Discussion | The Battle Between Reading & Reviewing

Contrary to what some people may think, book blogging is hard and more time-consuming than you might at first realize. A lot of effort goes into creating content, posting regularly, sharing posts on various social media platforms, responding to comments, requesting ARCs, and, of course, reading. So today I wanted to talk to you all about the constant battle I seem to face between reading and actually getting around to writing those pesky reviews…

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In the beginning, there were only 25 books…

When I first dipped my toe into the book blogging pool I was in the throes of finishing my final year at university. All of my time was dedicated to writing essays, revising for exams, crying, trying to get some sleep, dissertation depression, and more writing. I barely had time to pet my dog let alone read a book!

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It wasn’t until the latter part of last year, once university was finally over and done with, that I actually had time to start reading more books and actually posting content on my blog. Even so, I only managed to read 25 books throughout the entire year so it was fairly easy to keep up with reviews.

Then the book bug bit me and I’ve been drowning ever since…

When I was only reading one or two books a month it was easy peasy to keep up with my reviews and I wasn’t really posting a lot of other content either. As of May 2018 though I have read 36 books already, most of which I still haven’t gotten around to reviewing, and I am posting content a lot more regularly. I don’t plan to review every single book I read, at least not on this blog (Goodreads is a different story), but I would at least like to review some books. Lately, I’ve been really slow to review books which leads to reviewing chaos… I end up picking up books before I get round to reviewing the one I just finished, ARCs and library books pour in through the cracks, I get busy with other blogging posts, and before I know it I’m 6-7 reviews behind!

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Are reviews even important?

The ever wonderful Marie wrote a really great post recently called ‘Do you have to review books to be a book blogger?‘ Yep, Marie really does ask the real questions! It was a really interesting read because I’m sure we all assume that in order to be a book blogger you have to review books…

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As I’ve spoken about before though, reviews are often the least visited posts for many bloggers. My discussion posts or articles usually get upwards of at least 30 reviews, but I might be lucky if a review gets over 10 views! Don’t get me wrong, I do love writing reviews but they are often the hardest posts to write and the payback isn’t very much.

Despite this, I think reviewing is an important part of a book bloggers life. It’s one of the main ways that new bloggers get started, publishers use reviews to determine whether they’ll approve you for an ARC, and they can convince new people to pick up a book they otherwise wouldn’t have considered! It’s something I definitely want to continue doing but how on earth do you find the time to review in amongst reading?! I love being able to read so many more books now but it’s definitely been a struggle to fit reviewing in amongst reading and other book blog content.

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So, when is the best time to review?

I used to review immediately after finishing a book but I found that I often finish books late at night when I’m not getting out of bed to write a review or that I hadn’t allowed my thoughts to settle before reviewing, leading to reviews and ratings I would later need to revise. But now that I’ve been taking the time to let feelings sink in, and inevitably pick up another book, I end up getting super behind.

I definitely need to learn to strike a better balance between reading, reviewing and posting other types of content on my blog, but how?

Let's Chat! (1)

Do you review books on your blog? If so, do you schedule days to post up reviews or do you just review when you feel like it? How do you balance reading with reviewing?

If you don’t review books or don’t review them often, why not? Do you prefer to post other kinds of content or only review on Goodreads?


EST. 2015 (1)

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27 thoughts on “Discussion | The Battle Between Reading & Reviewing

  1. You’re right, it’s honestly so hard to keep up with reading and reviewing. I don’t tend to write down my thoughts before hand as I’m reading so I kind of just have to go with the flow when I finally decide to sit down and write one, which is time consuming. Also, I find that my reviews don’t do as well in terms of views as my more fun posts, but I still enjoy writing them and if I can convince even one person to think about reading a really good book then I’ve done my job 🙂

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  2. I agree that reviews are important if you plan on creating a relationship with publishers but I think a lot of us don’t actually enjoy writing reviews. It doesn’t help that nobody really wants to read them either, so unless I really have a lot of thoughts on the book that I absolutely have to express or it’s an arc, I generally don’t write a review.

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  3. I like reviews to find new books, but honestly, I really don’t need more than a paragraph or two. I would only read a breakdown/analysis post if I had already read a book, and was interested in other people’s opinions on it.

    In a way having TOO much of another person’s opinion on a book can spoil your own reading experience.

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  4. Ugh. I’ve read 80 books so far. I do not have the time to review 80 books. Well I could but if they would be more than a paragraph and if I would still sleep is another matter. I always review arcs though and I try to review series I am reading close together in one review.

    I do have to say that the longer I blog the more comments I do get on reviews. I guess because people know me more now and want to see my thoughts.

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    1. Thanks for your comment ❤ Hahah yeah. I did wonder what people who read large numbers of books did in terms of reviewing.

      I wish that I had reviewed the Illuminae Files trilogy altogether rather than separately but it always takes me so long to get through series that I end up not reading the next one for ages :')

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  5. Great post! 🙂 I used to review books all the time on my blog, but for some reason over the last couple years I haven’t done it as much. These days I mostly review books that are really new releases or ARCs. Sometimes I’ll read a book and have no idea what to say about them or writing the review for it is difficult, so I tend to skip writing reviews for those and just write a little paragraph or couple sentences about them in my monthly wrap up posts at the end of the month.

