Lately there seems to be a consensus that review writing is sort of the “chore” aspect of running a book blog. People seem to think have to do it to be a blog, but it’s not the “fun” part of being a blogger. Many complain that review posts don’t drive as much engagement to their blog as features or discussions, or they feel that readers are more likely to skip them. It seems more bloggers are turning away from writing reviews or trying to find alternative formats for review writing. There’s nothing wrong with either of these approaches, or having these feelings.
However, I still really enjoy reading and writing reviews.
Writing reviews is the catalyst that started my blog in the first place. I wanted a space where I could talk through me feelings about the books I read, and have a space where I could record my thoughts about them for future reference. Integrating myself into the book blogging community made me love reviews even more, as I realized that people seriously wanted to know my opinion and in turn I could find even more book recommendations from reading reviews. I cross post all of my reviews to Goodreads and one of my favorite things to do when I add a book to my TBR is to go to that book’s Goodreads page and see what my friends have thought of it. Whether it’s a raving, scathing, or balanced review, I love seeing bloggers write about their experiences with books through reviews.
I also find that I have meaningful engagement through my book review posts, even if it’s not quite as much as a meme or feature. Every comment by someone telling me that I’ve really made them want to read a book or that they appreciated reading my analysis on a novel gives me that blogger-glow that comes from knowing I am sharing my passion and love for books successfully. There’s few feelings as rewarding as having someone come to you and tell you that a book you reviewed and recommended is now a new favorite of theirs.
I still appreciate the basics of my book blogging.
For me, reviewing books was the foundation of my blog when I started over a year ago and it’s something that will always be central to my mission as a blogger. I love long reviews, in-depth reviews, passionate reviews, and critical reviews. I love having a record of my thoughts on a book to go back to. I love being able to have a review written to back up a recommendation I give for a book. Not everyone feels this way, and there are so many book blogs I love that don’t have reviews as their central focus. However, I don’t feel reviews are passé and I think they are still a central and important part of the blogging community.
What’s your stance on reviews?
Do you enjoy writing reviews or do you see them more as a chore? Do you still read reviews? Do you find you get discussion and engagement on your review posts? Do you think book reviewing is still a foundation of book blogging, or that the focus is shifting? Let me know in the comments!