I've been going through a ton of audio lately, sometimes listening to more than one audiobook in a single day. (I slowly graduated from single speed to triple speed, and I'll never go back, even if my husband says it sounds like The Chipmunks to him.) And for the most part, I'm not reviewing any of it.
I've been tempted to, especially once I finished my series listen of the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. Those audiobooks -- that series, period! -- are phenomenal. And I wanted to shout it from the rooftops as soon as I finished the last book, but I didn't really feel like reviewing the books. So I posted a few words on my Goodreads reviews for each book and moved on.
So often since I started this blog -- nearly five years ago! -- I've felt obligated to review every book I read or listen to. I mean, that's why I started blogging in the first place: to share my love of books. But I'm learning that this doesn't mean I have to review every single one. Or even most of them. Hell, I hardly even read reviews anymore. I consider myself a more seasoned reader these days, and I don't rely on others' opinions to determine which books I pick up and which I don't. I read the synopsis, add it to my TBR, and hope I'm still interested by the time the book lands in my hands. Reviews on Goodreads do help me discover new reads I might not have ran across otherwise, but I don't seek out reviews much anymore. Not on Goodreads or on book blogs.
And I don't think I'm alone in this. I find that the posts that get the most views are those like this, that reveal something about me as a reader or just discuss reading in general. There are those reviews where I'm a gushing mess, and those do tend to see more attention, which is fine by me since those are the reviews that matter to me more because I felt something so strongly for the book -- and it shows in my review. I'm so over reviewing the technical aspects of a story. I just want to be wowed and feel driven to tell everyone about this marvelous book I just read.
I think I've come full circle in how I tackle this blogging thing. To a degree, anyway. In the beginning, this was basically just a reading journal for me. No promotions. No competition. Just reading for pure enjoyment. It's hard not to want to help promote authors I've become friends with, and I'll continue to do that. And I'll spend exorbitant amounts of time hunting for the perfect GIFs for my fanatic reviews of the books that just won't quit me. But I want to stop forcing myself to review because it feels more like a chore sometimes than a hobby.
There are those times when as soon as I've finished a book, I want to write up my review immediately or at least draft some of my feelings into a post. And that's when I know I've read a great book because I can't help but share my thoughts. But then there are other times when it'll take me weeks to review a book, even if I liked it, just because I'm not in the mood and I don't want to do the book or the author a disservice.
Reading and reviewing books out of a sense of obligation is just such a bummer. It also tends to send me into a reading slump because I'm forcing myself to read things and I have become such a mood reader these days. So, I'm going back to my roots: reading what I want, when I want, and reviewing it if/when I feel like it.
I don't know how this will affect the blog or how many reviews I put out going forward. I'm not trying to put that kind of pressure on myself anymore. I'll likely have a review up later today because I want to, but you'll also notice that it'll be the first review posted this week. (April seems to share my sentiments and is only reviewing when she feels like it, too.) I love that we've unburdened ourselves of that responsibility. Sure, I'll still post reviews and promo for tours and other commitments I've already made, but it's still on my terms. ;0) And I'd much rather take a step back than go on a full hiatus.
Back to reading just for the fun of it! YAAAAAASSSSSS!!!
Can you relate? Do you think there's any correlation between your sense of obligation and how much you're enjoying blogging? Does blogging sometimes feel like more of a(n unpaid) job/chore to you than a hobby?