Are Book Reviews Underappreciated (In the Blogging Community)?

Short answer: Yes. Is that necessarily a bad thing? No.

There’s been a lot of talk in the blogosphere lately about book reviews…and how they are relatively unpopular. Marie from Drizzle and Hurricane Books and Kelly from Just Another Book in the Wall wrote amazing discussions about whether book reviews are necessary for book blogs. This inspired me to explore the question: are book reviews underappreciated?  tumblr_ojxpukMWbr1vt3qqlo1_500.gifWe all know that relative to other posts (eg. tags, memes, wrap-ups, discussions, etc.) reviews receive less engagement. When I first started blogging, I remembered being so surprised by the abundance of posts that weren’t reviews. You would think that a book blog would be populated with book reviews, but for many bloggers, including myself, this isn’t the case. Why is that?

Let’s start by exploring a few questions:

What is the purpose of book blogging?

In my opinion, it’s to share my love of reading. We have created a community where we can fangirl about our favorite authors and squeal about getting lost in a story. Blogging allows me to instantly connect with others who also love this activity. girl-reading-book-animation-21I started blogging as a way to voice my thoughts on fun reads, but I am constantly motivated and encouraged to continue because of the passionate friends I have made. The biggest strength of the book blogging community is its people. It’s what makes it so unique and different from Goodreads or even reviews on Amazon.

Next question…

Why are reviews less popular than other posts?

Statistically, reviews receive the least amount of views and comments.

I know that I personally prefer reading reviews on books that I’m already familiar with. If a blogger reviews a book I have already read or am planning on reading, I’m more incentivized to see their thoughts on it. Typically, if it’s a book I’ve never heard of, it’s a low priority post for me to visit…but Tiffany! Shame on you! This behavior defeats the purpose of reviews!

Reviews are meant to show others your thoughts on a story. We read reviews to see someone’s feelings which cause us to either add a book to our TBR, move it higher on the list, or just cross out completely. Avoiding reviews of lesser known books is counterintuitive to this process. What are you reading then if you’re not reading reviews? ABtwP3k.gifPersonally, I love readings tags and discussions because I feel a deeper connection with the blogger behind the screen. Like I said earlier, I love engaging with this community, and reading these types of posts is one of the best ways to do it. Reviews often feel more distant because it’s an analysis and reflection. On the other hand, discussion posts and tags give a better introduction to the actual person’s life, experiences, and thoughts. While I do enjoy writing reviews, I often prefer writing these posts because I see it as my little contribution to this community.

Combining these two questions…

Are book reviews underappreciated?

Definitely. Reviews are viewed not as “fun”, so we may unintentionally defer to reading wrap-ups, tags, and discussions. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means we love getting to know our fellow bloggers. It means we’re making friends!! Truthfully, I read the most reviews from bloggers I know I love because I trust them. Even if we have differing preferences, I respect their opinion and use the reviews as a way to learn more.

Blogging has evolved to a platform beyond reviewing books. It’s become a platform for cultivating friendships. We discuss book plots and characters, but we also discuss our favorites, our frustrations, and ourselves! In the end, we’re all here because of a love for reading, and this common denominator shows that different people and different types of posts may be inspired by it. belle-love-books

Do you prefer reading reviews or other posts? How about writing? Let me know your thoughts! 💕

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65 thoughts on “Are Book Reviews Underappreciated (In the Blogging Community)?

  1. Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice says:

    Amazing post! 💗 I tend to read reviews of books that I’m familiar with, too, although I try my best to look at other reviews too. I do like reading discussion posts, book recommendations, and book tags just a little more than reviews, but I still enjoy reading reviews and seeing other people’s thoughts on a book! And I think writing a review is harder than writing other posts for sure, at least for me, because it takes me a lot of time to collect my thoughts and write them out in a coherent (ish) post, haha.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. adventureswithabooknerd says:

    I do have a tendency to skip over reviews for books I’m not as familiar with compared to ones that I am. I wish that I didn’t do it as often though, especially because they are a great way to find new books (which I don’t really need tbh lmao). Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Justine @ Bookish Wisps says:

    Remarkable topic Tiffany, I was just noticing this on my blog stats. Whenever I post a book review the amount of engagement are minimal. Especially with the lesser known titles. But posting tags the engagements influx is shocking.

    I do love discussion/reading book recs/what am I reading/ books I didn’t like, and tag posts.

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiffany @ readbytiffany says:

      ❤ ugh love you justine

      I always feel super proud of myself when I write a review because it definitely takes more time and energy to write them in comparison to tags, so it's super interesting to see how readers respond to the different types of posts!


      • Justine @ Bookish Wisps says:

        love you too! 💕

        Same, here I created this blog to vent on my bookish feelzzz with reviews. I am trying so hard experimenting on which style I should do with them 😭😭😂.

