It’s funny how the way I read books has changed ever since I started reviewing what I read and, well, ever since I started book blogging just as well.
I think about what I read more.
Before, I used to read a book without thinking too much about it. I went through the book, read the words, enjoyed them or not and then… well, I moved on.
Now, I’m reading a book and I think about it a lot. I think about the world-building, the writing, the characters and their depth, the pacing, I think about it twice more than before, or even three times if it’s a review copy.
I think about the books more because I want to review them properly and do them justice, too.
It has come to my attention that some book bloggers, when they become book bloggers, have noticed they become more and more critical with their reading. It seems to be the logical step to take. Book blogging = hearing about so many books = reading a little more than before sometimes = well, having more books to play the comparison game and, sometimes = becoming a little more critical.
Somehow in that equation, I seemed to have stopped at the moment where I become more critical. I know, deep down, I might be a little more critical than before. I know, because I’m reviewing books, I’m paying more attention to so many details that would have just flown past me, when I was just a reader, not a book reviewer. Yet, I also feel like I haven’t become more critical, somehow.
If you are a regular reader of my blog (I honestly can’t thank you enough and I love you, thank you for reading this), you might notice that I have a whole lot of reviews for 4 stars books, every now and then 3, 3,5, 4,5 stars and 5 stars. Well, to be fair, I’m using drops of rain and hurricane to stay on brand with my book ratings, but you get it. Ratings have a different intepretation for everyone, but for me, 3 is a fairly good rating. It means that I overall enjoyed it, despite having some issues with it.
Does this mean I know myself well and know what I will love really well, too???
Short answer is yes. Long answer is, it’s taken me a while but, after so many years of reading, I feel like I have mastered the fact of reaching out to books I’m almost certain I will love and, therefore, that results in me enjoying my books, rating them well and praising them and, yes. Maybe fear, every now and then, that people think I might be not critical enough, or not even critical enough to be a book blogger.
Related blog post: How to find and read only books you love
Some book bloggers are mastering the art of book reviewing and it always astonishes me, in a good way, how they are able to analyse everything in a story and write stunning reviews, perfectly encompassing every aspect of the book. Characters, world-building, pacing, plot holes and issues, everything is there. Sometimes, I feel like because I am not getting too into depth with it all, whether it’s in my book reviews or just when I am talking about books, that I’m not being critical enough. That I might be missing on a lot of things. That I’m just not doing enough somehow.
Then, my anxious little mind starts thinking that people might not trust me, because I review and praise books like, 99% of the time. Maybe they’re looking for some tea, some unpopular opinion and for some heavy, very critical post about books I couldn’t stand.
I’m not saying that will never happen, maybe someday it will, but as of now, despite my love to drink real tea a whole lot, I have no need, want or even enough books in my recently-read list to spill some tea on.
Then I remember that, it’s not because I’m a book blogger and book reviewer that I have to read everything like I’m having an assignment afterwards. It’s not high school and this is not required reading, at least not for me, even when it comes to ARCs I get lucky enough to get approved for. This is my hobby and, even if you might not find a whole lot of 2 or 1 star reviews on this blog, it’s okay, too. I’m book blogging and I’m reading books I like 99% of the time and maybe I don’t criticize enough, but maybe I’m a marshmallow and that’s just the way things are.
Other interesting discussions on critical reading you should check out:
- May @ Forever & Everly wrote : Do Book Ratings Have Anything To Do With Critical Reading?
- Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink wrote: Do people think I am genuine in my reviews?
Do you feel like you are a critical reader, or not? Do you feel like book bloggers have to be really critical in their reviews or not?
Do you pay attention to the reviewers and book bloggers you follow and whether or not they rate their reads generously or not? I’d love to hear from you, so let me know your thoughts in comments!