Am I a Book Reviewer?

I have been thinking a lot of late as to whether I can still call myself a book reviewer.  I talk about books a lot, whether in daily life or on BookTube, but I rarely have the time nowadays to sit down with a book and write a comprehensive review of it as I once used to.

book-stack

Gone are the days when I would receive this number of books in a week!

I wrote frequently for the blog, and for a couple of other bookish websites (including Goodreads) up until last year, but since starting my Master’s, I haven’t really had the time to.  This means that I am receiving very few books from publishers; the last book which plopped through my letterbox was received a couple of months before Christmas last year, and 2016 has been a book-drought in this respect.

Whilst I still love crafting book reviews – when I have the time to write them! – I have noticed that my blogging habits are veering in different directions of late.  I have spent an entire month focusing upon a Neglected Women Writers series, and find myself writing smaller, less far-reaching reviews of books which I have very much enjoyed and want to bring to the attention of others, rather than the longer efforts which I used to make.

I would like this post of meandering thoughts to lead to a discussion of sorts.  Can I still consider myself a book reviewer, or am I a book blogger?  Is there a distinction between the two for you?  Do you think reviews of books need to be comprehensive and far-reaching, such as you would read in The Times Literary Supplement, for instance, or is it okay to write your thoughts about a certain text in a less extensive way?  Do you prefer book blogs which solely focus upon reviews, or do you like a mixed literary foundation, as you can find here?

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5 thoughts on “Am I a Book Reviewer?

  1. Most of the bloggers I follow are a mixture, mixing reviews with posts about book finds, thoughts on authors, etc. I don’t think you need to aspire to be writing in depth about everything you read – my reviews depend on the type of book and the resonance it has for me. Some will be longer and more complex, some shorter and lighter just like the books. A mix is good, and your pieces on the forgotten women writers were excellent and really valuable.

    • You’ve made me feel so much better; thank you! I’m planning another Forgotten Women Writer’s month, as Elaine Showalter has given me an awful lot of fodder for it.

  2. I definitely think there are all kids of different ways to blog about books. You could even write about every book you read, & not be a “reviewer.” You might be a discusser. 🙂 Some book blogs are like commonplace books, some are discussion sites, some offer reviews on the latest releases, some are opinion, some are criticism. I love (love) it when blogs write articles as you do, discussing a topic of interest in a single post or a series. That’s a unique way to offer your take on books. I do think that if you’re not regularly reviewing books, you’re not a traditional “reviewer” right now, in the popular sense of the word. But I’m not really sure what that means anyway. You’re still reviewing, in your own way, just on larger, broader topics right now. I think in the end we’re all book bloggers within different genres that have yet to be named. 🙂 I’ve actually read that people tend to read the type of posts you’ve been writing lately more than reviews.

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