Books,  Thoughtful Friday

Faye’s thoughts on… review books.


As a book blogger, there is usually opportunities to recieve review books in one format or another and today I wanted to discuss this.

At the Beginning

When you first start blogging it is truly thrilling to recieve books for review. Not because they are free but because someone values your opinion enough to give you a book for it. It’s exciting and pretty scary too. And then it becomes addictive and it is very easy to fall into the “trigger happy”, “request all” mode, until you get to the next stage…

Too Many Requested Books

This may not happen to everyone but I know that it has happened to me and a lot of bloggers I know. Suddenly requesting and receiving new review books loses some of its appeal because you already have x number of books to read and review. Yet, there is still a little thrill and excitment to it and it may be very hard to stop requesting altogether – it is addictive after all. And then as you become more established something else happens…

Unsolicited Review Copies

These are the books that come in the mail that you didn’t ask for. Sometimes it’s a book (or two) extra with one you did request. Sometimes it’s a stand-a-lone that many other bloggers recieve too. And then sometimes it is book three, four, five, etc in a series you haven’t read yet. You may sometimes love the unsolicited books and can’t wait to read it but often times, it isn’t right for you. And thus, I want to discuss…

What you do about review copies

With so many books out there to read, (either from “trigger happy” moments, unsolicited mail, or even just life getting busier than you expected), what do you do about review copies? Are you the kind of blogger that vows to read and review all of your review books? Even if you DNF them? Are you a blogger who reads whatever they want and plans to get to the review copies they have eventually? Or, are you selective? Do you cull your piles regularly?

Personally I read whatever I want and plan to get to my review copies eventually. This year I have stopped requesting and am trying to stop saying “yes” to new books too because I just have too many books to read already and I feel bad. But it’s not as easy as all that. So I just wanted to know if I should change my tune slightly…

But what about you?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on twitter!



  • Clare Zinkin

    I’m new to blogging, although old to the children’s book world. I try and read everything I get (I don’t get that much yet), and so far have plans to review or feature in some way all review copies I’ve been sent. However, I make sure to include lots of posts about ‘back catalogue’ books as the parents and schools who read my blog don’t always want the ‘brand new’ stuff. I’m hoping it will change as I get ‘older’ in blogging, and that I’m so inundated with new review copies that I can’t keep up. I also ‘test’ my review copies on kiddies. Good to hear your thoughts and to know that everyone panics over their TBR pile. Mine includes books I’ve bought for myself for pleasure and research for my writing….so I’m literally buried underneath it! (honest, my kids show other kids round my ‘library!)

    • Faye

      I think that featuring them in some way is definitely a great idea and I know people use book hauls in this way. I also think it’s great that you feature back list titles too. I definitely try and do that with library books and books that I’ve bought but review copies do, unfortunately, get priority. I love that you get kiddies to read them too!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it’s great getting different pespectives. :)

  • Rosie

    I definitely got trigger happy when I first joined NetGalley, actually I still do it now and I’ll end up with a few books to review which are all published around the same time.

    If I have requested a book, I will always do my best to read it and review it.

    • Faye

      Netgalley is definitely the worst place for trigger happy because a lot of the time I’m sure I won’t get accepted and then I do and is a little like, ooops as you get a lot at one time.

      I think it’s great that you do your best, this is all that can be asked of us really! I wish you luck for keeping up with it. :)

  • Regina Foo

    I am considered new in book reviewing and so far I’m still okay since the source of my ARCs doesn’t press me on the schedule to post my review (as long as it’s after the publication date).

    But I think in order for me not to fall into the situation, I would be extremely careful when I accept book review requests via email.

    • Faye

      I think the pressure does come from reviewing before release date and I have stopped doing that as I know publicity after release is still so important.

      I think that’s a good idea. Just make sure you a) have time and b) are very excited/intrigued by it.

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’re enjoying blogging so far! :)

      • Regina Foo

        Thanks for the suggestion!

        Actually since the first day I accept review requests from authors, I did mention to them that I might not be able to meet their deadline to review the book before their publication date. And luckily most of them didn’t mind it at all. :)

  • Samantha @ Bookish Serendipity

    I totally get this! I’m getting a lot more ARCs lately and while I totally love them, it also means that there are more books I need to review. I’ve tried to avoid the whole “overload” thing, though, by only requesting books I think I’ll love and not really accepting review requests. Awesome post!

    • Faye

      I think that’s a good idea and I hope you manage to keep on top of it all. It can be hard when there are so many good sounding books coming out!

      Thanks for commenting and stopping by! :)

  • nikki @ book punks

    I think because I have read so many book blogs for so long, I have managed to avoid the trigger happy phase. I only request the things I really really REALLY want to read. If unsolicited books arrive that I don’t want to read, I usually will do a giveaway with them. I think the fastest way to turn reading into a stressful thing instead of a fun thing is to let those things dictate your whole reading and writing life.

    • Faye

      I think that’s really great Nikki and I hope that it all works out for you. Blogging and reviewing can be stressful but we have to do what we can to remember that it should be fun!

      I like the giveaway idea. I often see if any other bloggers are interested as I’m not always able to afford postage but I do like the idea! :)

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us Nikki. :)

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