Thursday, July 4, 2013

Reviewing Quirks...

Being a bookworm is awesome, although we've got our own share of quirks and stuff that feels like creepy crawlies trawling along on our arm! I'm not going to talk about that. When I started with this blog, I had no idea I would be doing whatever I'm doing right now. Seriously, if you go look at the initial posts and the reviews I post now, you wouldn't believe they're by the same (insert adjectives synonymous with 'intelligent' and 'sweet' and alright, naive too) girl. I've learned a lot yes, and most of it has been totally unexpected and exceedingly exciting! :D (Shamelessly I'm saying again, if you're someone who'll pay me for reading-and okay, reviewing- and if you like what I write, hire me :P ). However we do come with our own share of weirdness and quirks and I'm sure, book bloggers would agree!

1. Having to answer the question, "What book would you suggest me?"
This is the question I'm confronted with the most. Knowing that someone values my opinion is definitely charming, though it brings with it a sense of responsibility, don't you think? If someone sincerely asks for a book recommendation, I'd want to suggest something they'd really like, because that way they'd read even more, right? Answering the question makes me nervous, though. I first want to know what kind of a book they prefer. There are all sorts of books! How do I know what they'd like to read? Those who define a category are easier to deal with. Those who answer mechanically, 'whatever you think is good' are the hard nuts to crack. What I like might be something you would hate. It's such a risky answer. But then if your recommendation turned out successful, it feels more than awesome. :D

2. Giving review books priority over books you have been dying to read.
You salivate just looking at bookstores, kiosks with discounted books, amazing offers online and end up buying gorgeous books you want to just sit down and read. Anytime, anywhere. You bring them home, make a place for them on your bookshelf-shrine and lean back to admire how perfect they look. Then your eyes land upon the 'review' pile, books you've received for reviews and your heart drops down slightly, because sometimes you want to read what your heart says and not what you signed up for. In the end, before you know it, you're reading review books and it's been months since you read the first book in the Vampire Academy series and the rest of them are still stacked, unread, witnessing your sad, droopy, puppy eyed looks. 

3. Making reviews interesting...... and different.
Especially with similar books, or books by the same author where the writing style is very similar (obviously), you've got to think a lot and delve deep into what you actually feel about the book, because otherwise all your reviews would end up being somewhat similar. And hence, boring. Which I don't personally want my reviews to be. (Tell me if you think the reviews seem boring or repetitive?). Picking up from some blogger, where I read about this technique the blogger uses, I now make notes of the points I wish to talk about in the review. There are certain things that come to mind when I'm reading and it is 100% likely I'll forget it soon, so I note down those thoughts and it actually gives me a lot to write about when I'm finally down writing a review. Plus, with all the book bloggers and lovers out in the blogosphere, it does take effort to effectively bring out your love and thoughts on books. Something that makes your reviews different and useful! 

4. Tasting a different dish. And not liking it.
Sometimes you feel so tempted with a book available for review, even though it's not your usual kind of a book, you might have been attracted to it's cover (like psychos like me do), or whatever reason, you get a book, the kind you never read before and unfortunately, you end up understanding that it's actually not your kind of a dish. The reading experience feels forced and reviewing becomes even more difficult, because you try not to be biased. Hard, hard work.

5. Avoiding same-book reviews until you write your own!
I usually avoid reading any kind of a review of a book whose review I'm waiting to write, for fear of unintended plagiarism. I don't know what other reviewers feel about this, but I just can't read a review and not think about it, so I guess I might as well not read them at all. Once I've posted my version though, I am open and free to read others' versions. :D

6. Turning down a review request.
God, this is the worst aspect for me. I hate turning down requests, but I have to. One, my college takes up 90% of my life, forget about time. Two, there are just some kind of books I can't just read. And it feels bad to have to say No when it's a book I know is not my thing. Still, you have to do what you have to do. 

All this is actually fun to deal with, if you look at it from my perspective. Nothing gives you as much satisfaction as getting to know that someone read and loved a book you recommended, or a book after reading your reviews. Initially I wished people would at least read these. I had no idea what impact a genuine book talk/review could make. I still think we're not yet aware of its full potential, because it is actually huge! After the first person who said she purchases books based on my reviews, I've had quite a few such responses. Maybe they did not even read that much before, maybe once they bought and loved a book based on a review that touched them, they read more of the blog and get more books. It's just amazing. I'm never ashamed of being looked like a shy person who's 'too much' into books and maybe even 'boring'. I seriously don't care, because people's judgment is faulty, not me. Plus, I've already brought about a difference to a few lives in a very minuscule way, but I'm sure it'll last forever. It made a positive impact, which is far more than what the 'loudspeakers' ever do. I'm oh-so-proud! ^_^

PS- I've posted after a long time. College college! Apologies for this tardiness. I'm working on it.! :D


12 comments:

  1. awww. don't worry sooner you will get time to finish almost all the books. And yes its good to prioritise things in life specially when it is the matter of education :)

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    1. Yeah I guess. :)
      Thanks for your comment :)

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  2. unable to read a single word!!! Please change the template

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    1. Hey, the template doesn't work sometimes when you're logged in through a system that doesn't support blogs or something. My college computers also messed up the template and I couldn't read anything at all. I guess you saw it from the office computer? If you see this from home and it's still not okay, or if you are already seeing from home and it's not okay, do let me know. I'll see what's wrong and try fixing it! Thanks for letting me know :)

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  3. Oh... it is sooo relatable Ashna.. a huge same pinch for this one!!

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  4. Sympathies Ashna :P

    Here after a long time. Reading this actually makes me wanna apply for reviewing too.
    And yes, your reviews are interesting, most of the time! :D

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    1. Haha! You should! ;)

      Most of the time? I'm now going to pester you for details :P Thanks! :D

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  5. I have a couple of book review offers at hand. But because of the fact that i am selective now a days when it comes to picking up books, i am confused whether to accept or not. Your post makes absolute sense Ashna. But then, you get to read. And that is what makes me go for it :)

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    1. Hey Maliny.! :) That's great you're into this too! I usually politely refuse if it's not my thing, I don't know if I could do justice to something I anyway am not accustomed to. I hope you like those books! :) Thanks for your comment :)

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  6. Puppy eyed looks.. hahahaha, that was cute :P But hey, first, heartiest felicitaciones en el poste cent├ęsimo(me+google :P) :D :D It is the perfect post for the occasion ;)

    I could relate to points 1,2 and 4, if only in an infinitesimally small manner, cause it's a long way to get there for me. But really, it was so good to read and the fifth point is what I'll be thankful to you for suggesting me always. It really is the way to go when writing a review :)

    Again, congratulations and I wish a very amazing future for this blog and you with the books ahead. Keep writing these awesome reviews, you know half my books come from your suggestions and reviews ;) ^_^

    Hugs. :D

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    1. :D :D :D You manage to make me feel awesome on the worst of days! Why didn't I see this comment before? Thanks so so so much. :D

      You don't just know how awesome it makes me feel when you say you've read andddd liked the books. It is amazing. ^_^ Thankyou for trusting me.

      Double time hugs back to you! :)

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