Let’s Talk: When are you classed as a “reviewer”? How do you decide which books to review?


Ready for a two-pronged sort of discussion, everyone?

I personally find these questions really interesting (obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t write an entire post about it). I love knowing how other people go through their reviewing process, but I never thought to much about the process of choosing which books to review. Everyone does it differently.  And how often do you have to review to be classed as a “reviewer”?

Well, let’s talk…


What comes to mind when someone is called a reviewer?

Do you imagine someone who reviews books often? What classes as “often”? Every week? Every month?

Maybe you imagine someone who is paid for it. It becomes a sort of job title. Everyone who reviews as a hobby on their blogs/channels are just classified as bloggers/booktubers.

Or is it when the person starts working with publishers and authors? When they start receiving things specifically for review, they’ve been noticed as a reviewer?

Personally, I class someone as a reviewer if they review often. It doesn’t matter if they bought the books themselves or received them from the publisher. If they have a love for reviewing books and do so often, then sure, you’re a reviewer. It’s just like how I class people as bloggers. If you post often enough and love it, then yes you are one.


I love knowing how people decide which books they review.

Some people choose beforehand the books they want to review and read them specifically for that purpose. Some people review every book they read. Some people only review the books that are popular, or have a huge public interest. Others only review the books they have strong feelings or thoughts about. Maybe you only review the books that were sent to you for that reason.

Or maybe, just maybe, you have no system to it whatsoever and just review books whenever you feel like it.


My system is simple:

I review every single book I read.

I love writing my reviews. Some of you might remember that I upload reviews at least every Friday, sometimes more if I happen to have read more that week. The only exceptions I’ve made in my year of blogging is for really tiny books, like the Penguin Little Black Classics that are half the height of a normal book and only 50 pages or so. But even then, I’d write a small review paragraph on Goodreads.

Sure, there’s some days where I really don’t feel like writing a review. But I’ll just delay it for another day, and write it closer to the upload day. Honestly, by this point, if I missed a book review it’d stand out too much in my mind and I’d end up writing one anyway.

So I’d class myself as a reviewer. Some people might not. But I review at least one book every week, and I share my reviews in quite a few places. That, in my mind, makes me a reviewer.

So now it’s your turn!

When do you class someone as a reviewer? Do you class yourself as one?

How do you decide which books you want to review?

Do you decide beforehand, or wait until you have your opinions on the book?

Join the discussion in the comments!

Until next time…


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39 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: When are you classed as a “reviewer”? How do you decide which books to review?

  1. Interesting questions. I would call anyone a “reviewer” who reviews consistently. That may be once or a week or it may be once a month. But as long as they review repeatedly and see themselves as dedicated to doing so, they count. Sure, there are amateur reviews vs. professional reviewers, but that’s true of just about any activity. For instance, I’d call anyone a “baker” who consistently bakes; I don’t think it necessarily has to refer to someone who is employed to bake.

    As for choosing books to review, I just review what I read. I find reading and blogging much more enjoyable when I do what I want, not when I try to guess what other people want me to do. I don’t review everything I read. For instance, I read a decent amount of obscure medieval literature, monographs, etc. that I know most of my followers aren’t interested in. However, I review most of what I read in terms of popular fiction, well-known classics, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like you have the exact same sort of mindset about both questions as I do! I especially loved the “baker” comparison, it puts it into perspective a lot easier 🙂

      And yes! I don’t go out of my way to review books I think will get most views when I review them – definitely not. I just choose whatever I fancy reading and my followers will read the ones they want. But like you said, if it was something more obscure and I was pretty sure next to no one would read it, I’d probably just leave it unless I really did want to write a review.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Despite being a blogger, I don’t class myself as a reviewer because I’m so bloody bad at it. I don’t enjoy writing reviews and I probably only do it once a month (at least, that’s my minimum goal, but I’m trying to increase) and usually only for books that I feel strongly about or KNOW that I want to review. Sometimes a title just jumps out at me and I think ‘yes that’s a candidate for review’. There’s really no rhyme or reason to how I pick. I’m also super bad at cross posting to my blog. Reviews, for me, go up instantly on Goodreads, but can take months to make it to my blog due to how I schedule posts. 2017, however, will see weekly reviews from me, so I’d best step up my game!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of people think they’re bad at reviews – I don’t think you are 🙂 Just because you don’t do them often, doesn’t make it bad. If you don’t like writing them, you could try a new way of writing them? I’ve seen a lot of people just bullet point the good and the bad etc to make it easier and quicker. Just experiment until you find something that works for you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I generally consider people reviewers if they review books frequently as well, regardless of the platform.
    Choosing which books to review is a more complex issue for me. I tried to review every book I read – however I usually start reviews, and sometimes never finish them. So usually, the books that I do end up reviewing fully in the end are the ones that stick with me for a long while, because the reviews I write are usually a work in progress over several months (unless it’s a review for a publisher). Thoughtful discussion – really had to wrack my brain for this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s much easier to finish the reviews for the books that leave a lasting impression on you, definitely! I have a decent habit of writing my posts in one go, but there’s certainly times where sometimes I just want to leave it for another day!


