Book Reviews – Discussion!

Lately I’ve been reading more and more blogging tips advising book bloggers to post less book reviews for the sheer reason of them not being popular.

If book reviews make your stats suffer, are they worth writing?

Let’s discuss!

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This topic frustrates me quite a bit. I won’t be so quick to say that receiving views isn’t important to me (because it is, it encourages me to keep sharing!), but to go so far as to encourage other bloggers to not share book reviews is ludicrous.

Maybe I’m naive, but I think book reviews are essential to a book blog. It’s the soul of our community.

Books are the heart of our blogs. If we all decide to stop reviewing books, to stop analyzing their content, to stop questioning the messages (good or bad) that is being provided all for the sake of our stats then I think that’s extremely shallow.

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I simply believe that books should be reviewed and discussed. 

Reviews create book hype. But book hype isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

What if The Hate U Give was never reviewed by anyone? Do you think it would have received the same attention as it did if there was no hype surrounding the novel?

What if Carve the Mark had never been reviewed and was never called out for being racist? Yes, it might still be popular in the YA spheres, but the fact that this blogging community is spreading awareness to this issue is absolutely critical. We are changing the culture of books by demanding better from these authors, by demanding diversity, and by demanding publishers recognize their impact when they choose to publish a book that doesn’t promote fair representation.

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book blogging mob lol
Perhaps because I’m still new to the blogging community, and I still feel in my heart that the reason I started this blog was to talk about books with other readers – not so much to become a “popular” blog, but reviews are significant to encourage authors to write stories we want to hear.

Yes, your stats might drop that day. Yes, you might not get as much interaction on your review compared to memes or tags. But should you avoid writing reviews altogether? Should you encourage other bloggers not to write reviews? I don’t think so.

What do you think about this topic?

Do you agree that book reviews change the culture of books?

Do you think bloggers should hold stats as more important and avoid reviews?

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Until next time!

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59 thoughts on “Book Reviews – Discussion!

  1. The problem with this is that it suggests the only point of doing anything is for the stats. I’d rather have a great discussion with one person about a book then have 50 hits on something I’ve whipped up to try and be more popular! Opinions are important & I find book reviews really helpful too πŸ€“πŸ“š they help me whittle down the 100 books I want to 50 πŸ˜‚ x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! I so agree! Us bloggers can get so overwhelmed with the want for great stats that we will throw other posts under the bus for more views, but having good conversations about books is more important than internet popularity (which, in itself, is fickle!)

      Like

  2. I really appreciated this post! I think book reviews are integral to expanding our understanding of writing and seeing things from other points of view. As long as the reviews are thoughtful and earnest, there’s no harm in them and they’re definitely helping someone understand the book or at least generate interest and discussion

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh, such a great discussion! πŸ˜„

    Personally, I just don’t like writing reviews. I wrote reviews on Goodreads for a year and a half before I quit, and once I got into blogging, I was just burned out. I do still write reviews when I can, and I think really the only reason I do is because if you don’t, publishers don’t usually accept ARC requests if you’ve never reviewed a book on your blog. πŸ˜‚ And I usually just skip reviews in my Reader because I find them boring and I like going into blind most of the time (which is more a me thing than anyone else).

    But if people want to do them, they can! I know there are people who love reviewing and it’s their favorite thing to read on other blogs! I guess it just all comes down to everyone’s tastes! πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi there! Thankyou so much for this post. I have recently started blogging and my blog is only a book review blog. I personally think it’s necessary to have book reviews. It’s the best way a person can decide whether they want to read a book or not and it’s a great summary of all the pros and cons in a book. I think it’s okay if my views are less, because for those who do read them, reviewing books is such a great way to bring people together to talk about a book. It’s probably what’s most important to me

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post! I believe books need to be reviewed! There’s been several books I’ve read based off other people’s reviews and love comparing their opinions to my own. Also there’s been a few great books I’ve discovered that I would have never heard of if it wasn’t for other reviewers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Most of my book reviews are definitely viewed less than any other (except for those really hyped ones). Obviously, it’s up to the blogger if they want to bother reviewing books, but I do think they’re important! Like you said, they educate others on issues in books, or rave and boost ones that are amazing. It’s also just fun to chat about your thoughts with other people. Great discussion!

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, I’m all for blogging the way you wish to blog. That may not include reviews, which is fine. I just don’t think we should be discouraging other bloggers to write reviews due to our personal opinions of them. Thank you for your comment!! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t understand why a book review would result in less views if your followers are fellow book lovers. Maybe because they read the same latest release? But that’s confusing because I’d love to hear what others think about the same book I just finished. The only part of book reviews I find boring are when the reviewer summarizes that story rather than gives his/her thoughts. I just started posting the publisher’s description on my blog post, but skip it on Amazon or Goodreads since it’s right at the top.

    I am rather new to writing reviews and I recently amped it up because I’d like to discover new titles with advance reader’s copies. I discovered Callisto Publisher’s Club on a Reddit yoga forum, and now have joined NetGalley too. It’s a lot of fun.

