Book Spotlights

I’ve been thinking about book reviews lately. About writing them, about people who read them, about negative reviews, and about how much I don’t actually like writing them. I already don’t rate books based on a 5-star or even 10-star system because it seems arbitrary and pointless. Adding words to the review is definitely a step-up, but writing reviews of books has seemed like a chore lately.

How do I explain what I liked about this book that doesn’t repeat what I said in the last review? Should I talk about what I didn’t like about a book? Do I even want to write about a book I didn’t like? (And take pictures of them with waffles?)

I’ve been thinking about book reviews in relation to publishing books. I want to publish books someday, hopefully in the not-so-distant future. And I’ve been thinking about the books I’ve reviewed. The good, the bad, the really bad. Should I be putting my thoughts out there when someday I could connect with those authors and publishers? Will that have a negative impact on my own work and my own publication? I’ve been looking at what other authors do and unless they’ve specifically asked to read and write a blurb of a book, most don’t publish their thoughts about every book they read. And usually, it’s only positive, 5-star reviews.

I’ve been thinking about what to do with this blog since April/May. I took a break, hoping some new ideas and inspiration would spark in my mind. But it didn’t happen. Until recently when I started thinking about book reviews. I like talking about books, but does that have to be only through reviews?

Because I get early copies through NetGalley, I felt like I had an obligation to write reviews for every single title I read and then post it on NetGalley and also my blog and Goodreads and Instagram and the world, apparently. But I don’t feel that obligation anymore. I hope that I read books that I enjoy enough to want to talk about on my blog and to post about on Goodreads. But I am no longer going to do it out of obligation. I’m going to do it because I want to talk about it.

Starting next week (since this post is already too long), I’m done writing “reviews” and I’m going to share book spotlights. Posts about books I enjoyed recently and why. Maybe I’ll throw in favorite quotes or the type of waffle I think would work best with this title. Maybe it’ll just be a rambling gush of why I loved it. Maybe I’ll think of something else at some point to add.

But writing reviews always left me feeling like I was restricted to new books, to relevant books. Because who cares about reading a review of a book that came out five years ago? Chances are everybody’s already read reviews of the book and decided whether to pick it up or not. I don’t want my book spotlights to be limited to new books because I read a lot of older books alongside new ones, and if I ever want to get through that giant physical TBR pile I have, I’ll have to read more books that older.

(Plus is anybody else tired of reading a brand new book only to find out it’s part of a series so you wait a year or two (or three!!!) and pick up the next one and have absolutely zero memory of what happened? Yeah, I’m starting to think waiting for the whole series to be out might be the best way to go for the future. We’ll see.)

So book spotlights are kind of going to be like my own personal, online reading journal. I’ll highlight books that I enjoyed, quotes that stuck out to me, and anything else related to the book that I want to share. They won’t always be new books and they won’t probably always be the best books ever, but the important thing is they will be books.

Because books are why I’m here.

5 thoughts on “Book Spotlights

  1. Pingback: Book Spotlight: Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston – Jaime Writes Words and Waffles

  2. Pingback: Book Spotlight: Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston | Keeper of the Wood Between Worlds

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