I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile. I started reviewing on NetGalley just over a year ago (submitted my first review on Jan 14th of last year). My reasons for reviewing and blogging have changed over the months, and I’d like to write about that evolution. I’ve made a list in order of importance, followed by an explanation.
- I love reading: The anticipation and enjoyment of the first 10 pages of a book never gets old. I may have read the blurb or gotten a recommendation from a friend, but sitting down with a book is always an amazing experience. I recently wrote in one of my posts that I can close my eyes and see a scene from every one of the books I’ve read this past year. That is powerful stuff.
- Spreading the love of reading through the book community: Kind of the old adage that goes something like, If I can get one person to… I try to make reviews mostly positive. I do point out criticisms in books, but most of all I want promote reading and share my love. I can do this through my WordPress and Twitter connections. I love seeing other people’s takes on books. To see them cut through the hype or promote a little-know book/ author. I also like to be a part of the grassroots effort to promote a particular book for an author. It’s a fun part of the community experience.
- A routine: I’ve said before that I do most of my reading at night after the kids go to sleep, and most of that time is spent on my stationary bike in my garage. The routine of request, read, review keeps me pedaling.
- Writing: Yes. This is the last on the list… I have a confession. I don’t really like writing. I’ve taken some time and looked back on some of my first reviews. They are all very simply organized: Overview of Plot (Introduction), Key literary elements of character, themes, pacing, etc (Body), Reasons for Overall Star Count (Conclusion). I got away from this after a couple months and started to write more developed reviews by commenting on all aspects of the book, but quite frankly, it was taking too long to write: precious reading time! Especially since I like to write my reviews before moving on to the next book. Yes, I do read graphic novels while I read other texts, solely because I can read them in one sitting which doesn’t mix the plots in my head with the plot of the novel I’m usually making my way through. After a great deal of thought, I’ve gone back to a more simply organized review. I do try to spend a little more time on the reviews on the ARCs I receive, but I will probably just continue with my current style. I just like to read too much! I also think there’s an audience for all kinds of reviews. I read a lot of reviews from my fellow bloggers, both long and short, detailed and some with more broad strokes. But I do feel conflicted because at times I’m afraid I don’t give the books justice and I acknowledge that I am giving up some quality for quantity.