Why I’m learning to write negative book reviews

Leaving negative reviews of books has become a tad of a controversial topic in the book community. There’s been a fair amount of discourse over if anyone really benefits from them and if it’s morally OK for people to be writing them in the first place. Once you’ve gotten past that debate you then come to the question of what is even classes as a negative review? Is three stars a negative review, but three and a half a positive one? Very quickly you can find yourself overwhelmed with a lot of people with a whole bunch of strong opinions.

In all my years of blogging I’ve never published a negative review on my blog (I class a review of under three stars to be negative). Goodreads yes, but here on Lost in the Story no. My reasoning behind it was why waste time reviewing a book I didn’t enjoy? Why spend all that time going through the book a second time making notes when I didn’t enjoy it? I also had the opinion that there was enough negativity in the world, and I didn’t want to be adding to that. All of that combined with the fact I tend to dnf books I don’t enjoy meant I never really had to face these problems.

However, I wouldn’t be writing this post if my thoughts on the matter hadn’t changed to some degree. Over the past few months, I’ve been doing some thinking and I want to break down for you why I’m now learning to write negative reviews of books.

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Five books I loved, but never reviewed

Despite this blog heavily revolving around book reviews, I don’t review every single book I read. Sometimes there’s simply not enough hours in the day, other times life decided to throw a curve ball and other times I’m not sure you guys will be all that interested. There are so many reasons I don’t get the chance to review every single book I get my hands on and, for the most part, I’m okay with that. However, when I come across a book I thoroughly enjoyed, but didn’t get around to sharing, I do feel a tad guilty. I know authors put hours upon hours into their books so if I enjoy it, I want to share it with people in the hopes that someone else might get the chance to appreciate it too. So today I’m going to quickly share with you five books I loved but sadly never got around to reviewing. I really hope you can find a book in this list you enjoy as much as I did.


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Pros and cons of re-reading books

Autumn is one of the best months for reading not because you can curl up with a blanket, but because the weather is so wet and miserable you can’t quite muster the motivation to go outside. I find I read more in these months than I do for the rest of the year. However, this means that the autumn months can get a tad expensive with all that extra book buying and that’s not ideal as a student. But this got me thinking, why don’t I just re-read some of my old books? It makes sense, after all my books only collect dust on my shelf and make me sneeze.

After flicking through some of my old books, and not really getting anywhere reading wise, I began to wonder if there were any downsides to reading my old books. I was obviously struggling to get through them, so something had to be wrong. This then lead me down the rabbit hole of the debate with re-reading books, where I think I got a decent enough understanding of it to apply it to my own reading and summaries it for you guys. I don’t think this debate is anywhere near as large as some others in the book community, but either way I hope you enjoy my break down of the pros and cons of re-reading books.

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How to set boundaries as a blogger

Boundaries

According to Dictionary.com a boundary is “a line which marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.” It’s a word we all hear being thrown around more and more as our social environment has been shaped and changed by our phones, social media and other social expectations/ norms. We’re more accessible to the outside world than ever before, so it’s important we put the correct measures in place to look after ourselves.

When I started blogging over four years ago, boundaries weren’t something I ever considered. I just wrote and wrote, not thinking of my own wellbeing or impact on my private life my posts may have. As I got more experienced, I realised how important it was to set clear boundaries as a blogger (or any content creator). Yes, I was sharing a lot of my life online but that didn’t mean I had to share everything.

From my time in the blogging community, I don’t feel that boundaries are talked about enough. There’s very little advice on the matter and you’re sort of just left to fumble your way around till you find something that works for you. During my break off blogging I had a lot of time to think about and re-evaluate the boundaries I have for this blog. Now that I’ve reassessed my own boundaries, I wanted to share some of my advice on setting boundaries as a blogger, with the hopes that it’ll help some of you out and maybe prevent you from making some of the mistakes that I made in my first few years.

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it’s a start for sure.

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