A couple of days ago I read Lauren’s post in which she discusses reading, rating, and reviewing, and how following either her head or her heart can alter the “bookish process” as she calls it. After reading that post I began to think about how I’m a lot like Lauren, in that when I read, rate, and review, and form opinions, I tend to follow my brain for some jobs, and my heart for others. So I decided to write a post similar to her’s, discussing my thought process when it comes to reading and reviewing.
I read fully with my heart. I read for enjoyment. Becoming a book blogger and reviewing books hasn’t changed that for me at all. It’s actually pretty rare where I’ll read a book and not enjoy it at least a little bit. That’s because when I read I’m totally into it, and I’m having fun, because much like blogging, reading is a hobby. I don’t over-analyze or criticize the writing while I read, because for me, that would ruin the story. Even if it’s the worst story in the world, I could probably pinpoint a part that I enjoyed. Of course there are things that will stand out as negative sometimes, but I try not to focus on that and let it take away from the parts I’m enjoying. That’s just how I am. I love a story. And most of all, I love reading them.
If you’ve noticed, I don’t DNF many books, and the majority of the books I read are rated 3 or above. Now I like to think that’s because I’m getting good at choosing what I’ll like, and what will be a good read, but it’s also because as I said before, I can pretty much find something to like. Now you’re probably thinking, well, does this mean her reviews aren’t reliable?
Reviewing is where I get to be the composed and intelligent blogger and the crazy fangirl at the same time. I review with my head and my heart, but depending on the book one will most likely dominate the other. For some books, I don’t really decide on a rating until after I’ve written my review. While I write about a book, I can kind of gauge the quality of the book and the enjoyment I felt from reading it based upon how many fangirly paragraphs I write, and how many nit-picky ones I write. So if you’ve been reading this blog a while, you’ve probably noticed how my reviews don’t have a particular style to them. Sometimes I’ll be serious, sometimes I’ll go on crazy rants of rage or excitement. It just depends on me, and the book.
Ratings are where I solely use my brain. This is for a couple of reasons. The first being that someone may visit the blog, skim the review, and miss out on a point that I made. I want the rating to accurately convey how I feel that the majority of readers would think of the book (which I would assume to be more along the lines of a serious and more analytical view). Also, ratings are more universal. There’s Goodreads ratings, other bloggers ratings, etc. Each mean different things specifically, but the accepted star rating system is 1 to 5, 1 being bad, 5 being amazing based on the quality of the book. For example, I’ve written fangirly reviews for books that I’ve only given a 3 star rating because while the story was there, the writing wasn’t.
So how do you read, rate, and review? Who wins out: your head or your heart?