Why I only Review Books I Enjoy on this Blog

I’m a great believer in the maxim of ‘Never complain; never explainbut one topic seems to crop up in the world of book blogging over and over. It’s the one about only giving positive book reviews. Recently book bloggers have attracted the attention of a vicious trolls who accuse them of all sorts because they only ever write positive book reviews on their blogs.

I am only going to write this once, then I’m done explaining.

I only review books I love on my blog.

There are a few reasons for this. I have a chronic debilitating illness with a rare syndrome attached to it that causes extreme fatigue. The illness has left me with damaged hands. I have one typing finger left. I’m not going to waste what time I have left reviewing books I haven’t enjoyed. Life is too short for anyone to do this. Depending on the level of fatigue, writing a review takes it out of me. I don’t have the energy for writing one every day or additional blog posts about weekly blog book hauls or anything else. I enjoy reading about everyone else’s book hauls!

If I enjoy a book, everyone hears about it. I gush a lot and enjoy telling authors I’ve enjoyed their books. These days, thanks to social media we can actually do this.

After some initial self-doubt about continuing book blogging, I carried on and really do enjoy writing reviews for books I’ve loved. Books that have been a pleasure to read. It’s the least I can do. I don’t particularly want to be friends with authors or keep in contact, but some of my friends are authors that I’ve met through reading their books.

There are other reasons why I don’t review books I haven’t enjoyed. I don’t believe it’s fair to pick holes in someone’s written work just for the sake of it. I’ve read sanctimonious posts on social media platforms from those who believe that they are more respected as book reviewers because they critique a book in this manner. Listing all the faults they believe are in the books in question and giving them a low rating. Why? Why would anyone want to be cruel to a writer who will probably have spent many months or even years writing the book in question. Books that others have enjoyed or might enjoy in the future. Just because they have the misguided view that it’s expected of them. It isn’t.

It really is all just a matter of taste. We can’t possibly all like the same books. It’s impossible. I read a colossal amount of books. I don’t enjoy reading all of them.

I’ve agreed for this blog to be a stop on blog tours, then read ARC copy of the book I’ve been sent but haven’t enjoyed reading it so do something else other than a review on my spot. Blog organisers on the whole are very understanding about this. I haven’t come across one who would expect a glowing review for a book not enjoyed by me (or anyone else for that matter)

I may add to this post and correct some grammatical issues 😀

Addendum: The above is my viewpoint for my blog. Agree, don’t agree. I’m not bothered. Book Bloggers should do whatever they feel most comfortable with on their own blogs and leave anyone who has different opinions and/or method of blogging to do the same.

33 thoughts on “Why I only Review Books I Enjoy on this Blog

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  1. I totally get it! And I wish others would stop trying to tell each other how it shoulsd be done. I also generally refrain from overly negative reviews as I do not enjoy tearing at someone’s work either. And like you, my time is limited due to health. If I chose to share a book I do not enjoy for sake of discussion or because it was an arc, I will only do so if I can balance the review with some positive points. Otherwise, I contact the publisher with feedback directly and explain why I did not share a review. I love reading rave reviews!

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  2. Well said. I only review books I’ve enjoyed too. As far as I’m concerned, I blog to recommend books I think others might like too. Just because I haven’t liked something doesn’t mean it’s not up someone else’s street.

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  3. The whole point is that it’s your blog to do with what you want, and the fact that you have one at all is commendable (and I am endlessly grateful about the reviews you have written for some of my books, of course!). I see blogs like yours as being there to let the world know about great books, rather than for literary criticism.

    I wonder if it may be possible to have someone to type for you? There’s probably some sort of voice-activated mechanism one can get these days, but I think my brain stopped, technology-wise, about 10 years ago – I am the only person I know, apart from my sister, with no smart phone.

    Your blog’s lovely, don’t change a thing x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Terry. I’ve started using a stylus which does help with the typing aspect. I enjoy doing it on the whole or I wouldn’t do it and some days are better than others although I’m not that prolific. Happy with a once a week post and sometimes something in between. The books I read and enjoy (including yours) are a pleasure so I’ll tell the world about them. Not going to write negative reviews because some think I should. They can do one! X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are most welcome! The stylus sounds interesting. I love book blogs; if I didn’t feel compelled to write I would have a ‘proper’ one. When I’ve run out of ideas, perhaps I will!! 😀

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  4. I love your blog, Caryl, but I think you know that. As Terry says, it’s your place and you can do whatever you want. However, I think you write terrific, thoughtful and perceptive reviews. I am amazed you write as much as you under the circumstances. I should also say that I too am incredibly grateful for the support you’ve given me, and I am with you about only reviewing books you’ve enjoyed. That’s so much your prerogative. I have my review blog (I won’t ever call myself a book blogger…it’s far too irregular and random for that), and even though it’s only for memoirs, I only review those I’ve enjoyed and want to let people know about. A friend of mine uses voice activated software to write, so I know it can work although it comes out with some funny things at times. We have a good giggle about it. I haven’t come across a stylus though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Val. Reading books such as yours are a real pleasure. I tried voice activation but it never recognises my Scouse accent 😂. The stylus is great but is like a small pencil and I keep losing the darned thing. I need to tie it around my neck! 🙃
      Seriously, it wasn’t my intention for people to feel sorry for me. I LOVE books, so doing a book blog and being involved in the book world in this way is all good, no downside except for the book blogger haters who try to make it a little bit less enjoyable for those who’ve been attacked by them. X

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