Do you have to review the latest books to have a great blog?

It can be quite intimidating at first to become a book blogger, for starters you'll try to visit a lot of blogs and leave comments in the hopes of gaining some followers. Upon travelling from blog to blog you tend to see a lot of ARC reviews and all the latest book releases. It then becomes far too easy to compare these blogs to your own and leave you with the need to have every new book out there.

There seems to be some unspoken pressure that in order to be a 'good' book blogger you must constantly read and review upcoming titles and for most of us, this just isn't feasible. It's safe to assume the more recent the book is then the more views your review will get, but it's definitely more about the quality of the review which will keep people visiting your blog again and again.

Book blogging is hard, trying to divide your time between reading, reviewing, obviously having a life and keeping up with school can be tricky. Let's face it, the last thing you need is spending money you don't have just to increase your views. If you can do this, then great, but trust me, if you don't then it's not the end of the world. There are always certain times of the year when I have to be a bit frugal with my money but for when those times hit: Hit the library! Who could say no to free books? If your library doesn't have the latest books then just ask, most of the time they are more than happy to have a copy sent in; so just take your big book list in and sit back and wait.

Concentrate more on your reviews than the books. You may have the latest books but if people can't understand your review then they will not be returning to your blog. So whether your book is new or old have a review system set in place, even if it's just a few sentences about the characters, the setting, the writing or your loves and hates. Readers will respect your honesty and the chances are, you may have actually included something another reviewer left out, which can be helpful to future readers.

When it comes to deciding whether to read a book I will always visit some of my favourite blogs because I value their honesty and hold their reviews to a high standard. I will know straight away if I should or should not read a book based on their rating and review. Stay consistent and dependable and you'll soon have regular viewers.

In my opinion sometimes new books tend not to live up to the hype and are overrated so don't stress if you can't get your hands on them. Also for me the best thing I find about having a blog is discovering old books which you can get cheaper but being able to discover a series is the best feeling ever. Having a new favourite series and being able to dodge the year-long wait is pretty awesome. I only discovered the Grisha series and I was late to Marie's Lu Legend series (one of my favourites!) and I would never take that feeling away.

Speaking of overrated.... ARC's are just that. Yes, you are able to read the book earlier but once you've gotten over your excitement what can you do? You're unable to speak to anyone about it and to me books are much more enjoyable when you can discuss them with friends, poor Olivia gets daily emails haha. Most of the time changes are made to the ARC and in some cases certain 'special moments' are purposefully left out of them for the final published copy. If you can't get ARC's then you are not alone, don't let this get you down because they're are plenty of books out there just waiting to be read.

Also, if blog views are important to you, there are plenty of ways to get them without breaking your bank balance. Here are a few idea's to consider:

  • Get involved in blog posts such as Top Ten Tuesday/Waiting On Wednesday
  • Discussion Posts
  • Cover Reveals
  • Book Blogger Tags
  • Post about your favourite authors, books or series
  • Lastly, it's YOUR blog, there are no rules to blogging, post what you like!
In my opinion you do not need to review the latest books in order to have a great blog, as long as you're reading books you love, enjoying writing reviews your way then the publication date does not matter.

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Cody is a Zoology student from the UK who spends long hours being anti-social with her nose stuck in a book. When she’s not studying or reading she can be found blogging, watching old Disney movies, spending time with her dogs and obsessing over fictional characters. You can find her on Twitter @CodyLeighDuffy and her blog, Literary-ly Obsessed.

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  1. Wow, this is a really thoughtful post! I absolutely loved it, and agree with all your points. I too have felt the overwhelming pressure of having to read new releases asap in order to keep up with the blogging world, and it can be quite draining. Especially when other things like life and school and other commitments come into play, it can get a bit hard and sometimes frustrating! But putting things all into perspective, you are absolutely right about reading books you love, writing reviews the way you want to, and overall just maintaining a blog to your own enjoyment!
    Looking forward to more posts like these! :)
    ~Erika @ Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between.

