Showing posts with label goodreads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label goodreads. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

When is it Okay to Talk About Sequel Spoilers? | Book Blogging Etiquette (#10)



Don't you just love getting your favorite book series spoiled? 

Fortunately this hasn't happened to me in a while but I'm very much not looking forward to this happening anytime soon.







Be gentle on your readers- especially on social media.

Whenever I'm talking about a sequel I always assume that someone out there who has an eye on my social media is still planning to read the first one. Even if that book came out in, say, 2005. There is no expiration date on reading and if something isn't so popular that it's pretty much general pop culture knowledge by now (for example Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker's father), you really shouldn't ruin someone's day by talking about spoilers without labeling them. Anywhere.

The thing is, I try to be as inclusive with my blog as I possibly can. I want backlist and frontlist readers to have a great time here, I want to provide as much of a variety in terms of the books that I review and the content I provide as I can. Same goes for my social media. It's only logical then to also take into consideration that there will be readers out there who are planning on reading the first book to sequel you're talking about.

Very often I hear from people who read my blog that my review made them interested in reading a specific book. And that often happens with sequels, too. I like to think that the people who read my blog also care about my opinion on things and that I to some degree am able to influence their decision whether to read a book or not. And blatantly spoilering left and right on social media and blog, knowing that there are possible readers and fans of a series or book I've already read out there is just a no no.

You're ruining everyone's online experience by doing that. Especially when we're talking about social media where you can't mark spoilers appropriately and by default end up spoilering someone if you talk about it openly.

What about reviews?

Of course, sequel reviews are completely out of the picture here. If you're purposely clicking on a review of a sequel, that's your own fault for getting spoilered. I personally find that it's nearly impossible to write a high quality review for a sequel without spoiling anything about the first book. I'm usually still trying to keep the worst spoilers to myself if no necessary, but usually it's fair game to spoil in sequel reviews in my opinion.

(It should go without saying that unlabeled spoilers have no business in a review of a standalone or first in a series, by the way, that's why I'm not even addressing this. NEVER do this.)

So how do I prevent this whole mess?

Simple. By labeling your spoilers. Don't be a meanie and mark your spoilers.



What's the last book that somebody spoiled for you?




More Book Blogging Etiquette:


Continue Reading...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

How to Write a Positive Review | Book Blogging Tips (#61)


You might laugh looking at this title thinking it's not that hard to write a positive review. But trust me, looking back at any blogger's early positive reviews, you'll see a major difference to what they're posting now. 

Contrary to popular belief, it's not only the negative reviews that are hard to write; it's also the positive ones. Let me explain.


The problem with five-star reviews

When you check the five star reviews on goodreads of your favorite book, it's very likely that you won't find any assessment of the book, but instead a bunch of fangirling and flailing around about how genius the book is. While that may be nice to read for the author, to see people say nice things about their book, it doesn't really benefit the reader. If I haven't read a book and am looking to, I never check the five star reviews, because they hardly ever tell me anything about the book itself.

It really frustrates me as a blog or review reader to find a positive review that's telling me nothing aside from how much the reviewer liked it. It's really a craft to manage to condense your fangirly thoughts into a helpful review that other readers might benefit from. 

What I think a positive review should be like is pretty much is in line with what I said about writing negative reviews, if you'd like to compare.

Most common mistakes are:

  • Flailing 
Like I said, this might be nice for the author to read, but what does this tell me? ADGHSABJSALJKLKL followed by 67 gifs isn't much of a way to judge whether I want to read this book, is it?
  • Strong focus on the characters
Sure, it's great to give some info on the characters and all, but most of the time character assesment and how you liked them is super subjective and doesn't really tell the readers whether the book will be for them. 600 words on how swoony the love interest is aren't really helpful. It's all in the balance. You can add maybe 200 words on that but make sure to also add other things in your review!
  • The super subjective stuff/disregarding the actual craft part.
Personally I like reviews that focus on general issues and then add some subjective things. If you just go subjective, talking about the chemistry between the characters, their "illogical" behavior and all, you're not really giving the reader any valuable information. Sure, you might argue that it's all subjective when reviewing, but naturall some things are more subjective than others. Tell me about the compelling story, the extensive world building, the writing. 


