Simply Reading

I haven’t felt much like writing about books lately – as you can probably tell from the dearth of book talk going on here at Bookstack.  Although I’ve been reading, I haven’t had the energy to put my thoughts about the books into words.

Reviewing books is a big effort for me.  I’m not quite sure why that’s so, but probably because my first reaction to reading is emotional rather than factual.  Writing a “review” sort of forces me to turn my brain inside out and think about the book in terms of plot and writing style and character development, when really want to simply say I loved it- or not.

I read the really wonderfully written reviews my book-blogging colleagues post, and I sigh, because my brain just can’t compete with their astute comments and analysis.  In all honesty, I sometimes get tired and depressed about it.  That’s sort of where I’ve been lately, mentally speaking that is.  Hence, the lack of posts.

So I may take a short break from writing about books – or even thinking about writing about books.   You’ll still find me online at Twitter (@RavenousReader) and at Becca’s Byline.

Otherwise, I’ll be simply reading.

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9 thoughts on “Simply Reading

  1. Sometimes I long for the days when I could “simply” read for enjoyment. Feeling compelled to review books is like a chore (or a job) sometimes, but one of the reasons I keep doing it is so that I’ll recall little tidbits about the books months later.

    I know there are many whose reviews are more “astute” than mine in terms of those aspects you described…but sometimes, an emotional reaction is what I’m looking for in others’ reviews. I don’t read books unless I’ll enjoy them (usually), and enjoyment (for me, anyway) is an emotional response. So if someone else connects with a book on an emotional level and describes that in a review, I’m more likely to pick up that book.

    So however you want to review books is really all that your readers want to see…but I certainly understand taking a break from the task.

    Hope you will enjoy your reading while you’re “away” from reviewing.

  2. I quite understand that blogging is hard to maintain over a long period of time and that it can become a chore to review. You must do whatever brings you the most pleasure and peace of mind. But don’t stop blogging because other people do literary criticism or whatever. That’s often positively disliked by a large section of the blogging audience. Nor do people always want long and detailed posts. The great thing about books is that everyone’s response is interesting and valid, and it doesn’t really matter what angle a book is approached from.

    But still, I’m a fan of blogging holidays and have always felt better for them – rest up and enjoy all your lovely reading!

  3. Becca, I completely understand. You so perfectly capture how I feel when I have to write a book—turning my brain inside out, moving from the emotional to the factual, having to go back and retrace the plot points. But can I just tell you that I have learned SO much from you? That you have led me to some of my favorite people and books. And that I value you deeply and dearly.

    Take all the time you need. But please, too, stay near.

  4. I think that you described it perfectly – reviewing books is like turning one’s head inside out. I consider myself an emotional reader who has to be guided into reading analytically. I also admit that skill is lacking since I left college many moons ago. (At what point did I begin to use the saying many moons…)

    I’ve struggled with reviews and have finally come to terms with the fact that some of my reviews are just going to flow conversationally. They’re not gonna be this fantastic writing piece that rivets the readers. I’ll probably even make the occasional (often?) typo!

  5. Read to your heart’s content, and know that if you want to say simply you liked it or didn’t, that’s all good with me. Honestly? I don’t read long book reviews. I only need to hear a line or two, maybe see the cover, know maybe something about the author instead. It is rarely the “compleat review” that pushes me one way or the other.
    So read and enjoy. There are no rules.

  6. This week I helped my oldest daughter with her very first official book review, it was for a contest –so there were rules and word counts involved. The review was of a beloved book (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and it was very emotional for her –somehow she managed to wrap it all up into a brilliant first try… if I do say so myself (the proud mother!)

    I have the same problem with sharing what I think of books, usually I experience feelings about books, less words, much emotion… I like SHORT book reviews, say three sentences, a brief description –a quickie, just so I remember what it was about and can help others find or avoid the book –if they like my opinion;)

    Enjoy reading –I am giddy myself as the world turns cooler here in Northern Michigan I know that soon it will be winter and READING season!

  7. I am totally with you. Here I am, reading Madame Bovary for like, oh, the eighth time in my life, and some bloggers are analyzing so much I never even saw…I just want to record the gut reactions Emma elicits in me. So, we’ll write what we want about what we read, and be glad for it, right?

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