Misc

How long is too long when reviewing a book?

Okay so something I didn’t anticipate when I started my blog was how long it sometimes takes me write a review after I have finished a book. I try to write the review as soon as I can but, if I’m busy or if life decides this would be a great time to just really get in the way generally I’ll wait and write it when I can. The problem with this is that I am still reading books at roughly the same rate which has led to a bit of a backlog when it comes to the reviews. Now this isn’t exactly too much of a problem in itself, but if it’s been awhile and I go to review a book (especially if I’ve read things in between) I have a tendency to forget everything I initially wanted to put in the review, I’ve lost the feeling and the memories of exactly how I felt once I finished and generally just remember the important facts.

The first challenge I had with this is that when I first started writing my reviews and set myself the challenge of 100 book reviews for 2017 it was already April, April 3rd to be precise. Naively I thought, no sweat, I will just go back and write reviews for all the books I read in the first three months of the year. Easy. Apparently not, although they were relatively fresh in my memory, one I had very little motivation to go back through and list all the books I had already read and then set about writing reviews (I was far more interested in just reading new books) and two when I did try it all sounded very basic, I hadn’t considered writing a review when I was reading these books and the reviews reflected this so I scrapped that and moved on.

The next issue I didn’t foresee is that I didn’t always want to post a review of a book I had read. This has been for a variety of reasons and funnily enough not because I didn’t like a book (I am still working on my blog post for books I DNF but that’s another discussion) but either because it was a sequel of a book and I didn’t feel the need to write another review for the sequel so soon after posting the first, or everyone was posting reviews of the book at the same time, e.g. ACOWAR. When I do have a backlog I will also focus on getting up reviews from review requests or NetGalley and others tend to get left behind to the point I consider of no return. My point is that at the time I tell myself no worries I’ll just post it in the future but then it’s back to problem number one, I either forget to post or the review kinda sucks also cos I’ve forgotten. (Okay I acknowledge the main problem is probably my terrible memory but shh)

Now to try to combat this I have started to try and make sure I am recording notes/feelings as I read through the book and a general statement of how I feel after, but  sometimes I get a little bit carried away with the story and before I know it half the books gone and I’ve got nothing, oops.

My question is how do you manage your reviews? Do your write them straight after you have finished a book and then just schedule them to be posted? Or like me end up writing the review a little while later and if you do how long is too long before the review kind of becomes invalid? Let me know!

 

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50 thoughts on “How long is too long when reviewing a book?

  1. For me it depends, if I have time and motivation once I finished the book I do it right away because I have all the feelings that I want to put down fresh in my mind. Normally that doesn’t happens, so I always have a notebook close to me and take some notes of things that happened and the feelings that I got while reading.

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  2. I have the same problem as you, life gets in the way but I keep reading 🙂 I normally jot down a some notes as soon as I finish and I never read more than two more books before I write the review.

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  3. I try and get them down on paper straight away. I only work on the blog itself once a week, so any I have drafted get put into Word and then WordPress all at the same time and then scheduled. I used to wait but would forget what I wanted to say. Also if there is anything that occurs to me as I am reading I make a note.

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  4. I always try to write my reviews within a day or two of finishing the book. For a while I was waiting a week or so because I had other things going on but, like you, by the time I got to them I’d forgotten a good chunk of the book and the review was very lackluster. It finally got to the point I forced myself to write the review before continuing to the next book.

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  5. I love this discussion! Reviews are difficult to write. Sometimes it can be even more difficult to find time for them.

    Some of the sort of obvious and helpful tips regarding reviews simply do not work for me. For example, I understand the need to write things down as you read the book. There are thoughts and emotions I would like to record. BUT! The idea of pausing the movie that is rolling in my head just to write down two or three words doesn’t sound appealing to me. When I read I am not present, I am completely inside the story. I don’t notice as I turn pages, I don’t hear anyone trying to talk to me – and that is what I love the most about books!

    Pausing for a second just for the sake of reviews is not something I am willing to do.

    Usually, I set up a rule for myself to not start a new book until I write review for the previous one. Most of the times it works, but that also means that I am slowing down my reading.

    This week though I am participating in Booktube-a-Thon reading challenges and if I want to be able to read all 7 books, I need to read non-stop 😀 Reviews will have to wait until this weekend. And I am already scared that it will be too late to write them, or they won’t be as good as they could have been..

    I’ve written some notes for myself, but not sure how well it will work 😀

    I’m sorry if I couldn’t provide any helpful tips on this subject. It’s been more than a year since I started this blog and I am still struggling to find the most efficient way for myself ❤

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    1. I know exactly what you mean about not being present! It’s exactly why half the time I look back and there have been notes for pretty much the whole book.

