June 17, 2010

Taking Books for Review - Why I'm Taking a Break

Why I’ve Decided to Put Taking Review Copies on Hiatus

When I first got into blogging I was really surprised to see that publishers/authors/publicists sent you books to review. I thought wow that’s cool! And it was even cooler when I got contacted for some. I’ve enjoyed receiving/reading/reviewing books, but I’ve decided to stop accepting them. Here’s why:

1. I am not getting to read all the amazing books I’ve bought. And all the amazing books my students are reading. Instead I’m trying to get through all my review books.

2. I’m starting to avoid reading because I have to read a certain book. It's not that the books for review are bad – they aren’t (NOT AT ALL) BUT I want to read what I want to read when I want to read it.

3. I don’t need review books to have a TBR pile. My current TBR pile of books I own is HUGE! And new books are added every day when I talk to my students and other bloggers.

4. I hate the guilty feeling I have for taking so long to review books.

5. I’m horrible at saying no! That means I end up saying yes to more books for review than I should.

What This DOESN’T Mean for the Blog

1.  I’m still going to stay middle grade focus, and I’m still going to highlight authors with guest posts and interviews, but it will be more on my schedule when I can connect with an author.

2.  I will read books I want to read and if I love them I’ll showcase them more with giveaways etc. I use to do a month Who’s that Author. For this I picked a book/author to highlight and giveaway. I want to do that again.

3.  For authors/publisher/publicists I’ve already said yes to I WILL get those books read and reviewed. After that you can check with me, but know that I will probably say no unless it’s a book I’ve highlighted on a Wish List post. I love working with you, and I will continue to promote middle grade books, but I need to do it out of passion not necessity.

When I decide to take review copies again (I don't know when that will be) I plan on having a much clearer review policy that I make sure people wanting me to review have read and understanding.  I've been reading review policy at several other blogs and found some great points to use in mine. 


  1. I know that guilty feeling, and the push to get books read that have been sent. It does limit your own choices. A good review policy will help.

  2. Great move! I hope you get to be more relaxed about your reads!

  3. I don't blame you at all! It all sounds so fun until you get 10 review book in the mail one week! It can get a little overwhelming! I haven't been accepting nearly as many lately but I'm not to the point of stopping yet.

    Have fun reading what you want to read!! :D

  4. Totally understandable. I've been in "selective" mode for several of the same reasons :)

  5. I totally totally get where you are coming from!

    Like Juju, I have been selective with review books as well lately (I got all the books I wanted at BEA) and have been discriminating in what I get pitched.

  6. I think that's very sensible. Good luck!

  7. I've also stopped taking review books over the course of the last two months for many of the same reasons you mention above. The result? I'm reading more and I'm enjoying it more, which is the whole purpose of all of this anyway!

  8. This sounds fine. You're doing us a service to point us in the direction of good books. I love your focus on middle grade. And you should be reading what you want.

  9. Good for you! After reading your post (and sharing MANY of the same feelings) I too have decided to take a review request hiatus. I feel bad I don't get to visit as often as I like!