At the end of the day, how you're writing your reviews is your business. If you feel more comfortable your way, please do continue doing so. These are only guidelines and in no way a rulebook. As always. ;-)


What things bother you about some positive reviews?



More on reviewing:
When is it okay to share your review of a DNF?
I Only Read Negative Reviews on Goodreads
Is Sharing Your Negative Reviews Mean?
No Comments on Book Reviews?
When You Have to Write a Negative Review

all Book Blogging Tips

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How Subjectivity Ruins Your Reviews | Book Blogging Tips (#54)

Reviewing is hard. Any blogger will be able to tell you that. 

Today we'll talk about a mistake that you'll find among veteran and rookie reviewers alike: being too subjective in your reviews and the effect this has on your readers.





Extreme subjectivity ruins most of my older reviews. 

Yes, reviewing is subjective by nature, but what I'm talking about is finding the balance between "this is a bad book" and "I didn't like this". I couldn't do that for a long time and I didn't see a need to do that for even longer. You absolutely non-negotiably need to do that though if you care for your audience and don't only do this for you. 

At the end of the day none of us are just reviewing for us, are we? 

I started out blogging to archive my thoughts for myself but since my blog has grown a bit, I grew more and more aware of the fact that there are a lot of people out there who come to me to find their next read or who absolutely trust my judgment. Chances are, it's the same for you.

You probably have a couple people out there who solely rely on you and your reviews to pick their next read. Writing books off immediately that are well-written with well-rounded characters and fantastic world building, simply because you didn't enjoy them for a very subjective irrelevant reason? That's selfish. Yes, it's your blog and all and you can do whatever you want; I'd never try to tell you any differently. Stop reading right here if don't tell me what to do is your takeaway from what I just said. Or read those paragraphs again.

If you cherish being a resource for people, it's important to also take into consideration that 

Your taste =/= an infallible indicator of quality, talent, or entertainment value.

To explain that I usually use books that provide excellent representation of marginalized identities. HOW TO MAKE A WISH by Ashley Herring Blake for example wasn't my thing personally, because I don't like sad, quiet contemporaries. Super subjective and tells you nothing about the quality of this book. It's just my two cents that couldn't be more irrelevant. HOW TO MAKE A WISH also had the first biracial character that I saw myself in. Like, ever. The first time I felt represented. I still gave the book five stars and I'd do it all over again, even though I didn't really enjoy it aside from the representation aspect. 

By being extremely subjective and giving books 1-3 star ratings left and right because you didn't enjoy them for an arbitrary irrelevant taste reason, you are possibly preventing readers from finding a read that will change their lives. People hardly ever read full reviews, and sometimes they pick books up solely because of the rating of their favorite blogger. Contributing to a negative rating (3 stars and below), will also make sure that less people who might be able to see themselves in this book will pick it up. That's on you. You contributed to that. This obviously transcends the issue of representation of marginalized identities. This is a lesson that definitely was the hardest for me personally. 

I do struggle to give books that I didn't care for five stars, and I do struggle sometimes to not just downrate something because I thought it was a terrible book, personally. But the people that I owe the most to are my readers, people like you who are here every week or even every day. And I hope that this helped you to understand that blogging and reviewing is about so much more than just you and your taste.

You're completely free to disagree with what I said, but truly, at some point, reviewing isn't about you anymore. Think of your audience. Especially the marginalized people. Cause if you don't care about them and are just doing this for you, why do you give them the option to follow? Why is your blog public?

What do you think of really subjective reviews?


More Book Blogging Tips on Reviewing

When is it okay to share your review of a DNF?

If you'd like advice on allyship and writing diversely, check out my Patreon.
Support The Bookavid by leaving me a virtual coffee on ko-fi.

Continue Reading...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mean Horror Book Reviews and Learning to Review Properly | YA Talk

I've been recently diving more into YA horror and noticed a pattern - no matter who wrote it, you'll see that ALL horror books have very low ratings and the most upvoted reviews are exclusively negative. 

If you're active over there you might also know that books usually have 4+ star ratings unless they're exceptionally horrendous or offensive (well, not always...). 


So I'm asking - why do we hate horror?