      I may need to try writing the review before moving onto the next book but if I don’t have to much time I’m way more likely to just sit down and read then open up WordPress oops lol

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  6. As I’m reading a book I write a few notes on my phone, which I can look at later. When I don’t feel like doing a review on a book (eg a sequel like you said), I either post a mini review on Instagram, or write a paragraph on it and combine a few of these short reviews in one post.

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    1. I’m managing to write a few notes on my kindle as I go, (less likely to lose them that way) but I haven’t really considered doing anything else with the books that kind of get left behind, good idea to put them together in one shorter post 🙂

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  7. If it’s a digital book I highlight things I want to remember, and I like the note feature to jot down ideas as I go. If it’s a print book, I have sticky tabs that I use to mark things I want to remember. I usually will take a little break after I’ve started the book, to put together the bones of the blog post (ALL but my review). This way when I finish the book, I only have to go in and write my review. Sometimes when I’m nearing 80% read, I’ll write down a few ideas for my review in my word program, and then just go back after I’ve finished the book and revise and add the finishing touches.

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    1. I’m getting better at using the highlight and note function, another reason my Kindle has grown on me lol, I usually write and schedule a post all in one go so perhaps doing it in stages will at least make me think about what I’m reading more

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  8. Great post! I set a smaller goal for reviews, which really helped me out. I post one review a week, unless I’m on a small hiatus. I know I’m new to blogging, so I thought I would go smaller this year. When I finish the 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge next year, I think I might start doing two: one on novels and one on short stories/plays/manga/poetry. The first would be larger and the second shorter. I TRY to write them right away and then schedule it. It doesn’t always happen, but I try. I tend to always have the same layout: genre/story; characters; language/content; hook factor; overall. The only problem I find lately is that I feel as though my reviews are so large in comparison to other people…I think you are doing pretty good with your reviews! I don’t write reviews on everything either…sometimes, I just want to read and not think of reviews. Again, awesome post idea! It’s nice to feed information off of one another!

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    1. Thanks 🙂 I don’t really have a schedule which may kind of be a problem as it keeps me less motivated to write it straight away lol. Haha I always think mine are not long enough! I guess it also depends on the book and the reviewer. I know exactly what you mean sometimes it’s nice just to read and not overthink all the different aspects of the book! I love finding out how everyone deals with blogging etc… gives me better ideas on what to do lol

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  9. I tend to forget everything as you said once I pick up the next book; I take notes and jot down my thoughts and everything as I read along, but still, I do forget. So, in my case, books need to be reviewed right after I finished it while my memory and emotions are raw and intact. Otherwise, I hold off picking up the next book.

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    1. It’s good to know it’s not just me with the terrible memory lol, I keep trying to convince myself of course I’ll remember it’s only a few days, I think the emotions are a big one though as they tend to change the whole tone of the review

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  10. I like to take notes on my phone in the Evernote app as I’m reading, and then add my first thoughts immediately after finishing. This way, even if it takes a few days to a week before I can write the full review, I remember what it was I wanted to say! But I do tend to write reviews in advance and schedule them out to keep some consistency on my blog.

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    1. Notes I think will have to be the big thing I work on at least something to fall back on if I have forgotten most things lol. I’m also trying to get better at my scheduling haha otherwise everything would be posted at the oddest times

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  11. Great post! I write mine immediately because it is on my mind. I write short reviews with no spoilers (I hope!) because I like to read short reviews!

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    1. Thank you 🙂 I know what you mean about the spoilers I try hard not to include any but sometimes it’s easy to forget what people might assume and what they would have no clue about!

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  12. I find I have to write a first draft for a review within 48 hours of finishing the book otherwise I forget all the fine details and minor character names. I do tend to take some notes and quotes as I read the book if I remember. It is easier to take notes if I am reading an ebook.

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  13. Great post! The last review that I post was on July 2nd and as you can see I cannot really manage my posts 😦 When I decided to start my blog, I didn’t really think it through. I just wanted to share my thoughts about the books I enjoyed with other book lovers, however, it is not as easy as I thought. I am still reading a lot but lately I am having trouble with writing the reviews. My biggest problem is because I don’t write the review right after I finish the book and keep reading, I have to go back and re-read the book I was planning to write a review so that I don’t miss something I want to mention. What I am doing lately is I highlight or take notes regarding what I want to put in my review so that it is easier for late on.

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  14. Before I started the blog, when I was only on Goodreads, I wrote the reviews immediately after I finished. But then, when I started receiving galleys and setting up the blog, I would hesitate to write the review right away because I wanted it to be good. I felt if I waited and put more time into it, it would be a better review. But then I developed a backlog of books and found it felt like work to catch up. Also, those reviews aren’t as good. So I’m trying to go back to writing the review immediately, or at the very least, writing a few short phrases that will help me write the review within 24 hours. But it can be hard to figure out that balance. And to be fair, sometimes when I wait, I sort out my thoughts on the book and end up changing the rating. So it’s a challenge either way!

