{Discussion Post} Why I like so many books & 2014 DNF

November 21, 2014 Uncategorized 20


Today I wanted to talk to you about something that I have thought about posting about a lot.

Why do I like so many of the books that I read and review?

Most of the reviews on my site are 3.5 stars and up, with a very healthy amount of 4 star books. Why is that?

And I should say right off the bat, that this isn't a question I get a asked a ton. I think that after almost 4 and 1/2 years of blogging and after a lifetime of reading, people trust that I am writing honest reviews. If I didn't like something in a book, I am going to say it. I am not going to inflate my star ratings just because an author sent me a book to review.

But I also think I have written fair reviews. Authors have even  thanked me after I posted 1 and 2 star reviews of books for being professional about it, and saying that they would be happy to work with me again. Which made me even happier than when an author thanks me for a positive review. It showed so much class on their part. But I digress.

Even though I think my blog readers trust that I really do like most of the books that I review, I still see posts pop up that people find it weird when bloggers have mostly positive reviews.

I still don’t completely understand that. And I will tell you why

  1. I have been reading for a long time. I know what I like.

After you read your, oh say, 2,000th book, you start to have a good idea of what genres, and plots will work for you and what will not. I know that a lot of divorce theme books and books with teen mothers don’t typically work out for me. So I don’t accept them for review.  I know that I love new adult contemporary and young adult fantasy lots and lots, so I accept lots and lots of those books for review.

Starting to see a pattern?

2. I do my book research.

I get a lot of books for review. I don’t have a lot of time. I work full time. I like to hike, and watch movies and tv. I have a family and friends and boyfriend that all like to see and talk to me. To be honest, I don’t have time to accept all the book in the world and see which ones will work out for me. So I do more research on the front end to make sure that I will most likely enjoy a book.

I read the synopsis of the book, I check goodreads and amazon for ratings and scan reviews. I look at what people shelved the book as on goodreads. I look at the people reading the books and see if we have similar book taste. I check twitter for tweets and hashtags about the book.

The part you guys don’t see if that I only accept a small portion of the review requests I receive. I try to accept 1.5 book for every 10 requests that I receive. Sometimes I get offered amazing looking books and that number creeps up, but I still try to accept about 10-15% of the requests I get.

I do my homework. It takes a good amount of time for each and every review request I get, but I would rather do my work up front than end up disliking a bunch of the books I get for review.

And normally after all that, if the book still looks good to me, I know that I will most likely enjoy it.

Yes, sometimes even after all this research, a book slips through the cracks. One that I was pretty sure that I would enjoy just didn’t work out for me for some reason.

It happens. But not a lot.

3.  I read for fun.

At work, I have to read things very critically. Word choice is everything and I get hung up in tiny details like a single word. It is more work. So when I read at home, I read for fun.

I want to like the books I am reading.

I still read critically, but it is more relaxed. I am looking for a book to make me feel emotions, let me get to know some new characters to love, or hate, and to make me laugh, fall in love, etc.

So when a book can do that, I am not thinking about things like shall v. may in sentences. Or putting on my fact checking and drafting face. (now, glaring writing errors and inconsistencies will jump out and bother me to no end, but I am not editing the book. I am reading it for enjoyment.)

4. On my blog I want to share books I love

I don’t like writing bad reviews. I am always honest in my reviews, but I would prefer to say the bad with the good.

I have no problem saying what didn’t work for me in a book, when I can also say what did work for me in the book.

It is the books that I really didn’t like that bother me. What happens if I can’t find anything good to say about a book? It is those books that I, regrettably, choose to DNF.

I don’t review DNF books because I feel like I didn’t give them a total chance. What if they get amazing by the end?

I give books a couple of chances to really get through them, and if I do read the whole book, I am writing the review even if I didn’t love it. Because I invested my time into read the book and I did give it a fair shot. It just didn’t work for me. And that is ok.

But the books that I don’t finish, don’t get their own reviews on my blog, which also makes it seem like all the books I read I enjoy.

and honestly I’m ok with that.

I like it a lot


Bottom line I do my research, I know what I like and because of that I normally enjoy the books that I read for review.

Which is just the way I want it to work out.




Sometimes I do all this work and I still don’t like the book.

When that happens I just put the book down and move on to the next.









Here are some books that didn’t work out for me and I DNF-ed


There are more I am sure, but those are the only ones I have listed on my shelved for now shelf on goodreasds.

I don’t document all the books I DNF

Most of the time, I just put the book down and move onto the next book.

So what about you??

Do you like most of the books you accept for review? Do you have a process to try and minimize the amount of books you won’t like?

Or am I just weird for liking so many books?

