The Books That I Don’t Review.


I have always read widely and extensively. Books are chosen at random, maybe through a  friend’s recommendation, or reading a blurb. At times, I am tempted by a bookshop or library display. I  have a passion for fiction and also dip into non-fiction if the topic appeals to me.

_Books n Cats
Things I love- books and cats and the time to read

Often, I will then write a review, I like to keep track of what I have read and use Good reads as well as posting reviews on my blog. I am not paid for the reviews and hardly ever receive a ‘free’ copy of a book. If I do so, then I reveal that.

person holding a book
Pleasure in reading a good book.

There are some books that I won’t review though. As a writer, I know the amount of time and effort that goes into writing book. Volunteering as a book group coordinator for eleven -years taught me that there isn’t a book that appeals to everyone.

As readers, we bring our own experiences and expectations, to the books that we read. What one may describe as slow-paced, another may consider introspective and thoughtful. We may have ‘hot button’ topics, which are always going to be negative to us. Some may have moral or ethical scruples about certain kinds of books. Hot romance will not appeal to sweet or Christian romance readers, graphic content may not appeal to a more sensitive reader.

My To-Be-Read Book Stack

For me it is simple, if I am not enjoying a book I stop reading and don’t review it. It’s not a bad book, put simply I am not the right reader. That is not to say there are no bad books, over wordy, pretentious, slight on a story, dull,  or prosaic,  of course,  there are. It’s up to us to decide for ourselves what they are.



Author: soniabellhouse

Sonia Bellhouse is the author of Fire & Ice, a Scandi-timeslip romance about ice dancing, Norway and Vikings. She is also a contributor to Passages, a short story anthology and a contributor to Writing the Dream, an anthology for published writers both published by Serenity Press. In 2012she won two major awards in the inaugural Rockingham Short Fiction contest. Sonia's articles and stories are published in various magazines both in Australia and the UK. These include Good reading, Today's Bride, That's Life! and That's Life! Fast Fiction in Australia and Yours, The People's Friend and Best of British in the Uk. Sonia worked as a book reviewer for two years. An avid reader and writer of multiple genres she facilitated a local book club for eleven years. She reluctantly decided to give it up, to concentrate on her writing. Sonia is a long time member of a writers group, regularly engaging authors to present workshops to the group. Sonia enjoys catching up with friends, ignoring the ironing in favour of playing with her cat and learning new things. She's taken several online courses with Future Learn and The University of Iowa for both writing and non-writing topics.

2 thoughts on “The Books That I Don’t Review.”

  1. This is an interesting guideline, though when do you decide it’s not the book for you? After the first page? Chapter? Half?

    I’ve always been a completionist for some reason or another, but lately I’ve realised that I wouldn’t be able to read books I truly enjoy if I really keep slogging through the ones I don’t. It’s hard to tell when to put it down though.

    For instance, I disliked The Book Thief at the start, but it kinda grew on me during the second half. The only reason I continued was that was my only unread book at home at the time, so I didn’t really have a choice till my other books arrived.

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts, and thanks for sharing this!


  2. Hi Stuart, Thanks for your comment- it’s an interesting question. Obviously, I know some genres do not appeal to me, so I choose not to read them. For example, techno-thrillers, long on technical detail, and short of human interactions, and emotions. Equally, I am not drawn to true – crime or graphic murder. Sometimes, I can be beguiled by a ‘blurb’ and find the book does not live up to its promise. This happened recently when a much-anticipated book landed on my bookshelves. I noticed that gradually I was becoming reluctant to pick it up, reading felt like a chore. The prose was beautifully written, but the story was going nowhere- I felt a huge sense of relief when I gave up. Others had written glowing reviews and enjoyed it- so I chose not to post a review – it was a half-finished book anyway. I used to feel guilt at not finishing a book, but there are so many books and life is too short to waste time reading what you don’t enjoy. Of course, there were times when I have been forced to read a book when I was studying for example. Then, it was a matter of getting my teeth, making notes and never opening the book again! For me, reading is for relaxation and pleasure and if a book ceases to be engaging then it is time for me to stop reading. Yes, I may occasionally have missed a hidden gem, but it is a risk I am prepared to take.


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