It’s getting harder for me to write book reviews

I used to review every single book I read. I didn’t force myself to do it, I just did it naturally. I had no problem sitting down to write a review the second I finished reading. Usually I was eager to get my thoughts out there.

These days, not so much…

Lately, when I finish a book the last thing I feel like doing is sitting down to analyze it. I just want to sit and bask in its awesomeness (or quickly move on if I didn’t like it), but not have to go back and think about it critically. Instead of writing 3-5 paragraphs, I’m more inclined to just give it a rating and a one sentence opinion on Goodreads (“Loved it!” or “Eh it was okay.” etc.) then move on. That’s not even a mini review; more like a mini-mini review!

In general my blogging has taken a sharp decline from what it was 1-2 years ago, but that might be a different post for a different day. ๐Ÿ™‚ In my head I’ve been working up to a “what the hell is going on with me” post—I just haven’t gotten it out yet.

How about you?

Where are you at with reviewing these days? Are you happily writing lengthy reviews? Or just doing mini-mini reviews? Or not reviewing at all?

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64 comments

  1. Yep finding that is a problem for me also but I have been creating reviews in bursts and keep them in drafts then just post them on later to keep them spaced out a little.

    1. I find that if I don’t review a book immediately after reading it then I can’t review it at all. I end up forgetting so many details so quickly. ๐Ÿ™

  2. I have been slacking off on reviews too. I really should get back to it. As a self-published author, I know the importance of reviews. It is not right to enjoy the hard work of someone, many of which have provided their books for free, and not take a half hour to write a brief review.

  3. I don’t think I ever did a full on analysis of books I read, I just say it’s about this and I liked that and didn’t like this so some are short and some are long depending on much I want to rave or rant. ๐Ÿ™‚ I still like doing reviews. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’ve been on a similar trajectory. I still crank out longer reviews (or try to do some sort of full post) for review books, but for everything else…I rate it on GR, maybe type in a few sentences, and I add that or something similar to my monthly recap post. It’s not that I’m less excited about books–just less excited about the work of writing out long reviews?

    1. Yes, that’s exactly how I’m feeling too Kel! I’ve been making myself write full posts for review books, but for anything that’s not a review book I just haven’t been bothered to do anything more than a sentence on Goodreads.

      And just like you, I’m still equally as excited about reading, it’s just the reviewing that I’ve lost my mojo for!

      1. And the funny thing is, I can still talk about a book at length, even the lackluster ones. I’m super busy with school now, so no time, but if I could find someone to chat with about a book, I thought about taking text/tweet/email conversations and making those conversation transcript screenshots the review? Or try Booktubing, but I’ve done video editing before and I know I’d go super perfectionist on it and spend way more time than I have. Maybe one would work for you?

  5. I feel you completely… I used to have a functioning book blog where I wrote reviews and stuff, but these days it’s completely inactive.

    I still like writing down what I liked and didn’t like, especially since it really helps me down the line when I can’t remember certain books (kind of like memory triggers) but I only put them on Goodreads and nowhere else.

    On my blog, I edited my thoughts and worked hard on making it the clearest, eloquent version of content I could give, but on GR I really just put it down in the most basic of ways, and spend far less time on it.

    I’m kind of sad about it, actually. I really loved that period of time in my life where I was passionate about book blogging.

  6. Amen, Sistah! I’m having the worst time writing reviews and have gone through many iterations of review formats every time this happens to me. I’m now considering switching to only round-up posts for 2-3 sentences about each book.
    And I feel like this happens to virtually every book blogger more than once ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Oh, I haven’t related to a blog post this much in ages. I have come to loathe writing book reviews. They rarely come easily to me now, and any time I do have to write one, I tend to put it off until the last minute and struggle through every minute of writing them. It’s actually made me rethink my blogging, which I still love to do – but how do I “review” and feature new/upcoming books without “reviewing” them in the traditional sense? It’s something I’m trying to figure out, because right now, writing reviews for books I’ve agreed to review? It feels like a chore. A dreaded chore.

