Books are wonderful things. I love reading them, I love writing them, I love enthusing about books, and over time I’ve grown to love reviewing books, too, which I do with other YA-loving friends on the Paisley Piranha site, as well as posting to Goodreads and Amazon.
I read an interesting piece this week (Jenny in Neverland’s blog) about how much work goes into a book review, and she finished up stating why she reviews when it takes time and effort.
It’s that part I want to focus on now – why I review when I could use the time writing and posting a review to start the next book on my ever-enormous TBR pile.
The first reason is because I love books and I love to share that enthusiasm. There are few sensations finer than chatting with someone who clearly enjoys your kind of books and being able to say, “Oh, if you like X, you should try Y, I know you’ll love their books.” Posting a review makes that kind of conversation more permanent – someone who’s been pointed to a book you liked once can come back to find other recommendations they might enjoy.
Secondly, it helps authors, and I want to help authors because they’re the people who write the books I love so much. There are so many books published these days that finding something you love can be like searching for the proverbial needle: how come I’ve got nothing to read when there are millions of books out there? And the writers I already know never seem to write fast enough. By reviewing a book I’ve loved I can add my voice to that of other fans and (hopefully) help the author become a bit better known so they can keep on writing.
And thirdly, as a writer, reviewing helps me develop my writing skills. Knowing that I’m going to review a book makes me read it a little bit more critically – with half an eye on technique rather than purely enjoyment. A review can’t just say, “I liked it/didn’t like it,” – to be helpful to other readers there has to be a ‘why’. And thinking through that ‘why’ enables me to pinpoint techniques that I can use to improve my own writing.
So that’s me – why do you review or not review the books you read? Leave me a comment; I love to hear other views.