To Review or Not to Review, or a Fellow Book Blogger Needs Your Opinion

Friday, September 24, 2010

So I've had my blog for about a year now.  I've enjoyed it, and I look forward to many more years of blogging about great books.

Here's my dilemma-my reading time has shrunk to almost nil.  In the past two weeks I have not finished a book.  This fact makes me cringe.  I was reading a book, One Day, by David Nicholls, for my book club.  Problem was, I didn't like it, so I kept putting it down.  I wrote a post last year about giving up on books I'm not enjoying, but since this was a book club book I figured I was obligated.  Well, not only did I not finish it for book club, I finally gave up and started another book, which I also haven't finished.  I just don't have as much time to read at this time of year, especially this year.

So, what to do about the blog?  I don't want the blog to sit here idle while I am not able to do as much reading.  I enjoy the community too much to be that disconnected, and frankly since I started a blog so I'd have an audience for my writing it would be nice if people were still around after this fallow period to read it.  Thus my question:  should I start writing reviews of books I read years ago?  Is that somehow cheating?  Will anyone care to read them?  If this blog is supposed to be an electronic book journal, does it make sense to start going backwards rather than forwards?

I know, I know-it's my blog, I can do what I want!  But I'm curious what my fellow book bloggers think.  Do you ever go back and review books from your past?  Do you think of your blog as a way to let people know about what's new, or do you review any old thing you read regardless of when you read it?  Do you ever recycle reviews? 


  1. When I have a slow reading week, I will throw in a "nostalgia post" about a book I've read in the past. I look at my blog as my place to talk about anything on my mind that is book-related, not really "a way to let people know what's new."

  2. I reviewed books I didn't finish (they didn't get good marks). If I can't stand a book after 50-100 pages I put it down and let people know what I thought about it. Reading and blogging is suppose to be relaxing and fun, don't make it into a chore.


  3. I don't review books from the past because I have a terrible memory but if you think you can still write an honest review then give it a shot.

  4. A number of the books I've written about on my blog are ones I'm re-reading, though I haven't yet posted on a book I last read awhile ago, but like Danielle says, if you remember enough about the book then go for it!

    I also like posts, like this one, that are questions about book reviewing or even just general literary posts. If you don't want to write a review on a book you haven't read in awhile but still want to stay active, there could be some great topics to explore.

  5. I think if you can remember the books well enough, it makes sense to write reviews about them. As a reader of book blogs, I'm happy to read reviews of books old and new. So reading reviews of books you read a long time ago would be fine.

    Another thing to do is to come up with a list of some book-related topics you might want to write about. If you come up with several, you could use them when you don't have a book to review.

  6. I hear you. I definitely think that reviewing older books is just fine, because not everyone has read what you've read and even if your readers have, it's great to see another opinion! I'm building up my reviews from books I've previously read and people are commenting on them. I say go for it :oD

  7. A book read, is a book read, whether last week or last year. There is nothing wrong with reviewing pre-blog reads!

  8. Thanks to all for your feedback. I guess I only struggle with this question because the purpose of the blog was to replace my book journal, so writing about old reads felt like it defeated the purpose. I like the idea of choosing some literary topics to discuss as well. What is this box I have put myself in anyway? I'm a rebel-I can color outside the lines! (insert other individualistic cliche here)

  9. I review books that I've read in the past all the time! This summer has been crazy busy and I've been very slow with reading books. Right now I'm struggling to get through a 380+ page book that an author sent me. It's a good book, but I'm finding it hard to concentrate. However, I promised the author that I would finish it. Writing reviews is harder than I thought it would be. I just feel so obligated to do each book justice.

    I get blogger's block all the time. If you don't have time to read right now, review old books or just write whatever you feel like. It doesn't have to be about books. It can be about anything! Don't worry about it. Blogging is fun, but sometimes real life gets in the way! You can also write short posts ABOUT reading and writing and why you love them.

    You can also take a little break from blogging, too. Don't feel guilty. Just don't forget to come back!

    Your blog looks great, by the way.

  10. Your blog can actually be more fun when you don't only review titles. I've had people complain that I review too much and interact too little. So now, I make up one or two posts a week of poetry titles (reviewed), and one or two more just of random stuff: things I read in the news or on another blog, words I came across in my reading, trends in publishing, etc.
    Don't make your blog a chore.
    Another cool thing is the schedule device on your blog: one day if you are feeling chatty, make several posts and schedule them to run on different days. That way you can stagger things. Next week I'm going out of town and I already have most of the week written, scheduled to go.
    Most of all, HAVE FUN!


Penny for your thoughts...