    1. Thank you so much Erika, you're the best! <3
      Exactly we've all felt that pressure to have everything to the highest possible standard and it simply HAS to perfect. It's completely normal to feel this way but it's just not possible, as long as you're having fun then who cares right?
      I still have my moments of doubt and worry but they're much more few and far between, like you said it's all about doing something you love and keeping it that way!
      Thanks again lovely!

  2. I love this post and I totally agree how there is no rules to blogging. Bloggers should be blogging for themselves and not because they want better stats, to obtain ARCS, etc.

    1. I don't think I could handle the pressure of blogging purely for obtaining ARC's, it would be far too much.
      Exactly, as long as your true to yourself and enjoy what you do then you can't do no wrong :)

  3. Ugh, I'm such a sucker for new books. If I see my friends blogging or tweeting about a recent release, I usually have no control. My bank account is very displeased with me though!

    Great advice Cody!

    1. Oh I know the feeling, my bank card hates me! It's like when I finally decide not to buy books there's always a convenient 'sale' and all the books on my TBR shelf are half price :( haha,
      Thank you Amber :)

  4. I completely agree Cody! I don't care what people are reviewing, so long as they are reviewing well. I have found a lot of great books that were published in 2012 or 2013 in 2015 because of book bloggers still reviewing them. And tbh, I am not going to read a new release that I am not that interested in just to get views. Great discussion!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

    1. Definitely Jamie, it's much more about the quality of the review than the release date. I love finding books that are a few years old and loving them, blogging is the best way to discover new favourites. Thanks so much :)

  5. I agree! It's your blog, so do whatever you want! I'm not always completely up to date with books and I love reading reviews of older novels that I have read in the past because it brings back the memories... Don't write reviews of the books you think you should be reviewing because of other people etc. just do whatever you want.

    1. I'm the same way, it's impossible to read everything so we'll always miss books and blogging is a great way to discover more. Exactly it's your blog and your creative outlet, everyone is free to post what they like and how they like! :)

  6. This is a great post. I can totally relate. I have been feeling all this pressure to read and review books almost as soon as they come out, which means I have been spending more than usual on books. Meanwhile, I have all these old releases (and by old, I mean books that came out a year ago) on my Kindle that I STILL haven't read. Ugh

  7. No I don't think so! I think some others feel that way too. I think it's great to post a mix of old and new books. Just because the book comes out doesn't mean it doesn't need some TLC. So much attention is placed on the newer shiny books, but I like to go back and read the older ones and read and review them too. There are so many great books, and if you limit yourself to just the latest and greatest then you're really missing out.

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

  8. This is such a great post Cody. :) I completely agree with everything you've said here. You definitely don't have to review new books to be "popular" in the blogosphere. Personally, I think that when you pick out books you should focus on whether or not the summary calls out to you, or if it's gotten good ratings from trusted friends; not it's publication date. Thanks for sharing this and, as always, fantastic discussion! ♥

  9. Yes, I also agree. First when I started blogging it was all about the number of followers so I could get ARCs. But then I got some of them and I was rather disappointed. Sure it is nice to have them on your shelves but what I have also realized that most of the ARCs are not that awesome. I mean now I am very picky with what I ask for, I make sure I will really want to read the book and not just get it so I could say I have an ARC. I still have some ARCs left from months before now that I just cannot force myself to read. I think it is great to have this access as long as you are the one who controls it. That's why I am rather happy to be book blogger of not a huge blog because when you watch all these booktube videos of people getting huge number of ARCs...yeah it is free and all but it is also a responsibility. Plus, I rather read the books I already have and bought because I really want them than something rather blah even if it was for all comes down to really how much worth is your time, I think. I love how you encourage people to write because that is what they want and not just for fame. We all know, fame is overrated. Rather have small but cozy than big and cold.

    HannahCassie @


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