Insecure Writer's Support Group

If You Don’t Have Time to Read… #IWSG #writerslife #amreading

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and time for another posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Learn more here.

I saw this question on the IWSG site a while back and thought I’d answer it today.

Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

I have this footnote on all my review posts and in my Goodreads bio:

*FYI, my reviews are my honest opinion and if something bothers me, I tell it straight. How else will anything change? My opinions are based on being a voracious reader and book buyer, not an attack on the author.*

Why? Because apparently when something triggers me personally in a story and I say so in a review, it is apparently an attack on the one who wrote it.

When I write a review, it is for me. I write about what worked, what didn’t work, what I liked, what I disliked.

I sometimes add things like how using too much italics is an issue for me to read as I’m neurodivergent and publishers/authors should take note of these things to make books more accessible to all readers.

And I sometimes get carried away a write a bit of a critique about the book, but that’s usually because I see so much potential in it.

But there are also times that I DNF a book (Did Not Finish).

You have the first five pages to convince me to stick around. There are plenty of books out there to be read and only so much time to do so: and I prefer spending my time with characters/settings I like.

if you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. simple as that. stephen king

Here’s a list of various posts I wrote about leaving reviews and reading:

An excellent book on the subject: “Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier” by J Lenni Dorner. Check out my review here.

I’ve been trying to read a lot more books each year, to fill the creative well and to learn more about what makes a good story. I share my reviews here on the blog and I also set myself a challenge each April to read books according to the letters of the alphabet. I’m doing it again this April.

You can read my A-Z reviews 2022 and 2023, and my year-end reviews here, here, here and, most recently, here.

My Unicorn Rating Meaning:

5 unicorn star rating
5 = An excellent book.
4 unicorn star rating
4 = A great book. Something detracts (genre expectations, etc.) from making it excellent.
3 unicorn star rating
3 = A good book. Can be better, though (e.g. lacklustre characters).
2 unicorn star rating
2 = A disappointing read.
1 unicorn star rating
1 = DNF (did not finish) or the book flies in the face of all that’s decent (morality and literacy).
imagination is like a muscle. i found out that the more i wrote, the bigger it got. philip jose farmer

I hope this has answered the question satisfactorily. For more books I’ve read and reviewed, check out either my Pinterest board about reviews or my Goodreads profile. Alternatively, you can check out my reviews on BookBub. You can learn loads more on my For Authors page here.

*I’m currently facing family medical issues, so I’ll visit back whenever I get a chance.

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12 thoughts on “If You Don’t Have Time to Read… #IWSG #writerslife #amreading”

  1. Like Natalie, I don’t review books that I don’t at least sort of like, and haven’t yet reviewed a DNF.

    And that quote from Philip José Farmer… I thought I thought of that analogy myself! I’ve used it for years!

  2. I’m similar to the two above me; I don’t write a review if there wasn’t something I liked about the book (unless there’s something like a problematic stereotype I want to call out). As an author, reading the good reviews can help with that whole self doubt insecurity but as you said they aren’t for the author. Though, I’ve started to look at them for marketing. Example, several mentioned my book starts out slow – that’s on purpose. So I’m leaning into that and drawing parallels to other books, like Lord of the Rings, that start slow.

  3. I only review books I like, Ronel. I’m too soft-hearted to deal with books I don’t like. I’m just one post-of-view, and other readers might like the same book just fine. I hope that you are enjoying IWSG Day!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Sorry to hear about the medical issues. I’ll be keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers. I’ve always enjoyed your reviews but I can see someone being sensitive to what they deem as a personal attack or critique. I try to learn from reviews and ignore what I don’t like. I’ll be in touch soon.

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