Bookish Chat: The Benefits of Book Reviews

May 9, 2019 Bookish chat 31

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 book reviews.  My why.  And maybe my reasons will help motivate you too, if you do want to write reviews.

The Benefits of Book Reviews for ME (and maybe you too!)

Why I Love To Write Them

  • 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 writing a 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.
  • 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.

How they encourage discussion about a book

  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.

Why I Love to Read Them

  • And of course reading reviews help me filter out what books I want to add to my to-read list
  • Reading other reviews for a book you’ve read gives you other perspectives, and I love when I get new food for thought.

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.  So 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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31 Responses to “Bookish Chat: The Benefits of Book Reviews”

  1. Kathryn Trask

    I love reading reviews because I come across an author that I try and love. E.g. Carmel Harrington from you! What a treat. Never would have found her otherwise. I don’t cross over with every blogger for every genre, e.g I am not really a mystery or thriller reader. But its those gems I wouldn’t find myself that make reading reviews so great. Love your points. Well made.

    • trish

      I’m the same, I found so many great books and authors I’d never have heard of, only for reading other peoples reviews.

  2. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

    Great discussion!!! I like to have a record of what I read too! But I love to see what others think too. I agree with all your points though – especially that writing reviews gets quicker.

    • trish

      I use to labour so much over reviews in the beginning. Now I just word vomit out my thoughts! 😀

  3. Angela

    I know some people might say that writing book reviews isn’t “fun,” but there are so many more options than just a traditional review. I like reading reviews of books I’ve already read so I can compare how we felt about the book, see if we picked up on the same things.

    • trish

      Isn’t it fun reading a review when you’ve already read the book, because you really get the points the person is trying to make.

  4. Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

    Reviews are what sell me on getting a book or not. As for writing, I agree with you, of having a record of my own thoughts and also explore that writing side of me. I love writing but I can get stuck. And I’ve seen how writing reviews has truly been a blessing. Having a year off of blogging was tough because I’m so rusty. But I know I’ll get back to where I was 🙂
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters recently posted…Awkward Heroine & Funny Convos: The Perfect First by Maya Hughes

  5. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Haha, I must be broken because I’ve written over 400 reviews, and they still take forever to write. I like writing reviews because they force me to think about what I’m reading. Before I started a blog, I used to race from one book to the next without thinking about why I liked or disliked books.
    Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: You Remind Me Of Me

    • trish

      Oh don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with some reviews. But I find I’m faster now and worry less about every word. Whereas before I edited them to death, so they took way too long.

  6. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    What a great post! I definitely agree that reviews get easier to write the more you write them though I don’t think it’s ever easy. I think reviewing has changed the way I read. I pay more attention to details and flow than I ever did before.

    • trish

      Totally agree Katherine, never easy. But I do enjoy the challenge of putting my thoughts into words and sharing them.

    • trish

      Yes to all of that Kim. I have found books that I would never have come across only for friends reviews.

  7. ShootingStarsMag

    I book reviews. They aren’t always the most fun to write some days, but I still enjoy doing them overall and sharing my thoughts. It’s fun to get feedback and see if people now want to read a book from your review, etc. I love reading them too because book blogs is how I get most book recommendations and it’s fun to see what other people think of various books.

    -Lauren
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…The Doctor’s Secret by Heidi Cullinan

    • trish

      I get most of my book recommendations from book bloggers too, I just don’t trust amazon reviews. I’d much rather read the thoughts of some one I already know.

  8. tonyalee

    I love reviews, too! I usually hit up goodreads the first time I hear about book. I will never understand why others feel they’re going out of style LOL

    • trish

      Goodreads is one of my favourite places to check too, as I love that I can see all reviews from my friends in one place.

  9. Brooke Lorren

    Reviews are definitely helpful. An enthusiastic review can convince you that you need to read the book (or perhaps bump it up on your TBR). Also, writing reviews can be helpful (as an author) because it causes me to think about what I like and don’t like about a book, so I can incorporate these things into my own work.
    Brooke Lorren recently posted…Storm Glass

  10. Lily

    I love reviews, that’s why I am here. I wish to make them less dull at times, but I love reading others and being inspired by others. I also like going back and checking how I felt about certain books if it’s in the series to see if I should bother with new releases from the author. I also love reading other’s opinions
    Lily recently posted…Review: Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

    • trish

      I think we all have doubts about our own review writing skills. But I know mine have gotten much better than my first few feeble attempts.

  11. Greg

    I like both reading and writing them, and for a lot of the reasons you mention, especially having a record of the book (I sometimes go back and read my reviews to refresh my memory, especially if I write a spoilery section- which I sometimes do expressly for that purpose lol), and also for the creative aspect of it. So I totally agree. And of course reading reviews helps me pick out what to read.

    Encouraging bookish discussions is awesome too. 🙂
    Greg recently posted…The Blue

    • trish

      I like the idea of writing a spoiler as I often forget what it was, and if it’s a series then I’d rather know. But I do tend to avoid them.

  12. Lydia

    I couldn’t agree with this post most. There are so many reasons to read and write book reviews.

    I especially liked your point about practicing different styles of writing. It really does help to polish and tighten up your writing in general if you’re experienced in multiple types of it. A good poem obviously has different goals from a blog post, book review, cover letter, or persuasive essay, but there are also skills in each style that can be transferred to the others once you start to notice the patterns.
    Lydia recently posted…If You Love Speculative Fiction, I Want to Interview You

    • trish

      That is so true that writing skills can be transferred from one format to another. I find if you are being creative, then you want find more avenues to be creative in too.

  13. Sam@wlabb

    Writing was always hard for me, and trying to write spoiler-free reviews is painful, but like you, I appreciate having a record of my thoughts about a particular book. I like reading reviews to see if people agreed or disagreed with me about a book. It’s a way to talk about the book, since I don’t have an IRL book club to discuss with.

    • trish

      Isn’t it so good to have a record of our thoughts on books. Especially as we read so many, it’s nice to go back occasionally and see just what we liked or didn’t like.

  14. Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books

    I’m happy reading reviews. I’m one of those odd people who doesn’t care about spoilers – well the majority of the time I don’t! – and I like to know what people think of something. Reading reviews, especially of books I wouldn’t normally be interested in, often means I explore books/authors I wouldn’t have noticed. It helps me make up my mind when I’m sitting on the fence. Sometimes what someone really dislikes makes a book an instant 1-click for me (because I know I’ll love it) and the same is true the other way around too.

    Reviews are useful but like you said, if you don’t like them don’t read/write them. *shrugs*

    • trish

      I always find it funny that lots of people who write reviews say they don’t like reading them! I don’t get why they’d enjoy writing them in that case!

  15. S. J. Pajonas

    I don’t write reviews but I do recommendations on my blog of books I’ve enjoyed! And yes, I agree with a lot of your points here. I’m glad I do them so I can remember them for the future, and I hope some of my praise helps the author in some way. <3
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Gone Writing!

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