    1. Yes that is really tricky Sara! I totally understand wanting to feature books but without reviewing them… but how do you make those posts interesting? That’s definitely tough. I really hope you can figure something out!

      Last week I realized that I forgot to review two books I read that I got from Edelweiss (which is SO unlike me… usually I’m super quick at reviewing books I got from publishers). And honestly it had been more than a month since I’d read the books and I just flat out couldn’t review them. Although I remember really liking the books, I didn’t actually remember enough details to review them. I still feel awful about it.

  8. You are where I was a couple of years ago and I continue to struggle with it. It isn’t like we’ve stopped reading or having thoughts about the books we read, for me, it’s like ugh, I just want to move on to the next rather than find some cute or interesting way to reword a review so that it doesn’t sound like every other review. (Feel free to stop me if this is veering away from what you are feeling) Seriously, I haven’t posted on my blog in a couple years, the couple years before that were spotty at best and the only time I’ve spent on it is attempting to fix it when somehow it blew up through no doing of my own and now it looks like basic crap, but at least it’s working.

    Luckily, you have other talents that actually make $$ and you can shift your focus, yet stay near enough to book blogging with those talents to still stay in the realm. Me? Not so much.

    My other talents and things that I use to recharge are not really book related although I am slowly slogging my way to find a way to tie them together. (I love to sew, so am starting to search out those publishers to develop relationships with since few are on Netgalley or Edelweiss)

    Another thing I’m working on to get me out of my doldrums is to force myself to write more than the basics on Goodreads. Surprisingly, after a tortured sentence or two, I am finding my love of talking books online again and even though it’s not a blog post, I feel better because I’m more or less fulfilling my responsibility to the wonderful publishers that have given me early copies by sharing those links with them.

    As for the blog, you don’t have that problem, but I’ try to tackle one issue or so a week to get it back to the beauty and more “me-ness” that it once was. (Which reminds me, I need to talk to you about some of the products I have from you.)

    As to the books, I’ve made sure to jump from genre to genre as my whims take me and damn the book bloggers that tell me that I need to stick with one. That may help you out of the doldrums. If you stick to one genre, they start to all sound the same and you can see the same formula over and over again. (Trust me here, don’t ever read a book on the story writing arc or the quest, I’ve searched and searched not finding the actual title of the book for the screenwriting class that I took in 2011. It was a great book but ruined most fiction books, especially middle grade to YA, forever for me because I can spot the formula quickly and lose the love of the story.)

    Another help has been more personal and you may not have this issue at all although I know you are an expat, so maybe you do in a different way. I’m an isolater naturally, thanks to depression and anxiety, so it’s easy for me to get into this rut of reading book after book without coming up for air. This year, I pushed myself to start volunteering at the library, first just with Freinds of the Library and now with the actual Library. Talking books and life in general with actual live patrons that may not have the same likes and dislikes that I do has been a big help.

    Shoot, sorry, I wrote a book, in part because I’m slowly coming out of what you described. It’s a process and we can all get in our comfy ruts, just keep trying new things or new ways to breathe life into your reviewing. It’s taken me years and I’m still not there yet, but can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel when many people had told me to just give it up a long time ago. I’m glad that I muddled through to now see a teeny tiny sign of the light now.

    1. Yes! Your first paragraph described me perfectly!

      I also really agree with you about jumping genres. I’m a total mood reader. I will read whatever I want, whenever I want. That might mean:

      – I read 3 different genres in a row.
      – I reread 5 books I’ve already read before reading something new.
      – I read three 2018 ARCs even though it’s only summer 2017.
      etc.

      I think another thing with me is that when I’m not working I’m trying to enjoy “real life” a little bit more. That makes me less inclined to blog or write reviews, etc. Instead I’m reading, working out, going for walks, and soon I’m hoping to get a puppy. I already spend a lot of time on the computer for work so when I’m not working I want to go out and do other stuff… not just do different stuff that’s still at my computer.

