I’ve been reading all my life. And in that time, comparing to all the books I’ve read, I’ve actually written an astoundingly dismal number of reviews. My current review count is below a hundred, though it has been slowly rising over the past couple of months. Alternately, my read count is nearing a thousand. And there are a couple reasons for this disparity.

The first and perhaps most obvious is that a large number of those books were read before I started blogging. It’s kind of sad for me to realize how little I once understood about the importance of book reviews in my past and how incredibly unmotivated I was to putting in the effort. Reading for twenty-two years and barely writing reviews but simply rating them definitely doesn’t lead into giving a lot of feedback.

My initial view on the matter really only saw ratings as a way to get the Goodreads recommendation algorithm to suggest books I actually wanted to read. I didn’t realize that my input had any affect on the author, how many books they sold, and whether or not they were able to keep writing. I just read for myself and loved Goodreads for how it allowed me to keep track. I was young for a lot of the books I read and the internet was still developing and so naturally all of that just wasn’t yet part of my world.

The second reason is the fact that writing reviews for every book I read is a major task. It takes quite a lot of time for me to write a concise and worthwhile review that truly captures the essence of the book and my feelings for it. I’ve never been one to write short reviews that don’t touch base on as much about the story as possible without giving anything away. Readers should be able to determine whether they’re interested in the book and they’re not going to be able to do that if the review says, ‘this is the best book ever!’ 

So, at the end of the day, reviews take time to write, which ultimately means that I have less time to read. It turns out this particular feature has cut into my motivation for it. As someone who reads a lot and loves to spend the majority of her time with a book, it can be exceedingly easy to put off writing a review in favor of reading that new arc I just received.

And thus we come to the reason for this post. Of the near thousand books I’ve read, my percentage ratio of how many I’ve written real reviews for is 9%. And I want to see that change. And so the review project basically involves going back and providing reviews for every single book listed on my Goodreads read list. I imagine this will be a rather large undertaking, so naturally it needs to be broken down. The way I’m hoping to do this is to push myself to write at least two reviews a month for previously read books that I once didn’t review.

This wont include ones that I’ve read this year as those are on a priority list of finishing soon anyway. I’m not sure how long it will take me to get to a point of having reviewed the majority of books I’ve read thus far, but I’m excited for the challenge. And I think you should challenge yourself, too. Now, I don’t imagine we all remember everything about some of the books we’ve read in the past in order to write an informative review, but that really just means it’s a prime opportunity for a reread, right? And who knows what new things we might get out of these books!


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5 thoughts on “The Review Project; Backlist

  1. Ahhhh… The age old book blogger dilemma!! The balance of reading vs writing… I feel your pain there.
    I’m also sad I didn’t do a better job of reviewing books. I only joined the social media world about 9 months ago now… And I joined Goodreads a little before that. But, all the books I read before that are lost in the wind now. I’ve read so many that I couldn’t even write a review for them now if I wanted to since I wouldn’t remember it clear enough to do so!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah! That’s the hard bit. And I want to read so many new books that it’s hard to go back and reread some of the ones I want to write reviews for. It’s a goal of hope, but I genuinely do wish for it to be real one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I need to go back and review a lot of books I read before I knew anything about reviewing and especially Goodreads since I just discovered it last year.

    Liked by 1 person

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