As an obsessive eater of books, I write a lot of reviews.
I review everything I read. Yes! Even comic books! Even art books! EVERYTHING. I do this for a very specific reason which is…oh. I’ve forgotten.
I joke, I joke. That is the reason. I review to help me remember the book. I read a lot and I have a memory like swiss cheese dipped in corrosive acid. Reviewing helps me digest the book and glues it to my fabulously knowledgable noggin.
I analyse my reviewing process a lot. I ask myself many intriguing and important questions, like:
- Is there a better way to review?
- What styles of reviews do readers respond to best?
- Are reviews really the best way to get my enthusiasm for a book across?
- Are gifs entertaining or do they distract from the review content?
- Is ranting okay?
- Is there a point to fangirling uselessly?
I THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT THESE THINGS! I want to put the best content up on my blog.
I want to own your minds with my glorious reviewing abilities… OH WAIT. My fingers slipped. I mean, I want share my enthusiasm for books. Yay.
Which leads me to write a list (obviously. You know how I love lists) with some either/or answers, so you can have a small peek into how and why I review they way I do.*
* If you’re new here and haven’t read any of my reviews, you can check out my recent ones on The Last Time We Say Goodbye or Golden Son.
LONG OR SHORT?
This is tricky, because too long can end up in a dry, dribbly review and too short can be entirely useless and not tell you anything. HOW IS A BOOKWORM TO PICK?
I trend the middle ground like the indecisive human I am. I lean towards short.
GOODREADS OR BLOG?
BOTH! My process is, specifically:
- Read book
- 2 minutes later write review on Goodreads which is full of flailing and misspellings and general mess.
- Later, copy and past Goodreads review to blog, edit it, help it make sense, and then publish it.
Paper Fury Trivia: I review maybe 4 to 6 books a month on the blog. I usually read 20+. So basically friend me on Goodreads.
TO GIF OR NOT TO GIF?
Pfft, do you know me? If there is a statement or an emotion…
Gifs are life! Gifs are an extension of putting emotion into writing. You can’t see my expressions therefore that cuts out a huge part of communication! Gifs set moods.
But, gifs can be distracting. Like if you have more gifs than words? I’m not judging! (Seriously! Blog however you like.) But the content can feel watery. I also steer away from really epileptic inducing gifs. Although sometimes they’re too golden to pass up. See?
I also get asked where I get my gifs from, so, a quick answer! I just google for them or I find them on pinterest. Giphy is handy too.
RANTS OR LOGIC?
I’m sure you can accuse me of both. Fine! ACCUSE ME OF ALL THE THINGS. I can take it. I would like to think I rant logically. If a book makes me really super meltingly mad, I’ll probably let loose. But I don’t like to hate on a book without reasons. Reasons are key to a good review.
INFORMAL OR SERIOUS?
I’m for informal all the way! Let me joke! Let me laugh! I would rather fangirl and be enthusiastic than write a review that’ll be famous and renowned across the internet.
BUY LINKS OR NOT?
I do! No one’s ever told me to and I’m not affiliated. I just do because I think it’s handy. If someone reviews an awesome book I like to click on the link and see how expensive it is and remind myself how measly poor I am.
Goodreads links are a MUST. It frustrates me when a book look so so good but it’s not linked to Goodreads ANYWHERE. Then I must manually look it up and let’s face it, I’m lazy. It’s a trial.
PERSONAL RECAP OR DIVE INTO THE FEELS?
I am a strong believer everyone should review however they want. I review how I want to read. Therefore I don’t do recaps because I don’t actually care what the book is about! I don’t! (This is why I don’t read blurbs.)
All I care about is how it affected you. Did you love it? Did you hate it? Why? That’s all I want to know and that’s how I pitch my reviews. And then off I pop to go conquer another small planet.
CONTENT WARNINGS OR NOT?
I prefer not to. I have been asked to do content warnings (like list if there’s swear words or sexual references/scenes). So it’s about time I explained why I don’t, right?!
I’m not offended by people falling in love or swearing. I’m just not. There are a lot of taboo tags in our culture and I think they’re illogical. (We do so many things because “that’s how it’s done” with no reasons behind them. Like the fact random words have more power.) BUT THIS IS JUST ME! I don’t for a second expect everyone to have the same standards as me. But I read for the story and I believe (most) authors use language and actions to convey what their story needs. I respect that.*
I also don’t do age recommendations because I think it’s different for every person. For goodness sakes, Roald Dahl is recommended to 8-year-olds. I read them all when I was 15. I loved them.
* Of course there’s always dodgy books out there, but I’m trying to be positive here, okay? Give me cake and congratulate me.
REVIEW REQUESTS OR NOT?
I don’t take review requests. Because:
- There are, like, 5 billion books I want to read and I’ll get them from the library and read them at my leisure.
- I hate hating a book! I HATE IT! I really don’t want to email an author directly and tell them so.
- I prefer physical books and review-requests are almost always in ebook form. I read on my iPod, peoples, it’s a struggle.
HALF STAR RATINGS OR NOT?
Rating out of five stars is so not enough. I struggle! I DO! Some books just aren’t a clear cut 3 or 4. If I could only pick one half star rating, it’d be 3.5. But I try to only use full stars. This is just because barely any review sites support that (like Amazon, Goodreads, Bookworld) so why bother doing it on my blog?
I weep for the fact that I need a 3.5 rating.
i’m very curious about why YOU review they way you do! tell me about your process in the comments. and if you want to steal my questions for a post, feel free! (just tell me about it so i can read it. yay!)
Cait @ Paper Fury
…is currently editing her edits on her book and finding MORE typos and horrifically problematic statements. Like her ghost said something about “life’s not worth living without such and such” when…in fact…he is dead. There is no life. There is no living. EDIT ALL THE THINGS. She just finished reading MIND GAMES by Terri Terry and is completely confused by it.