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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Writing Book Reviews: Why I Enjoy It

When I first started blogging, I didn’t take book reviews seriously. I thought if I didn’t read them, why should I write them? It wasn’t until I started building my to-be-read (TBR) list with serious dedication that I started reading book reviews. And they helped a lot. But as I read reviews, I thought some of them were lacking in certain elements. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about writing it’s that if you see something missing, write it yourself. Over time, I came to enjoy writing reviews.


Reading book reviews has made my TBR list explode.

And if other readers could recommend good books, who’s to say I couldn’t do the same? I’m a writer and a reader, after all. Why not combine the two forces and encourage people to read all my favorite books? Besides…

Writing book reviews lets me revisit the fictional worlds.

If reading a good book is wonderful, finishing a good book is bittersweet. Eventually, you reach the end and have to close the book, bidding farewell to characters who have become your friends. Then you must face the real world again. But writing book reviews allows you to crack open that book again and scour the pages for your favorite parts, the best lines, the thrilling plot twists. Sure, not all books receive good reviews, but writing book reviews allows you emphasize all your fan-related thoughts and feelings. Or critical ones if you didn’t like it.

Writing reviews is a great way to give back to authors.

After reading a 300-plus-page book, writing a short 300-word review seems like the least I can do. And yes, authors do read the reviews, although readers may not know it. One time I wrote a review and posted it on Goodreads, and a couple weeks later, the author liked it. I’m sure the author appreciated my compliments, but I was just as thrilled to see that the author herself had paid attention to what I, a reader, had to say. And that was a book I gave 4/5 stars.

Reviews help me discover what I believe.

Although I’m more likely to read a book that receives a higher rating, I’ve learned not to pass up a book just because of a couple bad reviews. Sometimes I might enjoy a book that somebody else hated or visa versa. Opinions are subjective.

When I write a review, I can learn how I feel about a book. Writing reviews is a way for me to discover my voice, discover my opinions, discover my favorite characters and plot points. For example, I may not like dishonest characters, but I like con artists. I find intelligent characters to be some of my favorite. Who knew? I certainly wouldn’t have realized the extent of my preferences had I not written about it.

Writing reviews benefits the author.

Think about how much time it takes to write and publish a book—a year, maybe two or three. Then think about how long it takes to read one—six or more hours, depending on the book and the reader. While this may seem like an unjust balance, it’s the way of the publishing world. In fact, the faster a reader finishes a book, the higher the praise tends to be.

Writing a brief review is just a way to thank the authors for their work and let them know what the readers liked and didn’t like about it. Give some feedback. Share your opinion.

Did you know that good and bad reviews help promote books? While a good book review may let the author know a reader liked it, all types of reviews reflect on the publishing industry as a whole. The more reviews a book receives, the more attention it’s likely to get.

Reviews help other readers find good books.

Not only is it giving the writer feedback, but it’s also a good way to recommend books to the reading community. I’m actually more likely to read a book if it has reviews, good and bad. I like to read the reviews that my friends have written so that I can see if our tastes our similar. If they are, I’m more likely to read a book they recommend.

On the other hand, if nobody I know has read the book, I’ll look for a couple good reviews and hunt down the bad ones. That’s right. I want to know what the book’s flaws are. If the only ones I can find are “it was too long” or “it didn’t hold my interest right away” who cares? I’m more likely to pick up the book then. I like long books, and I have a long attention span.

It’s also fun to follow my favorite book bloggers. If you like the reviews I’ve written, be sure to check out some of theirs:


If you enjoyed this post, be sure to come back next month for some tips on writing reviews of your own! 

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Let’s chat! If you write book reviews, what’s your favorite part about it? If you haven’t written them before, would you consider it now?

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