Why I Don’t Write Book Reviews

bookreviews

Photo Credit: Sharon Lee Hughson

The most common type of post you’ll find from so called book bloggers is book reviews. You’ll also notice that I never write such posts. There’s a reason for this, several actually. Let’s begin.

The easiest of my reasons for not writing book reviews on this blog is that, quite frankly, they’re boring to read. I mean, the only book reviews I’ll ever even consider reading on other blogs are of books I’ve actually read. I don’t care about this book tour or that obscure title you think should be more popular than it is or any book I’m not interested in. The only reviews I can recall reading on here were for The Fault in Our Stars, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and any of the books starring Katniss. That’s all. And I get really annoyed when I follow a blog that proceeds to post book review after book review after book review. I just unfollow and get on my merry way.

The second reason besides them being boring to read is that they’re boring to write. I’ve admitted to writing a couple of my blog posts in a rush, but writing book reviews is about as interesting as nothing. I mean, here you are spending way too much time writing a detailed and informative book review that very few people will read. Why? Because I think many people are like myself and would rather read reviews on Amazon or Goodreads or not at all.

My last reason will be obvious to those of you who frequent my little piece of the Internet. To review books, to me, is to either recommend them or to dissuade my reader from taking a chance on the book. Because if I give a book a rating of four or five stars then that is no different from my saying “I think this is a good book that you would enjoy reading.” If I give it a rating of one or two stars then that’s the same as my saying it was awful. And you guys should know by now that I don’t recommend books. Ever.

Bonus reason, I hate to have to talk about the book’s story. If you’ve read any of my posts about the books on the Amazon list, then you’ll know that I very, very briefly hit on the high points of the story before I get into my thoughts. And by no means do I consider those book reviews. Mostly just rambling.

BUT against my better judgment I’ll ask you why you do or don’t post book reviews on your blog. And if yours is one of those blogs that strictly posts reviews, well I’m not asking you. This is for bloggers like myself who post about writing and reading and publishing and literally anything there is to post about books.

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54 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Write Book Reviews

  1. I do do (hee hee, doodoo) book reviews. While I definitely agree with you, they’re hella boring to read depending on who’s writing them, I also find them helpful. If I’m unsure of a book that I’ve heard about, I’ll look at reviews or ratings. I write reviews to either save people from reading horrible books or to solidify their reasoning to read a certain book. I also just really like talking about books and a lot of the time people don’t want to hear about it in the working world, so this is my outlet. It also helps me remember if I liked or disliked a book and why. It’s not always about the reader ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. My reasons for doing book reviews is the exact mirror of your reason for not doing book reviews: I love book recommendations, both receiving and giving. I’ll admit, I don’t read a lot of book reviews, because I’ve got too many on my To-Be-Read list as it is, but I’ll check out recommendations by people whose opinions I really value or when I just want something new and different I wouldn’t have thought of myself. I don’t expect my reviews to reach a lot of people; I don’t expect many to even follow my recommendations. But I like posting my thoughts about books in the chance that someone else might want to check the book out or perhaps they’ve read it, too, and it sparks a discussion. I just like talking about books, though, so there you go.

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  3. I post book reviews to talk about books. I guess it’s similar to joining a book club without the commitment. If readers want to comment on what I have written, I’m glad to have a conversation about it, even if we disagree. Plus, I guess it’s like a writing exercise while I get my blogging feet under me. I think as my blog progresses and/or I become a published author, I will no longer review books. We’ll see. Until then, I just enjoy getting my thoughts about a novel in order. It also helps me to see where I think a writer has done well, or not so well, and allows me to learn from that discovery.

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    • It’s not necessary to review a book to know what the author did or didn’t do well. That comes from reading it.

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      • You have an amazing ability to miss the forest for the trees. If I had realized this was your post I would not have commented. You make short, uninformed comments without the slightest insight while focusing on tiny aspects of what your readers have responded with. Not only are your responses disrespectful to your readers, if you don’t want to hear or at least acknowledge the potential merit of the comments, why do you ask for them? If you can’t craft a response that at least demonstrates a full understanding of the subject then say nothing at all. You demean the efforts of your readers with your blase comments. I will be unfollowing your blog.

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      • Thank you. I’ve never followed yours.

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  4. I don’t write them. I did do a post or two on a couple of my favorite books and why they were my favorite… But, I would not want to review them because inevitably someone will argue with my opinion of the book and that will irritate me. People pick apart these reviews just to be nasty I think. Different people will take different things from each book, so a book I might think is fabulous you might think is junk. That’s okay! I don’t want to get into defending books I like or get pissy because someone is offended that I did not care for a book they love. I agree that most of the time, book reviews in blogs are boring. I do love book recommendations, though. I generally don’t read the goodreads reviews either beyond a quick skim, because most of them are so poorly written that I think the reviewers ought to stick to books more on their level like “One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.”

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  5. I have just posted a tab for me to leave book reviews on my blog. I think it will help readers decide if they want to read a book or not. Now, I am friends with a lot of book bloggers and if the book doesn’t interest me, I don’t go to the page.

