The discussion posts are back! …sort of.
Towards the end of last year, I gave the weekly discussion posts a break. Having run them for a year, I was running out of ideas, and had too many other posts that could easily take their place. And so, coming into the new year, I’ve cut my blogging schedule down. Though it might not seem like it yet, because I’m still frantically catching up with book reviews. But anyway. The new schedule is reviews on Wednesdays, and random posts Sundays – including discussions. So the discussion posts will just arrive as the ideas do!
Anyway, the first discussion post of the year is kind of one to reflect on…
Can being a book reviewer ruin the overall enjoyment of reading?
Many of us here are book reviewers. Whether we write reviews on our blogs, Goodreads, or make videos on Booktube. Whether it’s for every book we read, or just the select few to get our thoughts out.
So I’m sure most of us have felt it. When that thought pops into your head – “You need to write the review for that book!” – and then the resounding “UGGGHHHH” that follows.
Does it ruin our enjoyment? Well…
How reviews can slowly sap the enjoyment from reading:
– It can make you think of books more critically, and almost look for problems. And as I always say, if you go looking for problems, you’re no doubt going to find them. So you’re more likely to find things you don’t like. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing…well, I suppose that depends on the person.
– Instead of simply enjoying it, you have to think about why. And sometimes, you don’t even have a reason. But you almost have to force one out, for the sake of justifying your enjoyment. WHY do we do that? Why can’t we just ramble about how much we love it, like we would with baked pastries? All we have to say with those is “ohmygod this is wonderful, TRY IT!” and the job’s done.
– Writing reviews isn’t always the most thrilling of tasks. So when you finish a book, put it aside and feel good for that small achievement, you might also be thinking “ugh…but the review” or “so what would I rate it?” before quickly pushing it aside for another day.
And yet writing book reviews is something we choose to do. Surely, if it ruined our enjoyment that much, we’d just… not do it?
On the flip side, writing reviews could make reading more enjoyable. Because sure, the actual writing process of reviews might be hard sometimes, but it means all your books are varied somewhat. It means you know what to look for when buying a new book, because you can point out things you’ve loved in previous reads. It means that, while you may think more critically, more in depth about the elements of each book, you’ll start seeing problematic things, and will strive to find books without them. It means that from an English Literature lesson point of view, you might start seeing just how clever/meaningful/important the book is, and will make you appreciate it even more.
I personally love having reviews for every book I read. I love seeing my shelves, knowing all the books I’ve read have their own individual rating. I love seeing how varied those ratings are too. I even like seeing the books I rated 1 star still sat on my shelves. Something about having a wide selection, each book with their own individual review, something I can look back on…something about that satisfies me to no end.
I think the problem is how we almost feel it’s our responsibility to write reviews, and to make them good (as in quality, not 5 star reviews). Once you start writing reviews, you might get stuck in that mindset where you feel as though you should write them. And if that’s for every book…well, it can be overwhelming.
But if we only write reviews when we want to, I don’t think that’d take the enjoyment out of reading. Not for me, personally. Though I do write reviews for every book I read, I make sure not to make it a pressurised thing. I write them when I feel motivated to. And if that means pushing the review back on the schedule another week, then so be it.
So now it’s your turn!
Do you think being a book reviewer can ruin the enjoyment of reading?
Have you had cases of it ruining a book for you?
Or have there been times when writing the review, it actually made you love the book more?
Join the discussion in the comment!
Until next time…
Come and visit me!