11 July 2012

Book "Reviewing"

Sarah Palin's almost son-in-law Levi has nothing
to do with this post, but this picture came up when
I did a Google image search on "reading lots of books"
This year my work life has taken a turn for the intellectual, exercising my research and writing muscles for eight hours a day, five days a week. As a result I haven't had much mental energy to write reviews for this blog. I feel like I am in danger of of losing my status as a book blogger. Admittedly my reviews were never traditional reviews and, although some were pretty good with actual insight, they were pretty inconsistent in their approach, content, and quality.  I thought I might stop writing them altogether. Not to mention the fact that out of everything that I post about my reviews get the least amount of traffic and comments.


I originally started writing reviews here so that I could remember better what I had read. The other night I was updating my "Books Read" spreadsheet and there were a few titles on the list from this year which were like big blank spots in my brain. Clearly if I don't write something down, I run the risk of not remembering much about what I read. One could argue that if a book doesn't remain in my brain, it might not be worth remembering. But I have found that not to be the case.

So I have decided to make an effort to write at least a paragraph about each book I read. It might not make for scintillating reading for you, but it will at least provide a record for me to jog my poor memory.


  1. I've been having the same issue. Earlier in the spring, when my work schedule was particularly busy/crazy, I just couldn't keep up with the reviews. (I was traveling a lot and listening to many audiobooks.) I don't want to forget those books because I'll ... well, forget them. And some of them were ones I want to remember. A paragraph or two might just be the way to go.

  2. Re: Levi. I chuckled when I saw that photo.

  3. I am the same way about not remembering what I don't write down. As for the blogging, we enjoy you when we get you. :)

    As to the picture...really?? Don't know much about Levi, but wouldn't have thought of him related to "lots of books" - not even in the top 50 of people that would come to mind.

  4. The main reason I review everything I read is to avoid having books fall into the black hole. I'll sometimes tell myself that I only need to write a couple of paragraphs, but when I get going, I find I can't stop. But after spending my day fixing up other people's writing, it's nice to create something of my own.

    Perhaps if you end up writing just one or two paragraphs on several, you could just collect them up in one post, so it's sort of an annotated list. And you know how people like lists :)

  5. I try and write a little bit about every book I read, too, even if it's not very eloquent or quite brief or doesn't attract much attention (sometimes my taste in books can be a bit- uncommon, I guess). The short notes are sometimes the easiest to read, as well! And if it's not too detailed you always have more discovery to make if you go back and read that book again!

  6. A shorter, less formal paragraph or two sounds like the perfect approach to me. So often, I put off writing about a book because I think I have to come up with something really earth-shattering to say about it.... and sadly, that rarely happens.

  7. I like blogging but I'll never catch up and review every single book I read. I do find that I do best if I write reviews soon after reading the books. Otherwise I lose momentum and I'm not as fired up about writing.

    I do like the idea of making annotated lists -- that would be a great way to catch up. And I adore lists as well.

    That photo of Levi is so random, hilarious!

  8. I often find that when I sit down to write "just a paragraph" about a book, a full review comes out of my brain. It's just a matter of making myself focus on writing for more than 5 minutes (and without something else going on simultaneously).

    Also, that picture... absurd.

  9. Melissa: I am thinking of it as a personal (albeit online) log of my thoughts. If someone else ends up reading it and liking it, then all the better.

    Ti: I was surprised to see it.

    Susan: Some of those Google image searches can be odd. And I should admit that it was probably on page 6 or so that the image came up.

    Teresa: If I wrote as well as you do about books I would have a hard time stopping as well.

    Jeane: I find plot summary to be the hardest part--which is sometimes what I need when I am trying to refresh my memory.

    JoAnn: That is exatly the position I am in.

    Karen: Waiting too long to write the review is the death knell. The trick is to review your most recent read, otherwise the backlog can be paralyzing.

    Kerry: It does seem to work better when the expectation is low.

  10. Your posts are always wonderful to read, whenever you have time to write them. I have to like the picture of Levi. I know he's horrible but he's awfully cute, isn't he?


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