The last time I tried to maintain a "book review" blog, I quickly found myself over-whelmed.
- I would read recommendations from other sites and immediately want to add those books to my TBR list (but I was adding at a far greater rate than I was actually reading)
- I would enter book give-away contests and often win - adding still more books to my overflowing shelves.
- Authors would contact me and offer to send a copy of their recent work in exchange for a review. I was honored to be asked and of course said yes. I now had even more books piling up all over the house.
- I wanted to be thorough and honest in my reviews. This, I thought, required me to take copious notes as I read the book, and then include several memorable quotes in each review. It would often take a couple of hours to write one single review.
Soon my pleasurable pastime became a stressful responsibility. The last thing I needed in life was one more task on the to-do list. So... I quit.
I don't want to overwhelm myself again.
I want to commit to this for the long haul. I want to continue to love reading, and I want to continue to share that love with others.
So I am developing a simple system for writing book reviews. I am sure that it will need tweaking as the weeks go by, but for now I will focus on four areas:
- Brief plot summary
- WHY I originally chose the book - what appealed to me about the work to make me want to read it.
- What were my EXPECTATIONS for the book - and were these expectations met
- RECOMMENDATION - would I recommend it (and for which audience) - why or why not
As difficult as it might be for this retired literature teacher, I am going to try to refrain from writing detailed character descriptions - theme developments - and quoting significant passages. I want to streamline the process so I can duplicate it year after year.
That is the goal anyway.
I hope the reviews are adequate for this audience.