      1. Glad that you could relate some!

        I want a puppy too, can’t afford the possible vet bills or definite food bills on the size I want right now. Can I live vicariously through yours if you get one?

        Seriously, I was looking at hamsters and chinchillas the other day just to have a buddy, but it’s not like they will force me to go for a walk!

  9. Iโ€™m kind of on the opposite side of that? I used to be very โ€œI liked it! It was good!โ€ But this year Iโ€™ve gotten stingy with my 5 stars andnreally think through what I want to say regarding a book. That said, it usually ends up being a few sentences on goodreads and thatโ€™s that. I wish I was really into book reviewing but Iโ€™m kind of โ€œI loved it but I donโ€™t see why I need to convince you to love it tooโ€ and now Iโ€™ll be done rambling haha

    1. โ€œI loved it but I donโ€™t see why I need to convince you to love it tooโ€

      Hah – I love that!

      Yeah it’s kind of nice to just be able to say my piece and be done. No convincing, no explaining… just say, “I really loved it” (or whatever) and that’s it.

  10. I’m right there with you. I have several I meant to write reviews for and still need to get to. I don’t like having to “force” it but I’m afraid I need to – not with all of them but definitely 3 or so.

    Maybe making notes as I go is a way to help me get them out of the way so that I can move onto my next read.

    I think after being diligent about doing them for 2 1/2 – 3 years, I’m simply burnt out as well as feeling like I’m out of words.

  11. I love to write lenghty reviews, but sometimes it starts to feel like work, not like fun anymore… I only write reviews for ARC’s I get, and sometimes a little mini review for other books, or books from new authors ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I feel the same way that you feel lately, but mine has more to do with the fact that I’ve gone back to college and I am studying Radiology. So, outside of reading class materials and chapters for my classes, I don’t usually feel like reading for recreational fun so much. And, my blogging has definitely taken a backseat to me wanting to do well in my classes and making sure that I’m able to get into the program.

  13. I feel like I’ve been stuck in the same kind of funk. I haven’t been wanting to review or even blog much lately. I’m not sure why. I’ve cut way back on blogging and I’ve even been having a hard time finding time to visit other blogs. I hope I can snap out of it soon. Hope everything is well with you!

    Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday
    1. Yep same here. ๐Ÿ™ My blogging has been so sporadic. Sometimes it makes me sad because I think back on how much I used to blog and how I loved it. But if I’m being honest, I don’t really miss it. I’ve been enjoying the things I’ve been doing instead of blogging. I’ll hopefully share all that in a blog post soon (hah).

  14. I’m still at the – want to get my thoughts down – stage and I still enjoy it. To be honest, it’s the other stuff that I find more of a chore. Keeping up with social media and becoming a promotional tool (only) are my biggest complaints. All good while it’s still fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stacey recently posted: Review: Drive by Kate Stewart
    1. Oh yes! Those are good complaints. Just remember that you only really have to do as much of that as you want to. Remember it’s all for fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I totally agree. I have definitely stepped back from being a promo blog and have only reviewed and posted what I wanted to. I think there are a lot of bloggers feeling disheartened and a little flat. I try to read a book once a week that I want to read that is not on my schedule. I needed to get back to reading for fun instead of as a chore. Great post. ๐Ÿ˜

    1. That’s great Sam! I’m also a big fan of mini reviews. I’ve done a few of those lately too. Sometimes it’s nice just to get a few quick answers:

      – How was the book?
      – Should I read it too?

  15. My reviews used to be quite short and sweet. Just a line or two. Then when I got the idea for my blog a few months ago, I decided that I really need to get better about my reviews. I actually now make notes as I’m reading a book that I am going to review so I can remember the points I want to make. It’s still in the mostly fun stage, but there are books that I find very hard to review, I guess because they didn’t make enough of an impression on me.

