Image from We Heart It
I remember writing a discussion post about my reviewing style and I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the topic. It’s been more than two years since I wrote the previous post and it’s interesting to note how some things have changed while some things are still the same when it comes to how I write my reviews. The biggest change is I find it harder to write reviews nowadays. I can’t just sit down right after finishing a book and just churn out a review like I used to. I feel like I have to be in a certain mood to write a review because I have to recall the experience of reading the book: what were the scenes that I liked and how I felt while I was reading them. I remember when I first started blogging, I also reviewed most of the books that I read but now, I only review books when I feel like I have enough to say about them. Sometimes when too much time passes after I’ve finished a book, I would have forgotten most of the details about it and I’ll just give up on writing a review. There are also instances when I feel like I don’t have the words to properly describe how I felt about the book and I’m just tempted to say “I really liked this one, you should read it.” I think I find it more difficult to write reviews now compared to when I first started blogging but to be fair, I also think that my reviews have gotten better. I think they’re a little longer and they have more substance than old reviews. But that’s just my personal opinion. I like the option of writing shorter reviews and just grouping them into one post so I won’t have to feel pressured to come up with a full review. I don’t want to get into a blogging slump by pressuring myself to write reviews when I don’t feel like doing so. Just like I said before, I want to keep blogging fun.
In terms of process and structure, I still do the same thing that I’ve been doing ever since I first started blogging. While reading, I note down passages that I like (or highlight them when I’m reading on my Kindle). I usually update my Goodreads reading status with those quotes or other random thoughts about the book. When I write my review, I try and recall what aspects of the book worked and what didn’t, what were the things that I liked and what made me frustrated. I guess it’s easier when I feel strongly about a book, in a positive or negative way, because then I’d have a lot to say about it. It also motivates me to write a review when I know that someone else is waiting to hear my thoughts on a certain book. I keep my Goodreads account updated so if you see me finish a book that you’re interested in, feel free to send me a tweet or message saying that you’re curious. That will probably encourage me to write a review. But then again, it all boils down to my mood and whether I’m inspired to come up with a review. Like now, there are several titles that have drafts on my dashboard but I haven’t been able to finish any of them. I want to write them, I just need to find the words. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will get to post at least one this week.
What about the rest of you, care to share how you write your reviews? Has your reviewing style changed over the years or is it still basically the same?