The problem with being a book blogger is this insistent nagging that tells me I have to review every single book I read.

I contemplated over this for a while feeling overwhelmed at first because of my ever growing TBR, my tendency to DNF a few books, and also there were some books that left me feeling nothing. Now I’m a person who likes to keep things organized and have a neat theme for my blog, so in my opinion, I don’t think lowly rated books contribute much to my blog’s statistics.

It was a simple question: Why talk about a book I didn’t enjoy? What was the purpose for it?

Set of dividers in nature design. Vector illustration.
Source: Freepik

Books I review for my blog are often rated with four or five stars on Goodreads. I, personally, don’t have a rating system for my blog so it’s more of a question of “Do I want others to read and hopefully love this book?”

I don’t often choose to write blog posts on one to two starred reviews because my blog is mainly for promotion of books I enjoyed. Unless I find the book truly problematic and believe people need to be aware of it, then I review it.

So what do I do with my one star reviews, then?

I still write them. If the book was sent to me for review then I owe it to the publisher to be honest in my opinions. While I don’t post the reviews on my blog, I do make sure to leave them on Amazon and Goodreads. It does make me feel a bit bad but as a reviewer I had to distance myself from subjective feelings of guilt.

Think of it this way: an honest feedback, even a bad one, helps an author better their craft. When you plant a red flag in certain aspects of their story, authors can then guide themselves through the plot holes or flaws and hopefully, improve it in their upcoming books.

What I don’t do though is to get in touch with the author for a lowly rated book. If it’s a NetGalley review copy, I send in my review and ratings, post it on Goodreads and Amazon.

Then I leave it at that.

Whether you choose to write the review or simply rate it is your choice. Unless you made a blood promise, I don’t think that as a book blogger you should force yourself to review every book that falls on your doorstep.

Set of dividers in nature design. Vector illustration.

Do you review every book you read on your blog?

How do you choose to review said book or not?

I hope you enjoyed this short discussion! Let’s be friends on goodreads and instagram

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23 thoughts on “Cam’s Bookish Tales || DO I NEED TO REVIEW BOOKS I DON’T ENJOY?

  1. Oh this is such an interesting discussion 🙂 I don’t review every single book I read on my blog, mostly because, well… I don’t have time to do so, I read way faster than I can review. I do always leave my thoughts on Goodreads. When it’s an ARC I got lucky enough to read beforehand, I obviously review it both on Goodreads and on my blog, but otherwise… I agree that we shouldn’t force ourselves to review all the books we read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yes, I do agree with the time constraints! When that happens I try to write down at least 3 to 5 sentences about what I think of the book. The problem for me is that if I take too long to review I tend to forget how the book made me feel or certain parts I wanted to talk about. Not sure if that says more about the book than it does me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I find I’m only really reviewing books I enjoy. Maybe it’s the advice Thumper says his mother gave him: “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”

    There are real people (they’re called authors) behind those books. While I didn’t like their book, maybe somebody else might. I think social media has way too much negativity, too much delight in ripping people apart. I don’t want to be one those people.

    That said, what if you read an ARC and didn’t like it? I think you’re right in being honest. Also, you do have an obligation to whoever sent the ARC to post some of your thoughts on the book. Even if it’s not on your blog.

    I’ve learned that I don’t have to finish every book I start. I don’t even have to like every book I read. I guess that means I don’t have to review every book I read, either 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, there’s a fine line between being constructive in one’s criticisms and being insulting. I admire you for not wanting to thicken the negativity ❤ Ah yes, I love that last line! Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂


  3. Hi Belle! I go back and forth about this topic… I rarely read a slew of books 1 or 2 star… Its not because these books don’t exist for me but because “my gut” has trained me to resist picking up books that I would rate that low. Umm like one MEGA hyped book I FORCED myself to pick up and read (I’m at 32%) and am HATING it… GAH! What do I do?