Seriously. I think this might be a reason why YA horror isn't taking off as a genre. I'm seeing reviewers give books one star ratings because they didn't scare them shitless, give books extremely negative ratings simply because they play into a cliche - you'll find the most unnecessary reasons over there. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, entitled to writing a scalding review, but it's fairly obvious that reviewers and bloggers are extra mean when it comes to horror. 

I get it, horror is an extremely subjective genre. Of course not everything will scare you, of course not everything will work out for you - but I feel like a huge part of learning how to review is to learn to appreciate craft and calm down a little about your own preferences. Just because a book didn't work for you you don't have to rate it one star. That's a rookie mistake. You have so much impact on authors' careers and doing that is almost always a bad idea. 

The problem with this behavior is that this is probably one of the leading reasons why there is so little horror on the market in the first place. Bad reviews, no recommendations, scalding comments from reviewers - all that leads to less sales, less buzz, and people being less interested in reading those books in the first place. I constantly hear people say they want more YA horror, I see bloggers and reviewers alike complain about the lack of horror - but then turn around to give every single horror book they read a scalding review because it wasn't the right kind for them. Again, I'm not saying you can't review horror books negatively. But this systematic pattern of being mean about horror books is such a frustrating thing to see for anyone who truly enjoys YA horror.

Keep in mind that the world doesn't revolve around you.

I've rated books I personally disliked and could hardly finish five stars before because they are extremely important books by marginalized writers about marginalized teens that have no representation on the market. It's incredibly important that you review with the thought in mind whether SOME of your readers might enjoy the book. That's just an example - I can't wrap my head around this that it seems like everyone is being extra harsh about all horror books on the market. And don't get me started on diverse horror books. Their ratings are even worse! You can't tell me that this is a coincidence.

I don't know, you guys. This just makes me sad. 

Contrary to popular belief, reviewing is a very difficult thing that demands a lot of responsibility and maturity. Seeing horror author after horror author have their book tanked because it didn't work for some people personally is just disheartening to see. I want more YA horror. I'm happy to read as many horror books as I can. But I don't know if we'll even get any more if this behavior continues.



Do you like YA Horror? What's your favorite read? Let's talk YA.



More on reviewing: 

Continue Reading...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Review-Only Book Blogs and Why They Almost Never Work Out | Book Blogging Tips (#52)




Many bloggers I know started their blogs because they only wanted to share their reviews with other people, myself included. But is that actually a good idea?

My blog first and foremost was born because I wanted to share my reviews. But I had to learn the hard way that review-only blogs are not a thing and very likely never will be.



So why do review-only blogs not work?

  • People don't read reviews!
Seriously. Any and every blogger will tell you that their reviews get the least views out of all their posts. People don't read book blogs for the reviews only and if they do, you have to write extremely good reviews. Once you've established a significant following and people know who you are and care for your opinion, this might change. But to get there with a review only blog is a thing that I'm yet so see in the blogging world. 
  • Reviewing is a skill that you can't build in a year or less!
Everyone's early reviews are a mess. This is just a fact. Writing reviews on a blog is completely different from any other platform. Even if you've been writing reviews on tumblr or Goodreads or booklikes or wherever for YEARS, this doesn't count. 

Trust me, you still won't be up to book blog standard and you will go back and cringe at all these reviews. It will be even harder to attract readers with a review-only blog when your reviews clearly display all the signs of a blogging newbie.

A lot of bloggers who start up review-only blogs probably still make newbie mistakes and probably will for a long time. It took me at least a year of reviewing to write halfway decent reviews. No formatting, way too long reviews, repeating the plot instead of giving your opinion - basic stuff like that. That's something you can't immediately change when you notice you're doing it. You'll learn how to review through writing bad reviews at first, that's how it goes for everyone.

  • You have to make a name for yourself before people care about your opinion!
It's true that you can maybe fake your way to the top with a crappy blog if you advertise a lot and comment on 3280932893 blogs per day, but who has the time? Also you won't get any long-time readers from this, only follow-backs.

The thing is, nobody will listen to your rambles if you're the new kid on the block. You have to earn readers for your reviews. You have to post other super interesting things to get people interested in what you have to say, and you can only do that by posting something else than reviews.

  • Post-consistency is a thing for all blogs!
And if you only post reviews, you'll have to read a lot. I usually unsubscribe from blogs that don't post at LEAST weekly, I do prefer blogs that post 2 or 3 times a week in general. Unless you can't commit to read and write a review for at least one book per week, you're screwed.