        I am reading all of the comments just now! Mixture if the reactions are interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

    • tiffany @ readbytiffany says:

      Exactly! Reviews are pretty difficult for me to write in comparison to other posts, but I think that’s what makes me appreciate it a lot. I try to use that feeling to encourage me to read other reviews, but reading more “Fun” posts gives me a better connection to the blogger :O

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza @ invokedreverie says:

    I enjoy reading reviews, and I think a lot of people can easily get overwhelmed with the mass amount of advice for writing a review. I don’t think there is a right way, just the way it works for you! I like reading reviews for books I haven’t read, it gives me more information, and the type of vibe a book is, which I can’t get a lot of the time with the blurb! Thanks for writing this! ♥

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiffany @ readbytiffany says:

      Exactly! Reviews are definitely the hardest posts for me to write because they require so much thought and analysis, so I always feel a little sad to see that they don’t do as well </3 I'm sure it's the same for many bloggers, so I wonder how we can switch it up?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Erin B. says:

    I love this post! I used to post only reviews, but now that I’ve diversified my posts, my engagement has gone up for sure. And you’re spot on about reading reviews for books you’re already familiar with. I’m the same 😫

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiffany @ readbytiffany says:

      I think I’ve noticed the same! Having a diversified set of posts makes the blog more engaging for all readers, but I definitely should be reading reviews for all types of books (not just the ones i’m familiar with haha)~ thank you so much for reading this post ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Tiffany @The Bookish Thought says:

    This is so true! My non-review posts always have more views and comments than my review one. I think it’s because non-review post tend to interact with reader more by asking them questions and opinions, so it’s easier to leave comment. Anyway, this is such a great post, Tiffany! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Marie says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning my post, Tiffany, you’re the sweetest ❤ And yay I am so very glad you did this discussion!!
    I also somehow feel closer to the blogger and to hearing his/her/their voices through their blog posts for sure, a bit more than book reviews, where usually we just focus on the actual book. In discussions, or tags or other kinds of blog posts, we get a bit of a glimpse of the blogger's thoughts, experiences and that is really interesting and bring something a bit, deeper, somehow, to the blog, that's for sure. That being said, I love reviews so, very much anyway, too and some bloggers' voices shine through their reviews, too ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiffany @ readbytiffany says:

      Ofc I’m going to mention the post that inspired me to go off on my own tangent! 😂I agree that we feel closer to bloggers in reviews too. I think it’s just easier to establish that connection with other posts! I definitely need to be more open reading all posts ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. JJ @ This Dark Material says:

    I don’t think I have a preference for what sorts of posts I read, although I am much more inclined to read a review word-for-word when it’s a book already on my TBR or that I’ve read myself. And personally I would love to write more discussions or non-review posts, but I’m a reasonably private person most of the time, so it’s a little less natural for me to open up as much as other bloggers do! I do try to make up for that by putting as much of my own personality and thoughts into the reviews I post, though 🙂 Great discussion topic!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Kristina says:

    Oh! Lovely post, Which I agree with

    I am shamely the same way … unless ive heard LOTS of one particular book and see what the fuss is about (ie; Emergency Contact), I’m more to go for books i’ve already read or reviewed to see if we are alike in our thoughts of if they saw something I didn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Camilla @ Reader in the Attic says:

    As I always say, I use my reviews as a place for book discussion.
    But I agree, meaning that I tend to stay away from book reviews that dont’ talk about books I’ve read, or books with already many reviews.
    But sometimes there are blogs that reviews books on a particular side or genres and I like reading such post because I end up finding new particular novels that definitely don’t get the same exposure as others.

    I love discussion too, also because is a great way to know the bloggers behind the screen. Also, it happens to find unsual topics which is always great

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Chloe says:

    Such a good post girl! Honestly, I prefer reading discussion posts and tags, for similar reasons to you. I love hearing about people’s thoughts, opinions and discussing stuff with others. It’s a lot of fun, particularly as we’re all readers and we all come from different backgrounds. Reviews, are fun I guess, I write them more for me than anything and to share my opinion. I’m more inclined to go read a review if like you said, I’ve already read the book. I want to see what the person makes of it haha.

    I prefer writing discussions, they take it out of me more emotionally draining because I put so much into them but I do love them 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiffany @ readbytiffany says:

      Thanks for your amazing support as always ❤ I totally agree! I love hearing people's thoughts and opinions because we're all so different. I usually read reviews of books I'm already familiar with so I can get their opinion that way.

