Discussion: Reviewing New vs. Old Releases and Popular vs. Lesser-Known books

For some strange reason, when I first started blogging, I had it in my head that in order to be a book blogger, I could only review popular books or brand-new-2017 book releases.

There were several problems with this approach: 1) I felt like a lot of my enjoyment was taken out of reading, because if I couldn’t review a book on my blog because no one else cared about it, then that took away valuable time that could be used to read books I could use to produce more content. 2) I felt like I had to choose between brand new releases that sounded good and were relevant and older or less popular releases that sounded like something I would fall in love with. 3) I was focused too much on making my blog “relevant,” instead of making it something I would enjoy writing and being proud of.

 But I LIKE reading older or less popular books! And I LIKE reading newer books! In fact, my very favorite author (insert casually self-promoted reviews here and heeere) is not well known at all, but her books are absolutely brilliant. And once I decided it was okay to review books that aren’t popular, or that were published one or two or ten years ago, blogging became a lot more fun! And so did reading, because I got more excited about sharing books I love, regardless of whether or not they were in the book blogging community’s “spotlight.”

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But of course, reviewing older or lesser-known books as opposed to hyped ARCs and popular recent releases has its downfalls. It seems like a lot of people read reviews to decide whether or not they should read the book that everyone is talking about, which is usually the hottest new release. I definitely find myself gravitating towards those reviews, because I’m always curious as to whether or not the hyped books are good or not. And it’s exciting to be in the know, and read all the books everyone else is reading and gushing about. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find myself caught up in the buzz of hyped new releases, and reading other books is just less exciting. For me, that feeling comes for several reasons: 1) It’s fun to fangirl over the same books as everyone else! 2) There are always sooo many exciting new releases and only so many hours in a day, and sacrifices, usually the lesser-known books that no one else cares about, must be made.

But here’s the thing: Sometimes the blogging community feels like a bit of an echochamber, with everyone buzzing about the same books and the same authors. Would it be so bad to get really excited over books that are not new and hyped? Or books by not authors that are not well-known?

I, for one, think it’s fun to find out which books people just really love, whether it’s popular or not! And it’s always fun to stumble across a random book that you might otherwise never have heard of. I personally also think it’s fun to be different from the rest of the blogs once in a while. But it’s also fun to get excited with everyone else about the newest release! 

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So here’s my opinion: Read and review what you want, whether that is a random, wonderful book you love or a popular new release you fell head over heels for, and you’ll find your audience. Maybe your audience will appreciate the books you talk about! Or maybe sometimes they won’t and your stats will go down, which is definitely frustrating, but if you are having fun, that’s what’s most important.

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What are your thoughts? Do you sometimes get the “echochamber” feeling? Do you prefer reading and reviewing older or newer releases? Do you prefer reading and reviewing popular or less popular books? Which reviews do you prefer reading?

24 thoughts on “Discussion: Reviewing New vs. Old Releases and Popular vs. Lesser-Known books

  1. There is definitely sometimes some ‘echochambering’ going around and they do usually end up on my TBR haha, I personally just tend to read whatever, it more depends if I have gone on a requesting spree on Netgalley if I’m reading newer or older books.

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  2. I personally read whatever I’m in the mood for, but my TBR is largely affected by what others are saying about books. And because I try and defeat my lovely TBR, I end up reading some books that are well-known in the YA community. However, I think it’s important to read + review the lesser known books, so that people will know about it!

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    1. I do too, honestly xD. And I definitely agree!! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with letting people know about a new book, but like you said it’s also good to make sure people know about the lesser known books too.

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  3. I completely agree with your opinion! Yes, the latest and most popular new releases can get the most traffic and comments, but if I don’t feel like reading them I won’t. ANd if I’m in the mood for an old book, I’ll read that and review that one. Even though I will sometimes wonder to myself if I should really review this book when half the world has already reviewed it… But in the end, both reading and blogging is a hobby for me and it should stay fun, so though I do try to balance both newer and older releases, as long as I’m having fun with it, I’m good 🙂

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  4. How true is this! There really is this weird expectation–almost a pressure–to read and review new releases. In my minimal experience, the newer releases tend to get more views and responses, but in the past few months I’ve definitely enjoyed reading older releases a lot more! There are so many books out there–why do we focus on only the new ones? So many people focus on the new ones, so I love reading reviews from bloggers like you who also focus on older releases. 🙂

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    1. I totally agree! I wouldn’t want to miss out on some older or hidden gems! It is very weird, though. I’m glad you like mine! I love reading yours too – someday I will finally read some Sanderson xD.

