Reviewing books makes my stomach churn

Reviewing books makes my stomach churn

This blog has gone through many lives – for a while there it was a terrible food blog, a half-hearted motivational blog, a sporadic journal. Sometimes I do craft projects or talk about movies or even chat about death. Now, I flip between talking about my love for books and explore topics that I have some emotional investment in.

The problem is that as a (kind of) book blogger, there is a certain expectation that you will be reading and reviewing books regularly. But for me, reviewing anything (books, movies, food!) makes me squirm.

A lot of my friends in the book blogging/bookstagram world regularly receive books from publishers to read and review but I’ve never really explored that avenue. I think it’s partly because I lack the confidence – who am I to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be reading – but I also think it’s because there are just too many variables to ever write an accurate review.

I love reading, I love talking about books – come and chat to me in person and I’ll talk your ear off about how much I loved or didn’t love or felt conflicted over a book. On the internet, I find it a lot harder. I think it’s because in person, I don’t have a word count, I don’t have to worry about my words being stuck on the internet forever and I know my audience, personally. On the internet, everything is a little unknown.

Reading reviews isn’t even my schtick – I never intentionally read a review of a book before I’ve finished reading it myself. I hate to be influenced and I really don’t like to be influenced when there are so many factors that could lead to a negative review – factors that may not apply to me as a reader.

Did the reviewer just read the book at the wrong time? Have they had some event happen that makes them unable to view the subject matter favourably (or negatively!)? Do they inexplicably hate the author in the same way so many people hate Anne Hathaway?

Of course, reviews aren’t always supposed to be objective, but I hate the idea of people reading my words without knowing my biases so that they then think I’m just the biggest twit to walk the earth.

This is all to say that one of my blogging resolutions this year was to write more reviews. It scares me a LOT to put my opinions out there about books and movies but reviewing also helps you to think critically about what you’ve just experienced. I’m reviewing every book I read this year in my own personal notebook and I’m choosing one of those books each month to share on here. It’s a bit scary but I think overall it will help me to get over my fear.

Here’s to talking about what we love, even if other people don’t love the same things or don’t love what you have to say about them.

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