For awhile now, I've been searching for ways to improve my reviews plus I want to be more comfortable with writing them. I get antsy about writing reviews and sometimes I have a hard time putting my thoughts into the written word. Yeah, in terms of the literary world, I'm a reader and not a writer. Any ways, I've been scoping out other reviews across blogland, trying to see if I can spot a formula of some sort, that will make the light bulb turn on for me. I've also purchased a book on writing book reviews based on J. Kaye's recommendations here. I want to write reviews based on the type of reviews I seek out for book recommendations.
Short reviews are my preference for when I'm looking to see if a book is one I want to read and if the reviewer recommends the book. Plus I want to discover the nuances of a book on my own and usually the back cover of book tells me enough of the story. Notice I say usually, not all back cover blurbs are created equally. When it's not adequate, I like to see something added in the review to make up for the missing information.
I like the longer review when I've already read the book and I want to see the reviewer's thoughts in comparison to mine on a book. On longer reviews for books I haven't read, I usually just scan for an overall recommendation. After I've read the book, I may go back and read the whole review.
For My Own Reviews
Since I have pretty much always preferred the shorter reviews, I'm leaning towards writing shorter reviews then I have in the past. Plus, I'm not enough of a word wizard to write a lengthy book review without giving out spoilers. I also think with longer reviews, the odds lean towards a spoiler sneaking in. Even if the reviewer didn't intend to put it in the review. Plus, everyone has their own idea of what they think plot point spoilers are.
Also longer reviews tend to have minor plot points, maybe to most this doesn't matter but to me it does. I enjoy reading for the element of surprise and the excitement of not knowing. A lot of times just knowing one minor plot point ahead of reading it, can lead me to guessing the outcome before it happens. Where as if I hadn't been told the minor plot point, this wouldn't of happened. This spoils the read for me. That is probably the main driving factor for me in wanting to write shorter book reviews. I don't want to spoil a read for anyone.
I want to know what you all think about short versus long book reviews. Which type of book review do you prefer and why? What do you like to see in a review?
I've also embedded a poll in this post, if you care to vote. I'll let it run for a bit and then share the outcome.