Discussion: Do you review every book you read? Should we?


At this point in time there are 10 books on my goodreads "to review" shelf. I keep books I have just read on this shelf until I can get a chance to write a review.

Lately the amount of reviews I have been posting have decreased dramatically. This isn't because I have been reading a lot less. It's because I don't really feel like I have much to say about some of those books.

Some of them have been published a few years ago and I feel like I don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said. Others are there because I cannot bring myself to review them. 

The past few books I've read have been mediocre at best and the only word that comes to mind when wanting to review them is "meh". Best review ever.

This lead to me asking  if I really have to review every book I read if I don't have anything unique to say about it. 

I have always been a believer in quality over quantity but There is a fine line between posting quality infrequently and loosing readers because of infrequent posting.

If I receive a review copy from Netgalley or a publisher I obviously feel obligated to write a review because it's part of the deal.  They're expecting a review in return for providing the book regardless of how I feel. This has led to me being extremely choosy when requesting books .

I should also point out that I don't mean that I only want to review books that I enjoy. I want to write about books that make me feel something...anything.  Even if I hated it!

So what about you? Do you feel obligated to review every book you read? Even if you have paid for it yourself?

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  1. discerning, I was going to say, before I dropped a pound coin on the keyboard. Sorry about that

  2. I follow a system similar to you. No point in reviewing something that didn't evoke feeling.

  3. I don't feel obligated to review books I don't love or just feel "meh" about. Plus if I just feel obligated to write a review it just bogs me down even more and takes away any reviewing desire I have in my busy bee life. Lol :)

  4. It's much easier for me to review books that fall at the upper and lower end of the spectrum (I loved it or disliked it). Those 3 star ones are tough. It is sometimes hard to come up with anything other than "I liked this book, it was a good read". Since I am a new blogger, I am reviewing most of what I read. However it does take away from my reading time, so that is something new that I have to juggle.

  5. In my opinion, we should NEVER feel obligated to review a book unless that's part of our explicit agreement with a publisher for a review copy. Blogging should be fun, and we're allowed to run our blogs however we want! Maybe that means only reviewing 1 in 10 books - that's ok! If it's really bothering you that you've read all these books and they haven't been helpful in generating blog content, maybe you could try doing mini-review posts where you just say a couple sentences about a few books all at ounce - that's good content, and it gives readers an idea of what you've been reading. :)

    1. I agree blogging should be fun, well at least 75% of the time!! I think mini-reviews of meh and ugh books is the way to go, too.

  6. I don't feel obligated to review every book that I read, but I do review all of them. Well, 99% of them. I have opinions and feelings, and therefore something to say, so I say it.

    I really don't get this whole having to have something unique to say, or saying something that hasn't been said before, mentality. If it's what YOU think, why does it matter if someone else has thought the same thing? It's not like everyone has read every review ever written, so it's possible a reader comes across your review and it's the first time they've seen that perspective and it helps them choose if the book might be for them or not. Of course, I'm not saying you should force yourself to write something if you don't want to, but no one should feel like their opinion isn't adding to the conversation just because they weren't the first to state it.

  7. I think feeling you HAVE to review a book is a rotten feeling and I never make myself that. I think mixing it up a bit helps, like you saw I do twitteresque reviews and sometimes I do points I liked and points I didn't and sometimes I just move on and do nothing. I also like reading sometimes knowing I'm not going to review and then often by the time I get to the end, I end up wanting to review it anyway.
    I do find the longer I leave the review the more of a chore it gets so I try to churn them out asap. Doesn't always happen though!

  8. I review every book I read, even DNFs, on Goodreads with a mini-review. In fact especially DNFs and one and two star ratings because I think if someone dislikes a book that much they should explain why. I have seen too many books drastically downgraded for not having enough romance in them and I actually prefer that, so I think telling why is important. I only do full blog reviews of four and five star books.

  9. I started out reviewing books (and audio cds and dvds) for Blogcritics.org. I was able to choose which books I wanted to review. Once I received a review copy, I was obligated.
    Now I'm writing books myself and very selective about what and when I review another author's work. Also, if I cannot give a book a 3 star rating (Amazon) or better, I won't post a review. Instead, I contact the author and tell them why.

  10. I don't review every book I read on my blog. If I feel 'meh' about it, I only review it on NetGalley/GoodReads/Amazon. Unless I specifically agreed to post a review on my blog, then I only do it if I really liked the book, really disliked the book, or felt like it was something worth sharing.

  11. Glad to have discovered this interesting post randomly on bloglovin.

    I do review every book I read or hear if only to give myself a memory kick in months to come when the cover art is no longer familiar. I used to do a quick monthly roundup for my blog, but am now enjoying posting more in depth reviews there. I find it helps me to think more deeply about each book as I read it because I know I will later want to write about it. I'm a devil for reading too fast and missing detail! Some reviews are still very short though - your sentiment of struggling to find anything to say is very understandable


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