Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book Reviewing Changes

The book blogging world has changed in the past 5 years that I've done this blog. I've changed in the past 5 years.

I find it much harder to write the long reviews that I've done ever since beginning this blog. Traditionally, it's taken me 30-60 minutes to write a review. While I still love blogging, I definitely do not like writing reviews as much as I once did. Therefore, I don't do it. I have at least a dozen book reviews unwritten - maybe as many as 20!

Not only that, I don't want to read long book reviews anymore. When I read book reviews, I gravitate towards shorter ones or I skim the longer ones. Perhaps I no longer have the patience to read multiple paragraphs about one topic. Or perhaps I'm tired of doing so after so many years of reading them.

Do you feel similarly? How has the way you read and write reviews changed?

I'm proposing a change to how I review books on this blog. I want a much shorter system of reviews. Hopefully, this will encourage me to actually get these reviews done. Moreover, I think it will be more user friendly. People can quickly get an idea of what I think of a book and then decide if it's for them.

Here's the format I'm thinking of:

Synopsis (Copied from Goodreads)

Top Five: Five bullet-points on what I thought of the plot, the characters, and the writing. Depending on the review, it may be more or less than five.

Takeaway - Brief paragraph summarizing how much and why I liked this book. 

Recommendation - Buy, Borrow, or Skip

What do you think of this?

Do you have any other ideas on how to formulate reviews?


  1. I always try to say what I mean as shortly as possible. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I find myself reluctant to visit those bloggers who write novels about novels, and I generally skim because I just can't force myself to read such long reviews. You can make your point in a much shorter text, and it can be much more effective.

  2. I think this is a great idea, actually. I've been considering this myself because I'm behind about 20 reviews too! It's crazy how fast they seem to by piling up compared to the way I used to blog.

  3. I think that's a great format. I've only been book blogging for a year and I have always kept my reviews short. I don't like to read long reviews either so I didn't bother writing long ones. I also copy the synopsis from Goodreads.

    I'm also thinking of dropping the purchase links I added. Nobody has bought a book I've reviewed via one yet and they are time consuming to set up.

  4. I feel the same Alison! Especially reading long reviews.

    It could be because after blogging all these years I'm tired of dissecting books to death - as both a reader and a blogger. I just want to get an idea of what the book is about and if it's right for me.

    I've been trying a mix of review styles - mini's, tweet reviews, speed date reviews and I still write longer ones too. Basically whatever fits with what I'm feeling at the time.

    If I could find a way to get away with a one or two word review...."read it - meh - nope" I would. lol

    I like your idea of bullet points!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  5. I think this is a great idea. I don't read or write long reviews anymore either. I have lost patience for reviews more than a couple of paragraphs. If I wanted a long scholarly review I would read the Paris review lol

  6. I think this is a great idea.

    I'm tired of writing long reviews too. Sometimes I feel like I'm writing the same thing in every review and I also tend to skim the longer ones when I'm blog-hopping. I recently did some "list reviews" and it was so much fun as I could just read the book without worrying about what I was going to say afterwards.

    Looking forward to seeing your new format! :)

    -- Nicola Reads YA

  7. To me, that's a great idea. I think my reviews have gotten shorter and shorter in my 5 years. When I READ long reviews, I tend to skim until I get to the part that says "I liked (or didn't like) this because...." I don't need you to tell me the story. Just give me the strong and weak points in your opinion. Good luck!

  8. I like the idea of having a top five :) Occasionally I do a top five/ten for a review but not that often. I definitely have the same problem where I find it difficult to write reviews a lot of the time and I prefer reading shorter reviews on other people's blogs. Anyway, I hope the new system fits you better!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

  9. I always feel like my reviews are really short and cannot help but compare mines to others. I know it's not good but I do it anyways. And when I see long reviews, I just think that there is something wrong with me because I cannot write long ones. I just don't like to repeat myself over and over again.
    My reviews look like this usually:
    - A brief summary by me
    - What I thought of the story/storyline/plot
    - About the characters
    - About the writing style/author
    - A brief closing and whether I liked or not.
    So by this, my reviews are only 3 longer and 2 shorter pharagraphs, but I feel like people skipping these shorter ones too. Also English isn't my first language, so I find it harder to write overly long essays. So I totally agree with your method and can't wait to see it in action. :)

    Nicole @ Books and Starlight

  10. Sounds like a good plan so long as you don't feel so bound to it you stress over writing more or less than you actually want to.

  11. I do both. I let the book tell me what my review will be. I am still thinking about shortening my reviews for everywhere but my blog. I too have many reviews I want or need to write, but they languish in lala land. LOL
    sherry @ fundinmental

  12. I think it's a good idea. I've been considering this myself. But, I think I'm going to wait until the new year to make the change. I'm not behind; I just think the book blogging world is changing.

  13. I find that sometimes the pressure of a review takes away from my enjoyment of a book. So I completely understand how you're feeling. I tend not to read reviews unless I'm either really interested in the book or there's something in the review that catches my eye.

  14. This is me when I started my blog. I hate writing long reviews but only do it if I really have to, like if there is too much love or hate to the book but generally, it's always been short and concise. I hate reading long reviews because of possible spoilers. I read reviews before and after reading the book so I tend to staty away from novel reviews...

    As for blogging, I've been doing this since 2008 (started in Multiply), I think the passion to read and review more are now gone... especially now that I have cancer.

    Like you I have 5 book reviews and now I think even for short review, i'd need an hour to do it because my mind keeps on drifting somewhere LOL

  15. I totally understand, cause I'm the same way now. I usually write a couple of short paragraphs for most book reviews I write, and then for books I really loved/had a lot to discuss about I'll write longer reviews. I think it's honestly hard to review every book you read, and plus it's time consuming. I think I only review half of the books I read since sometimes I just want to read a book and savor it without having to actually review it. I like your idea with for your new book review formats.

  16. I can sort of relate. I still read reviews using my feed reader during my morning commute, but I haven't felt up to writing reviews recently either. Your proposed format sounds great though and I hope it takes the pressure off reviewing for you!

  17. I like your idea. It makes sense and if you don't mind, I'd like to try it. It might make the books easier to review. thanks!!

  18. I feel like this is the way the entire world is going! People get impatient with long news stories, magazine articles, blog posts, etc. I agree, but my reviews still tend to be lengthy. Writing shorter ones would make it easier, but I don't feel like I can give a balanced review in just a few sentences. You should do what works for you, though. If shorter reviews make life easier for you, go for it!

  19. I am also thinking of condensing my reviews. I also find that I am now more inclined to read shorter reviews, and my patience and stamina to write multiple long reviews takes too much out of me.

  20. From start to present my reviews have changed. I originally was looking for some form of professionalism, but now I write out my feelings to get them out! Do what you feel is necessary :)


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