Discussion: How Do You Review?

let's talkWe’re going to be pretty loose with defining ‘review’ for the sake of this discussion. We’ll just define review as any way you discuss books on your blog or other platforms.

How I Review

One of the big things that I always do before starting any book is set up my Review or Quick Thoughts post. It’s one of those things that I can do that puts my mind at ease. The biggest reason I do that so early is it allows me to jump into my reviewing as quickly as I can. I typically write my reviews in one of two ways.

Way #1: After I finish the book, I go to my draft post for the book. I go through and write down my initial thoughts quickly. Sometimes I have one issue that I want to discuss in depth, other times I make lots of one sentence paragraphs. After I ‘clear’ my head of what I want to say immediately, I walk away from the computer. Later (later that day or sometimes a few days later) I will come back to the review and flesh out my thoughts. Giving myself some time to think can help me figure out what to say. If I don’t have much to add, I might take those one sentence paragraphs and make the post a Quick Thoughts review rather than a full review.

Way #2: If I’m able to, I will go to my draft post for the book and write down my thoughts as I’m reading the book. Nothing terribly fancy. Quick bullet points of what I’m thinking about things. After I finish the book, I add additional thoughts after finishing and then follow my other review style.

 How do you review?


17 thoughts on “Discussion: How Do You Review?

  1. I do something similar but I try to write reviews after finishing a book because sometimes my opinion fluctuates as I read. I just write a draft post, edit a couple of times and come back to it a week later to publish! And for my first draft post – I try to “clear my head” too.

  2. Great post! I think it’s useful to have discussion posts. I tend to write the review in one go. Maybe it is because when I am writing for work or anything academic I take time and like you return after a day or days. Reviewing is something I want to enjoy and not endure, so my approach is not to view it as a piece of work. However, I hope that my reviews do not do any injustice to authors by being approached that way. If I really like a book both reader and author will know, as I will wax lyrical. I say very little, keeping the review very general if I find a book is mediocre or I’m not fussed but I am committed to a review. However, if I cannot finish a book or really do not like it then I tell the author and I won’t post a review. I’m interested in seeing more comments to this post. 🙂

  3. I usually write reviews like your Way #1. I will draft up my thoughts as best I can. Then I walk away, almost always for a few days, sometimes more. Then when I’m scheduling posts, I go back to the review, read through it, explain more clearly where it’s needed, take stuff out where it’s needed, edit it, and then schedule it. I’ve found that letting it sit for a bit helps me really think about what I want to say.

  4. I also tend to let my review sit for a few days and then come back to it and polish it up. Often times I feel like my reviews are more for me than anyone else – writing out my thoughts has always helped me to clarify my own feelings to myself, if that makes sense.

  5. I usually review straight after finishing a book. I find I have a harder time reviewing a book once I get started on another – and I definitely can’t go long between putting one book down and picking up another. However, sometimes when I have strong feelings about a book, or feel confused about how I felt, I need to give it some more time to process or else my review will crap (well crappier, than usual). I like your idea of drafting the review as you read. I need to start taking notes when I read.

  6. While I’m reading, I dogear pages of the book (in a way that’s barely perceptible) or if I’m using my Kindle highlight relevant quotes. Then when I sit down to write my reviews, I use a relatively standard format–I give a brief summary of the plot (1 paragraph) then jump into strengths and weaknesses of the book, and ending by stating whether or not I enjoyed/recommend it to others.

    If I wait too long to do a proper review, then I do a mini-review instead that has less depth to it.

  7. Pingback: Monthly Round Up: September 2014 | The Cheap Reader

  8. I’ve done both of those things, but I don’t really have a fixed way that I review. My most consistent way of making myself write a review is to write it on the bus. For whatever reason–probably the lack of internet and other distractions–I’m able to write full, reasonable reviews during my bus ride, with not a bit of writer’s block.

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