Thursday, 13 August 2015

Do Book Reviews Matter?

Book blogging is a funny thing. I've found over the past 18 months that when it comes to writing actual book reviews they don't seem to do as well as when I just generally chat about book related things or do roundups of my favourite books or suggest my favourite authors. That's entirely okay. Mainly I post them because once I've read a book I do like to think about it afterwards and a book review seems like a good a place as ever to do this. (Plus I feel like as a book blogger it would be weird to never have them on my site). But, it does get me thinking from time to time - do book reviews really matter? Do they make you pick up a book, stop reading a book or avoid books altogether? Is all this talking about books and writing up reviews afterwards just a big fat waste of time?

I know for me as a user of Goodreads if I really want to find out what vast majority of people are thinking I can simply log on and see hundreds of book reviews which are a pretty good indication of whats good, bad and avoidable. And, I often use this method if I'm thinking about reading or buying a book that I haven't seen shouted about on any blogs.

But for the most part book blogs do have a wonderful role to play with their reviews. I think the beauty of a book review on a blog, as opposed to Goodreads, it really lets you get to know a blogger for their individual tastes. There are many blogs who I've been following for a while that every time they post a raving review I always want to add it to my reading list. Likewise if they think something is completely pants I'm going to take that opinion seriously too (although these usually fall into the borrow not buy reading category).

So while book reviews may, oddly, not be the most popular things to get people clicking I still find them incredibly useful for adding book recommendations to my bookshelf. What do you think about reading book reviews with sites like Goodreads available? Do you find them useful or a waste of time?


  1. I have to say I do take note of blog reviews as well as making good use of goodreads but I see your point, often a review does not engender comment. I often read a post but leave no comment but I may have the book reviewed stored away as a potential worthy read. Blog reviews have alerted me to a number of titles I may not have discovered and read otherwise, I absolutely love book blogs for that reason. In a way book blogs and sites like goodreads are becoming as important to my selection process as mainstream media or simple browsing in book shops and they have been great in helping me select books as gifts for others whose tastes differ to my own.

  2. I actually don't enjoy writing reviews, but many search engine users end up on my blog because of them *shrugs* Yes, I believe it's weird not having book reviews on a book blog, how else are we going to talk about them if not by writing reviews? I mean even in real word bookworms interact by "reviewing" books, though not necessarily as thorough as a blog post.

    Books reviews don't really matter to me (anymore). I used to check them out first before choosing a book to read, I don't bother doing that anymore. I think reviews is a good what to chat about book, but I wouldn't use it as reading guide.

    Interesting post, Francesca!


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