Happy Sunday, all of you wonderful human beings! 🌻
I don’t think I’ve ever scheduled a blog post for a Sunday before, but apparently university is turning my entire life upside down … I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend, and without further ado—let’s chat for a bit!
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that whoever said that “doing what you love is easy” clearly must have never written a review before. That, or they are miraculously blessed with an endless amount of inspiration, motivation, and whatever else I am very much envious of and sadly, lack.
(If there’s someone out there reading this who never gets reviewer’s block … please tell me your secret!)
But writing reviews for books you are lucky enough to get to read before they are even officially published, or books in general that you receive in exchange for a review (be it from a publisher, or an author, but especially from an author) is even harder, and more stressful, and goes far, far beyond reviewer’s block.
This is me, an image of Despair.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m immensely thankful to have been privileged enough to be put in this position, and to be able to “complain” about one of the stipulations of having the opportunity to read books that many others are not. And I really couldn’t be more grateful and appreciative of it.
But I hope talking about my resulting struggles is still okay?
I’m quite a critical reader, you see.
I have many friends who are very easily enraptured by a book, and who don’t dwell on issues and aspects that immediately make a resounding alarm go off in my head. And I very, very often wish that I could consume books less critically as well, but I’m slowly learning to accept and appreciate the way I read—but before I go off on a tangent, here are a few reasons why writing reviews for books I received can be a real struggle for me:
- The publisher or the author will most likely read my review.
- I will probably play a considerable part in whether or not a book that’s not written by a well-known author will be “succesful”, or not.
- I actually talked to the person who wrote the book, and I don’t want to seem rude or ungrateful by criticizing a book that I received “for free”*.
*Obviously, it’s not entirely for free, since I do have to read it, and write a review for it, which takes time and effort, and is all too often overlooked.
And also … negative reviews will very possibly make it all the more unlikely for me to receive books in the future, or even worse.
I always try to remind myself that what counts is my honesty, because I’m never going to write a review I don’t fully stand by, but … there’s still that nagging feeling at the back of my mind, whenever I don’t have only good things to say.
How do you handle writing reviews for books that were sent to you?
Do you face the same struggle(s) I do? Or different ones?
Have you ever strongly disliked a book that you received to review?
I’d love to hear about your experiences with authors/publishers in relation to reviews you wrote!