Bookish Chat: The Benefits of Book Reviews

April 1, 2015 Bookish chat 40

I often see blog posts about people who don’t like writing reviews, reading reviews or anything to do with reviews.  And I think if you are in that boat, fair enough, just don’t read them or write them, there is nothing wrong with that.  However what keeps me inspired is thinking of the benefits of reviews and maybe they will help motivate you too if you do want to write reviews.

Bookish Chat


–  I love having my own personal record of a book.  This is why I started and this is why I continue to review nearly every book I read whether it’s an ARC or not.  Even if no one else ever reads my reviews, I like reading them to refresh my memory on a book.

–  Writing reviews satisfies a creative need within me that isn’t fulfilled in other parts of my life.  Of course so does blogging but an actual review makes me focus on getting my points across as succinctly as I can.

–  The more reviews you write, the easier and quicker it gets.  I once heard that a landscape artist should paint a sky a day and I feel that way about reviews.  The more you practise, the more polished you get and it just gives me a feeling of satisfaction when I have one written.

–  It allows you to explore your feelings further rather than just closing the book and moving on too fast.

–  And it opens the gate for book chat.  It’s always fun to hear other peoples thoughts on your review and how their feels measure up to yours.

–  Reading other reviews for a book you’ve read gives you other perspectives and I love when I get new food for thought.

–  Writing reviews makes me more confident in my thoughts and ideas.  I’m in a book club now and I don’t think I would have joined one before I started reviewing as I just wasn’t as secure in my book opinions.  Now I don’t care if my ideas are off the wall, I just own them!

–  And of course reading reviews help me filter out what books I want to add to my to-read list

–  Reviews allow me to experiment with my writing.  You don’t need to stick to one tried and tested format, mix it up.  Don’t let it get stale or repetitive, try something different.

–  Reviews also benefit the publishing industry.  Not my first aim in writing a review but it’s good to let publishers/authors see what you like and don’t like in books.  Our collective voices can help form future trends that we want to see such as more diversity in books.

So the next time you’re feeling blue at the idea of writing a review, I’d recommend thinking about why you are writing them.  Do they have benefits for you personally, you don’t HAVE to write them but maybe you want to and it’s no harm being clear in your own mind just why you do this.

Talk to Trish:  What is your favourite thing about writing reviews (or reading reviews if you don’t write them)?  What is the biggest benefit to you personally?





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40 Responses to “Bookish Chat: The Benefits of Book Reviews”

    • trish

      It’s nice to reflect on the more positive aspects of reviewing sometime 🙂 There is a reason we all spend so much time on it!

  1. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    I love this post Trish. You have so many great points. I agree that it allows you to experiment with writing (a lot) and YES it also gets so easier to write a review that I used to dread writing lol. It’s hard to keep them short now, always kind of was. But when I read some of my early reviews…I cringe lol!
    By the way I finally finished Rebecca! (if i already told you I’m sorry) my review goes up this weekend..Friday I’m hoping. Gotta finish it 😀 It was great! Just had a slow intro so I gave it 4 stars but really loved it overall (not as much as Austen though) what are you planning to read next?

    • trish

      I know I used to be so nervous writing reviews as I had no confidence in them and I know they have gotten better. I’m afraid to read the earlier ones :O Well done on Rebecca! Looking forward to reading your review. I’m not sure what classic next, I must check and see what I have already, I’ve been a slow reader. And I haven’t replied to your last comment yes but I’d love to redo the logo for DOYCs with you, I’ll email you and see what we come up with!

