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
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.
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! 🙂