    1. I always found that the 3-star reads were hardest to review – those books that I didn’t love but I didn’t hate and were just “okay” or “pretty good”. It’s hard to find a lot to say when you’re kind of indifferent!

    1. Aw that’s a bummer. But yeah, I go through phases like that too. I tend to flip flop back and forth – sometimes I spend most of my free time on TV/movies, then I swap and spend most of my time reading.

    1. That’s very cool Priscilla!

      I was never huge on Instagram, mostly because I usually read ebooks and it’s hard to get inspired to take pretty photos when all your books are black and white on Kindle… But! I just bought a house and am getting six bookshelves put in, so I think I see a lot more Instagram in my future now that I have room for physical books. ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps I’ll go in the same direction as you!

  16. I’m having this same problem. I have 2 reviews I keep putting off writing. I’ve jotted down notes but need to put it all together. My lengthy reviews are at most 3 paragraphs long and I don’t always write one. It depends on if the book was for a blog tour or for a street team I’m a member of (which I plan to leave next year). I’m re-reading a lot of some old favorites to avoid my ARCs and writing reviews lol.

    1. I’ve been rereading a lot too! I’m up to 22 rereads this year. Honestly, it’s been wonderful. In the height of my book blogging I almost never reread books because I was always moving onto the next new thing. But rereading has been so much fun and massively enjoyable. Plus, other than one exception, I don’t feel the need to review rereads at all (been there, done that!).

    1. That’s a great idea Morgan. ๐Ÿ™‚ If I have to really force the words out then I don’t bother. It makes me feel like the review would probably be rubbish anyway. I think my best reviews are the ones where I’m so inspired and the words just tumble out faster than I can even type!

  17. I’m working on reading and reviewing a few books I owe for review programs, but after, I’m going on hiatus and am just going to read. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll still be writing reviews, but they will be scheduled for 2018. I used to not review books, so I feel a bit like the opposite—I find writing reviews to be challenging and good for my mind; I was never great at reading comprehension (I failed the state testing for it repeatedly, even), but I’ve found I have improved with it since reading and reviewing books. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Now movies, however…I’ve felt less like thinking of them critically and more like enjoying them, basting in the feelings they made me feel, and going on to the next one.

    1. That’s wonderful Jane! I’m so glad that reviewing has helped you with this. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I definitely agree with you about movies, ESPECIALLY when I really enjoy a movie that doesn’t have great ratings on IMDB. I just don’t feel like justifying why I loved it when other people thought it was rubbish. I just want to enjoy it for a bit then move on.

  18. I have the same, I hardly review anything I read/see lately, partly because I just really want to pick up another book instead of having to write a review for the previous one. For me, the main reason is that I just find it hard to write a review for a book I really enjoyed without repeating myself 10 times (I can’t stop saying ‘this was great/awesome/amazing’ in reviews). Books I really didn’t like are rather easier to write reviews for…

    Nessa Luna recently posted: Nine Dishes In Books I Want to Try
    1. Yes I totally agree! If I loved a book it’s hard to find what to say other than, “I really loved it.” Any more than that and I just feel like I’m forcing myself to get words out.

  19. I am sooooo right there with you… I am getting in book slumps.. then I am reading 5-6 books back to back.. but I just want to leave a rating.. not write a review… which absolutely sucks!!! not sure whats going on… (sigh)

  20. I’m in EXACTLY the same place at the minute! I used to review every book I read, and while I still WANT to do that, I lack the motivation unless it moves me for some reason. 6 months quickly passed and when I got the mojo to start writing them again, I went back and couldn’t remember much about some of them, so feel I can’t review them properly unless I reread, and meh to that! I do still want to review, but there’s a backlog situation going on… We’ll see what happens, that’s my new principle! Lol

  21. I am definitely struggling to write longer reviews lately, or motivate myself to write more than my basic thoughts on Goodreads. I am working at at least writing lots of short reviews but I think short reviews work just as well and I try not to force it and anyone that reads them doesn’t seem bothered by it so I’m rolling with it. Short reviews for the win! I think my issue is partially figuring out what direction my blog will go in next. I am reading a lot less YA of late and considering that’s where I started I need to see where I want to go next with my blog.

