Saturday, 30 August 2014

Bookish Musings - Reviewing: What, How, Why and When..

Bookish Musings is a feature here at Beautiful Bookish Butterflies that allows one of us to share our thoughts and opinions, talk and discuss things happening in the book and blogging community or share a personal book related issue we have. Today, Amanda is talking about how her reading and reviewing habits have changed recently, and how now, she's not reviewing every book she reads.. say what?


Today, as I'm writing this post, it's the 20th August 2014. I have read 8 Graphic Novels, 13 Novellas and 104 Novels in 2014 so far. I've posted 79 book reviews, 5 film reviews and have 24 book reviews planned in advance which takes me up to 3 November. I have a plan, I am organised in my own little crazy way and I've now started asking myself; what do I review?

They were some nice statistics if I do say so, I'm pretty impressed with myself, but anyhow, the point of this post is that I don't know what to review anymore. Without giving too much away, there are some big changes coming Book Badger's way in the New Year which means, if I'm being clever, I cannot and will not plan any posts past the 21st December (when I schedule my Christmas Blogging Break.) I know, you've done the maths - 'Amanda, if you're planned up until November and you're taking a break 21st December, that only leaves you 6 weeks left to plan posts, right?' Right you are you lil' mathematician you. I now have 6 weeks left where I can publish posts until I go poof for a while, and I actually plan to have the two weeks before that break, 7th - 21st December, taken up with seasonal reviews and discussions, which therefore only leaves me with 4 weeks to post whatever the hell I like. This is where the problem lies..


I am reading more books than I have time to review. Most bloggers would not complain about this, they would be dancing and partying until late in the morning with their books in hand, boogying along in happiness, but me? I can't. There is no way I can only read the amount of books I have room left to review, it's impossible, I can't do it, which is why I don't know what to review. I already made the decision quite early in the year that I wouldn't review the graphic novels I read this year on Book Badger; the reviews were shorter than my usual and really, it's more difficult to find coherent words when reviewing something that lacks words itself, (however, The girls at Book Nerd Reviews manage to review graphic novels and comics really well, you should check them out,) so I put to reviewing them on Goodreads instead, which meant more content for my friends and followers on there. I love graphic novels and I love reading them, but there just wasn't enough time or space on Book Badger to spread that love far and wide and it's a shame, because I'd love to encourage more people to read them.

Then very recently, I read The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan and found myself once again, torn. This time, it wasn't about whether I had enough words to review that book, the issue was whether I would have enough space on Book Badger to review not only that book, but the follow two books in the series and I figured, no, I don't have the room, or the time, not unless I started doubling my posts per day, and I really, logically don't have time for that with college on the way. I could have reviewed them on Goodreads instead, but really, something clicked in me and I decided, no, I wasn't going to review these books at all.


That change of heart got me thinking about why I reviewed every book I read. Was it something I felt I had to do, was it something I promised I would do, was it something I really wanted to do and the answer to all of those questions was no. No, I don't have to. No, I didn't promise anyone I would. No, I really don't want to review every book I've read, at least, not always, or not always to the extent that I do. So what has happened to the Red Pyramid? I took it back the library and now have the sequel, Throne of Fire, which I also, won't review. It's a mad decision, a tough decision, but really, it feels like the right decision, I don't know how many people would be genuinely interested in those reviews, I don't know whether people would rather have a collective series review of those books or whether they'd rather I personally recommended it to them, because I know that they would like this book, not lots of other people, but reviewing every book I read isn't part of the plan anymore.

So what do I review, and how should I fill up those four weeks worth of space? By the time we've reached November, my reviews for Vampire Academy, Frostbite and Shadow Kiss will have published, so, do I continue to post the sequels reviews within those four weeks? I'll also more than likely have ARC's by then, with their release dates during or close to those four weeks, do I save the dates for those books? And what of my own books, and library books, which of those should I review in those four weeks? What books that I'll read between now then are worthy enough of those dates? What books do people actually want to see?


Okay, not quite a meltdown, but I am seriously confused as to what I should do now.. If I decided to vary them and review some books on Goodreads instead of Book Badger during those four weeks and in the future, would you go with that and follow/friend me there? If I started doing collective series reviews for trilogies or duologies I've marathoned, would that be better than having two separate reviews or would you rather have them apart so you can actually read them and feel comfortable? Would you rather have a collection of mini reviews each month, with quick snippet reviews on more books? Over the seasonal time of year, what books do you actually feel interested in more, the new releases that you can ask for for Christmas, or some oldies that I'm finally getting around to? I've never really enjoyed it when bloggers ask their readers and viewers what they like, it makes me feel like this is less my blog written for me and more a blog written for you, to me, it's both, but right now, I need you to keep me sane.

How do you decide what to review? Do you review every book you read or do you just review some and if so, how do you choose? Why do you review books? How many books have you read this year? Have I just had a meltdown? Let me know down below..

18 comments:

  1. I like the idea of a collection of mini-reviews or a collective series review. I do both of these sometimes. I think, just mix it up. Do whatever you're in the mood for. New, seasonal, old. I like when things are mixed up!

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    1. I might have to consider some mini's when there's not much to say instead of forcing, or some series ones, it'll be quite good to try it and see how people take I think, so thank you for the vote of confidence Bonnie! :D

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  2. We do a shorter review called Book Views, where we keep it short and feel like we can post two of those a day in place of a review if need be, or with one of our memes/features. I read a TON of manga that I rarely review, I will sometimes review the series if I finish them all and love them enough. I've read 185 books this year, I'm sure at least 70 are manga/graphic novels and probably not reviewed. We don't have space on our blog to post so many reviews, so we definitely review any books for review that we happen to read and try to double up if we both read a book - we used to do a double review, now we do a Book Conversation. It's a more fun way to get these reviews knocked out.

