feeling of accomplishment we get afterwards is so worth it and how we’re helping promote the book is, too ❤ I hope you'll be able to find your own reviewing style, don't be afraid to try things out and make lists or things like that, that could help 🙂
      thank you so much for your comment! 🙂

      Like

  18. I love this post! Like you’ve mentioned, reviews don’t really bring in a lot of traffic but for me, while they are hard to write, they are also the easiest type of post for me to do when I’m exhausted and in a blogging slump. So I kinda love them because I will always have something to post when I’m struggling with coming up with original posts! I also do really love reading reviews too, but I do mostly stick to reviewers I’ve come to trust and that have a similar reading taste to me! Anyway, great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much, I’m so happy you enjoyed it ❤
      I agree, they're always content and I enjoy writing them a lot as well, plus I really look forward to the reviews from my favorite reviewers so, hopefully some people look forward to my reviews, too? haha. Thank you so much!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve started writing fewer book reviews, probably in part due to how unpopular they are on my blog, but I do enjoy shouting out my favorite books, and I’m terrible so it’s fun to trash horrible books, so I mostly write a lot of 5 and 1 star reviews despite most of the books I read being closer to 3 or 4 stars lmao

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha well…. not here to judge at all, somehow it’s easier to write these kind of reviews, too, isn’t it? haha 😀
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❤

      Like

  20. Awesome post again, Marie! I resonated with this so much because I am STRUGGLING to write reviews (or to write, in general) these days. I’ve been doing a great job of continuously reading, but my writing and motivation just can’t keep up. 😦 I want to be active in the blogosphere so bad, but I just can’t get over the big writing slump. Hoping to get over it soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that, Pam, I hope that you will get over this slump, soon ❤ Doing other things, keeping on with reading blog posts, reading stories help, but also completely stepping away from it, even just for a little while. Often, when I do that, I know I miss it tons even after just one day, and it makes my motivation rush back again haha 🙂
      Thank you, so much for your comment ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Story of my life, not wanting to disappoint, which is why I take hours and hours to write everything 😂 you’re not alone ahah. but you’re doing FANTASTIC Pam, always rooting for you ❤

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to The Candid Cover Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.