Bookish Thoughts : Reading to Review

March 22, 2013 Bookish chat 15

I know my family and friends are a bit puzzled by what they consider my freakish obsession with books.   And even more bewildered now that not only do I spend so much time reading but then I spend time after that reviewing the book.  And when I try to explain they don’t get it.

Bit of background here, I was always the girl with her nose stuck in a book, reading by flashlight in bed, spending every spare penny on more books.   I devoured books like a greedy child with an uncontrollable appetite.  And that girl grew into the teenager who read just as much but got better at keeping it hidden!  Like it was a dirty habit that needed to be kept private, done behind closed doors.  The teenager eventually became an adult (most of the time :D) and the older the adult got, the less I gave a damn about what anyone thought about my passion for books.  And here I am now blogging from the rooftops, I’m a bookwork and proud.

So the reading isn’t new.  The reviewing is though.  What I thought when I started is that it would help my writing skills.  The strange thing is though, is that it has made me a better reader.  I wasn’t expecting that.   Before I read books quickly, hopping on to the next one the same way you would hop on a bus.  Enjoying the view, the journey, the chance to travel somewhere for a little while but when it’s over, it’s over.

Now I find myself constantly analysing.  What’s working and why.   I have become more critical, quicker to find flaws hopefully not in a nit-picky way though but in a constructive way.  I reflect more on books.   I find myself thinking more about the characters and why they feel genuine or otherwise.  Obviously in books I love, this is something I have done instinctively.  But now I find myself doing it for every book.  As I’m reading, I am already writing the review in my head and it just adds another dimension to my reading pleasure.

And the other bonus of reviewing.  I get to spout my opinions without having to see anyone rolling their eyes at me going on and on yet again about a book I love.  Even if no one is reading, just putting down on paper (or up on screen to be accurate) what I loved about a book satisfies something in my bookish soul.  Something I didn’t even know needed satisfying but there you go.  Even if no one reads.  And if you are rolling your eyes, I can’t see you.  And if you read and comment, then I adore you, you make my day!

Bookish Chat : So why do you review?  What makes you sit down and try to capture the essence of a book in a short few paragraphs?  Join in, I would love to know.  And remember, no pressure now but if you comment, you are making my day!

Never miss a bookish post! Plus you get a free download - Note to Book - to document your own bookish thoughts.

Signup now and receive blog posts by email.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

15 Responses to “Bookish Thoughts : Reading to Review”

  1. astichoquette

    I have no problem making your day! Comments ftw 😉

    I definitely agree with you that reviewing definitely makes you more aware of the book while you’re reading it. You’re consciously reading and trying to figure out okay, what works and what doesn’t?

    It’s also funny because now I pay more attention to quotes than I ever did before. Before I would just read through, like you, but now I pay more attention to the words and if I like a sentence I copy it down. I don’t usually include these on my blog, but it’s my little way of admiring the author’s ability to form these amazing sentences that really speak to me.

    And for me, I think reviewing is really beneficial because I forget books really easily. Not at least if someone asks me if I liked a book, I have an easy way of remembering! lol

    • Trish Hannon

      Thanks Asti, your comments are like your blog – honest and thoughtful. Yes, I forgot about quotes, I read on my kindle and highlight loads. It helps me write my reviews later as it reminds me of parts I loved or hated. I love that you write them down as a mark of respect 🙂

  2. AwesomeAmy

    I just review because it seemed LOGICAL. I agree with your post & think even with reviewing I still read ‘behind closed doors’. I join bookish things at the town library, read my own book in English & review (obviously) but do I read at lunch/break or join the bookish clubs and give up my freetime regularly in that way? No, I don’t. I think after school would be better but can I say I’d definitely go? I can’t.
    People know I love reading but they just think I’m a casual reader who may sit down and finish a book straight off. That’s pure I-wish fiction! No… I don’t really wish but there would be pressure of zilch…
    I have become more critical and I wouldn’t change it but we all know I have my sell by dates. I cannot trust I’ll gather my lessons and it’ll be like the novelty was a plaster now being stripped off.
    I’m good for now but I change things so often I hope that one day I come out of the shadows and do something which makes this book blog seem small but still crucial.
    Does that make sense?… No? Oh… Yup.

    • Trish Hannon

      Hi Amy, it’s harder to be ‘out’ about reading at your age and you are doing great work with your blog. Even with its ‘sell by date’, it will be something you can look back on and be proud off 🙂
      You are coming out of the shadows all the time even when you are not aware of it. And I have a feeling your blog is a stepping stone, its leading somewhere!

