I launched Coffee Time Reviews for one main reason: I’m tired of being told how to write book reviews. I’m tired of respecting a certain format, making sure I always do it in a particular, rigid way, that severely limits what I truly want to say about how that book made me feel.
I’ve been living with this frustration ever since I reviewed one of my favourite books of all time for a university assignment, and I was severely downgraded because I didn’t criticise it enough. I understand balance is important in journalism. But I also know the beauty of reading lies in how you connect and relate to a book, and a review should give you the freedom to fully embrace and express the emotion that a book awakens in you.
I’ve been a top writer in Books and Reading on Medium several times, but, oddly enough, the only true book review I’ve ever written since joining the platform is this one, in My Selection. The reason for that is I always hesitated to write just a book review and strived to add more value to every piece. All my reading-related pieces have mostly been published in Books Are Our Superpower and A Thousand Lives, both of which are incredible publications I love contributing to. BAOS does not publish straight-up reviews which I appreciate, but that wasn’t the only reason why I’ve struggled to put my reviews out there. The main reason was I never thought there would be enough interest in my reviews, and I was also held back by what I’d been taught a book review should include.
But after a while, I started questioning whether there was really not enough value in a book review? Because a lot of my favourite, sometimes life-changing reads came from watching or reading book reviews, so surely, my determination to always twist every review idea into something more, wasn’t always justified.
When I started reviewing books in my head, because I always hesitated to write them down, I realised how much I’d really wanted to write an honest and unhindered book review. A good review can encourage conversations, lead to empathy and networking, and ultimately point others to books that could significantly improve their lives. That’s when the idea of Coffee Time Reviews popped into my mind.
Coffee Time Reviews does not aim to be a competitor to any other books-focused publication, but rather a place where writers can pour (coffee pun very much intended) their hearts out on how they feel about books, without thinking they should critically analyse what they review. Writing is all about emotion and passion, and I believe imposing rigid guidelines on writers can limit them unnecessarily.
So this is how the concept of pour-your-heart-out book reviews was born. And it is the key to writing for Coffee Time Reviews. Whenever you want to just take out on paper everything you feel about a book, you now have a publication more than happy to show it to the world. You never know how many other readers feel the same, or how many people could benefit from how a book moved you — maybe it will move them even more.
Reviews are our focus at Coffee Time Reviews, but our content aims to go far beyond that. Basically, whatever you want to write about your passion for reading, would perfectly fit our publication. All you need is substance and emotion to drive your writing. If you want to write for us, make sure it’s out of pure love for books.
If you believe in the same philosophy and would like to become a writer for our publication, please visit our Join Us page for more details. We’d love to welcome you on board!