    The pleasant side-effect is that I am interacting with the books a lot more than I used to because I have to highlight, take notes, and process what I thought of the book. My Kindle Paperwhite really helps with that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Same John! I’ve no clue why book reviews seem to show a dip in views especially within the book blogging niche. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

      I’m also new to reviewing and blogging in general. Only been 3 months now! But I think I’m slowly, but surely finding my groove with it. πŸ˜›

      I haven’t ventured into the ARC world just yet as I have rather a lot of books on my bookshelves at home that I really ought to tackle first!

      Thank you so much for your comment! πŸ˜€

      Like

  8. Book Bloggers and reviewers have a huge impact on sales and rankings…it is important to post reviews on goodreads and amazon as well as blogging about the books. Even if you are not getting comments people are seeing your posts and buying what you recommend! It can feel thankless but the authors are grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It had only been since reading book reviews that my reading habits have changed. This is a good thing. My reading experiences have widened and I have found much joy in discovering new genres which I previously refused to consider. The world is a much richer thanks to book reviews.
    Stats ?Phewy. Makes it all sound like a Call Centre and having to reach Key Performance Indicators to retain your job role.
    As one who is probably older than most I do understand the need for numbers, and also that some things need to fuel a passion. At the end of the day which is the most important?
    Keep up the great work one and all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment! It is encouraging to get likes and comments to continue blogging, but I’d never sacrifice writing book reviews in order to get there. They are simply too important!!

      Like

  10. I love this Bridget!! ❀ And it’s something I’ve noticed as well, book reviews tend to get less interaction and stats compared to other posts. And that can be discouraging, but for people to go as far as to tell others NOT to post reviews because of it? Quite extreme omg. For many, many book bloggers out there, starting a blog at all was to SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS. ON BOOKS. Aka reviews. Disregarding that dedication, that love for books, in favour of stats is kind of crazy. Granted, I haven’t written a review in SO LONG, but it’s not about the stats at all really, more on just me actually sorting out my feelings in a semi-coherent way haha. But reviews are SO important oh my gosh, to create hype, to spotlight problematic issues, to simply be A FANGIRL. ❀ Should not be abandoned for fear of low stats! πŸ™ˆ I totally agree with you on all of this ahh, great discussion!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Awesome post. I’m new to WordPress but I’ve noticed this a lot as well. It’s really encouraging to see someone who believes that book reviews are important as well.

    Like

  12. I think it depends on your goals as a book blogger. If your goal is to connect with as many other bookish people as possible, then your goal would likely be to get page views. If book reviews result in fewer page views, I think it’s useful to present that information for people whose primary purpose is page views.

    That said, I have a hard time imaging what that would be like! I write about books because I like to write about books and if anyone else reads the things I write about books, I consider that icing on the cake!

    Like

    • This is true, everyone has different goals for what they want to get out of blogging, but my argument was that no one should discourage other book bloggers not to post reviews simply because they have a notion that reviews are boring, don’t result in as many views, and are therefore pointless. Because I don’t think reviews are pointless. Hope you can understand where I’m coming from! Thank you so much for your comment! πŸ˜€

      Like

  13. Great post Bridget !
    I totally agree with you. I am a new blogger and the very reason I started blogging was to share my reviews with everyone. And if stop writing reviews, I feel, I will neither ever be satisfied with what I am doing nor become “popular”. Awesome post πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is something I’ve noticed too. As is the case for most bloggers, my reviews definitely don’t get as many views and comments as e.g. Top Ten Tuesday or discussion posts. But I agree with you in that we should NEVER stop writing and posting reviews. In the end, that’s what being a book blogger is all about, isn’t it? Sure, memes and tags are a lot of fun and they’re great for when you’re in a bit of a reading slump but they should be a bonus. Something to switch up your content, not to replace it.
    And, like you said, book reviews are important. For example, (potentially) harmful / triggering content (e.g. concerning mental health, bad representation, race, etc.) wouldn’t get the attention it needs if nobody points it out in their review. So, yes, I think they’re really important πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is such a great post! Not posting book reviews seems….so strange to tell a book blogger. Isn’t that what we do, talk about the books we read?? That’s why I started my blog – because I wanted to share my thoughts on the books I was reading and even more, I wanted to talk to people about them! Book reviews are my favorite thing about book blogging and they’d be the very last thing to go from my blog. And I love reading them and learning about new books, and especially reading the opinions of people I’ve gotten to know on here! I love seeing differing opinions.

