We all have times where we aren’t able to devote hours upon hours to planning or building a several page review. Between life, and reading the books that are showcased on the blog, we all hit a point where we have to double time it! Sometimes it’s a good day knocking out multiple posts alongside some coffee, other times it’s a time crunch frenzy that has you repeating ‘never again’. Given the current environment we are all working in (either work or school happening at home), it felt like now was a good time to delve into the few tricks I’ve learned to keep us all on track and manage my stir craziness.
To kick this off, I definitely have months that are consistently good and consistently bad. It’s not that I’m more productive versus less, but more so when things are crazy or calm in my life. February and March for one typically are easy months to hit the ground running in a normal year, while I’ve always struggled in the late holiday season. This year of course just feels like I’m constantly either drained or running around like a mad person. Not that that’s usual, but right now there’s been a lot going on, so my reading challenge reflects that heavily, and the blog follows whatever pattern the reading challenge sets (uggghhh). When I end up reading less books it gets a bit harder to write the typical amount of reviews that we usually see here, so when I finally hit my stride, it ends up looking like a leaning tower of Pisa of books, the kind where I have a lot more outstanding reviews. So how do you keep this from happening? Reviewing on the go. It sounds easy, but we all know that kind of thought lies.
If you plan on saying more than just ‘liked it’ or ‘didn’t like it’, which end up being as helpful as saying nothing, than it takes notes, thinking while reading, and actually remembering details, all of which get lost if you are mass reading and stacking up books before reviewing. I’ve made that mistake, and had to edit post posting (sorry to anyone who read my Night Circus review and realized the name error – so, so sorry!). It ends up looking like either you are lying that you really liked a book, or don’t care as much, which are far from the truth, except the rush reviewing definitely doesn’t save you. On the times where I’ve really reviewed on the go and managed to put up quality content, it usually follows a system; the real saving grace if you are reviewing like this. It takes out the errors of memory (bad memory at least), and adds in the details that readers are looking for, not spoilers mind you, but the parts that say you truly enjoyed a book, and it stuck with you.
So, the system? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. When reading, take notes. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a book report, but jot down when you like something, don’t like something, or are surprised. A lot of people highlight quotes they really liked when doing ebooks, since I don’t read electronically, I jot down moments that had me hooked, or moments that I knew would place a book under a specific rating. Whatever helps determine your review write it down, because once you get to the stage of finishing the book, it helps rate it and then review even if you’ve read one or two books in between that process. It also helps if you’re reviewing a book you didn’t find to be great. A lot of us do not like leaving harsh reviews and question our own judgement when doing so, jotting down these thoughts helps solidify your opinion both for yourself and the readers, because without those thoughts written down it loses some of the argument.
What are your tried and true practices to reviewing or reviewing on the go? What helps keep you straight when you’re reading? Let me know in the comments below!