How Do You Review?

Posted April 11, 2012 by Whitney in Uncategorized / 10 Comments

As the title states, I ask how do you write your reviews?  Are you a note taker, studying the text meticulously as you read or do you wait until you have finished to sit down and share your thoughts in a collective manner?  I had been a sit down at the conclusion kind of girl until recently.  I tried to write a review on Goodreads several months ago after finishing a novel and came up blank.  I liked that character but couldn’t recall any clear reasons why.  I have since jumped the fence and became a note taker.  Not only does this make it much easier when writing a review but I have also recently taking a liking to recording quotes, and can easily explain why I did or did not agree with the plot, characters, setting, etc.  I have also always been a reviewer that gets to the point, I don’t pussy-foot around the issue, I call it as I see it, although I always try to back these feelings up.  This goes for books I like as well, they may be a little lengthier but I try to get right to the point all the same.   It can be easy to get lost in a world of literature and as so many people learn in different ways (seeing, doing, hearing) so do book bloggers, each blog I read has its own unique style.  So I ask, how do you review?


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10 responses to “How Do You Review?

  1. I just finish the book and then sit down and right what I think about it. The problem is that sometimes I take too long and forget… like right now, when I'm 3 reviews behind…

    But there's no way I could take notes while I read. I once tried even just writing down the words I didn't know while reading, and quotes I liked, and that lasted for about 2 books. It was distracting, and made me put my book down, and that just won't do.

  2. I take notes as I go, and then (rather like when I used to write essays for school,) try to turn them into a review, with a summary, maybe 3 paragraphs about the likes and dislikes, and a conclusion. I have to write them down straight away, or at least plan the review straight away, or I'd forget important points about a book.

  3. I generally wait until I've finished a book before sharing my thoughts on it. I don't have a specific model for how I blog, apart from the fact that I've tried to steer clear of clinical reviews (people can look up a summary of a book or an author's style anywhere) and share more about what the book did for me personally, how it made me feel. I don't think I'm always successful with this, but it's what I'm working towards. πŸ™‚

  4. I just log onto Goodreads and chat into the white space for a few paragraphs. My reviews are highly unscientific and very much about my experience of reading the book, as opposed to focusing on the text itself. In one of the recent kerfuffles over negative reviewing, someone smart who I can't remember talked about the difference between reviews (what you'd expect to see in a professional publication that reviews books for a large audience) and responses (more personal thoughts that can be shared with an audience like blog readers, who "know" the responder better and are interested in her taste and idiosyncrasies.) I write responses and don't pretend to do otherwise–but I've gained a lot of respect for folks who write proper reviews!

  5. Oo, great post. I've just started blogging, so I'm very interested in how other bloggers go about it. I think LianneLavoie above makes a great point about notes written in a separate notebook taking you right out of the book. So far I'm reading similarly to As the Crowe Flies and Reads and underlining some things and bookmarking others. But then, I wind up staring at my keyboard and taking three hours to write three hundred words. This is also a drawback. To be further experimented with!

  6. Jo

    I've found that if I grab a plain notecard and pen, and make a few notes, that's a helpful. Sometimes, I just jot down a page number and paragraph (like, p 9 top) and that makes me remember whatever it was (I keep the book handy when I'm writing my review)

  7. Mostly I don't take notes while reading because I find it too distracting. I do keep a stack of reusable self-stick tabs close at hand so I can mark pages with important parts or the quotes I like. I usually wait a day or two before I sit down and write the review, but I do occasionally jot down some notes right after I read the book, so that I can organize them later. Great post!

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