Welcome. Come sit in the circle. This is a safe place. No judgement here. It's time for some confessing. ;) Alright, alright, I'm not trying to scare you off. You don't have to nervously click away. I'm just rambling again. What about this time? Well, I'm glad you asked. Today I wanted to confess a little something about reading book reviews on other blogs.
Having a book blog is a way for all of us book lovers to share books we love. What ever the reason we started it, whatever the reason we keep going, whatever memes we participate in, whatever else we talk about, all of us book bloggers write reviews. We all read. Some a ridiculous amount and some as many as we can squeeze in, but read we do and when we're done, we plop ourselves down in front of the computer and begin to write up a review. Sometimes we rave, sometimes we rant. Sometimes we can't find the words and sometimes the words won't stop. But why? Why do we do this? Why do we pour a great deal of time and effort into these reviews? Well, I would guess we're actually assuming and hoping others will read our thoughts. Sure, there's the wonderfully humble souls out there who just want a place to jot down their thoughts on a book and really don't care if others read what they have to say. To those people I tip my hat. Well done for not being an attention whore. The door's right over there. Off you go. ;) I tease, I tease. I really am impressed with these people. But for me there's nothing quite so wonderful as sharing my thoughts on a book and knowing other people are reading those thoughts.
And that's where I finally get around to my real topic of the day. I don't put a whole lot of effort into writing my reviews. And, yes, I know it shows, but that's not the point. The point is, it still takes me a good 15-20 minutes (on a good day) to write a review. Just gathering my thoughts and condensing them into something understandable and hopefully entertaining is rather difficult. I imagine this is true for you too. Yet, we all do it anyway. Sit and write out these thoughtful and time consuming reviews and then...And here it FINALLY is...people come to our blog and skim our reviews. How dare they?! Where do they get off only sparing a cursory glance at our hard work?!
Um, what do you mean "how do I know they only skimmed my review?" Uh, no I don't skim reviews, I'm not talking from personal experience...Oh, fine, you're right! Happy? I sometime skim reviews! *hangs head in shame* Why do I do this? Well firstly there's the whole time thing. I may be a jobless loser with no life to speak of and rarely anything better to do but I do actually DO other things and don't always have the time to donate to countless reviews.
Which brings me to the different types of reviews. Please don't be angry with me. As I said, this is a safe place, right? Right?!
The college essay review
Oh, for the love of all that is purple, people! Unless you're actually writing up a book report that must have a required amount of words, please keep the reviews to a readable size. Whether you're raving or ranting does it really need to be THAT long?! Really?!
The I just discovered the thesaurus review
Yes, adjectives and adverbs are glorious. I use them all the time. But if a book is good just tell me the book is good. You don't need use ten different words that mean "good" so that I get the point. I got it!
The first graders "what I did for my summer vacation" review
These ones, at least, are blessedly short. Unfortunately they sound exactly like a child wrote it. For example, (this book was so good. I really liked it. It was so exciting. I can't wait for the next one. The mystery was great. The characters were likable. I loved so and so the best. They made me laugh a lot.) See what I mean? I can only take so much of that before my eyes glaze over and I click away.
Now before you crush your mouse in outrage at my audacity, I'll quickly confess I'm guilty of every single one of these types of reviews. I've written ones that are painfully too long. I'm a horrible adverb junkie and I sometimes just can't form a sentence longer than six or seven words. I'm not condemning anyone for their review writing skills. I'm just confessing that, yes, sometimes I just can't take it and I skim reviews. Hey, at least I'm admitting it right?
Sometimes it has nothing to do with the reviewer's writing so much as what they're reviewing.
There are reviews of books we've never heard of. Sometimes this is a great thing. We're introduced to a new book. The Synopsis has intrigued us, the cover dazzled us, the reviewer has raved. Oh, how glorious are these moments. But for all the books that sound good, are the ones that don't. And then we have to read a review about a book we just don't care to know anything about. Ugh, the torture! The skimming that takes place. The guilty chin duck as we just click away from the site; not even courteously leaving a comment.
Then there are the books we hated. Geeze! It was bad enough reading the dang thing all 200-300 + pages of it and then we have to read what others think of it too?! Hey, if they agree with us that the book was complete and utter crap it can be fun, but if they loved it...What can we do but sit and wonder what on earth is wrong with us?
The book we're eagerly awaiting. To be honest these are the ones I struggle with. Sometimes I'm not that bothered with spoilers or gushing or ranting. If I want to read the book I'm going to read it and your opinion, trusted as it is, will hardly dissuade me, but sometimes I don't want to read your review! I'm sorry but I don't want to hear a thing, good or bad, about the book. I don't want anything "ruining" it for me. You know?
And speaking of going on too long...
Please tell me I'm not alone. Tell me you skim once in awhile too. And if so, why? What types of reviews make you want to gouge your eyes out? Which ones do you just avoid? Come on, go ahead. This is a safe place. We're all friends here.