Posts Tagged ‘Reviewing’

Back in July, I wrote a blog post about restricting my reviewing. I guess it was the stepping stone to where I am now.. I’ve pretty much stopped.

There are quite a few reasons for this, but some aren’t worth going into.. but the most important, I think, is that I’d actually lost my passion for reading, and reviewing was making it into a pressure instead.

Just before Christmas, I started to feel very affected by my depression again, and I had no interest in getting into a book. Instead, I picked up my Walking Dead compendiums, and found myself whizzing through them, and chatting to my daughter about the story twists. I then started to look at some other graphic novels and comics.. I was quickly scouring amazon, logging back into the library, and starting threads on my forum (such as this one). I’d found my passion again.. and I realised how much I had missed it.

(If you want to follow my new passion, my journey is in this thread.)

I’ve picked up two books in Jan, neither of which were for review, and I enjoyed them both. I still have a couple of review books by my bed, and although I liked the start of them both, I have a mental block over getting back to them.. and that has confirmed for me that I need to draw a line, and stop.

I have no idea what the future holds.. there may come a point at which reviewing and blogging becomes my passion again.. but for now, I need to focus on reading what I want to, when I want to. I’ll still be yelling on Twitter when I read something I love, and I hope to stay in contact with the lovely authors, publishers and bloggers I’ve gotten to know on there – but 2016 is my year to reclaim my love of reading, rather than struggling with the pressure of reviewing.



Read Full Post »


I’ve recently had a few ‘issues’ with my reading – I may have called it a lost-reading-mojo or something, but if I’m honest, I think it’s more to do with pressure… and mainly pressure on myself.

I’ve bought quite a few books this summer, mainly because of YALC, and I’ve just re-arranged my bookshelves. I have a ridiculous number of books which I really want to read.. some of these are proof copies from publishers, many are bought, but they’re all yelling at me to read them NOW – all of them at once!

When I do choose a book to read, I’m very aware of all the others waiting, so if I’m not loving it, I start to wonder if I should move on to something else. But, I don’t want to miss out on a good book, so I get caught up deciding whether to continue or not.

And then there are my review copies. Some do just come in the post, but most I’ve asked for (and sometimes begged!). Most of the time I do love what I’ve asked for, and I happily review it, and shout about it on twitter. Sometimes though, I realise that it’s not what I expected, or it’s just not working for me. Then I get hit with guilt.. I feel bad that I asked (or begged) for it, that I took a copy someone else may have had, that the publishers will hate me, that they’ll never send me anything again. 😦

A while ago, I decided to stop reviewing. It was quite good for me, but it only lasted a few months. It’s very difficult to resist a good proof when it’s offered, despite the pile of books sitting beside my bed, looking accusingly at me. And by reviewing, I’ve discovered some awesome books which may have otherwise passed me by. Books are my passion, and getting to review some of them early is a huge part of that.

So, this time I’m going for some sort of compromise. I’ve been resisting some offers and give-aways, but I’m not stopping completely – I’m just trying to be very selective in what I ask for / accept. I’m also trying not to buy anything for a while (if you see me in Waterstones, or on Amazon, please slap my wrist!) but I do know something somewhere will tempt me before long!

I’m also – and this is the hardest bit – not going to pressure myself so much with review copies. If I’m not getting on with a book, even if I requested it, I’m going to put it down.. and maybe come back to it if I think it will work with a second chance. I’m a busy working mum, and my reading time is limited, so it’s pointless for me to struggle with something which isn’t working.

I also can’t restrict myself to review books only. Reading is my relaxation and my escape, and I have gorgeous bought books which need my attention as well.

Publishers – I’m so sorry if you send me a book, and I can’t review it. Hopefully the next one will work better, and I’ll be shouting on twitter for everyone to buy it. If you choose not to send any more though, then I’ll sadly accept that, because I do appreciate that your review copies are limited.

Bloggers / Reviewers – am I the only one who feels like this? Are you well organised, and keep on top of things, or do you have to make compromises? Any other advice?

Read Full Post »

This is going to sound bad, but I really don’t like writing reviews. I love pretty much everything else, I love buying books, getting books through the post, I obviously love the reading part, and I also love the discussing part. I just dislike having to sit and put my thoughts into words.

The main reason, I think, is that I don’t feel as if I’m very good at it. There are plenty of reviewers out there who can express perfectly how they feel about a book, be it good or bad, and most are a joy to read. Mine, I feel, just don’t live up to them. I never give away the main points of the stories, so sometimes it’s hard to know just what to say, and whenever I read them back, I always feel I’ve missed the mark.

What I am good at, is being passionate about books, authors and publishing. If I like a book, I’ll go out of my way to track down the author and let them know, and many of them I will continue to chat to. I also like getting to know publishing people, partly because I find the world of publishing interesting, and partly because most of them are very cool human beings!

So, I can be passionate about a book or an issue. I’ll post photos, talk to authors and publishers, and encourage others to read a book I love. I love to talk about the books I love, and their issues and their characters. I even run a book forum, even though the forum format doesn’t seem to be that popular these days.

When it comes to sitting and writing a review though, I’m not so keen, and I’m really sorry to authors and publishers if I don’t manage that part very well. I hope the rest makes up for it?!

Read Full Post »

Reviewing… part 1

I’ve been considering quite a long piece about reviewing, about why I do it, my style, what I like and dislike to see others doing, etc. However, blog posts take me some time, and I have a book I need to get back to. I have a busy week coming, so limited reading time ahead. So, I decided to break it up a little, and write in sections.

So to begin, why do I review, and how did it happen? Well, I’ve always been a reader, but starting my book forum almost 10 years ago has gradually widened my horizon.. not just with the books I read, but also with the wider book world. With the help of email and twitter, I’ve come in contact with publishers and authors, I’ve been offered books to read and review, and I’ve requested some as well. I can’t actually remember how this started initially, it’s just something which has built up and developed.

I started by writing the reviews on the forum, then after a while I started a review blog.. but I found a team of people on the forum to help, and we reviewed all kinds of books, rather than focusing on a particular genre, or on books we had been sent. Over time, many of these others have stopped posting, and it’s a lot quieter. I tend to only write reviews for the books I’ve been sent, and I go through periods of choosing my own books, and choosing not to review them.

I don’t consider myself a blogger, as I don’t have the time to do a full, decent job. I write reviews on the review blog, and then I occasionally write bookish blog pieces over here. There are a some lovely book blogs out there, and I admire the time and energy spent on them.. but it’s not something I can commit to.

My favourite books to review are those which are not yet published, or only just. I love picking up a book with no real knowledge of what to expect, and taking that journey. I’m easily put off a book by a bad review, so I actually like to be able to make my own mind up before the internet is awash with others views.

Of course that sometimes (ok, often) means I’ll pick up a book which looks and sounds great, but isn’t for me. In the past I would have carried on, but I now tend to put it to one side. I love it when a book really grabs me, and I just have to keep reading. So, some books sent to me will not get reviewed, and I feel bad about that, but then I’d rather spend my time reading, reviewing, and chatting about the ones I love. I hope publishers and authors get that?

That brings me to the other reason I like reviewing.. if I like a book, I will look out for the author, see if they’re on twitter or facebook, and check out their websites. Most are lovely, and will respond to a review link or a message, and many I still enjoy following on twitter. That connection between reader and author is one of my favourite things.

Ok.. back to reading. I’m half way through Endgame, and it’s one of ‘those’ books – I’m addicted! 🙂

Read Full Post »