Bookish Chat : My book review system

August 17, 2013 Bookish chat 0

I love posts where we get a glimpse of how a blogger organises their blogging life.  So today, I’m going to share all my reviewing habits and I’d love to hear your system too.
There are a couple of things I do religiously when I start a book :
·         I update my currently reading status on GR.  This is a must do or I can’t relax.  If there are problems with the GR site, I feel wrong reading the book until my status is updated.  This is a weird quirk that only started a few months ago but it’s like I feel it’s not official until GR says so.
·         I update my spreadsheet to show what book I’m reading.  This I’m less rigid about but I do still like to do it.
·         I open a new page on my blogging journal and write down a few details like the name and author
Then there are my while-reading rituals:
·         I highlight like a maniac when I’m using my kindle or tablet.  The yellow highlighter on my tablet makes me particularly happy, what can I say I’m easily pleased!
·         If it’s a physical book, I mark key pages with post-its or mark down the page number in my blogging journal
·         I tend to jot down key feelings as I read.  Not all the time but I find the more I note, the easier my review is to write.
·         If I get really excited or annoyed, I might add a status update to GoodReads or Twitter.   I like the interaction while I read.
And finally my post-read and reviewing rituals:
·         If I haven’t made much notes while reading, I tend to flick through the book again and make some notes now.
·         I review my GoodRead statuses and mark book as finished.  Again this is a must-do-asap!
·         I update my excel spreadsheet to show the book is ‘read, awaiting review’.  I get to play with colour codes here, yes you guessed it, this pleases me!
·         I try to write reviews fairly soon after finishing the book.  Ideally within 24 hours, I used to be great at this but now I’m not as good.  It is often 2-3 days.  And I find the longer I leave it, the harder it is to sit down and put the review together.
·         I make up a big mug of coffee, grab my journal, kindle/book.  I tend to think about my reviews after finishing the book and before writing them and have an idea of how I’m going to write the review.

·         I draft my review in word.  Delete half of it, rewrite sections.  Sigh a lot and edit again.  Repeat until I’m someway satisfied that it is a true reflection of my feelings for the book.
·         I then copy on to GoodReads, format my blog post and schedule.  I tend to do this as soon I’ve the review written as I like to know that everything is updated and I can mark this book off as completed on my excel spreadsheet.
·         And then I give myself a pat on the back!  I get a feeling of accomplishment for every review I write and this is why I continue to do them.  And then the really good bit is comments from other people, I love hearing the feedback and the chance to chat a bit more about the book.

It might sound like a lot of steps but I do this without even thinking about it.  It works for me and I like my little rituals while I read such as highlighting and making notes, they help me to absorb the book better and really think about why I love or hate the book.  Plus they are great for refreshing my memory if I leave the review for a little bit.  Also I tend to have multiple books on the go at once so this helps me keep them all straight in my mind.
Bookish Chat : So that’s my system.  How do you organise your reviews and keep your thoughts fresh in your head until you get your review written? 

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