Hello and welcome to another round of Top Ten Tuesday! I had so much trouble thinking about what to do for this week’s theme (ten reasons I love X), but then I realised: why not list down all the reasons why I love book reviews? They are, after all, important to me — both as a reader and a blogger. Here we go. 🙂
1) Reading reviews I agree with validates me.
Whether it’s as a reader or as a blogger, reading reviews that I agree with makes me feel validated and justified in my opinion. I know, I know, people should trust in their own opinions and stand up for themselves no matter what, but what’s wrong with enjoying it when people agree with you? Nothing, I say!
2) Reading reviews I don’t agree with makes me think.
I enjoy reading opinions that challenge mine and I honestly love reading reviews I don’t agree with, especially when they’re negative, haha. As long as they’re respectful and backed with evidence, reviews that I don’t agree with tend to make me think more critically about what I’ve read and look at it from multiple points of view — an important skill in life to be sure. 🙂
3) It’s an easy way to get recommendations.
Not everyone reads reviews for books they haven’t read yet (hell, not everyone reads reviews themselves), but I absolutely do. How else would I know what to read next, after all?
4) Reviews help me save time and prioritise.
Related to #3, maybe, but equally as important — there have been plenty of times in the past where other people’s reviews have helped me save time and prioritise my reads.
If a title is on my TBR and everyone seems to love it, I might just bump it up my reading list and pick it up next. On the reverse, if I keep seeing overwhelmingly negative reviews for it, I’d often think twice about reading it or would pass on it altogether, therefore making time for myself to read other books that I would enjoy more.
5) Reviews are my way of paying it forward.
This is specific to ARCs and review copies I’ve received, but reviews are kind of how I ‘pay’ the publisher or the author for the chance to read the book. It’s kind of a win-win situation, I think: I get several hours of fun (presumably) from reading their book, and they get a little bit of word-of-mouth that hopefully, hopefully works in their favour.
6) Reviews make me feel productive.
Kind of a personal reason, but one of the major reasons why I started blogging is because I felt so unproductive, and it was taking a toll on my happiness. (Yes, I’m that kind of person.) Writing reviews, especially when the words just flow out of my fingers, has been crucial in making me feel like I am working towards something greater (and I am!), and I am all the more thankful for it.
7) Reviews let me share my opinions in a safe space.
‘Safe space’ might be debatable, perhaps, given some recent-ish drama in which some people get hate for posting their very justifiable, very valid, unpopular opinions on their blog, but for the most part, most of you have been amazing at listening to my opinions and not judging me for what I think. Most of you, in fact, have been incredibly encouraging and accepting even when I don’t like popular books, and that to me is just fabulous. ❤
8) Reviews help me remember what I’ve read.
Am I the only one with ridiculously — and by that I mean ridiculously — short-term memory? I tend to forget very easily what I’ve read, and having to write reviews means that I remember them better, and on the (very likely) chance that I forget them anyway, I always have my posts to refer to.
9) Reviews are where I organise my thoughts more critically.
This is related to #8, but as someone whose preferred form of word-type communication is by writing (I also like hugs), writing reviews has been amazing in pushing me to REALLY think about what I’ve read — not just in terms of emotional impact but also the kinds of messages these stories might send, the kinds of assumptions and generalisations they might challenge (or not challenge).
This is especially true for some of my longer, often negative reviews. My review for Emily Albright’s The Heir and the Spare, for example, forced me to discuss particular tropes in the contemporary romance genre and explore with examples why and how these tropes are problematic. My review for Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass had me looking into the characteristics of a Mary Sue and cross-referencing Celaena’s character with certain lists out there.
10) Reviews promote discussion and interaction.
While it’s common knowledge that, when it comes to blog stats, reviews don’t generally do as well as other types of posts (book tags, memes, discussions, etc.), I think reviews are still kind of the crux of being a book blogger. Isn’t that why we’re all here? You read a book, you share your thoughts, you talk about it to other people… what’s a book blog without book reviews? 😛
What’s on your TTT this week? Let me know in the comments or leave me a link! ❤