Welcome to Day #18 of the April A to Z Challenge, where participants are challenged to create a post every day (except Sundays) corresponding to the appropriate letter of the alphabet. If you’d like to learn more, hit the badge on my sidebar.
I’ll be posting about bookish topics each day of the challenge. Here’s today’s post:
I don’t post formal book reviews on this blog. I’ll often write about what I’ve been reading, but when I do so it’s usually my off-the-cuff opinions about a book that I feel strongly about for one reason or another. I don’t write up a lengthy review with any kind of analysis. I don’t try to interview authors. I don’t request ARCs.
I started this blog on a total whim this past August. I’d been reading and enjoying blogs for quite awhile, and I decided that I wanted to join in. I thought it would be a good outlet for me to share my thoughts about books, reading, and literacy, participate in some memes that I’d been lurking around, and practice my writing skills. Above all, I wanted to have FUN with my blog. I didn’t want writing my posts to feel like a chore, or something that I had to cross off my list. And I definitely didn’t want my blog to get in the way of one of my favorite activities—reading for pure enjoyment!
So I decided really early on that I wouldn’t be requesting copies of books to review. I wouldn’t sign up for NetGalley or any similar programs. I didn’t want to “have to” read a book with the implied promise of reviewing it here. And so far I’ve been pleased with that decision. I still read exactly what I want to read, with no outside pressure or deadlines. My TBR list keeps getting longer, of course—I’ve met so many great blogging buddies who continuously provide me with tips on books that I doubt I’d discover on my own—but again, I read them on my own timetable. It’s true that I need to wait until a book is published instead of getting a sneek peek via ARCs, but that’s OK—there’s plenty to read while I wait.
I do write about books I’ve read, but usually those posts are “Top Ten” lists of my favorite books in a particular category, or in response to a bookish meme. The only “reviewing” I do is using the star ratings on Goodreads, but I do that mainly so I can keep concrete track for myself of what I’ve liked and what I didn’t.
Fellow book bloggers, I’d love to hear your take on this! If you post formal reviews, do you ever feel that reviewing “gets in the way” of your reading and/or blogging? If you don’t post formal reviews, why not? Please share!