Let me know! 🙂


Michelle @ Book Briefs

20 Responses to “{Discussion Post} Why I like so many books & 2014 DNF”

  1. Allie @ Little Birdie

    YES. See, this is something I always say when people worry about only having positive reviews on their blog. It doesn’t mean your bias or a soft touch or ANYTHING except that, after years, you now know what you like. And, also, who wants to waste time writing a negative review when they could be talking about a review they’ve loved instead?

    MY negative reviews are far and few between, because I know what I like so it’s rare for me to pick a book that disappoints.

    I think it’s an awesome thing!

  2. Jessica S.

    This post is perfect! I’m the same way–I do my best to avoid reading the books I know I won’t like. You can tell by the synopsis and browsing through other reviews if it’s going to be your kind of book or not. There are times when I pick up one or two that I’m iffy about, but it’s because I want to give it a chance. Most of those times, it’s not good, like I expected. So I’ve learned to trust my instincts with reading. Great post!

  3. kindlemom1

    Absolutely love this post and I couldn’t agree with you more on so many things. I try to really look into books (without spoilers, which is sometimes hard to do!) before I read them, even ARCs, which is sometimes even more difficult but, I do because I don’t want to be disappointed. I don’t want to have to rate a book, 1 star or even 2 stars or worse yet, a DNF.

    I rarely review those on my blog though even though I do post them on Goodreads and Amazon, I don’t know why, other than I think because I already feel bad enough rating them so low, I don’t want to do it on my blog as well maybe? I don’t know.

  4. Kayla

    I love this post! I don’t blog, but I do review books on goodreads and most of them are positive reviews for the same reasons. I read for fun. I know what I like.

    Honestly, when looking for book blogs to follow, I focus on those with mostly positive reviews. I don’t like reading negative reviews. I skip them most of the time. On goodreads, if I notice a reviewer mostly posts low ratings (but is super popular so I always have to scroll past it), I block them.

  5. Valeria @ A Touch of Book Madness

    I must admit I agree with all my heart. I often wonder why some people pride themselves on the fact that they have a goodreads review average below 4.0. What is the problem with liking most of the books you read? I much rather enjoy the books I read than read a lot of meh or even bad books so my review rating average is “acceptable” or “trustworthy”. And much like you, I have a very clear notion of what I like, so I tend to choose right for me. Which in turn leads to me liking most of the books I read. I think this is pretty obvious, but I’ve also seen quite a few posts addressing this issue stating they don’t trust bloggers who have only positive reviews. I don’t understand that. I trust bloggers based on our similar tastes and the honesty of their reviews. if they have good reasons to like all the posts, then I will trust them. So I’m very glad you wrote this, because it really should be said more often.

  6. Lisa

    I completely agree with you and do the same as you. I really don’t even mention books I DNF. I just take them off my GR shelf and move on! If it’s a book for review, especially a tour, I won’t hesitate to let the person running the tour that I couldn’t give the book a positive rating and review.

  7. Megan McDade

    The longer I have been blogging the easier have found picking the books to review. Like you I know what genres I like and usually stick to them. I dont like to not finish books but sometimes it has be done!

  8. Lola

    Great post! Just like you I enjoy most of the books I read, sure I have a few 2 star ratings and DNF’s (which I don’t review) every year, but the majority of the books I read get’s a 4 star rating. On the other hand I also have very little books that get a 5 star rating. I think that doing your research and knowing what you like in a book are both very important things. Although once in a while I like to take a chance on a book or genre I am normally not a fan of. Also I belive you can be critical and enjoy a book. I give most books a 4 star rating, but I usually list quite some things I didn’t like or thoguth could be doen better, but even though there were parts I didn’t like I still enjoyed the book overal.

  9. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I have to agree. Sometimes I read blogs where the person posts many negative reviews and I think, “Is this person actually getting enjoyment from reading?” I enjoy reading and jumping into fictional stories. And, like you’ve said, I am somewhat picky about what I review – I pick books I’m pretty darn sure I’m going to like! Great post!

  10. Lauren @ Bookmark Lit

    I literally just wrote a post on this the other day! Nice to see that someone feels the same. This topic always brings up some interesting discussions. I completely agree though, I know what books I like at this point and I read for fun. Most of my reviews are positive because I’ve gotten pretty good at determining what I want to read and I try to enjoy books more than critique them.
    If you’re interested in my post: http://bookmarklit.net/2014/11/13/random-bookish-thoughts-book-ratings/ 🙂

  11. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas

    I personally like reading negatives reviews every now and then, because it gives me better perspective on what the book is actually like. So with that frame of mind I also post negative reviews. But I agree, you know what you like and if you don’t like a book you shouldn’t feel obligated to finish it. Besides it’s important to remember that your blog is your blog, and on one should post content they don’t personally want to post.
    Great post Michelle!

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