5 Reasons To Review Books

An article about reviewing your favourite reads and the benefits.
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Created by kpatterson

Published on Jun 19, 2024
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What stories have stuck with you? Perhaps they tugged on your heart strings, made you laugh until your lungs were sore or have a special meaning to you. If any recent book has had this impact on you, I can say with ninety percent certainty that the author would love to know. You might make someone's day, since writers are people too. Maybe you adored a specific sentence, rooted for the protagonist or resented the author eternally for killing your favourite character. Let the storyteller know! Nicely, of course. As a writer, nothing fills my heart as much as knowing that someone enjoyed my work. Before publishing a novel, there can be a lingering nervousness over making your work public. When you hear that someone had a nice stay in your little world, it's a truly wonderful feeling. Here's a few reasons why you should review your favourite novels!

Discover New Meanings (And Books)

Reviewing a book requires you to look closely at the specific parts you did or didn't enjoy. You may revisit the lines that stood out, pick apart the plot or evaluate the character's development. Overall, you might work out the genre, age range and other details to add to your review. Therefore, you can discover similar stories by studying the genre you've enjoyed. Is your top read a fantasy novel? A sci-fi YA book? You can search the web for books with the same themes or concepts – you might uncover your next favourite book. Equally, you can recognize new meanings or Easter eggs that you didn't spot the first time. Writers generally add tiny moments of foreshadowing or inside jokes for the reviewers to gasp at. You may even find hints to an upcoming sequel.

Add Book Reviewer to Your Experience

For anyone considering studying English at university level or working towards a job in the arts and literary sector, being a regular book reviewer can boost your experience. You could create a blog or Goodreads account as a dedicated reviewer, sticking to a certain genre and writing in-depth reviews for an audience. Not only does this allow your work to be published online, but you gain analytical skills from picking apart novels. If you're able to commit to deadlines for reviews, you may consider the next option...

Volunteer Roles

Becoming a reviewer via volunteering can be a good way to gain volunteer hours, or simply help out a literary magazine. For the readers spending tons in Waterstones – I feel your pain – free books are often available. Many small literary journals have application forms on their website for volunteer readers. Their systems may differ, but you could be assigned a certain book based on your interests or review a book of your choice. This may be in Ebook form or paperback. Once you finish the book, type up your thoughts and you may get your writing published in print! Becoming a voluntary reviewer has been a great experience for me. Last year, I joined Paper Lanterns YA Literary Journal to review YA fiction. Check them out, they're a lovely Irish magazine that publishes teen and adult writers! Their process is that reviewers register their favourite genres, and books are assigned on a rotating schedule to readers that fit their style. Books are sent out in the post, and you get a very reasonable deadline to finish reading and write a review. Finally, you get to see your thoughts published in a printed journal. Most literary journals will follow a similar routine!

Freebies

Once you sign up to be a volunteer reviewer or beta reader, you may receive a freebie or two from the publishers. This can include a bookmark, behind-the-scenes author interviews, little merchandise pieces for the book and beyond. In my experience, I've received a few copies of books with matching bookmarks. Once, I got a collectable copy of a fictional newspaper that the characters read in the novel itself. What reader doesn't need their trusty bookmarks?

Supporting Authors

One of the most important parts of reviewing books. You can support the writers with positive reviews and ratings, giving them the motivation to keep writing wonderful stories. Particularly, your local or underrepresented authors. If you leave a sweet comment on any platform, you could genuinely make them smile. Your honest thoughts could boost their career and act as such strong encouragement, and every bit of advice – even the constructive criticism – will be appreciated.

If you're on the final pages of a brilliant book, tell the writer and your fellow readers about what made that novel special. Two characters that you totally shipped, whether you'd like a sequel, or the swoon-worthy and laugh-out-loud moments. Every comment matters to the author and one kind word can mean the world to them. Writers write for the readers, so let them know what you think!

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