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  5. I’m a definite mood reader. Sometimes, new books call for my immediate attention. Other times, I’ll be very excited for a book, buy it, and will get to it a few years later; or I check books out from the library that I’ve had my eyes on and read those. I’ve realized that this is the approach that works for me. 🙂 I am slowly getting to my TBR pile though.

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  6. Such an interesting discussion. I do have that echochamber feeling at times, and I know I’m falling for it because I tend to want to read so much books and I’m excited for so many new releases, which probably takes me away from browsing books from like 5 years ago and loving them just as much. Definitely something I want to work on. What matters the most is that we read the books we want to read though 😀

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    1. Definitely! I fall for it all the time. If you like reading new releases, go for it! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reading new releases; sometimes I just wonder about it. As long as your having fun, awesome!!

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  7. ERm, YES I HAVE ALL OF THESE. 78% of my tbr is books everyone else wants to read!!
    And yes, the echochamber!! Sometimes I go on Twitter and see that the super popular author got like 12.5k likes while the other got only 2, or even none 😦
    I definitely enjoy reading reviews of popular books, I think? Because YEAH, I want to know what’s happening. But now I feel super guilty because there are so many unknown authors out there who have shed blood, sweat, and tears just as much as the popular ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, mine too xD.
      Ahh, don’t feel guilty!! That wasn’t my intent at all. I was simply thinking about how it’s interesting that there seems to be a little bit of pressure to review newly released books, but if that’s what you like to read, go for it!! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!

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  8. Weeeeellll Lenna, I prefer reading whatever book tickles my fancy at that particular millisecond because I am nothing if not a mood reader. I pick things up STRICTLY on whether or not it looks/sounds good to me in that moment. I do tend to buy more new releases, but honestly, they just fall in line with the rest of my TBR unless it’s something I’ve been anticipating forever.
    SO IN RESPECT TO WHAT THE HECK I DO WITH MY BLOG, I kind of just review the books I’m super excited/disappointed with??? Or whatever I read most recently?? I DON’T KNOW I DEFINITELY DO NOT HAVE A SYSTEM. I like reading reviews in which people are passionate (hatred or love, it’s fine). I have loved all of your reviews, and I noticed that some were not newer books, and I personally thought it was fantastic! My stats can shove it. Build it, and they will come, right???
    Fantastic idea for a discussion post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s pretty much what I do too. I’m so much of a mood reader it’s not even funny xD. I tend to also, just because I’m too impatient to wait for my library. I honestly don’t have a system. I’m also always so behind on everything xD. Aw, thank you!! I love yours too!! And thanks! It was fun to write.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I TOTALLY get the echochamber feel. A lot of my favorite books are less well-known, and it’s kind of discouraging to talk about them and get little to no response. Those are the most fun posts to write, though. 🙂 And honestly, after the 200th raving review of Six of Crows or The Raven Boys pops up on my dash, I get pretty sick of hearing about those popular books. I want to see some new content, even if it’s a book I’ve never heard of!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. That happens to me too sometimes. It’s always sad 😥 True! I like reviews of hyped books so I can decide whether or not to read them… but only up to a certain point. After a while they can feel redundant!

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  10. I couldn`t agree more. When I first started blogging, I bought a bunch of popular YA novels because everyone was talking about them. But I didn`t really enjoy them at the time. And I could have gotten books by authors that I love, even though they`re not that big or hyped about. Now I know better though. I buy and read with I like, even though that means I am behind with 60% of the popular releases.

    http://www.carmensreadingcorner.co.uk

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  11. I totally know what you’re talking about. Whenever I post a review of a book that not many people know about it receives a lot less traffic – both views and comments. And then when I post a review of a book that a lot of people are reading then that traffic is a lot higher.

    I never really thought that I HAD to post reviews of new and popular releases! The only thing I really thought I had to do was post every day *faints* Lucky I got over that, haha.

    I think it’s kind of sad that the lesser known books don’t get as much traffic when you review them because how else are people going to find out about them? And let’s be real: the most hyped up books generally aren’t the best ones, anyway. At least they aren’t in my experience.

    Definitely agree that you should read and review what you want and what makes you proud of your blog! It’s most certainly what I do, and even if my blog doesn’t get hundreds of comments or thousands of views I’m posting the things that make me happy so that’s what really matters, I think 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve noticed that too!! It’s kind of frustrating, but it does make sense, unfortunately.

      Posting every day is crazy!! I thought about doing that for about -3 seconds and then freaked out, so 3 times a week is my goal xD.

      It is sad!! I wish they got more attention, because sometimes they’re the best ones!

      I’m really glad you’ve found what works for you!! Blogging is a hobby, so it should be fun!!

      Like

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