...


Sure, at the end of the day, it's your blog and you can do whatever you want, but I can already tell you, either a year from now your blog will be gone. Sometimes listening to experienced bloggers is the best thing you can do, we've all learned from our mistakes, you don't need to repeat them and go through the same thing, do you? Trying to start a review-only blog is the hardest way to start out and it just never works out.

Did you start out as review-only?



More advice for newbie bloggers in my Book Blogging Tips series:

Continue Reading...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

When You Have to Write a Negative Review | Book Blogging Etiquette (#4)




Opinions are a difficult matter on the internet. Sometimes you encounter more troll and hateful comments than genuine ones. People often use the anonimity of the internet to show the worst of themselves.

Especially as a book blogger, you may find yourself in a situation where you don't like something everyone likes. 




Of course you are free to share your opinion and tell people why you don't like a popular book. The key here is to put emphasis on the why:
  • Reasons: 
Always give reasons why you don't like something. Don't just express your hate with mean gifs and insults. Be professional about it and just state in a neutral voice why you're not a fan. Never insult. Neither the fans, nor the author. Words are your friend here, show that you have an education.

  • Voice: 
Again, no insults.You're going to want to write a review that shows constructive criticism. If you can't be constructive, simply be polite.

  • Other Perspectives: 
What I like to do before I'm typing up a ranty review is to think about the people who love this book. Maybe you're not the target audience, maybe you have a history with disliking that special genre, or you're just not in the mood for this. Don't demonize a book just because you weren't feeling it.

Think long and hard before you publish a negative review that might affect other people and keep them from buying the book. Is your hate justified? Is this an offensive book or do you just not like it because it doesn't fit your taste? There's a huge difference between the two. Do your best to judge which case you're dealing with.


But what about Goodreads reviews? 

Don't take Goodreads as an example, this is the worst thing you can do as an independent blogger. Goodreads may be a critique platform in theory, but in reality it's just a way for people who hate something equally to huddle and say mean things. You'll quickly notice that the most popular and most liked reviews there are the ones involving the meanest gifs and the rudest remarks. 

The question then is - should you follow that example to gain more success more quickly? 

The short answer is me screaming no with a megaphone.

The long answer is that you always have to keep in mind that the author might be reading this. I don't understand why this is so difficult for some people to grasp, but it takes an insane amount of work to write, edit, and get a book published. That's accomplishment on its own.

We as readers just feel responsible for providing helpful feedback if we decide to share our opinion on public platforms. Imagine if the author were reading that you called them an absolute retard for writing a book that should be used as toilet paper instead (someone actually said this on Goodreads). 

I'm not saying you're not allowed to rant, to express your disappointment over a book that didn't live up to your expectations. Of course you are allowed to voice your opinion, but please, please don't write any feedback that you couldn't deal with yourself. 

Ask yourself: if someone wrote this about your book - how would you react?


How do you handle writing bad reviews? Do you publish them at all?




More Etiquette:

You might want to check out my Book Blogging Tips series:


Continue Reading...

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I Only Read Negative Reviews on Goodreads



I've been trying to observe the way I pick which reviews to read for a while now and I noticed that I have a pattern. 




Every single time I'm reading a book, regardless of whether I'm currently liking it or absolutely hating it, I head over to Goodreads and check out the one star reviews.

Sure, especially on Goodreads people are insanely disrespectful, nitpicky, and sometimes downright offensive. But there's a reason why the negative reviews are usually the ones with the most likes and why people like me go for them purposely.

What's so interesting about negative reviews?

They're funny. Even if I like a book it's just hilarious to me to see people freak out about little things, sometimes add 400 gifs of people throwing tables.

They point out the flaws others are afraid to admit. Of course some negative reviews on Goodreads are just crap and unnecessary nitpicking, but I noticed that only the negative reviews actually depict things that don't quite work in the novels they're critiquing. 

Too positive reviews don't intrigue me at all. Mostly it's just flailing and telling me how awesome the book is without actually saying what it is that makes the book good.

Negative reviews use proof. Whether it'll be quotes or retelling a specific moment in the book that just doesn't make sense. I'm a factual person and a simple "THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ GO READ IT" doesn't really do anything for me.

