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The Benefits Of Reviewing Every Book You Read

Jamie Canaves

Contributing Editor

Jamie Canavés is the Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator and Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter writer–in case you’re wondering what you do with a Liberal Arts degree. She’s never met a beach she didn’t like, always says yes to dessert, loves ‘80s nostalgia, all forms of entertainment, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. You can definitely talk books with her on Litsy and Goodreads. Depending on social media’s stability maybe also Twitter and Bluesky.

You finished reading a book. Now what? Whether you liked it, hated it, or were anywhere in between you can review the book. I’m not talking about you having to become a blogger (unless you want to) or having to write school taught reviews. It can be a sentence! Or maybe your thoughts are a page long. It’s all good and it’s all welcome. There are quite a few benefits of reviewing every book you read, for you and the book (the author).

Helps You Remember What You Will Never Remember About The Book — Including Whether You Read It Or Not

Have you ever looked through your Goodreads and seen a book that you swear you’ve literally never seen nor heard of but in fact according to your review you read it? As a person with a terrible memory, I need to keep track of what I’ve read in order to 1) Not accidentally read it again and 2) Use the book for things like work. That’s the big picture.

In the smaller picture let’s say you absolutely remember reading the book but someone asked you for a book with an uplifting ending, or no animal death, or a fun trip to the circus. Can you remember specific details from books you read long ago — in my case yesterday? Even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment future you may end up really thanking past you for writing a review for the books you’ve read when it helps jog your memory.

Find A Book Community To Chat With Other Readers

It may feel like leaving a review is you just talking into the void but in places like Litsy and Goodreads you could find yourself with a community of bookish friends. Someone may leave a comment thanking you for your review and why it was so helpful to them. Or maybe they’ve been dying to talk to someone, anyone, about this book but didn’t know anyone who had read it until you entered the review scene.

Many readers aren’t surrounded in their everyday lives with fellow readers and it can be nice to find places to talk about the books you’re reading with people who have also read the book — or are just really looking forward to reading it. Maybe the start to new bookish friends is just a review away.

Lets You Champion Books

You just read a book you absolutely love to pieces and why has everyone in the world not yet read it? Let them know how you feel! Demand they read it! Put it all in a review or just simply say “MUST READ!” and that counts as a review. So many fantastic books are just waiting to find their readers and you can help them do just that.

It’s a huge misconception that books without a ton of reviews or very high starred reviews are “bad books.” Many times it comes down to marketing, or not getting a ton of attention, or the wrong readers being the first to read the book and review it. Ever come across a book many people absolutely hate and find that their reviews say things like “she’s too unlikable” or “there was sex in the book”? If you like “unlikable” women leads or have no issue with bow-chicka-wow-wow then those reviews are actually helpful in you discovering a book that is probably a good read for you. Which brings me to the next point.

Lets You Give A Needed Heads Up

A book not being right for you doesn’t mean it’s not right for someone else. If, for example, you don’t like love triangles, so a book with one wasn’t the best fit for you, saying that it was a good book but you just can’t enjoy books with the love triangle trope will help readers who do enjoy love triangles find the book. This also comes in handy for books that are mislabeled. Many books are categorized wrong and then readers pick them up for a specific reason and discover the book doesn’t fit and then they tank the book’s rating by leaving low stars (it wasn’t the book’s fault). Your review can be really helpful if let’s say a book has gotten the tag of “romance” when in fact it does not have a HEA. You can let readers know that the book is wrongly categorized and anyone picking it up with the intent of reading a HEA should know they won’t actually get that ending. Maybe you read a book labeled fantasy and whoopsie there is zero fantasy in the book. Let readers know so the right audience finds it.

It Helps Authors

If you follow authors on social media you’ve probably heard at least a few times one say how helpful it is to them to have their books reviewed, usually with some mention of Amazon and algorithms. I’ve never seen a source or evidence proving that X amount of reviews gets you inclusion in algorithms, but I have heard many authors with personal anecdotes to know reviews help them. In the handful of years I’ve been in the book world I’ve also heard way too many readers say things along the lines of “I’ll only read a book if it has X amount of stars/been read by X amount of people” as if that guarantees they won’t get a disappointing book (it does not). So algorithms or not, it’s safe to say that on some level leaving a review for a book helps the author, so if you’re looking to support an author take a minute to leave a book review.

I know many of us just don’t feel like we have time or the bandwidth to go out of our way to leave a review, but many times it’s as simple as just having the app on our phone and taking literally a minute to leave a review. Based on all the time and things we do on our phone it’s really not something that requires more than what we already do.