    But really….if a person doesn’t want to read book reviews just…don’t follow people who post reviews, not try to dictate what other people post. Sometimes I see lots of reviews of the same book, but if I’m not interested I just…don’t read it. It takes .2 seconds to scroll past a post lol. But it makes me sad when I see people say they feel like they’re under pressure to blog a certain way, because this is supposed to be fun, and when people do what they want to do I think their personality and creativity shine through their posts the most!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes to some people feeling pressured to blog a certain way! I simply do not condone that kind of atmosphere because that kind of thing would be a snowball effect – don’t blog about that or that or that, etc. It would become bullying. And yes to simply scrolling past a post you don’t want to read instead of openly complaining about it being “boring” or what not. Thank you so much for your comment Steph!! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  16. What a wonderful post! ❀️

    I honestly do not care that my stats go down whenever I post a review! I’m a book blog and I’m here to share my thoughts on books! I don’t mind if I don’t get many comments/interactions that day because I get enough on other posts!

    And what’s up with the people who say that people should stop writing reviews altogether??? Like what? We’re BOOK bloggers! By reviewing a book you create hype around a book and it gets people talking! Isn’t that the whole point?

    I am confusion, those people don’t know what they’re talking about and they shouldn’t tell people what to do! If they don’t want to write reviews, that’s completely fine! But I will keep writing them no matter what others say! Lovely post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! If someone doesn’t want to post a book review – fine, whatever floats your boat, you do you. But you should never discourage people from posting a review on your own perception that they’re “boring” or not popular, etc. Thanks Jackie!!! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Literally all I do on my blog is review books…. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ I think I do pretty well, but I am also not in the ‘niche’ of YA book bloggers which I know is huge. I only read adult books so my audience is probably different.

    -Carissa

    Liked by 1 person

    • Girl, thank you for your service!!

      Just the other day I was reading someone’s post who said they REFUSE to follow a blog that’s all book reviews because they’re “boring.” I couldn’t have rolled my eyes harder!

      Book reviews = awesome!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aw thanks… I don’t really get people who are so closed minded that they won’t follow someone because all they do is review books… I mean… like I said, I don’t really read YA books but I still like to talk and comment on some of their posts! πŸ™‚

        -Carissa

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m honestly surprised that some book bloggers go so far as to discourage posting reviews. How can a blog BE a book blog without reviews? What’s the point of being a book blogger if you’re not talking about books? I think we can all agree that sometimes writing reviews is annoying, and that reviews don’t get nearly as many views or comments. But I’ve certainly discovered new books for my TBR by checking out other people’s reviews. In fact, if it weren’t for reviews, I wouldn’t have half the books on my TBR at all.

    What you said is absolutely true, though: as book bloggers and reviewers, we have an opportunity to start a conversation around a particular book and even change the conversation around a really hyped book. If that first person hadn’t called out a problematic book, what are the chances the rest of us would’ve heard about it?

    At the end of the day, I think creating a conversation is much more important than being “popular.” I mean, blogging should not be like the cafeteria in high school, that’s all I’m saying. The sooner we give up on the desire to be “popular,” the happier we’ll all be. But that’s my opinion (I have never once in my life been popular).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed! Especially when you said blogging shouldn’t be like a cafeteria in high school. Sure, getting views is fun. It encourages us to keep blogging, but it shouldn’t be the only reason we are book bloggers! Books are the reason we blog and it’s important that we encourage both new and old bloggers alike to continue reviewing! Thank you so much for your comment Christine!! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I didn’t realize that this was starting to become an issue… I don’t think I could ever stop reviewing books because after reading a book all I want to do is talk about it. I also think I could never stop providing a certain type of content just because it is not as popular as other types. I write what I love to write and I would be unhappy if I stopped reviewing and discussing books I have enjoyed for the sake of numbers. That’s just not what’s most important to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ amen!!! I think it’s so important that we honestly talk about books. There needs to be open conversations so we can identify and call out books that may be controversial.

      If we refuse to do this simply because not as many people will read it then that’s really disgraceful 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  20. This is such a lovely post. I have noticed, and I have written in my blog posts that yes, book reviews do “work” less than bookish discussions, in terms of interactions, views, and everything else. However, I completely agree with you that bloggers should NOT rely on these statistics to just STOP reviewing books and focusing on other blog posts instead. The heart and soul of book bloggers are the books, and if I only post one review per week due to my slowness to review book, and also because I can’t write more than three blog posts per week because I don’t have enough time, I DO post reviews and I love to be able to write them, post them, and share the love about a book. No matter if it raises more or less views, interactions and everything. I feel like the book blogging community should not stay aside from reviews and only focus on other kinds of posts, because then we would be blogging for what? Business? Views? We are book bloggers and doing our “job” of being crazy fans and ranting and raving about books and we shouldn’t stop. Issues like in Carve The Mark / Fantastic books like The Hate U Give wouldn’t be raised / picked up if it weren’t for all the bloggers talking about it.
    Sorry for the long comment ahah.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t apologize for the length of your comment, I love it!!!! I totally agree – I can only review a book generally, at most, once a month because I’m a slow reader, but I love writing reviews. I love discussing the topics that were explored in a book and I think it’s so important to share these despite not getting many views because I’m not a professional blogger. I’m not getting paid for my stats. And it’s not the reason I started my blog in the first place! Thank you so much for your comment Marie and I’m so glad you agree on this point!!! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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