Does this mean people should start being more picky and rude and rate stuff more harshly for success?

No, absolutely not!!!! While I do enjoy negative reviews, I don't like bullying. It's basically what many many Goodreads reviewers do, bully authors because they don't like their books. A big amount of those negative reviews make me cringe and ask myself whether any of these people is actually aware that authors do read reviews sometimes.


Do you read positive or negative reviews on Goodreads?
Do you even filter by rating?

Continue Reading...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I'm Challenging Myself to Read 1 Book in 2016 | Goodreads Challenges Suck?



Probably everyone who's an avid reader, whether they're a book blogger or just a spectator, has a Goodreads account these days. Whether it's to document, discuss, or just see what others are reading.

A huge part of the Goodreads experience is the Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Basically you simply set a goal for how many books you're going to read in the upcoming year and Goodreads tracks your progress for you.

In theory this is a nice concept, especially for statistic freaks like me who just love seeing everything they do translated into numbers. Goodreads tracks everything for you:

How many pages you read, how many books by a certain author you read, how many books from a genre you read - it's all there. It looks neat and gives you a great overview at the end of the year. I use the function quite often to simply check how many pages I've read or to see how many books I've given a certain rating. 
It's strangely addicting?!

But aside from that, the more people I befriended and the more I started immersing myself in the reading community, I noticed that this whole neat little concept isn't really just a fun thing to do on the side - it's serious business.
People are actively trying to read the most books on the entire website and surpass everyone they know. Like, not even in a friendly way, but in an obsessively competitive kinda way. Myself included. You can't help it, when you see someone post their score, you just want to surpass them. 

When I first started my blog and did the challenge for the first time in 2014, I read about 50 books I think. Last year around 90. But the thing is, I feel constantly pressured to one-up myself every year and read even more books, because there'll always be someone that has a higher book count than me. For people who are naturally just very competitive, this is a nightmare.
Having deadlines is always very stressful for me, and seeing all these people challenge themselves to read ridiculous amounts of books (I've seen 500+) and actually succeed and overpass me very early on just makes me feel like I'm failing at reading. That's actually a pretty stupid thing to think. 

What are we even competing for? 

Does it increase your coolness factor or IQ with every book you read? Eh. I don't think so.

I mean for some people competition is just a fun way to push themselves a little, but for me it's just unnecessary stress that I don't need in my life. The only goal I have reading-wise in 2016 is to read simply for pleasure. I want to read books because I want to, not because they're short and will help me reach my Goodreads challenge goal more quickly (I've seriously done this before).

So in order to avoid all this, I have challenged myself to read a single book this year.
No more competitive reading for me.

Are you doing the 2016 GR challenge? What's your goal?

Continue Reading...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Why You Should Never Ever Take Review Inspiration From Goodreads | Book Blogging Tips (#34)




As a blogger, you probably also have a Goodreads account. Goodreads is a community where you can share reviews, book recommendations, and the like with your friends and discuss the latest books you read.

A huge part of the website is the review section. Anyone and everyone can publish reviews, sharing their opinion with the whole world. 

There are absolutely no rules, and this is exactly why the worst thing an aspiring blogger can do, is to copy-and-paste their super popular Goodreads reviews onto a blog.



The Difference Between Reviewing on Goodreads and Independently

Most reviews on Goodreads are angry rants. The more you write about why you hate a book, the more likes you're going to get from similar-minded people. While I'm a-ok with expressing a negative opinion, it always always always depends on the tone. On Goodreads, people can vote on your review. The more likes and comments it has, the more likely it is to get around and be seen by a lot of people. Logically, the reviews that are shared a lot are the ones that polarize. 

Consequentially - what do people do when they want to get famous on Goodreads? Write controversial reviews, mostly involving swear words, GIFs, quotes, and anything to support your negative or positive opinion. 

If you're reviewing on a blog, your focus isn't on the looks of the review, but the content. At least it should be. Of course you're supposed to have a certain common theme and aesthetic to your reviews, but it's all about your opinion.
On Goodreads, it's all about attention, getting comments and likes, and ideally also ridiculing the author. 

