As some of you may know, I review books for SFFWorld.com.
Don’t let that fool you, though. I’m not a real reviewer.
I don’t churn through tens or hundreds of books a year.
I squeak out maybe one or two a month. And I spend forever thinking about the book after I’ve read it, before I write a review. Then I end up writing a short and superficial review. Then I immediately feel guilty for not giving the book its proper attention, but since I have another book to read and I’ve spent so much time dawdling on the last one, I move on.
Regardless, I feel I’ll never get through my (virtual) reading pile.
So, I’ve gotten into the habit of reading book reviews.
I know, doesn’t make sense. If I don’t have time to read more books, why do I spend my precious free time reading reviews of other books?
Well, confession time:
It makes me feel like I’m wider read than I actually am.
Also, I admire a good review.
There is a careful skill to writing a good review, and I admire that. I don’t have it. Writing a good review is rather hard. Have you tried it?
One has to summarize the plot and story of a book while giving the potential reader a sense of the writing quality, pacing, setting, and voice. Then you have to make up your mind on whether you like it or not, or if it was just ‘meh’. Then you have to figure out if your readers would like it or not, and whether you should recommend it or not taking into consideration extenuating circumstances (riddled with typos, reputation of the author, etc).
That’s a lot of pressure.
I rarely perform well under it.
But when I see a review that does all the above effortlessly, I not only enjoy it, but think maybe one day I’ll be able to do that, too.
An odd aspiration, I know, but there it is.
Do you write book reviews? If so, why? And what are you reading this summer (whether you’ll review it or not)?