    1. I see a lot of booktubers do that! It’s nice to see a short little summary of thoughts, especially in wrap ups. It’s great that you write full reviews for the noteworthy ones – more people will hear about them! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s EXACTLY how I do it ! I review all the books I read expect Novellas and short stories because I feel like I don’t have enough to say about them, but as you said, even then, I post my thoughts on Goodreads.
    And you’re right on what makes a reviewer. For me too, if you love reviewing and do so frequently, then you ARE one.
    Lovely post 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Fadwa! 😀

      Surprisingly, I do actually review novellas and short stories, but those reviews will definitely be shorter and I’ll mention that beforehand. Like right now I’m reading Stars Above, and since that’s a novella bind up my review will be short, and I’ll probably give each story it’s own rating and a couple of sentences at most. It’s understandable that shorter books have shorter reviews (unless they’re REALLY good/bad – that’d be quite a feat) 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I try to review every single book I read, unless I simply don’t have the time to get a review down. I like to review books no matter if their popular or not, the biggest love of mine from book blogging is when someone comments how they haven’t heard of a book before and have chosen to give it or go, or they loved it after picking it up from that review. 🙂
    I’ve reviewed books that have had zero comments on my blog posts before but I was in love with the book and so excited to get my thoughts down who cares right? we do this to share our passion, I love this discussion post. It’s interesting to see how others review and if they review based on hype and popularity or like to review the new not known stuff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great discussion points! I am pretty much on the same page as you, Ashleigh. However, I feel like a reviewer is anyone who reviews books in a semi-consultant manner but there must be a publishing element. When my friends tell me all about a book the love, it doesn’t count. Others must be able to find this review on their own.
    As far as choosing books, well, I read what I want to, mostly. I am involved in 6 book clubs. This is because I would just read YA Fantasy otherwise– I need my friends to push my reading boundaries! And I write a review for every books I read, even if I don’t publish it to my blog. I get behind often, however.
    In fact, I’m 8 books behind on reviews right now… 😁😰 Oh well, you can’t win them all!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are SUCH great questions, Ashleigh! Thank you so much for asking, and sharing your thoughts on them with us!

    Personally, I agree with you on “who” a reviewer is–I think if they’re passionate about what they’re doing and they love to review, they are automatically a reviewer in my mind. I don’t think it even matters how OFTEN they review, per se–it all comes down to their passion for the task in my mind.

    I, personally, review EVERYTHING I read. Not because I feel obligated, but because I want to. Of course, a lot of my books from the last year have been Indie or self-published–that’s just the niche I’ve carved for myself in the reviewing world, I guess. Which means I don’t necessarily read a lot of the big-name or more well-known books. And that’s AWESOME, in my opinion, because it means I’m discovering books to love before anyone else…and can then turn around and share them with others who read my posts, as opposed to saying the same old same old. (Not that the same old same old is bad! It isn’t. It just gets a bit old after so many posts saying the same thing, you know?)

    Thank you again for hosting this discussion post! Happy book-ing to you in the near future; have a great rest of your night!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I also review almost every book I read! I really like getting out my feelings on what I read and sorting out my thoughts by writing them down. I think that anyone who reviews books semi regularly could be considered a reviewer.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I also consider a person a book blogger when they review often. I personally choose which books to review. I won’t review classics or children books on my blog or Goodreads. If I feel my review won’t be good enough, I will either put it on Goodreads or save it for Mini Reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think if you write a review then you’re a reviewer – simple as that! As to what reviews I write… it tends to be whatever I feel like at the time! Obv, if I’ve been given an ARC or a review copy, then I will review that once I’ve finished it. Otherwise? Go with the flow!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I consider myself a reviewer because I try to read often and I review all the books I read. It wasn’t always this way. When I first started Goodreads, way before blogging, I did it to find books, and to keep track of how long it took me to read it. Then I signed up for Challenges and tried to read x amount of books a year. Then I started starring the reviews. But I didn’t actually start writing a review for a book until I read a book, starred it, and then saw someone bash the book I just loved. So I wrote a review about all the things I loved about the book. They were short.
    As time went on, I reviewed books after every read, I wish I could go back and retroactively write reviews for the ones I didn’t review, but that doesn’t feel genuine. So I’ll always have some on my Goodreads that haven’t been reviewed. Maybe one day I can reread them.
    When I found out people gave people copies of books to review, I wanted to do it. It sounded so fun! So I went and volunteered, and then people came to me. The reviews got better, and the next thing I know I’m making a Tumblr. Then a Blogger (which didn’t work on my iPad). Then a WordPress.
    I’m so glad to be a reviewer. I think you’re one of the best, Ashleigh. I love these topics…I only usually stick to reviews lately bc of school. But I think anyone can be a reviewer! Especially if they live to read! The only books I barely review, if at all, are textbooks. Of plays. Too hard for me. If I do, the review is Goodreads only.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you!! 😀
      I feel like my process was a lot like yours but with different social media. Like I discovered Goodreads and adored it because I ADORE organising things (I literally scan every new book I own onto Goodreads so I can keep track of how many I have lol). Then I started using the star system but didn’t write.

      I then started an instagram, and would write really short reviews there. But I decided I wanted to go more in depth, and an instagram caption wasn’t the place for that. I discovered WordPress, my reviews started out really rubbish (I shiver when looking back at them ugh) and yet, here we are today!


  12. Great post.I usually review every book that I read.It does feel like giving back to the authors.Even if I don’t enjoy a book,I still post a mini review to say what I liked and what I didn’t.To me a reviewer is anyone who writes and share reviews on any platform.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s better to write reviews for books you don’t like too rather than leave them for that reason – it helps others see what you like/dislike in general and makes your judgement seem more rounded!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      It’s okayy not to review every book you read – I’m pretty sure most people don’t! I only have college three days a week and tend to write the week’s blog posts all in one day (or two, if there’s more than usual) so I have plenty of time to write them!

      Liked by 2 people

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