Why Goodreads-Reviewing Is Terrible 

On Goodreads you won't only find a lot readers, but also authors.
Many popular and famous authors do have a Goodreads account, so there's a chance that they'll read what you have written. Most popular Goodreads Reviewers don't have independent blogs and strictly stick to the website. But I've seen a few people try to transition with those hate-filled and flat out mean reviews you'll find on the site.

If you don't know what I mean by goodreads-reviewing, here's a review from a very popular Goodreads reviewer for Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein


[Source]


Imagine being the author and having to read that your book made someone want to gouge their eyes out. So much work from a copious amount of people goes into writing a book. If you're going to review it, don't do it like this. It's insanely disrespectful, childish, and mean.

As an aspiring blogger, I can just urge you to aim for the highest level of professionalism you can, while staying true to yourself. Don't look at Goodreads and try to write your reviews like the popular people on there. 


What's Your Opinion on Goodreads-

Reviewing?


Continue Reading...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

How to Really Keep Your TBR Below 20 Books | Book Blogging Tips (#27)


As a book blogger, we all know this problem: buying books to no end, with even no intention of ever actually reading them.

An unread library is a great thing, right? You'll convince yourself that you'll get to read those books eventually, but you never do. And suddenly your TBR is in the hundreds.
Let me help you fix that.

I'm not going to tell you to just stop buying books like most of these posts say. Let's be realistic, we're never going to stop buying books and we don't want to. I have found a bullet-proof method to make sure that TBR is going down. With every step you decide to take it will get harder and more difficult. If you do them all and actually go through with it, your TBR WILL get smaller. Trust me.

  • Step 1: Create a bookshelf only for unread books.
Reorganize. In order to know what kind of problem we're dealing with, you have to find out how big it actually is. If you know your TBR will be in the hundreds, stick to making space for it in a single shelf. If you're really serious about this, you can even make two shelves or even an entire book case.
But be warned: the bigger the TBR we are planning to eliminate, the harsher this will be.

  • Step 2: Make a schedule
You won't get to read a new book unless you've read ___ books from the shelf.
My TBR was about fifty when I started that method, so I stuck with two books from that shelf and then a book I really want to read (no matter if from that TBR shelf or not) or a book received for review.
Depending on the size of your TBR stack I propose this:
50: 2 from the TBR, 1 book of your choice
100: 4 from the TBR, 2 books of your choice
200: 8 from the TBR, 3 books of your choice
300: 10 from the TBR, 4 books of your choice
If that your TBR shelves are eliminated, restack them with the rest of your unread books until there are less than twenty left. Twenty is an okay number to stop. Don't let that TBR pile build up again, you've learned your lesson.

  • Step 3: Close your blog for pitches.
Yup. You have enough books to read, stop being delusional. There won't be any book proposed to you that isn't similar to a book you already have your TBR. You can reopen your blog for review requests when your TBR has divided in half. I'm serious. Close it now.

  • Step 4: The BIG NOs
Here are some things that you are absolutely NOT going to do. If you do them, increase the amount of books to read from your TBR by one. There goes your treat.
  1. You aren't going to buy that sequel to the really great book you read if you haven't read enough TBR books
  2. You aren't going to spend more than 30$ on books per month
  3. You aren't going to pass on the TBR books because you want to read something different. That shelf WILL be read.
  • Step 5: Buying Habits - Sales Only
Yeah I know buying books is the bane of our existences, but you really have to check your habits if you've made it to step five and still don't really see your TBR shrinking. We have to fight the problem at its source. Your wallet will thank you, even though you might hate me.
  • Only buy books on special sale if you're saving a lot of money. I'm not talking about 2$ discounts
  • No gift cards. You'll still be able to use them after you've taken care of the TBR
  • Don't bring any money or credit cards if you HAVE to go to a bookstore and are already over your book buying limit
  • Take a friend to that book store and tell them to make sure you don't buy anything
If you actually go through with all of these, your TBR should shrink significantly very soon. If it doesn't, you're not following the rules. Always remember: Keeping your TBR in check doesn't only help your wallet, it also helps the conscience. Don't buy stuff you don't want to read! 

What are your tips on managing your TBR?

Continue Reading...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Is It Okay To Post Negative Reviews?






A comment on a discussion post I did a while ago got me thinking - most people (myself included) read book blogs to discover great books to read.