  2. Cynthia

    Great post! Even I though I posted reviews on Amazon and Goodreads prior to starting my blog, it was so hard to post a full review once I did start. I agree that it gets easier. And there have been so many times where I am not sure I have a lot to say about a book until I actually start writing it. Then I can’t shut up! And I really love telling other people why I loved certain books (or even hating them) and the chat that follows. I like bonding with some of my fellow bloggers. 🙂
    Cynthia recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova

    • trish

      Yes, it gets so much easier. Like you when I start writing, the words usually just flow and I’m often surprised by just how much I have to vent about or rave about! And the book chat is the best 🙂

  3. Leanna

    I started writing reviews for the same reason as you – just to keep a record for myself. I know there are a lot of bloggers who say they HATE writing reviews, but I never had. I guess if I did, I wouldn’t keep writing them. That said, there have been times when I’ve felt it was a chore or whatever – back in the days when I used get emails looking for them/asking for reviews on specific dates or whatever. Yes, that happened – and it felt like homework at times! Doesn’t seem to happen anymore – or maybe just not to me since I’ve cut back so much on review copies.

    I agree that it gets easier/quicker with time too.
    Leanna recently posted…Easter Break!

    • trish

      I’m the same, I never hate writing reviews but I do hate when I leave them too long and suddenly I have 5 to write. But when I get stuck in to them I actually enjoy it. And yes having to review by a specific date is pressure and that’s why I do next to no blog tours. No to homework at my age!

  4. Red Iza

    All of the above 😉 I started writing reviews to keep a record, to learn to express myself other than “I loved it” or “I hated it”. But what I love most in reviews is that opinions are not all the same – people don’t (usually, but it happens) feel obliged to love a novel and write a good review about it because some newspaper or tv-show says it’s good.
    Red Iza recently posted…Review / Brooklyn Ann : One bite per night

    • trish

      Exactly, I love how much more opinionated I’ve gotten with my reviews! It just helps me to think more critically as I read which I really enjoy. And reading the different opinions can be very enlightening.

  5. Donna @ OnDBookshelf

    Excellent post with thoughtful ideas. You pretty much summed up my thoughts on reviews. I started my blog as a way to record some simple thoughts on the books I was reading, and a place to send people to who ask me “can you recommend a good book?”. It’s not easy to come up with them on the spot when you read a couple books a week. I read reviews to see how others felt about the books I’ve read, and to get new books added to my tbr pile (which has expanded exponentially since I started reading book blogs).
    Donna @ OnDBookshelf recently posted…Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore

    • trish

      I still struggle when people ask me to recommend a book, you definitely wouldn’t think I’ve a blog full of reviews behind me! And I love reading reviews for books I’ve already read as it’s interesting and often thought provoking to hear other views. And yes my poor TBR has never been the same since I discovered first Goodreads and then book blogs, it’s now a monster!

  6. Beatrice@Book For Thought

    Yes, yes, YES to all of these! You summed up my thoughts on writing reviews perfectly. I also started writing them as a sort of reminder to myself of what I liked or didn’t like on a book, and also to force myself to think about what I had just read for a little bit longer than I usually do. And you’re so right, it does get easier after a while. Except when I leave them too long, and then I actually forget everything I wanted to say about a book… Ooops! I also like to see what other people think of books I read, and to narrow down my TBR. There are so many great books out there, that us bookworms really need to filter out which ones are worth reading and which really aren’t, and reviews are a great way to get that feel. And also to double up our TBRs with all the exciting new releases that fell under our radar! Awesome post, Trish!
    Beatrice@Book For Thought recently posted…Share Your Thoughts: Do Discussions Ever Get Old?

    • trish

      I love that reading reviews helps me filter and prioritise my TBR, which is much needed as it has grown out of control! And I’ve been guilty of leaving those reviews too long sometimes too which is awkward as you just lose the intensity of your feels that you had during the book. Sometimes I have notes and they are a lifesaver and if I don’t I just wing it!

    • trish

      I know, it really works that way for me too. I didn’t set out for that to happen but it’s a nice side effect!

    • trish

      Haha, some days I feel like that too! But usually when I get stuck in, I love writing them. And if not, then I try to do something different with my review.

