2015/02/12

Bookish Reflections: How I Write Reviews

There are many ways to write book reviews, and we all have different ways of doing it. Today, I thought I would share how I go about writing the reviews for this blog.

First of all, I make an effort to write short reviews. This is because I personally enjoy reading short reviews the most. I always feel a bit disheartened when I look at a review and see sentences after sentences after sentences, when all I really want to know is: did you like it or not?

It's a whole other matter if there is a book discussion going about, because then I want to read all of the other people's thoughts about everything. But in a review, I like it short and concise.

Notes
I take really, really short notes about my thoughts during reading. These consist of things like "great writing", "fast-paced", "funny", "slow middle" and so on. If something really stands out to me, I'll jot it down in a few short sentences. I don't really analyze, I don't think too much about it, I just write whatever I'm thinking. Sometimes, I forget to take notes altogether, which is usually a sign that it's a very capturing and engrossing read (Or that I'm particularly lazy during a certain read).


Title, Author, Summary and all that jazz
In all my reviews, I start off by stating the title of the book, the authors name, the original publication year, the language (because I read in both Norwegian and English), the number of pages and my rating.

I then write a short summary, which I always find really difficult. I feel a little weird about just copying it from the book or from Goodreads, because I want to tell you what I felt the book was about. But if I'm struggling, I'll take a little inspiration from either the back of the book or somewhere around the internet.

I also take my own photos of the books, but I'll write a different post on how sometime later.


The Review
It takes me about 20 minutes to write a review, and I usually write it as soon as possible after finishing the book. I look at my notes, and try to make it into something that sounds like I know what I'm talking about. I usually try to comment on the writing, the characters and the story. I don't dig much deeper than that, though if something stands out, I'll add that too (like a really cool world, or something like that).

I also write who I would recommend the particular book to, something which is usually pretty general, like "I would recommend this to people who like fantasy", or "I would recommend this to someone who wants to dive into a story with paranormal aspects", or "I would recommend this to EVERYONE GO READ IT".


Now, I schedule my posts about a week in advance. One of the reasons I do this is because I want to be able to let a book simmer a little bit. I then reread my review a couple of times before it actually goes up on the blog. I do this because sometimes you read something, put it down, and write a pretty decent review; and then you go around all week thinking about that book. I want to be able to then change my review a little and say; this one really made an impact.

And that's about it! Feel free to let me know what you think and what your process is.



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13 comments

  1. That was very insightful. Thankyou!
    I prefer short reviews, too, both in reading and writing. Sometimes it's hard to find the right words though. I don't just want to say "it was so awesome", I want to explain why I liked it and what the difference between "this great book" and "that other incredible book" is.

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    1. Thanks for reading it :P Yeah, it's hard to find the right words, and try to write different reviews for all the different books. But I feel like practice makes perfect :)

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    2. True. When I look at my reviews from 3-4 years ago they make me cringe but also glad that I evolved from there.
      By the way, is there supposed to be header on top of your blog? Because all I see is a big white space that links to your home page.

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    3. Exactly :) Hm, there is supposed be a header, and as far as I can tell, there is... I tried different browsers, and it still shows up :S

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    4. That's so weird. It won't show in any of my browsers. When I follow the img url separately I can see it though o.O

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    5. Hm. I'll try to re-add it, maybe that will help :)

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  2. God kveld .

    The book sold only in Norway? .

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    1. The book is originally American, so it's sold a lot of places :) I'm sure you can find it online.

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  3. That is a good way of doing it. I take notes as I read, too, and make sure to follow my set structure that I came up with. It works well, and others seem to like it.

    http://www.triskelereviews.com/

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  4. I always love reading about others' review processes. :) You have a skill with writing short reviews, I'm one of those people who write sentences after sentences after sentences. But that's because I like being as in-depth as I can, though I can definitely ramble. I can write my reviews anywhere from right after finishing (which I just started doing a few weeks ago, at least writing wise) to months later on the day I want to post it (I know, I know, the horror).

    I take notes throughout my reading, especially with my Kindle since it's just awesome at that, though it's annoying having to open another dialogue box then go back to the reading page. I don't really likes waiting to post my reviews (after they're done), I'm inpatient, but then I'm a procrastinator too (refer back to the "months later" part). Figure that out. Ha. :)

    It's so cool that you take your own pictures of the book! I would do that, if I didn't read half my books on the Kindle and had a camera. Great post.

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    1. I think in-depth reviews can be really great too, and sometimes one just needs to ramble on for a little bit. I wish I could wait to write my reviews too! But if I wait, I completely loose track, and then the review won't be very good :P Haha, I keep thinking "my memory isn't what it used to be", but let's be real, I'm in my twenties. I was born forgetful :P

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