It’s Tuesday afternoon and after yesterdays blog tour my stint of reviews is finally over. Finishing the ten day mark yesterday with a well-deserved review of The Vault I’m taking a little book blogging break in terms of reviews and bringing you a post on what I’ve learnt over the past ten days. The original reason for taking part in the challenge was to clear a little of the backlog that was starting to accumulate but also to take a closer look at my reviewing habits and see if there were improvements that the challenge would show me. I’ve learnt a lot over the past week and a half and I’m going to be making some changes to my reviews, which you can start to see in my last two reviews. Thank you once again to Suze and Sophie for running the review challenge and for the supportive tweets along the way.
1) Time: I have always thought when reviewing you need a lot of time to think over a book and reflect upon it once you’ve finished reading. Running out of books already read before the challenge, by day six, I had to completely overthrow this rule I normally have when reviewing. The decrease in time between reading and reviewing actually added a lot of spontaneity to my reviews and instead of focusing on the main bulk of the book I found myself picking out little details bringing together a more personal review. Although my notebook helps me to collate all the little things, reading and then immediately reviewing is sometimes the best way to review a book
2) Repetition: One of the things I found around day five was that reviewing books each day made me enjoy them so much more. I was a little worried I would become tired of reviewing each day, and it could be my competitive side, but I found myself looking forward to reviewing at the end of the day. Normally I get home after work, go out with friends then change into my pyjamas and slump about but I found myself feeling more alert knowing there was a review to write
3) Entirety: When I review I like to get everything in and I think this is what has been slowing my reviews. I panic that I’ll have left something out and upset the author a little if it’s the main event and I don’t sell it well enough. As the days went on, I found myself focusing on the whole of the book rather than spelling out everything. I learnt not everything needs to be said for the review to be an extensive one.
4) Fewer Mistakes: It comes with writing more frequently but I found as I reviewed that there were lesser mistakes as the days went on. Often I type out the review on word, read it, edit, then copy across and re-edit on WordPress. Saturday morning snuggled up in bed and wanting to get out and spend the day shopping I had to just do it once, and to be honest I was pretty stunned how well it flowed and how it got so much across. For someone that constantly worries about their reviews I have learnt I can get things done precisely without the time panics.
5) Worry Less: This one follows on, but I really need to worry less about reviews. On mylittlebookblog I’ve only had two bad experiences with authors and the rest, despite my reviews, positive or more critical have been wonderful. I need to worry less about writing reviews and enjoy letting you all know what I think despite what others think
6) If you put your mind to it nothing can stop you: I as like everyone have bad days, and often after a tough day at work I feel the need to just slump in front of a film or read all snuggled up in bed. On Sunday I was feeling rather groggy and cruddy but the reviews had to go on. After a couple of hours of sulking I plugged in my rather tired laptop and managed to pull the review out the bag. I felt so much better for it, and I think in the future when I’m having an off day I’ll remember that Sunday and do something a little more productive.
7) Genre matters: I have always been a stoic blogger in that I accept books from all genres regardless of personal taste. I know for many it doesn’t work but for me I cannot help but want to read everything (seriously!) Throughout the ten days I reviewed romance, thriller, comedy, a children’s book, a book on personal discovery and even a book that re-evaluated life after death. This challenge has only helped to reinforce my love of reviewing all types of books from every genre.
8) I can read more: I struggle sometimes with reading, and working, blogging and writing for three online publications; however I have always known I don’t make enough time for reading. This challenge has showed me I can get so much more read in a day. I found myself taking books everywhere; whilst making coffee in the morning, waiting for the bus, on the bus, lunch breaks, on the bus home and for a little while before finally turning in for the night. What surprised me was I didn’t lose any time I was just using it so much more productively.
9) Regularity: Linking to this, I now know I can review more regularly but still keep the same quality. Obviously when I’m really busy, particularly at the end of the month I can be more seldom in my reviews but I know now that I have the capacity to read and review more regularly. You’re going to be seeing a lot more posting in the next coming months and maybe my own review challenge.
10) There is still something utterly magical about staying up into the early hours of the morning to finish a book: This is something I used to do a lot as a child, I would be exhausted in the morning and my parents could tell just by looking at me that I had barely slept a wink. I guess there’s something inherently lovely about being physically unable to turn in a book and that’s something I got to rediscover whilst finishing the challenge.
So there you go, ten things I’ve learn over the past week and a half; it wasn’t easy, it wasn’t impossibly difficult but I’ve realised a lot about my blogging tendencies and how I can get the most out of mylittlebookblog and give more to you, my wonderful readers. Any comments, questions as always pop them below!
See all the reviews from the challenge here:
P.S: Some are labelled day and some are labelled review. Due to technical problems although all written on different days, they had to be posted on the same day which then messed up the numbers for the rest of the ten days. However there are all there! 😀 <3