What I’m Learning About Book Blogging | I can’t review every book I read & that’s okay

Book Blogging_What I'm Learning

As of June 2018, I have been book blogging for one full year. It has proven to be a great way to 1) keep in the habit of writing regularly, 2) keep an account of the books I’ve read & reviewed, 3) connect with others who love reading and discussing the books they read.

I haven’t learned everything there is to know about the process but as I reflect on my year, there are some things that I’ve picked up along the way that I thought I would share through a series of posts about book blogging. I hope you’ll find these tips helpful. Feel free to tell me what you’ve been learning too in the comments.

Today’s post will cover Tip #6: It’s Okay to Not Review Every Book You Read. This might be particularly helpful to you if you are the sort of book blogger who feels like you have to write a review for everything.

Blog Tip #6 (1)

Reflecting on My Journey| Did I feel like I had to review every single book I read?

I will stick with the same Q&A format that I used in the first five blog posts in this series that covered, Blogging RegularlyGetting Social on Twitter,  Using Images to make your blog engaging, Following Other Bloggers, and Planning Ahead.

Q: Did I actually review every single book I read this past year?
A: No I did not. I had to be realistic about what I was able to do.

Q: What sort of books did I review?
A: I belong to #BookExcursion, a group of educators who reads, reviews, and champions great books in our communities and on Social Media. This past year, I tried to write a meaningful review for each one of the books I received through #BookExcursion and NetGalley because they were given to me in exchange for an honest review. I would also review the books that I purchased or those that I borrowed from the library. My book stack at any given time consisted of picture books, KidLit, MGLit, and YA. Other than professional books for PD, I had very little time to read books that were intended for adults.

Q: When did I come to the conclusion that I didn’t have to review every book I read?
A: Basically, when my stack became ridiculously out of control is when I realized that it wasn’t realistic to review everything. I would be finished with a book and it would sit in yet another stack awaiting review. It was an overwhelming feeling for sure.

Q: What did I do instead of reviewing every book?
A: I learned to be okay with deciding to simply rate some books (on GoodReads, Amazon, etc.) and then Tweeting out a shout-out to sing their praises. Composing a Tweet is a much quicker process than writing a full review. It is a huge time saver. I still struggle with this because a big part of me wants to dedicate time to writing a full review for each book I read.

Q: Why is this even a problem? What’s the big deal about writing book reviews?
A: Sure, I could choose to just read a book and move on but if I am calling myself a book blogger, it only makes sense that I write and share reviews. I get to read so many great books and reviewing them keeps me in the practice and habit of writing regularly and gives me the extreme pleasure of sharing what I love with others. It also helps support the authors we read and enjoy.

Q: Are there any books I flat out refused to review?
A: There were times when an unsolicited book would appear in a DM on Social Media this year that I had to turn away. I just wanted to be as honest and realistic about what I’d be able to do. On occasion, I have read books that were shared with me from authors that reached out through a DM but it is my preference to stick with reviewing books that I’ve requested through #BookExcursion, NetgGalley, publishers, and authors.

GOALS | For the next 12 months, I will plan to be more realistic about how many books I can actually read and review at one time. When I am pressed for time to write a book review, I will champion the book in other ways; by posting a shout-out on Social media and leaving a rating on GoodReads, Amazon, and the like.

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