This post is aimed at my book blogger and reviewer readers – I want to discuss how I review books, and see whether others use a similar method or something completely different.
Firstly, how do you choose which books to review?
For me, I tend to review purely those books that I have specifically for review – from Netgalley, Edelweiss or the publisher. Occasionally, I’ll read a book of my own or from the library and decide to review it – but generally only if I have particularly strong feelings, whether negative or positive. That only tends to apply if I feel I have to say something about that particular book.
Secondly, what is your reviewing process?
I have a review notebook in which I make notes as I read. Sometimes I don’t like this method as I hate having to feel like I can’t just read and write stuff down later, and I hate breaking up my reading by making notes. But otherwise I’m worried that I’ll forget what I want to say about the book, and then have nothing to put in the review. This means that often I won’t read books for review whilst travelling etc, as I don’t tend to carry the notebook around with me. There have, however, been a few books that I’ve read so quickly that I didn’t feel the need to write anything down during reading, and just noted it all down after.
I have, since originally writing this post, tried writing reviews without a notebook, and I actually managed to write a review that I’m quite possibly the happiest I’ve been with for a while. Definitely trying without more often!
Finally, how do you write up your review?
I like to fill in all the information on the blog post first, like author, title etc, apply the tags – and then once that is done, I get down to writing the review. Sometimes review writing can be a laborious process, so if I get all the other stuff out of the way first then it feels like I’m on a productive streak. It doesn’t always work though… Anyway, I try to formulate my notes into paragraphs and bulk them out with other things I can think of.
Sometimes, I find it really difficult to write a review. Sometimes a book just doesn’t really make me feel anything, and I can’t think of many particularly positive or negative things to say about it. I find that frustrating, because I want my reviews to be as detailed and as helpful as possible – but at least I’m still being honest that way. And other times, I feel like I’ll need to resort to the Ron Swanson Method, as shown below.
How do you review books? Do you ever find writing a review to be difficult?