Discussion: Keeping up with reviews (aka my ongoing existential crisis AHHHH!!!)

If you’re a book blogger, you likely know what it’s like to be constantly behind – behind on your TBR, behind on reviews, behind on posts, challenges, discussions… Heck, just as a reader you may exist in a state of slowly being crushed by your TBR. I myself have 411 books in my bedroom. This is physical copies of books I have not read yet – so not counting books I want to reread and ebooks. This is my “short list” TBR, and started out as one three-shelf bookcase of books that were supposed to be immediately on deck to read next, and then it sort of expanded and grew until I had several bookcases in my room and now there are 411 books… But this book isn’t about being crushed to death by Book Mountain! That’s a post for another day, haha. Let’s talk about writing reviews for all those books.
I try to write reviews for books I’ve read as soon as possible after finishing them, but somehow I let myself get behind and OH MAN, I am BEHIND. I don’t know if I just finished a bunch of books really quickly (maybe? I did weirdly finish three in one day because I wrapped up an audiobook and read two novellas…) or if I just haven’t made time to sit and write reviews… But I’ve got 6 books I’ve read that I need to write reviews for, and they’re sitting there glaring at me and making me feel so guilty. AHH! 

I think a part of my problem is that I made a concentrated effort to read more Kindle Unlimited books before my subscription expires at the end of December, and there’s no rating system or need for approval to get more ARCs to keep me timely in submitting reviews like with books I get from NetGalley or Edelweiss. So many books I’ve read this year have been ARCs/egalleys, and I want to get the reviews submitted into NetGalley/Edelweiss/BookishFirst so I can get the points/credit/percentage/rating so they will continue to trust me with more ARCs and egalleys. With Kindle Unlimited, writing reviews just takes up valuable time I could be spending reading more KU books before the clock runs out on my membership, and there’s no payoff (for lack of a better word…) for me to take that time to marshal my thoughts and write a review. Because writing even a quick and not very good review takes time, effort, and brain power – ESPECIALLY when you’ve read a few books since you finished the book in question, and then you have to try to remember which details are actually from that book and what might be from another book you’ve read since then! (Which is why I try to write reviews before starting another book!!)

Two of my six overdue reviews are ARCs that I will need to write reviews for (and my goal is to finish them today). One is an audiobook I purchased, another is an audiobook from the library, and the other two are Kindle Unlimited books. 
What do you think, should I just write the ones for the ARCs and just write off the other four as lost causes? 
They were all OK reads – not bad, but not spectacular, or I’d have written reviews by now. I think three of the four of them could be summed up as “Cute, but nothing super special. A predictable but fun read.” 
Do I really want to spend the effort to find more to say? Or should I just, as Elsa would say, let it go?

Do you write reviews for the books you read? If yes, do you review every book you read, or just books that stand out in some way? How do you decide?

17 comments

  1. One of the reasons I mix in some backlist is to reduce that review pressure. I write something for them, but the reviews are usually much shorter that those for review books. I make every effort to write my reviews right away, because I feel so drained when I try to churn out multiple reviews at a time.

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  2. Wow, 411 books! I have around 50 unread books, and I feel overwhelmed. I’m a painfully slow reader, though. I don’t read ARCs, so that takes some of the pressure off. I review almost every book I read. I started doing mini reviews this year because writing huge reviews was too time-consuming. I’m still 6 books behind with reviews. Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I don't want to count how many unread books are on my shelves lol. I review every book I read for the most part and I try to review it ASAP before I forget what I wanted to say. Another option is to do mini reviews for all 6 books (or some of them together) if you feel you want them recorded on your blog but don't have time for full reviews.

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  4. Let it go, girl! Your time is precious, you should spend it on books that make you happy. It's always okay to DNF/short review books. As for tips on how to manage, I have no idea. But definitely focus on things that make you happy.

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  5. I review most books I read just to help me fill up content for the blog, but sometimes I put more than one book review in a singular post. I definitely review the books I get FOR review of course, but everything else? Like I said, it just depends. I have a lot of physical books (and some on my Kindle) that I still need to read but I'm trying to weed things out too. haha-Laurenwww.shootingstarsmag.net

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  6. That feeling drained when trying to churn out multiple reviews at a time is DEFINITELY a thing! I try too to write reviews right away. I hate having them hanging over my even more than I hate having outstanding ARCs hanging over me! (which I have a lot of… LOL)

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  7. I like the concept of mini-reviews, but in practice I don't really know what's the difference between a mini review and a not-mini review. What makes a review mini? What makes a review *not* mini? I think some of my reviews are pretty short and sort of mini… maybe? AHHH, so many thoughts!

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  8. I don't understand the concept of a \”mini review\” versus a \”full review.\” Like, what? What is this \”mini review\”? I don't think my reviews are always what people would call \”full reviews\” in the first place, but are usually longer than \”mini\”… I typically write sort of middle of the road lengh/depth reviews? They're definitely not as in-depth as some of them I see. I think I already do a lot closer to mini reviews than full length, at least compared to what I see on a lot of blogs. I don't think I can get much more mini, lol!! Though maybe I let myself really just write micro reviews – if I only have two or three sentences to say about a book, I let that be enough. \”This was a quick, fun, but sometimes predictable read. It was fun while it lasted, but I've read two books since finishing it and now I honestly can't remember what happened in this book anymore.\” Bada bing, bada boom, done! LOL

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  9. Yeah, I definitely review books that I get FOR review, and I try to do those promptly. Part of my problem with this batch is my Kindle Unlimited subscription is ending so I did a big push to read more KU books, so there wasn't that responsibility to review them promptly… and then I got behind. *cry* I do still want to review them at least on Goodreads though, so if I do find myself in a reading slump and scrambling for content on my blog I've got something to fall back on, haha. 🙂 Ah, the blog as a motivator… It's great, but also *evil*.

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  10. That sounds like a really great idea! Pure Textuality PR just came out with a SUPER AWESOME looking journal specifically for book readers and keeping track of reading (and review thoughts), but it's $150 which makes me choke a little bit! Do you have a particular book review specific journal you use (like one that is specifically intended and formatted to be used for exactly that purpose), or do you just use a blank journal?

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  11. I would just write reviews for those that you have to. If you force yourself to try to review when you're behind, you will become easily burned out. That's what happened to me when I had my first book blog. I ended up not reading for well over a year because I was so burned out =(I try to review every book I finish. However, if it's a super short book or a DNF, I just write a few sentences on Goodreads instead of post about it on my blog.

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  12. You should do what feels right to you. In the past, I have only written reviews for books that I received as ARCs or won on Goodreads. I want to change that up a little in 2019 because I feel like I rarely post reviews on my blog. But reviews are my least favorite posts to write and to read (I generally skip them unless its for a favorite book or a book I'm on the fence about reading), so I still won't be posting tons of them. I also feature books in other ways to call attention to them, aside from just reviews.

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  13. Yeah I think you should only write the reviews for the ones you \”have to\” write reviews for. Especially if the others were just meh. Like why do that to yourself, you know? I used to try to review every book I read, and wow that was exhausting. Now, I only review books that were specifically for review, and I have a special little feature for books I read and DO want to talk about but DON'T want to review- it saves a TON of time! Ultimately, cutting yourself some slack is always the best plan, IMO. It should be fun, right?

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