  3. Diamond Cronen

    Ok, we are eerily similar! I am a new reviewer too! I have also found it has improved not only my writing but my reading as well. I am more critical. What do you do when you really don’t like the book? I’m honest and if I can’t finish I don’t (it happened recently).. But now I’m reading a book that perhaps bc it’s not one of my main genres I can’t get into it, but it’s not so bad that I wanna abandon it. Suggestions?

    • Trish Hannon

      Hi Dee, glad you identify! Re your question, I would finish the book and make careful notes of what worked and didn’t work. And I would state at the start of your review that it’s not your genre but you wanted to experiment. Then you can say why it didn’t work for you personally but acknowledge why it might be amazing for someone who already loves that genre. That would be an interesting review for anyone else who is thinking of breaking into that genre too. Just my two-pence worth!

  4. kimbacaffeinate

    Wonderful post, and I began to share my passion about the books I read..since I am not surrounded by book geeks like myself, and I have to tell you I love every dang thing about it!

  5. Angie Coder

    You sound just like me no one in my family understands my passion for reading. . .and they are even more confused about why I review books. My friends think I have some kind of super power because I can read a book within 2 days, it always seems to amaze them.

    I still spout my opinions to my husband about my books. Its so weird that everyone around you doesn’t understand your love of books but there are so many other people just like you out in the world.

    I started reviewing because I would read such great books that didn’t have any reviews on them and I thought it would only be fair if I wrote one myself. It started off as all 5 star reviews because of that. Then over time I just started to love reviewing books in general and moved on to reviewing just about everything I read. You are right that it makes me pay more attention to the book I’m reading.

    • Trish Hannon

      Thanks Angie. I don’t get it so many book bloggers and book lovers on the net and I only know ONE in real life. Where is everyone hiding!!
      I love your reviews, they bring books I would never have come across to my attention.

  6. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas

    I’m the same way…no one really understands my love of books. I personally find this irritating since my parents use to read constantly when i was a kid, it’s part of the reason i started reading myself…but now they’ve nearly stopped reading and I’m left alone with the obsession.
    I review because like you I just need to have an outlet for all the bookish thought, and it’s an added bonus that I’ve met so many awesome people while doing it. (A huge bonus). So now I have people I can rant/fangirl with. I also do it because I’m unemployed, unfortunately, and I need something constructive to take up some my free time.

    • Trish Hannon

      Yes, it’s so good to share our book ranting/fangirling with those who just get us. No explanations or apologies needed! We can just get straight into book talk.
      Hope you find work soon and I think this is a great way of spending time in the meanwhile.

  7. Kelly W

    Ooh, I LOVE this post, Trish!!!! I can relate to what you said about being the bookworm hiding her obsession like a dirty little secret all too well. I grew up (and still live) in a city that equates reading with studying dictionaries and encyclopedias for fun, so I get the upturned eyebrow and crazy looks when I go on about how much I loved a particular book. Then I met two friends from a book chat site who started my journey from closet-case word nerd to proud (though new) blogger. (you’ll remember, I’m the rambler…lol)

    Anyway, about reviewing. I have definitely noticed a difference in the way I read, in the best possible way. It really does get you closer to the books and characters you love, and helps you learn to articulate which aspects worked and which didn’t.

    I love hearing you’re getting more critical! I think it’s great when readers can love every single book they pick up, but I can’t, so when I find a fellow blogger or book reviewer who does have that critical eye, I’m so much more likely to be influenced by their reviews.

    My favorite thing about this post is that it makes me feel slightly less crazy about my reading and reviewing addiction haha. Now all I need to find out is that you’re also a book smeller, and you’ll be my reading twin from Ireland, which sounds so cool.

  8. Trish Hannon

    Hi twin! Yes I smell them! And if we are being honest and sharing all our crazy habits, sometimes walking past a bookshop I just have to go in and pick up books and flick through them at random.

    And more embarrassing, I often rescue a book I love from where it will never be seen and give it prime bookshelf space in the hope that someone else will love it and bring it home!

    Is that the sound of you backing off and running for the hills that I hear??!! LOL

    • Kelly W

      I’m a horrible bookstore browser! I could literally spend all day in a bookstore. As long as they have a little cafe that sells coffee.

      I’ve never rearranged books lol but it sounds like a good idea! They get lonely behind the Twilight and Fifty Shades displays. 🙁

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.