Do Reading and Reviewing Ever Stress You Out?

Natalie and I have been blogging for almost a year now, and since we started, I've noticed something: sometimes I get stressed out about reading and writing reviews.  For example, I've stopped borrowing books from the library because knowing I have to read them in two weeks tends to overwhelm me.  

Review requests especially make me feel guilty.  I feel bad about reading one of my picks when I know I have review requests waiting for me.  I hate making authors and publishers wait more than a couple of weeks for a review.  

And then there's the guilt involved when I give a review request a bad rating.  I feel guilty letting the author down, but know that I have to stay true to how I really feel about a book.  I don't ever want to become a cookie-cutter reviewer, giving every book 3.5 or more stars "just because."  I'm always going to say, within the bounds of common courtesy, how I felt about a book, whether it's good or bad.  I do work to always have something positive to say, and not to be too negative overall, but you can rest assured that the reviews you read here are my honest opinion.

Another thing I've noticed is that when I get too behind on reviews, I start feeling overwhelmed.  There's been a couple of times when I thought I was going to have to leave the blog, I felt so overwhelmed by reviews.  When I wait too long to review a book, the harder the review gets to write.  When I write my review immediately after reading is when the review flows the easiest for me (it's true I have talked her "off the ledge" on several occasions ~Natalie).

As much as pregnancy has mellowed me out on these issues, I'm hoping motherhood will soften me up even more.  I think a lot of these feelings stem from being a driven, Type A, perfectionist personality that turns everything into work and tends to take the fun out of things.  So, if you see a review here on the blog, I may have read the book several weeks ago, and that's okay.   My reviews may not be as long as they used to be: I'm not setting any word count goals for myself, to keep my reviews from feeling like work.  I may not review every single book I read, and that's okay too.  Blogging is supposed to be fun, and that's my goal for 2011---to have FUN with this blog!

My goals is simple for the blog... to survive my busy schedule and read during all nap times! ~Natalie


  1. Reading the books doesn't stress me out as much as writing the reviews. I marvel at bloggers who seem so adept at turning out reviews everyday while it takes me several days to write mine. And I definitely get stressed after I read several books and then have all those reviews to write. The reality of it all is that I began blogging for myself and as long as I am semi happy with what I write then I suppose that is really all I need to be concerned with.

  2. Just know from an author's point of view that we don't expect review requests to be answered immediately, we realize there are going to be bad reviews (and if so that gives us something to work on) and reviews are more for readers than authors. As an author, I honestly appreciate each and every review and find them as nice surprises when they surface. We certainly don't want reviewers to feel pressured or stressed about reading our books ;-)

  3. I agree with the previous Author's comment..... The whole purpose of a book is to get some entertainment and enjoyment out of reading it. If a reader feels overwhelmed or stressed then what is the fun in that? Relax and read for fun, we understand that you are only one person and can only do so much......Just remember why you started doing this to begin with. (Be cause you love books!)

  4. Sometimes I get stressed and then I remember why I started blogging. hang in there girl!

  5. Definitely guilty of that. So when it happens I remind my self, this is for fun and only write short reviews.

  6. I just wrote a post pretty similar to this! I feel the same way! When I wrote it I was talking more about the time I miss out from other things that is now filled with blog stuff and reading. What you said is the other part of that. I feel the same way as you! I have netgalley and I have no self control! I get stressed over the books on there that I have not read yet! I don't know the answer except to say that I think we both do the best that we can.

    I have 2 children and I vote you NAP during nap times with them, at least for a little while! Congratulations to you for the baby to come and to Kelli for that pretty baby I see! I am a new follower!

  7. I think that sounds like great goals, Natalie.

    I feel stress enough with school. I don't let blogging stress me. For me it is fun. But if it ever got stressful, then I'd take a break because I know the world wont end if I do. :)

  8. First, naps are always good!!!

    And yes, we three girls on the blog get overwhelmed...all the time. Like you girls, we don't write a review for every book we read, we get stressed out about writing reviews and feel a bit guilty with our huge stacks of books for review and sneaking in something we want to read.

    We think breaks are good. Sometimes a blogging break or even a reading break, or maybe we just start blogging on book related topics that are fun to write Like yall, we are in this for fun and I always to remind myself of that and not to take it waaaay to seriously.

  9. The reading never stresses me out, but the reviewing certainly does. First, I get overwhelmed and then there are snarky people that don't deal well with bad reviews. That's always rough.

  10. Don't stress!! (Obvi... easier said than done) But seriously, blogging shouldn't be our WORK! If you've been putting off a review for a while and writing it is stressing you out, just don't write it! Move on to something else you're more excited to write about it.

    For me, I literally cannot get myself to review a book after I've already started something else. So, I make myself wait for new books until I've finished my review. Good luck!!

  11. Yup, I'm going through this right now. I'm LOVING the reading part of things, just not the reviewing part at the moment.

    To make matters worse all the drama going around the book blog world has made reviewing even harder. I HATE drama!

    Might be time for some "short and sweet" reviews. :)


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