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  6. I haven’t posted book reviews yet, but have been thinking of doing a post of mini-reviews based on a theme, like “books that made me see things differently” or “books you shouldn’t read if you’re already suicidal”. That sort of thing. In that case there would still be a reason behind the blog post besides just a review that I’m sure most of my readership would ignore.

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  7. I mainly post bookreviews for the synopsis, most people who write bookreviews copy the synopsis from goodreads or the cover of the book. I don’t because I think it is valuable to read a other description of the story to get a more accurate view of the book before buying it. And how will you ever find your new favorite book without someone mentioning it exists?

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  8. I sometimes review books on Amazon when asked, and Amazon always asks, and many times I don’t respond with a review. I’m not a professional reviewer, and I hold onto that status because I would never give a negative book review. If I am not 100% convinced that the book is awesome and perfect and deserves no criticism, I don’t review it. I seldom review books on my blog. My Dean Koontz post was not meant to be a review.

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  9. This is really fascinating. I’ve just started a thing where I’m trying to read a book from every country in the world and I’ve been struggling to figure out how to blog about it … I really don’t want to do book reviews, but it seems to be the thing to do. To find a well-articulated argument? (is that the right word?) why it might not be the best thing to do is quite liberating! Thank you for this!

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  10. Okay, I agree and disagree with you here. I agree with over-doing it, or for obscure books they’re trying to promote. That can get annoying (though I understand if they’re trying to promote indies, etc.) I don’t know. I also agree about the rating thing, which is why in my reviews (which are pretty rare) I never give a rating. Instead, I break it down into what I liked, what I didn’t, my favorite part, and my overall verdict. Even if I didn’t like it, I’ll try to say who it would be good for. I also post a review on Goodreads, so you can read them on there instead if you’re stubborn ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  11. I don’t write reviews and I rarely read them. I usually skip over them in my feed. I think I’ve read MAYBE five book reviews in my whole life. They’re completely subjective, which means if I don’t have the exact same personality, opinion, reading preferences as the person writing it, I’m not going to get anything out of it. So what’s the point? I read books based on their own merit, usually by reading the back cover or a few pages at the beginning or middle of the book. Reviews make me blargh.

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  12. Hi John!
    Thanks for liking my post.
    I understand your words perfectly. I don’t like reading and I don’t absolutely write book reviews, but my reason is much more simple. I just don’t like ruining fun to those who are going to read the books I’ve already read ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. I guess I can see your point that book reviews can be boring. I write them on my blog because although many may not care, I like to share all things about writing, including authors and stories that interest me and have influenced my writing. There are always some who will find interest in them, even if its not a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Hm. I don’t read them. BUT I definitely read like all of your poems because holy crap they’re amazing. Not even kidding. But I never know what to comment on a poem. I’d just be like…..well here’s another great one. Or something.

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      • Thank you, thank you for the comment on my poems! I definitely see what you mean about commenting on poems.and quotes–sometimes there’s not much to say–but likes are definitely appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

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  14. Book reviews don’t have to be boring. And you don’t have to buy a book just because you read a review. But it’s nice to know what is out there, or if you want to be somewhat informed about a book without actually reading it.
    I do book reviews on my blog but mostly I just get drunk and make bad jokes. I don’t do synopses because duh, that’s what Amazon and Goodreads are for. If I’m going to read a book I don’t care what it’s about, only that it is awesome. And if I’m reading a review I want to be engaged and entertained by the reviewer’s skill at writing, not the book she’s talking about. If that makes sense.

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  15. I can’t do book reviews either… they bore me to tears

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  16. Interesting. My attitude to reviews is mixed. Sometimes I read them, sometimes not. I’m not sure I’d ever read a book based on just one review though. I do tend to find negative reviews more interesting than positive ones, which does kind of undermine the ‘review as recommendation’ idea. Perhaps I feel I can learn more (as a writer myself) from a negative review (assuming it gives clear, intelligent reasons) than a gushingly positive one.
    Reviews can be boring and overlong, yes, but like any other piece of writing it can be good or bad. It shouldn’t be longer than it needs to be and it should hold the reader’s interest. If it doesn’t follow those rules then it’s failed.
    I like the idea of reviewing indie-authored books on Amazon on the rare occasions I read them (which I confess isn’t often), simply because I know how difficult it can be to get such a book reviewed. I don’t see the point in reviewing popular best-sellers though.
    Anyway, you’ve made me feel less guilty for doing so few reviews, so thank you!

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  17. I’ve alway felt that perhaps I should write a few reviews, as it seems to be the ‘done thing’ for those of us with blogs that pertain mainly to writing. However, your post has just put justification to those little voices (excuses) in my head that constantly tell me I have something better to do with my time. I also never read the reviews on book blogs. There’s far more good stuff out there โ€“ just like this. Thanks.

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    • I think it’s like a requirement for so called book bloggers. Cause they ALLLLLL write them. Even though I consider myself a book blogger and I don’t write or read them. Thanks for reading my bleh blog! As long as some people like it then it’ll always remain.

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