    I definitely won’t be reviewing it on my blog as yeah bloggers would probably KILL me, hahhhaha. But then again you know when I LOVE a book because I won’t give into hype and I think lower rated books shows that…?

    I do think your philosophy to share books you enjoy is a great one! It’s refreshing for me though when my favorite bloggers go… this was a crap book… and these are my ranty reasons why! We’ve all been there so one post a month like that is nice. ❤ that's my two cents!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaah…this is why I try to stay away as much as possible from hyped books!!! I try to go with my gut instincts (and maybe a bit of pragmatism) when picking books to read. Do you DNF books you don’t like?

      Hahaha yeah, there are just some books you know you need to rant about! Even then I try to be as respectful as possible when pointing out problematic themes in because maybe the author didn’t mean to, you know?? Thank you for commenting! I loved reading your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I do DNF books but the ones that make me salty! Gah! I’m still debating on this hyped book… I agree about being respectful… as a writer myself I don’t ever want make a reaction to another person’s book personal… and yeah I don’t think anyone wants to bring a firestorm down on themselves by being problematic… ♥️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a very interesting topic that you brought up 🙂

    I personally review almost any book I read both on Goodreads and on my blog as well. I definitely do get only reviewing books you like as a way of promoting them, which is a great way to show your love for your faves. However, I personally need to get my thoughts on a book (even if it’s under 3 stars – which does not happen that often for me) out, which includes books I didn’t like. I try to keep my reviews diplomatic when talking about those books and I really do like talking about unpopular opinions & books that didn’t do it for me with fellow bookworms.

    Sometimes, when a book is a very rare DNF read or just didn’t stick with me, I will only review it on Goodreads and not my blog, because I simply have nothing to say. That’s important to me, because I only want to post reviews in which I discuss and talk about the book indepth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, I understand wanting to discuss where you feel there’s something that needs to be said! With negative reviews, especially those showing problematic themes, I find it a bit harder to talk about because I always wonder how I could point out the problems without it looking like I’m insulting the book, you know? I think, it really takes a bit of courage for bloggers to be open about books they don’t like. ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If I don’t like it, I usually just review on Goodreads. Not even on Amazon, cause I mean, it might hurt their sales, so they don’t really want it… And it’s a hassle to put stuff up on Amazon anyway… So unless it’s trigerring or terrible, I will just post it on Goodreads. Sadly, a lot of good book reviews I don’t even post at all because I have too many ARC reviews to post 😀 if you know what I mean…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Totally get your perspective on this and have a lot of respect for it! I think if you don’t want to review a book that didn’t make you feel much or even if it just wasn’t something you liked, you shouldn’t have to. It’s your blog! And you should do what makes you happy!

    Personally I do review books I didn’t like- I dunno it’s cathartic- but like Dani said, I manage to avoid a lot of them and rarely pick up 1-2* books anymore. But I still don’t review everything- mostly books that I was meh about or even ones that I have nothing more exciting to say about it than “I enjoyed it”. I feel like, if nothing else, there’s not enough time to review everything!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha yeah, time constraint is one of the main reasons as well! I recently stopped going on NetGalley because of the amount of ARCs that I need to review >< which are an accumulation of my "requesting spree" (lesson learnt!). So I banned myself from NetGalley until I've finished reviewing at least 75% of what I have.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, thank you for posting this! I’ve been thinking a lot about this question of late. I’ve just started in the book blogging community. In between reading, reviewing, and living outside the blog, I was starting to question how I should do this. Reading was always something fun for me, but all of a sudden, things felt too systematic. It’s all what’s next on my tbr, what should I review, when should I review. I think, and you post confirmed it, I’m just going to go back to what I’ve been doing all along. Which is read whatever I want. Why turn something that was supposed to be fun into a chore for no reason. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, as a book blogger there’s a lot of pressure to read it all but doing so robs us of our individual reading tastes. So read whatever you want because it’s a habit that should feel something like a luxury for you, you know? I’m glad this was able to help you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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