But a huge part of being a book blogger is criticizing, not only praising the good stuff. To be fair,

I encounter more books that I dislike than books that I like. There are only a handful of books that I've given five stars, maybe five or six per 70 books I read.






Should We Just Keep Quiet About Disliking Stuff?

Especially on Goodreads, bad reviews are the ones that get the most likes. But if you're running an independent book blog, it doesn't seem to be welcome to dislike a lot of stuff, and certainly not the books that are popular right now. 
When I'm looking for a specific review of a book I read and liked, I personally want to see a well-balanced critique. Of course there is a difference between disliking something and being rude about it and writing a critique.

I was told that it's better for book bloggers to showcase good books than critique bad ones, especially you're a picky reader.
If we all collectively stopped doing negative reviews in order to avoid stepping on people's toes, I for example wouldn't be able to accept books for review anymore.

...and If We Did That It Would Also Mean...

No More Review Copies
A huge chunk of the books I review here were sent to me for review. I always promise my honest opinion. But were I to only publish positive reviews, I would stop accepting review copies altogether. It doesn't seem fair to me to receive a book for the purpose of reviewing it and then not doing it, simply because you disliked it.

No More Feedback
With the negative reviews gone, authors wouldn't get feedback anymore. How then do they sell their books? I wouldn't buy a book that only has five-star reviews. 

No More Credibility
Do you trust blogs that only rate books four or five stars? I'd think to myself after the fifteenth five star review that something must be wrong. I'd think that the reviews are paid for or the reviewer has no idea what they're doing. Liking stuff is fine and all, but can you really like everything?


In Consequence:

I'm still going to post negative reviews. And I'm still going to rate books zero stars and state that I don't like stuff. As long as I'm doing it respectfully, I don't really see what's wrong with that.


What do you think? 
Do you post negative reviews?

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Impossible Goodreads TBRs - Do You Even Try? | YA Talk



"I'm adding this to my TBR" has become an ancient proverb to me. I say it so often that it probably lost all its meaning.

The times where I did actually go to my TBR to determine which books to read next are long gone. 






Let's Do Some Math

I actually started laughing when I took a look at my Goodreads TBR and saw this:

  • The average book is 80,000 words long
  • The average reading speed per minute is 200 words. 
  • An average-speed reader needs 400 minutes to read an average-length book, that's 6.6 hours.

I have 2239 books on my TBR. Pretending these are all average-length books and I'm an average-speed reader, I'll need 14,777.4 hours to read all these. That's 615.7 days. That's 20.5 months. That's 1.7 years worth of consistent reading. Doesn't seem that high, am I right?

Sadly, in reality I read about 50-100 books a year. The span is that high because I'm super inconsistent. If we pretend I read an average of 70 average-length books for the next few years, it'll take me 37.98 years to get through this TBR. Let's hope there's a lot of DNFs hidden in there.

How Books End Up There

Do I intend to actually read the majority of these? Probably not. I put books on my TBR too easily. 
  • I think I'll like the book, so it's going on my TBR. 
  • Great synopsis! On my TBR.
  • Ooh, my favorite author has a new book? On my TBR.
  • Hey my friend said it's a good book. On my TBR.
  • Wow I like the cover. TBR.
  • Wow I like that review. Gotta check out the book. TBR.
  • Great list of topics I like, better add every single book on it to my TBR.

Do you handle your TBR as carelessly as I do? Or am I just a mess?

Does Anyone Actually Work on Their GR TBR?

Because I don't. I used to, but right now I've got the book blogging community and an immediate TBR stored in my head. I know exactly which books I'm about to buy when my physical TBR shrunk a little. Who needs Goodreads if you have a surprisingly long list of recommendations?

I know that my TBR is nothing compared to the pile of books some of you guys have. I've seen TBRs in the six digits. 
The question is, is it really important what I put there? There are so many books on my list that I probably won't ever read and only added for some long-forgotten reason.

Should I have been more selective with what I add? Probably. Should I actually use it like it was intended - to keep track of what I actually read? Who does that?! I don't know. I just know that I have a lot of reading to do now. About 37 years of it.

How high is your GR TBR? 

Are you actively working on getting rid of it?

Continue Reading...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...