      Discussions are so hard to write!! Those and book reviews require so much mental energy my goodness :O

      Liked by 2 people

      • Chloe says:

        Hahaha discussion posts are a pain to write because you have to pour a lot of yourself into them, with reviews not so much I guess. Discussions though, I mean it’s a discussion so you gotta give the readers a bit of you in exchange for a bit of them I guess 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Sahi says:

    Despite the fact that I too read reviews of books I’m familiar with, they are still my favorite posts… I also love reading book tags and recommendation posts… and then go back to the reviews that they have linked in the posts … I express a lot of my feelings in my reviews, so I love reading what everyone else is feeling about those books too 😊😊
    And I actually tend to write mostly reviews on my blog and only the very few tags I’m ever tagged on, so I do feel the need to show my appreciation for review posts…

    Liked by 2 people

      • Sahi says:

        Well I am a housewife now… so I do have lots of time on my hands… I read a lot and write reviews only for very few… but I do love writing them 😊😊😊
        And I’m also very bad at thinking up any topics to write about on my own… so I’ve nothing else to write either 😜😜😜

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Briana | Pages Unbound says:

    I like both reading and writing reviews. I agree with you, however, that I don’t read every review I see because I do like to read them for books I’m on the fence about or books I’ve already read–not for books I’ve never heard of before. However, I think reviews are some of the most thoughtful posts bloggers often write, where they get in-depth about why they liked or didn’t like a book, and I would be sad to not see them on a blog unless the rest of the content was in-depth. (As in, I would not read a blog that had no reviews and featured mostly memes, tags, lists of books, etc. I’m not a huge fan of short Buzzfeed-type content, personally.)

    Liked by 4 people

    • tiffany @ readbytiffany says:

      I completely understand your sentiment! I know definitely should be reading more reviews (regardless of whether it’s a book I know or not) because bloggers put in so much time and energy into reading the book then writing a thoughtful reflection. I know that I personally spend the most time on writing reviews. While I know that memes and tags aren’t the most time intensive, I still think they’re pretty fun to read because I like establishing that connection with the blogger. Plus, I tend to read more reviews in general of bloggers I feel more personally connected to. Thank you for reading my post 🙂 ❤


  14. kozbisa says:

    I love reading reviews. I like to see if someone agreed/disagreed with me on books that I have read, to see what someone thought about a book I want to read, or to just fangirl with someone about a book I love.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Olivia @ Purely Olivia says:

    This post is amazing & so true! I agree that I prefer to read reviews of books I’ve already read- that way, I can scream about the book with the blogger in the comments. Also, if I haven’t read the book, sometimes I can get confused during the review, which makes me not as interested to read it.

    I also agree with you that you get to know the blogger better through discussions, tags, and the like! And the more interaction, the more appealing it is, in my opinion. 🙂

    This is a fabulous post, Tiffany, I truly enjoyed reading it!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Cailin @ Rose Petal Pages says:

    This is such a great post and you made so many great points. Personally I usually only read reviews if I’ve read the book or am interested in the genre/have heard of it somewhere before. I think it’s easier to comment and interact once you’ve formed your own opinions on the book. While it can be a little discouraging having your reviews not be as popular as your other posts, especially when you put so much time into them, I love to write them and have them on my blog so I can look back on how I felt about what I read later on.

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiffany @ readbytiffany says:

      Of course! Sometimes I feel bad for not reading more reviews when I know how much effort goes into my own 😧 I love being able to genuinely interact with a review because I’ve also read it and understood the references and analyses! Thanks so much for reading my post cailin 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Beatrice @ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic says:

    Well said, Tiffany! I prefer reading reviews on the books I’ve read already or ones that are on my radar. It’s easier for me to interact since I have an idea what the story is about. The problem I had with books that are on my radar, some bloggers give spoilers w/o warning. It ruins my mood to read.

    Book reviews are truly unappreciated on blog but most appreciated on Goodreads. It’s more interactive and easier than commenting on the blog. Book discussions are great for blogging than reviewing (I’m horrible at writing book discussions and just preferred to review books).

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Lori's Bookshelf Reads says:

    It’s kinda sad to see that, but coming from a nobody blogger. No one comments much, I get lucky if I get 1. I do a lot of book reviews, yet get only the minimum of 6 or more likes. But I really like this post.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Iskarius says:

    Very interesting, and I agree. I’m still a newbie, but I’ve noticed it’s rare to see people to comment anything, or interact with my reviews in any way. Then again, I review non-fiction books, and that might have something to do with it too. :thinking:

    Liked by 1 person

  20. purrsiantea says:

    Good post! I thought I wanted to start writing book reviews, but I think what I actually want to write is more like book ‘discussions’ as you mentioned…which is just an excuse for me to rant about books I enjoyed and why I’ve enjoyed them, instead of outlining all the major details and being more impersonal.

    Liked by 1 person

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