Do you review every single book you read?
Personally, since I started blogging in 2014, I’ve reviewed everything I’ve read, whether I’ve loved, hated or been totally indifferent to it. However, I’ve recently been wondering whether or not that’s actually the best reviewing policy for me, as the list of books I need to review has been slowly growing, and often when I look back at that list I’m left thinking ‘am I actually compelled to review all these books?’
There are some books on that list that I’m super excited to review because I’ve absolutely adored them – Ravenspur by Conn Iggulden, for example, and Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon. However, there’s also books like The Alloy of Law (Brandon Sanderson) on there that I liked, but didn’t absolutely love, and I really don’t think I have enough to say about it to write an entire review (I know, I’m shocked I didn’t love a Brandon Sanderson book too!). I find reviews some of the toughest posts to write anyway, and it just becomes harder when I have no strong feelings towards the book I’m reviewing.
Also, as my ‘to-review’ list is growing, I find that the less memorable books fade a lot from my memory, so by the time I get round to reviewing them I can barely remember anything about them. Therefore I waste a lot of time just flipping through them, trying to remind myself of the story before I write my review, and in hindsight, it doesn’t seem worth it. As a lot of book bloggers probably find, reviews are actually some of the least popular blog posts, and they certainly aren’t my favourite to write.
So why have I always insisted on reviewing every book I read? It’s not even like I bother with ARCs or review request books, so there isn’t any outside pressure for me to review anything… I guess it’s just become a habit, and whilst it can be a useful process to help me consolidate my feelings about a book (occasionally I’ll realise that I did actually enjoy one of those ‘meh’ books more than I thought!), I’ve come to realise that not every book warrants a review.
Thinking about all this has made me curious though about what other book bloggers do. Do they review everything? Only the books they liked? Or the ones they had strong feelings for? I know there are bloggers out there who read hundreds of books a year (so a lot more than me!), so surely there isn’t enough hours in the day for that amount of reading, plus that amount of reviewing?
So what’s your review policy? Do you review every book you read, or just some of them? What makes you pass over some books for review and not others?