    I try to review my non-review books if I loved them or feel like it would be good to feature, but it would be crazy to try to review EVERY single book I read.

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    1. The mini reviews is such a good idea, don't know why it's taken me so long to try it! Every book is a little too much isn't it? I've definitely learnt that now, so many books, not enough room or time to review!

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  3. The only thing I have to say is that you shouldn't stress about it too much! I used to review pretty much every book I read, but like you, I now read too many - 110 so far this year, woo! So I end up just reviewing the books I receive from publishers, and the ones where I have something to say, or ones that I know might be popular in the blogging world. I'd say go with whatever interests you more :)

    But seriously, amazing job with all that scheduling! I feel accomplished if I'm scheduled a few days in advance, haha :)

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    1. Thank you Emily! I know the scheduling sounds crazy, but it is literally because I've reviewed every book I've read, I wouldn't be ahead otherwise, I can promise that for sure! A few days is great though, I remember being behind, it sucked!

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  4. I have read 115 books so far. I don't review all the books I read, because some of them are rereads or just books I truly want to read for myself - those only get a small review on Goodreads. It's my blog anyway, so I'm the one to decide what I post and what I review there. So it depends on how I feel about the book. DO I want to review it on my blog? If so, I post it. It's why I started my 'Let it go' feature, where I post short reviews for books I still want to high light, but I don't have much to say about them :)

    Just choose the books you feel good about; the ones you want to show to other people so they will read them too :)

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    1. That's a fair piece of advise Mel, bring on all the underrated books for sure ;)

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  5. Great post Amanda! Your discussion posts are always amazing, I think they might be my favourites! I am rather proud of myself... I'm scheduled all the way up till Wednesday. HAHA! I know that's terrible, but I am working on it. I have been trying to marathon schedule two posts a day so I can get ahead. No days off in sight so it's making it real difficult. You know me and scheduling never work, so being a few days ahead seems like a big deal.

    I LOVE the idea of mini-reviews. You don't have to write too much, just a tiny paragraph for each summing up what you felt and then a rating. But it's really about what YOU want. It's your blog after all. I think it's the smart choice not to try and find room for every book you have read, especially when you have read so many. I need to read more, as I am running out of reviews to schedule. Only 2 books ahead atm. I would read whatever you post, haha, even if it was a shopping list.

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    1. Aww Charnell, you make me blush (no seriously, thank you!) Wednesday is good though, if I wasn't scheduled, I'd be doomed, I'm so ill it's crazy, I have no effort to even read, let alone but together thoughts that make sense! I might have to consider that shopping list one day, as long as it's books ;)

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  6. Wow, you've read so many books, Amanda! And you're on a reviewing streak, too. I'm kinda jealous... I used to review like 3-4 books a week but that ate a lot of time, and a lot of patience, and a lot of energy. Now I don't review all the books I read. Yes, I'd probably read and review the ARCs I've gotten, but some wouldn't probably go on the blog because of time constraints (also considering i have two other co-bloggers) and they would just be posted on Goodreads. I definitely don't think it's a bad idea, considering Goodreads is visited by MILLIONS of people everyday. I choose them with the amount of things I have to say, and I guess "priority"? Like a MG wouldn't be a priority... a Contemporary that is my least favorite genre wouldn't be a priority... if I have little to say about a particular one, I'd just do a mini review of GR... it's pretty unpredictable haha. I think I read 100 books! Definitely reviewed less than 60% of that though.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. I'll definitely consider using mini reviews and Goodreads more than for some reviews, or just not reviewing. It's quite enjoyable not having to worry about the features or the characters or the plot and just reading, it's quite liberating :)

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  7. I used to review all the books I read because I don't have much time to read.
    But after a blog pause that lasted a month (no internet), I now have plenty reviews already written.
    So I'm publishing the reviews either of books I really really loved, whether they're old or new, because I want to share the love and maybe incite people to read them ; or of very recent books that I jumped upon on the day there were released because they're brand new and I simply can't wait.
    The exception : I have written one review/rant of a book I read that really made me angry and I have to vent out somewhere, so this one will get published soon !

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    1. Oh I think ranty angry reviews need to be included every so often, I like to have one every few months at least, it's good to get a fair balance rather than just reviewing your favourites I think. It's a hard habit to kick, but I'm kicking it finally! :)

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  8. I don't review everything I read, but I do review most of it probably. I try to stick with books I have enough of an opinion on to write at least a few paragraphs. Otherwise, I just rate on GR and move on.

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    1. I do that myself, like DNF's or Graphic Novels, if they're short, there's no point taking up a whole day really :)

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  9. You're doing SO WELL! I wish I had your commitment - I try to post every day, but really I could do with taking a day out and scheduling in advance again, maybe I will this weekend, but I only really manage two weeks at a time in advance! When I started out I thought I'd review every book I read, and so far, I think I might have. But I struggled with some of them, they were maybe 3-4 star reads but I didn't have a HUGE amount to say about them, so I decided to do shorter mini reviews of multiple books at a time that I don't have much to comment on - so far I haven't done this, but I plan to!

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    1. It's been tough, but worth it :) I'm really not feeling the love to review books with long reviews ALL the time, so a change is in order I think :) It's good to get peoples thoughts on it, so thank you hunny :)

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