“Thoughtful Ramblings” is a feature where we discuss bookish subjects. These posts are just our own thoughts about certain topics that may get us hot under the collar and we need a good rant or just things we want to share with fellow bloggers and readers.
Reviews: Long or Short?
I have a love/hate relationship with my reviews. On the one hand I love them because they are to the point and get across my feelings for the book quickly without a lot of bumf. I like to add my feelings towards the story in general along with the plot and the characters, but when you read my review you will instantly know whether I like it and if I would recommend it.
On the other hand, I look around at all the long, in-depth reviews some bloggers write (*cough* The Book Smugglers *cough*) and get all intimidated. Some bloggers can dissect a book to its very core, give a detailed description of plot, a comprehensive examination of the characters development, add huge quotations that give their findings more emphasis etc etc…
These bloggers do an amazing job. But although I’m totally jealous in awe of their obvious talent, should I really be intimidated?
There’s a lot to be said for the shorter review, and personally, I prefer them, that’s probably the reason I write them. I don’t need the addition of quotes to understand where the reviewer is coming from, but I do like to read how the book made the reviewer feel and what they thought about the characters and plot. I think that this can be achieved in a shorter review as well as a longer one. I do find myself skimming longer reviews just to get to the conclusion, which is, to be honest, the main reason I read reviews in the first place and that is – did they like the book and would they recommend it?
Reading and writing reviews, long or short, is a personal preference. Book Love Affair held a poll last month and the results were 60/40 in favour of longer reviews. But was this result because TJ writes longer reviews and as the votes mostly came from her readers were the results that surprising?
Fantasy Dreamers Ramblings has an ongoing poll looking at reviews, but her results at present are the other way around with shorter reviews coming out on top. Is this because Fantasy Dreamer writes shorter reviews and therefore her readers voted for shorter because that’s the reason they visit her blog and read her reviews?
After eight months of blogging, the love/hate relationship with my reviews is still ongoing and although I think they have got better, I constantly think they are in need of some serious improvement. I still hate envy those who can analyse a book so completely and get their thoughts down on paper, but am I taking this all too seriously or do all bloggers feel this about their reviews? Do those who write long reviews wish they could be more concise?
So, what’s your take on this? How do you like your reviews – long or short?
FYI: My reviews are 300-600 words.