Today’s post is sort of a reply, and rant, to Phoenix @ Books With Wings‘s post—I was both inspired and encouraged by her to write this. Phoenix’s post was all about the pressure to write reviews as a book blogger where she talks about how, in the past, she has felt obliged to write reviews she might have had no interest in writing. Which got me thinking about how I feel about writing reviews ever since starting my blog.
One of the reasons I decided to start blogging was because I missed writing essays after getting my English degree. Although writing a review and writing an essay is not exactly the same process, they both force me to think and try to structure all my thoughts in a way that makes sense. Usually when I finish a book and I know that I want or have to write a review for it, I’ll jot down some notes on aspects I want to talk about and from there I’ll try to put it together in a way that I think will make sense. This mental exercise might take a while sometimes—especially for books where either 1) I have a lot I want to talk about or 2) I have very little to talk about. However, no matter how long it takes or how lazy I am to write them—liking something doesn’t mean I won’t put it off—I always enjoy when I finally, in a sense, crack the code.
Another advantage of writing reviews, for me, is that they help me remember a book better. I don’t have the greatest memory—it sucks—so I’ll often forget what happened in a book weeks after finishing it. This is also why I must write down what I want to talk about in my review right before finishing the book or I will definitely forget.
I also use reviews as a bit of a wildcard for the blog if I haven’t had time to prepare a post in time—hence why last week I posted two, heh. Don’t get me wrong, I only write reviews I want or have to write, and they still take time, but since I read more than I review, it does help having those tricks up my sleeve for when they might come in handy. I have plenty of ARCs and ALCs—as well as regular books—reviews that are either ready, drafted, or in the queue to be written.
Additionally, if I sometimes am just not feeling a review I have to write, I’ll opt for writing a shorter one and posting it on Goodreads or do a mini reviews post—which I haven’t done in a while but I have one lined up. I wouldn’t want the obligation to write a review for ARCs and ALCs to take away the joy of getting and reading them, so I’d rather write something shorter and to the point and not agonize over it.
Before starting this blog I had also started trying to write more reviews on Goodreads so, if I’m being honest, this is just a continuation of that goal.
Do you enjoy writing reviews or do you feel like it’s an obligation? What makes you decide whether to write a review or not for a book?