  7. Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

    Eh, not sure I agree that they are easier to write the more you write them because for me, it just depends on how much I enjoyed the book I’m reviewing BUT I do agree that they are easier to piece together the more you write them 🙂 I love to write reviews. Like you, they satisfy a creative outlet for me that I miss when I’m not writing them. I also hate to not review a book I just read because I too like to have them in my archives to revisit. Great blog post!
    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger recently posted…Holding Strong by Lori Foster

    • trish

      I always find if I loved a book or hated a book, it’s easier to review. It’s those in between 3 star ones that I find most difficult. But now that I’ve been reviewing for 2 years, I think I’ve found little tricks that make even those a bit easier for me to tackle. I definitely know I’m a lot faster these days at just spewing out that review! And having them in your own archives is such a plus, I know I’ll treasure mine even more as the years go by.

    • trish

      Thanks Katherine 🙂 I do love that extra connection to a book that writing a review gives me and knowing that others feel the same makes me happy!

  8. Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    Trish! You completely rocked this post! I love it! Your first point is me all the way. That’s why I started my blog. I wasn’t doing GR at the time, so I had no other way to keep track of the books I was reading (save on paper).

    I really want to join a book club. I should do a search and see if I can find a local one here in town. It’d be a great way to meet new people and talk books!
    Jessica@Lovin’ Los Libros recently posted…Audiobook Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

    • trish

      I was the opposite, I stared with GR first and then a blog as I just wanted all my reviews on my own little space 🙂 And yes joining a book club is great, the one I’m on is an on-line one and we chat via Google Hangout. I love it! I miss our GWB readathons, we should try and do one at some stage this year! They were a lot of fun.

    • trish

      I think you are so right Aimee, keeping a book blog is exactly like a book journal and it’s a great record of all those book thoughts and book highs and lows in one handy little place. Easier to store than a zillion journals too 🙂

    • trish

      I don’t ever deny that writing reviews is sometimes hard especially on those times when they run away from you and you suddenly have 6 to write. But when I get stuck in, the words usually come! If not, I just do something different like a twitteresque review or a mini review. And the book chat is best part, I love all the reactions from others.

  9. R_Hunt @ View From My Home

    I agree with all above! My main reason for writing reviews is to be a part of the book review blogging community. I write to open up book chat with other like-minded readers. I also review for “fair play”, as if I’m reading everyone else’s book reviews, I need to do my share and give back to the community. So all in all, my main goal for my blog is to have a give-and-take with other readers who appreciate my taste in reading. Thanks for spelling out your reasons and getting us all involved chatting here 🙂
    R_Hunt @ View From My Home recently posted…I’m Back!

  10. Berls

    I used to struggle with reviews because I put myself in a box as far as format. But now I write reviews immediately after finishing a book and I just write what I’m feeling. I squee and moan and all that. And I love that in reviews I read too – I want to know how books make people feel and to see their personality coming through. Great post!
    Berls recently posted…A Witch Before Dying by Heather Blake

  11. Candace

    I SO love this post! I totally agree with you. With practice it gets easier (though it still depends on mood a little). I also like to use them as refreshers. I think it also helps with working on my own writing skills. My favorite part is discussing the book with others when they read my review. It also sticks it in my memory a bit firmer so I remember the book longer. I definitely depend on reviews to decide whether to get a book or not.
    Candace recently posted… Product & Service Review

  12. Lola

    I love writing reviews, it’s part of the reading experience for me; read a book and then order my thoughts while reviewing. I also enjoy reading reviews on other people their blogs.
    I also re-read my own reviews sometimes when I want to remember what I thought of a book, it’s so handy! I have a standard way of writing reviews and while in total I still spend some time writing them and scheduling them it get’s faster than when i just started writing reviews.
    Review from other bloggers help me decide whether I want to read a book or not and see if it contains elements I like or don’t like. Great post Trish!
    Lola recently posted…My To-Be Read List #8: poll

  13. Krystianna

    My favorite thing about writing book reviews is getting all my ideas down and then getting other readers to join in and discuss the book with me. I always just want a friend to talk to after reading a book! It is great that if you forget what a book is about, you can just go back and read your review that you wrote. I also find it really cool to compare old reviews of books to new ones on my blog because it’s a way for me to personally see how much I’ve grown over the past three years!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian
    Krystianna recently posted…Book Blast: Summer on the Short Bus!

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