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    1. Thanks Ashley! Writing a little paragraph in the monthly wrap-up actually sounds like a fantastic idea – I’d never thought of that! I think that’d actually help me a lot rather than feeling pressured to have to post entire reviews for everything!

      I think I definitely fell into the trap of feeling like I wasn’t a *real* book blogger unless I posted lots of reviews so Marie’s article and everybody’s comments have been so helpful

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  6. I recently decided that i won’t review every single book on my blog. Like, if i don’t feel quite strongly about a book either way, then i might not waste time to write a review. If a book is just meh, but not bad, but also not good, i don’t feel like i can contribute much. Plus, i don’t have time for everything cuz every now and then have to show up for work too 😀

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    1. I think that’s definitely the best way to go. I was trying to review every single book I read, which obviously isn’t happening, and some of them I don’t know what to say about or don’t have any particular feelings on them anyway!

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  7. This is such a wonderful post – and thank you so much for sharing my post, this means a lot! ❤ ❤
    I struggled with the reading / reviewing balance a whole lot when I first started blogging and a couple years in, as well. I felt like I had to review everything, but I just couldn't and… some books just didn't 'want' to be reviewed, meaning that I didn't feel like chatting about them in a lenghty review or even a small review at all. A small text on Goodreads was enough, somehow. I tend to focus on the books I really want to chat with on the blog – and on ARCs, obviously – and keep the other ones for Goodreads and my monthly wrap-ups with a couple of sentences. I feel less pressured and much happier this way 😀

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  8. I wait usually at least a day to write a review so that I have a bit of time to process, though reviews actually help me process what I read more and I’ll often change my rating part way through writing the review because writing it helped bring my real feels to the surface aha.
    I try not to leave it longer than a week because I have a shocking memory and usually if I wait longer than that I won’t remember most of what I read.

    If you’re struggling to keep up with writing reviews then I would suggested keeping them short and sweet. You AOCTAR review is a good example of that, listing what you liked and disliked gives the reader of the review enough information while not using up loads of your time!

    Maybe putting index cards or note paper every 50-100 pages throughout the book might help when it comes to writing a review? That way all your thoughts are already written out, you just have to put it into a review format that suits you.

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  9. We have Saturdays scheduled for reviews. We go back and forth and have one buddy Review a month. Blog tours are something that appear on the blog as well, so those are always reviewed. I always run behind on reviews though. I am still finding my way in reviewing and planning time. I have been having a few amazing reading months and am a bit behind. I always make a list in my bullet journal with reviews I need to write.

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  10. Yes to reviewing books on my blog! I actually quite like writing reviews, even though they’ll always be my less popular posts. I don’t really care about it, to be honest. It’s my blog and I simply like writing them – so why not post them?
    I don’t really have fixed days for them – at least not consciously. Probably unconsciously since I noticed some kind of weird “Thursday, review-day” thing a while back, haha.

    One thing I’m peculiar about though, is that I rarely post reviews of sequels. I simply don’t like the hassle of rereading my review a hundred times over to make sure there isn’t even one minor spoiler present. I don’t want people to attack me for accidentally spoiling something [I’ve seriously seen people do this to others..]. Goodreads, different story. I review everything on there – sequels as well. Although those are my more “compact” reviews, I guess.

    As for my reading.. I pretty much read in the morning – before work -, during my lunch break and when I’m home from work. I think I read at least two hours a day. Usually. Lately I’ve been slacking in the reading department but my mind’s been elsewhere, haha.

    Fun post, Avery!

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  11. It’s really hard to maintain a book blog and keep up with your reading list, and sometimes it feels like work especially when writing reviews. I’ve learned not to review every single book that I read (used to tho haha), I mostly just review those I received in exchange of honest reviews from authors/publisher which are mostly ARCs.

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  12. Great post! I can relate to that ambition of reviewing right after finishing a book but rarely being able to do that…. The balance between reading and reviewing definitely took me a few years to work out! Are you currently aiming to review every book you read? Nowadays, I estimate that I review 60-75% of books I’ve read (I should work out if that’s actually true lol). I aim for at least one review/week – I don’t think about being ‘behind’ in reviewing unless I haven’t posted ANY review. When I review a particular book varies; it could be anywhere from within a week of finishing to five months later ^^; I make rough notes while I read so that helps keep things in my memory. I prioritize reading because that is the primary activity for me.

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  13. This is a great discussion and something I have been thinking more and more about. I have always felt like I wanted a good amount of reviews on my blog, compared to other content, but lately have been lacking the motivation to get those reviews done.

    I have changed what I review a fair bit, from only reviewing ARCs on my blog, to reviewing everything, to only reviewing books that I have something to say about (3 star reviews are SO HARD TO WRITE).

    I definitely think I want to revisit HOW I write reviews as well and move away from the essay style review to something more engaging for the reader and something more fun to write.

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  14. Ehrmahgod, I’m with you! I’m in a situation where my review posts actually do really well – I’m not saying that to brag, they just always have for some reason, and I know that’s lucky – but I pour SO much time and energy into them that I end up waaaaay behind. And once you’re behind, your backlog just seems to grow, y’know?

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