This year I decided not to make any New Year's Resolutions. Quite truthfully, any resolutions that I make are usually out the window within ten minutes of my making them. I'll resolve to exercise more and then plunk my butt on the couch with a book. I'll vow to quit smoking and then light up in a panic at the thought. I'll decide to save money and then realize that the car needs new brakes. What I do hope to accomplish this year, and this isn't a resolution but more a personal goal, is to write better book reviews. I'm fairly new to the blogging world, I'm just coming up on my two year "blogoversary" and I've really only been avidly blogging for the past year or so, and it is my goal to make my reviews clearer and more concise. It is my hope that by doing this, those who read the reviews will be better able to determine if this is a book that they would like to read, buy, or blog about themselves.
The first change that I've decided to implement in order for me to meet my goal is to add a rating system. I know that these can be fairly controversial, but I hope that by adding a rating system those reading the review will get a better feel for how much I liked or didn't like the book. I tend to use general terms to describe books such as "loved", "liked", "adored", etc. and by including a rating as well, you will now know if this is a 3-star or a 4-star book. Here's what my ratings will mean:
5 stars- I loved the book and it will be added to my personal collection
4 stars- I liked the book and would recommend it to friends
3 stars- I finished the book, but there were many things about it that bothered me
2 stars- I finished the book, but struggled through it
1 star- I didn't finish the book because it couldn't hold my interest
I will also be using half-star ratings (such as 3.5 stars), which will mean that the book fell somewhere in the middle of the two ratings.
In addition to adding a rating system to my reviews, I will now be asking myself and answering three questions at the conclusion of my review. Those questions are:
Buy or Borrow?: Would I suggest buying this book, or would I suggest borrowing it from the library or from a friend?
Recommended to: Who would I recommend this book to? This may include what kind of genre it falls into.
Would I read it again?: Is this book worth a second look?
Finally, there will be a line where I will list which challenges this book counts towards.
Essentially, the conclusion of my reviews will now look like this:
Buy or Borrow?:
Would I read this again?:
Despite the fact that this post turned out to sound a little more confusing than I hoped, I'm hoping that keeping these questions in mind while I'm reading a book will help my reviews to become clearer and more concise, and hopefully more helpful to those reading the review. Of course any changes made have a learning curve, and I may need to make adjustments as I go along. Until then, happy reading!