Picture me in boxers (okay, that sounds
slightly creepy EXCESSIVELY CREEPY creepy) and tank top, hair tied in a man bun (is that what it’s called?), iced coffee in one hand, Scout in the other (yes, I named my phone after a To Kill a Mockingbird character I named my phone deal with it). (Wait. That’s one too many parentheses, wouldn’t you agree? Oh well. I guess I’m feeling parenthetically inclined today.) (Anyway.) The sun was beating the heck out of my hometown and I was perusing my Goodreads. I was comparing the counts of books-I-read-and-did-review with books-I-read-but-did-not-review when the question broke the surface: what brings one to review or not to review a book?
What are Words?
I do not review every book I read. At times, I just don’t have a strong opinion about the work to write a full article dissecting it. Other times—in very rare cases—I completely love the book but I’m at a lost for words. The right words. The collection of words that will impeccably be reflective of how I feel towards a piece of what-name-do-you-have-for-it-the-kind-printed-with-a-concoction-of-pulverized-emotion-brewed-tears-goofy-grins-and-pickled-hearts. Those novels are too special to capture with an agglomeration of adjectives and whatnots. So I don’t review them pronto. That doesn’t mean I will never review them. Just not today.
And then there are those that do end up getting reviewed. Disclaimer: I speak no rocket science, you may agree with me, but I haven’t formulated The Theory to rule them all. But in the years I’ve been doing this (both for books and films*), I realized the more I attempt to write a review, the more I make sense of what I thought and how I felt about the work in question. Observations and conclusions I would’ve otherwise not arrived at goes barreling towards me. It’s like opening the floodgates, everything just comes rushing out.
But does not reviewing make the experience less than it is?
Validating the Experience
I know people who are voracious readers but do not post reviews; they have neither blogs nor Goodreads accounts. And that’s fine, it really is. Not reviewing does NOT make the experience less than it is. It doesn’t make you less a reader, either. You can be a thoughtful, critical eater of books (if that’s what you’re shooting for) without writing reviews. And that’s fine.
So tell me: how often do you review your books? Or if you don’t, do you join the conversation?