a time for reflection and improvement | quarantine thoughts

by - 7:50 PM

Next week marks the start of week number 5 of social distancing and I'm starting to experience the restlessness that comes with feeling unsatisfied by my recent accomplishments. Since I've been home, I've settled into a pretty low-energy routine that consists of waking up, doing my homework, and attending Zoom conferences for my student teaching practicum. I have also been trying to re-explore different favorite pastimes such as reading, blogging, journaling, and watching new kdramas that are currently airing.

As I slowly venture back onto the bookish sphere of social media, my mind has been reflecting a lot on my own contributions to the community that I have participated in for so many years. In short, I came to the realization that I love reading and watching other people's book reviews as well as creating my own, but I don't feel proud or satisfied with the end results. 

I spent a good couple of hours last night trying to formulate what exactly I felt was missing from my reviews - what I thought was making them sub-par in my mind. Essentially, I think there are two overarching umbrellas when it comes to reviews: emotional reactions and critical analysis. Personal preferences will swing towards one side of this pendulum or the other and of course, the "perfect review" is always subjective to the reader.

From the writer's perspective, my reviews have always swung more towards having an emotion-based foundation. I'm terrible when it comes to remembering details about books and so I find myself including moments that have triggered an emotional response during the reading process. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, I can't help but feel like I haven't encapsulated everything I want to say about a book if I just talk about the feels.

I went through and read a couple reviews for books that have recently climbed onto my favorites list and for most of them, was left feeling like my thoughts were incomplete. This entire post, for which I spent too long agonizing over every single word being written, is basically to say that I want to work on writing better reviews that I can feel proud of. Hopefully, since we have more time on our hands, I can finally cut down on my massive TBR pile and practice finding a better sense of what my "review voice" is. 

What do you typically look for in a review and who are some of your favorite reviewers?

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2 Comments

  1. I can relate to the schedule that you are describing: my days lately have consisted of waking up, a lot of zoom classes, and readings and homework with a little bit of blogging and journaling sprinkled in when there's time. I like to think that my reviews have a balance of the emotional and the critical, but the critical is something I am still working to improve. I do think that I've become a more critical reader since I started my blog (which was in middle school...ahahaha...), but it's something I'm still trying to lean into more.

    claire @ clairefy

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    1. The critical part is so hard 😓 and definitely something I want to improve on - I think I need to get out of my head and stop being so harsh on myself for not writing a perfect analysis paper every time I review a book 😅

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