Friday 13 January 2012

The Way I Write Reviews

I've been thinking about the way I write reviews. During the course of the last year my reviewing style has changed and probably for the better - I scrapped the idea of giving books ratings towards the end of 2011and I've felt much more comfortable for it, but I kind of feel that a bigger change needs to come about.

More and more lately I've found myself just scribbling out whatever comes to mind when writing about books, and not really putting too much thought into the structure or whether I've said everything that I want to say about something. I dislike this. I'm getting sloppy and I feel like I'm not giving some of the awesome books I read the respect that they deserve. I think my problem is that I've been easily distracted for the past month or so. I'm not sure why this is, but I really need to stop writing reviews while watching movies/knitting/reading other books, and actually make sure I have dedicated review writing time each week.

This sort of falls in with my plans for our new spare bedroom. Since we found out we were moving and getting a spare room I've been super excited to turn it into a sort of reading room/office, but I've not really got around to it yet for various reasons, mostly laziness, but also that what I really want is one of these:
 Picture from here
However within my budget and given the fact I have no way of picking it up from anywhere should I actually manage to get hold of one, it's proving difficult, and without it I have no table on which to write which is somewhat of a problem (I know, I know, excuses excuses right?). The room does currently have a piano, a sofa and four big bookcases in it, although I haven't really got around to sorting them out yet, and the wardrobe is still kind of a dumping ground. My project for the coming weeks is to get this room sorted out, with some kind of space for me to write in and for the husband to compose stuff, to maybe get a few more bits of officey type furniture and just basically straighten it all out and get it sorted. Hopefully this will allow me to really get myself organized for 2012 on the blog... (If anybody knows where I can get a desk for cheapish, let me know!!)

That's my plan anyway, you may hear me whinging about its' lack of progress in the not to distant future...


  1. I usually write my reviews in the morning with no other distraction than a cup of coffee. Much power to you Bex, because you are realizing something that ninety percent of reviewers aren't which is that you're supposed to say something more in reviews than "I liked it" or "I didn't liked it" or friggin' "I couldn't connect with the characters.

    It's easy to get sidetracked and drone through a review, but writing a review that works and has something unique to say. Herein lies the challenge for book bloggers.

  2. Sounds like a good plan! I also tend to multitask EVERYTHING and often write reviews while watching TV.

    What helps me get beyond the "I liked it" that Ben mentioned is carrying around at all times a notebook where I put down thoughts as I read the book. Then it's much easier to just structure the thoughts.

  3. That's a really good idea, Alex. When I was at university I used to make sure I had paper nearby and would write down things I liked and disliked and pretty much anything I thought or that made an impression on me and it made it much easier to write about afterwards. I don't know why I stopped really, but it's probably time to start up again..

  4. I do give mine a rating but it is f my own making (I have a wee list of what each star means) ad beyond that I just ramble about how I felt about the book rather than following any structure. Authors seem to like and appreciate it and my review requests have gone through the roof. Good luck with it


  5. Whenever I read reviews or posts on books written by other bloggers I feel I fall short in my own. I wish I could be more structured. I may have to work on this myself. But I also feel that as bloggers we are often too strict on ourselves, it is still a hobby, right?

  6. When I write, I generally just go off my emotion and inspiration in the moment. I'm writing to myself, and myself already agrees with what I have to say, so we are at one with being satisfied with the finished product. :D

    Ha! Okay, more seriously, I -- er, write in my books. A lot. They are my journals, my workbooks upon which I scratch whatever thought hits my head, and where I highligh the passages that capture me. When I sit down to reflect upon a book, I pretty much refer to all that.

    I don't suppose my posts live up to the likes of the left-brainers and those paid to say something of merit, but as I said, I'm writing for myself, and I like what I have to say. :-)

    It sounds like you're moving into a whole new level on your blog. Wishing you the best!

    (I also don't rate the books. I perfer to question them and see myself in them and search them -- rather than grade them.)