Do YOU Give Review Books More Priority?

Friday, 19 July 2013
So you may be wondering about the title of this post... Well, let me explain.

Apart from needing an intriguing title to reel you all in, I've had a particular question in mind for a while now that I think is long over due a discussion post. That question, you ask? Are we, book bloggers, obligated to read review books from authors and publishers first and foremost before any other books that we, ourselves, may have bought or been gifted from other sources?

As you may have gathered this question is slightly more directed toward book bloggers, but even if you are not a book blogger, I'd still be really interested in knowing what you think! Before we get started, however, I'd just like to say that I'm not asking this question because I don't have my own answer to it. On the contrary, I already have my own opinion on this particular subject and are just merely curious if you, too, agree with me. Or disagree with me.

Personally, I do feel obligated - and give more priority - to reading and reviewing books given to us from authors/publishers for reviewing purposes first. I mean, they've been so gracious sending us the books, so it's only fair we post up a review as soon as we can, right?! HOWEVER, if I am craving a particular book that is not on my review pile or feel under pressure from all the review books I have to get through, I will read other books just to take a break from it all. If I don't then it usually leads to me going in a reading slump. And nobody wants that! So the question now is, is that the right thing to do?

I think it is. How are we, as reviewers, meant to give a fully honest review on a review book if, during the time we were reading it, our minds were elsewhere. Speaking from past experience, reading a book you feel obligated to read first while constantly thinking about a book you just bought that's been on your wishlist for ages is just not fun. Nor is it fair to that review book. You're just not able to give it the proper attention it deserves.

Whenever I start to feel guilty about reading my own book instead of one from my towering review pile, I always ask myself: Wouldn't authors/publishers prefer a review written after a slightly longer period of time where I've actually given that particular book a thorough chance - when I've properly been in the mood to read it - rather than a review written after only a short period of time where I've possibly rushed through the book only to move on to the one I've been thinking about all along?

But this is just my opinion. Now I want to hear - or rather, read - yours! :)

Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? Why? If you are an author or in publishing, what do you think? Anything to add? Comment below with your thoughts! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo


  1. I usually read a few books at a time, so I always try to make sure that I'm reading at least one review copy. You're right, it is very gracious of them to send us copies so they do have a kind of priority, but then I think if I'm not in the mood for any of the review books I've got, I will read something else.

  2. I do try to prioritise my review books, but sometimes I just want to read some of the books I've bought instead! And sometimes I put off review books for awhile... *cough* Nowhere *cough*! :)) But mostly, I read my review books straight away.

    Interesting post – I loved it!

  3. Because I review books closer to their publication date, I can usually read a mix of both but I do put review books to the top of my TBR pile because I feel it's important that I give them priority over the rest.

    Great post, Rachel!

  4. Honestly I don't have that many review copies. I prefer to read what I want, when I want to, and I don't mind paying for my own copies. That being said I do of course have a few from NetGalley and Edelweiss, and I do tend to prioritize them or at least keep them in mind so that I can read and post my review of it before the release date.

  5. I agree! Publishers are giving us FREE books which not only costs a lot of money to ship out etc, but also means they trust us to do a review. I have a separate TBR pile for review books so they don't get
    lost, and I usually prioritise them first.

    However, I have had a recent reading slump where I wasn't interested in any of my review books. On my other TBR pile, there are so many AMAZING books that I am dying to read. Legend, The Iron King, Undone, If I Stay... they're all staring at me! So I've taken a month away from reading review books and have read my own. I'm enjoying reading much more as I don't have the pressure, so I'll be tackling my review pile next month :)

    Great discussion post! :D

  6. I'm in Ireland, so it costs publishers a bit more to send books out to me. They are basically paying for you to write a review of a book. I think it's important to point out that if you requested a certain book from a publisher and they sent it out to you, you can't just put it to the side because you have other books you want to read! Don't request if you don't have time to read it, or have other books that you want to read first!

    I think review books that you REQUESTED have to come first, no matter what! In the case that a publisher is so kind as to send a surprise proof off to you, I don't think it's mandatory that you send it right to the top of your TBR. But I think it should be read and reviewed in a suitable time limit. I mean, I think it would be a tiny bit rude if you ended up reviewing it like 5 months later!

    Overall, I ink review books should be pretty high up in what you read next. They should always be read and reviewed. Brilliant discussion post, Rachel! I really loved reading your thoughts on this topic! I might even write a post myself! xD

  7. Awesome Discussion Post! I definatley agree with you. I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets in a reading slump when I'm not interested in my required reading. I think Review Books need a certain level of priority but usually if I have something I'm dying to read then I will read that. But I always try to review books as soon as I can and devote proper time to it. Infact this weekend other then studying I will be reading ARC's (Throne of Glass and All I Ever Wanted).

    PS. You need to read Eleanor and Park, thanks for the lovely comment.

    - Sunny @ A Sunny Spot Blog

  8. Great post! In theory I guess I should read review books first but it's a bad habit of mine to put them off as long as possible xD I like your way of thinking though, I would rather read the review book when I know I can give it the time and thought it deserves.

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

  9. I agree! I feel more obligated to read my Netgalley books than the books I buy, but I also make time for my hard copies because I feel like it wouldn't be as fun reading wise if I was only on my Kindle.

  10. I love this discussion :)
    I agree with you xD If I receive a request to review the book from author/publisher, I may read and review them first. Since they believe in our perspectives and they need those feedback for some reasons. However, if I have a book that I'm dying to read, I'm sure will finish it fast because I'm just simply curious for the content xD After that for sure the request book will be my first to read :)

  11. I love this post, Rachel! I feel obligated to read the review books first but, then If I have a book I really want to read on my shelf I do normally pick that up first. Reading shouldn't be a forced thing so, I find I'd prefer to read a book I'm looking forward to than dragging myself through the other. Luckily, I don't accept books from publishers I don't want to read so, this means I'm normally excited to start my review books.

  12. I understand you.. read a book that you bought/borrowed first or read the ones that the publishers/authors gave you in exchange for an honest review? HMM.

    So I started blogging on July 2012 and the first 6 months I noticed that I set aside ALL of the books I bought and read all the books that publishers and authors gave me. But the 2nd half of my blogging years, I've been reading the books that I bought and setting aside the ones that the publishers and authors gave me which is really bad especially if it's an ARC D: But I think we should read a book when we feel like it.. but then some authors/publishers have a date set in mind of when they would want to see our review. It's so complicated! LOL But great post :) It made me think about of what books I read.

    Little Book Star

  13. Great post. I was feeling under pressure to read review book after review book and neglecting books that I won or bought. And that frustrated me, especially the books I bought. I bought them for a reason and was excited about them and then they just ended up neglected. So now I read 1 review book, 1 bought book and 1 won book every week. I read about 4 books a week so this works for me and the extra book usually ends up being a review book. I feel more in control now and am enjoying all my books a lot more as a result.

    BookishTrish @ Between the Lines

  14. I definitely give preference to review books, but I won't read them if I don't feel like reading them. Instead, I'll just try to make sure to either read them before their release date, or as close to it as possible. After all, ARC's are expensive and I don't want a publisher to waste all the time and effort in sending one to me if I can't promote it in the way they hoped! I feel like it's a pretty fair trade off. However, I don't get nearly as many review books as most other bloggers so I guess my review piles are much more manageable than others. :)

    Julia @ That Hapa Chick


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