  22. Interesting post. Yay… I am not alone! I have not been reading as much lately and even though I do put out a review for the books I have read… I didn’t want to. I just did it because I have a book blog. I’m hoping I’m just in a rut. Is that terrible? I’m not sure. I still read quite heavily, but compared to a couple of years ago it’s nowhere near as much.

  23. Same here! I used to write huge reviews for books without even thinking about it, and about every book I read as well. Now it requires a lot more effort and thinking. It just doesn’t come naturally anymore.

  24. I have definitely been feeling that way lately, and I’ve only been book blogging for a little over a year. YIKES!! I’m hoping that it’s just a slump, and I just need to read a book that will really get my brain juices going. BTW…I LOVE the idea of a mini-mini review!

  25. I go through stages for book reviews! Sometimes I really just can’t write them and I only rate them on goodreads. Other times I knock out three reviews in one day. It’s a hit or miss for me. I also don’t usually read reviews, so I always wonder why I’m bothering to write and post my own reviews when I don’t go out of my way to read them on other blogs…

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift recently posted: The Wish Granter: Underwhelming, but enjoyable
  26. The same thing has been happening to me for over a year now. If I love a book, I really don’t want to dissect it. I just want to love it. If I don’t like a book, I don’t want to spend any more time on it.

    I do the one sentence Goodreads thing lol

    I’m struggling with a way to to talk about books in a spontaneous way that is fun for readers and myself that doesn’t feel like a promo post.

    For What It’s Worth

  27. I feel the same way. I’m not sure if that’s just how society seems to run nowadays, always on-the-go, but I’m thinking it’s more along the lines of what you mentioned. The “just want to soak it all in without having to think about it critically.” And I always question if readers will actually read the entire review. KISS (keep it simple sweetheart) seems to bleed more and more into my thinking and into my reviews. A thumbs-up, thumbs-down seems more and more tempting at each review.

    J. K. at 411 Junkie recently posted: NaBloPoMo 2017: Itโ€™s here!
  28. For me, a passion isn’t the thing you want to do every single day of your life; it’s the thing you always go back to.
    We can’t be doing the same thing our whole life. There are so many other things to do, discover, and we also have obligations. Maybe you reached a point where you’re more focused on other things than writing reviews? As we grow as a person, we find new interests and it can make previous activities less attractive. But I notice that I always come back to the things I’ve really love since my childhood. So, don’t worry about it.

  29. I’ve only been blogging for a year, but I feel the same. Reviews are:
    1. Meh to write
    2. Meh to read!
    Nobody likes them, nobody cares for them, so it’s doubly discouraging to write them, I’d say. I have also caught myself thinking time and again that I would love to just be able to put the book away and remember how nice it was to read it later. Or especially, if the book was amazing, how I’d rather not have to push myself trying to sell it well and ‘do it justice’ (don’t know if you do that to yourself – I do!)
    Argh. Book reviews.

    Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks recently posted: An Endearing Story About Loneliness, Illness Andโ€ฆ Cake
  30. I’m kind of doing all four! But not consciously or with any planning. Mostly, unless I jot down my thoughts immediately, there’s no chance of an in-depth review so, due to my laziness, reviews are getting shorter and I’m doing a lot more memes.

    Also, I don’t think the blame lies just with us- the fiction this year has been more meh than in years past. I have to feel strongly one way or another to write a review.

  31. I only recently started a bookish blog (like a month ago almost) and my reviews on Goodreads used to be mostly single-sentence affairs. I’ve made an active effort to write a longer, more comprehensive review for purposes for book blogging. That being said, if a book didn’t move me enough to feel compelled to write more than a sentence or two, I feel like it’s not worth wasting time reviewing on my blog. Is this bad of me? Maybe.

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