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  15. I try to write my reviews as soon as I can after I finish a book. Otherwise I really feel like I just forget what I was wanting to say. I have soooo many NetGalley books to review and I keep neglecting my Kindle when I pick out something to read. So behind. Like months behind. But I’d rather read the book and review it straight away then just try to read everything, I guess.

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    1. I am trying to not get to far ahead of myself I do tend to really overestimate how much I think I can remember, it’s definitely harder when I know I have more books waiting to be reviewed

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  16. I try to write some notes immediately after finishing a book, if not the full review. Sometimes I even start in the middle of reading if I have strong feelings/thoughts. However sometimes time does get the best of me and in these cases I tend to do a quickie review post, with around a paragraph for each book I haven’t reviewed fully, so at least I have that record of reading them. I find this can be good for novellas, mid-series book and comics where I don’t have a huge amount to say either.

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  17. This issue is why I’m trending more often to digital books. Most ereaders offer a place to take notes that can then be emailed out. In Kindle, as I’m reading, I write the entire review in note format as I’m inspired. Then, email it to myself and it’s there when I can write. I have two backlogged right now.

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  18. Sometimes I’m not ready to write the review immediately. I read about 4 books at a time. I have had to go back and figure out which book was that. Now I make external notes when there is something I want to say. Sometimes my review is almost written when I’m done with a book. Of course this isn’t always the case either. I guess we all have the same problems one way or another. I finished a great book days ago. Not one note. No review yet. I like to do books justice.

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  19. I’ve definitely faced this issue. My blog is farely new, only about 2 months old and when I started it I knew I would have to speed up my reading if I wanted to be able to post on a regular schedule. However, I am a rather slow reader and like to take my time and reread chapters that I like so I decided to add memes and tags in between. Therefore, I would have more time to work on my review and decide whether or not I would want to write about it. I’ve found that if I wait too long, even a week to write a review I lose all motivation I once had and, as a result, I don’t give it the due respect it deserves. So I always make myself write my review directly after reading a book when the feelings and thoughts it evoked in me are still fresh and clear.
    Excellent post btw, I look forward to reading more from you in the future… Happy reading! 🙂

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  20. I sometimes takes notes while I am reading, so I can remember what I would like to mention in my review. I try to write my review within two days after finishing and then scheduling it to post at a later date.

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  21. Sometimes I have a backlog of reviews to write. When this happens, I wait a day after writing the backlog review and think about what else I had intended to write. (What does it matter if it’s another day? It’s not like I have a publisher pressing me for the next review.) I don’t want to miss the salient points for the review so this system works. Usually I write the review within a day of reading the book and can easily get in everything that I thought was important. My sticky notes in a book are usually for quotes that are pertinent or indicative of the author’s writing.
    My review length varies widely. Sometimes a long review means I really hated the book and I want you to know exactly why, and other times it’s because I’m gushing over how much I loved the book. Short reviews may mean that there was so little substance to a book that there was very little that needed to be reviewed, or that I was bored. Since it’s my thoughts I figure I can write any length of review that pleases me. Best of Luck!

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  22. Personally I try to review as quickly as possible for all the reasons you mentioned. It is so much easier to write the review when everything is fresh in your mind; i.e. characters, plot, themes, etc. If I can’t and it is going to be an extended wait, I try to take quick notes on an index card if it is a hard book or highlight and make notes in my Kindle. The reviewing process can very easily get away from a person with massive TBR piles. Good luck!

    Mary

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  23. When I started my blog, my intent was to review books that I was doing as part of my “rejects challenge.” I participate in a Goodreads reading challenge where the list of topics is created by participant nominations and votes, so we end up with a massive list of topics that didn’t make it. I wanted to take those lists on as a long-term project, and instead of posting about all of those books on Goodreads or Facebook, I started my blog. Since then, I have written maybe 2 or 3 book reviews (mostly for children’s books), and a few more movie/adaptation reviews. Part of that is because I just haven’t had time to read much for the rejected prompts, and part of it is because I find reviews much more difficult and time-consuming to write than other posts. It’s hard for me to review books without becoming very repetitive, especially when I’m trying to write without giving any spoilers.

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      1. I’m generally pretty good at picking books that I’m going to enjoy, so the majority of my books are 4 or 5 star ratings. While I think it’s great to share the books that we love, I also think it might get boring for people to read only positive reviews.

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  24. I have learned that I have to take notes, which is easy in Kindle but not as easy for Audios. I have also learned it is best to write the review within a week as I read three books a week so if I wait much longer I will likely mix up feelings. If I wait beyond a week then I find I have to really go back and skim a lot which is more time consuming. That might be fine for one I really liked but not so great for just an okay read.

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