Random Book Musings: How long does it take you to prepare your review? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers


I always have these random questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question.  We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do.

So this next question that I had for the Traveling Sisters is one that I have been wondering about for a while now and I am really curious to hear from you all.  I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us. 

Norma’s random book question:

How long does it take you to prepare your review? Do you have your own style that you like to follow or does your reflection towards the book give you an indication of how you will review it?

So for all you readers out there that don’t review, I would still love to hear from you.  So my question for you is.  Do you take notes while reading?

Web_L285-3_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Answer

Reviewing is not an easy task for me and can take a few hours. Sometimes up to three hours to do one review. If I love the book and I am excited about it then my review takes much less time. I have a format that I like to follow or else I would just sit here and not know where to start.

All the points that I include in my review are things that mean something to me while I am reading a book. I am definitely an emotional reader and I like my reviews to reflect that emotion. I just recently included “Norma’s Stats” in my reviews and that section is lots of fun to prepare and also all meaningful points to me while I am reading. I have had a lot of positive feedback about those stats.

I was brainstorming with Kris one day and asked her what makes my reviews Norma’s reviews and how could I add something to my reviews to reflect that and we came up with “Norma’s Stats”.

No, I always think that I should take notes but I never do. I have good intentions but I never follow through. To be honest when I’m reading I don’t want to stop and write something down…..I just want to read. LOL

img_6349Brenda’s Answer

Like Norma writing reviews is not easy for me.  I struggle with putting words to my thoughts. I do my reviews in steps and one review can take me days.  I write notes on paper because I love paper and pens, after reading a book.  I read the discussion thread again and gather everyone’s thoughts.  Then go back and and try to put them into sentences.  Then I put them into docs and try to pull everything together.  This is the hardest step.  I will find so many things to distract myself from doing this.  So this part can take me all day to complete. Sometimes I have to pull out the wine, however I just discovered that drinking and blogging is not such a great idea when I knocked over a glass of beer on to my chrome book.  So no more chrome book. I should of stuck to wine. I am now using my son’s computer.   As for a format I have a few things I like to write about in most reviews and I use that as a guideline. Mostly like Kris I go with what stood out for me and the group.

Web_L149-3_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s Answer

I am all over the place with my reviews. Some take minutes and seem to flow quickly. Other times, I feel stumped and it can take me over an hour to get the wording proper. Sometimes I just set it aside for the next day if I can’t quite get my thoughts down properly. There is no format for me – whatever feels right for that book.
I never take notes although I wish I did. I attempted it in the past and found it takes away from my reading enjoyment to stop and write things down. If I’m loving what I’m reading, I just want to keep going and continue enjoying instead of breaking and writing it down.

FC-10-CarlyKristin’s Answer

I really love reading about everyone’s reviewing process!
Mine is not typically consistent, I guess, and I can take anywhere from ten minutes to all-damn-day to write a review! (Not quite “all day”, but you get it;)

I’m such a second-guesser, and I always question whether what I’ve written is sufficient enough to convey how the book impressed me.

But I review on a mostly emotional level and I don’t really have a format. Sometimes I discuss plot, sometimes I don’t. But I will always touch on my emotions as the reader, and the quality of writing.

Different elements stand out in every book. It’s those “things” that stand out that I like to emphasize.

Now to the best part.  Your answers.  Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

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26 thoughts on “Random Book Musings: How long does it take you to prepare your review? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers”

  1. Great question!

    I do have a structure that helps me focus on my feelings about the story and less time on telling information about the book, which I reserve for the opening paragraph. Next comes what I refer to as “the heart of the thing” where I go into detail about what worked or didn’t work about the story. Lastly is the bottom line, a succinct summary of my overall opinion.

    Because I have this structure in my head, it doesn’t take me very long to write them, maybe about 15 minutes, more like a 1/2 hour for tricky mysteries and thrillers that need more care to avoid spoilers.

    There are times, however, when I’ve been so blown away by a book that I just go freeform.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jonetta, I love that “the heart of the thing” and that you do a review in less than a half hour! That is awesome. I need to learn how you think! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Some incite so many emotions that it comes pouring out, and some take too much time. Anything more than half hour, I know that my mind is stumped, so I let go and tackle it when words come to me.
    On the whole I don’t spend more than half hour, sometimes an hour…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wish that I could prepare a review as quickly as you do Shalini. If I do it right away I will do it much quicker but sometimes being able to do it right away isn’t possible. I need to learn to let go when it just isn’t coming to me and I think that would help to! So thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I need to learn when the thoughts aren’t there to walk away and come back later as I would probably to able to write a review better too. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great question! The review itself probably takes me about 20 minutes. I have a style, but my main thing is not to reveal any more than the blurb does, and to focus more on my personal thoughts about the story, style, structure etc. I like to be honest, but never unkind and make an effort not to continually use the same language. My review post itself takes a little longer, but I often have that prepared in advance of reading the book and just add the review itself when I finish reading. I always read it through before posting and quite often ‘tweak’ it.
    Love hearing how you ladies do things! xX

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I like your process of reviewing! I like to be honest too but never unkind. I do have a style as well and probably use the same language. I try to change it up but I seem to go back to my descriptive wording. LOL Thanks so much for sharing and I am glad that you liked my question this week! It is so much fun learning and hearing how we all review!

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  4. I’m impressed by how much work goes into some reviews. Mine are usually pretty brief, sometimes more of a reminder to myself about why I liked a book. Once in a while I make notes on my laptop when I’m taking a break from reading but not often. I don’t always write a review immediately after finishing a book as sometimes I need to filter what I’ve just read.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m always impressed too with how well some reviews reflect the book and how much work has gone into them too. Brief reviews I think are just as meaningful as longer ones and I like it that it sometimes is a reminder to yourself. That is actually why I started to review because I wanted to be able to look at it and remember more easily. I tend to forget a book once I close it. Thanks so much for sharing your reviewing process! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great question!!

    It takes me anywhere from 1/2 hour to 4 hours to write my review. There are some days where the words just flow. Then there are others where I stare at my keyboard and go “How am I going to start this”.

    I flow between having a set format that I follow, for the most part. I will tweak areas of it if I need to. I usually start off with an opening statement about how I felt about initially reading the book and how I feel after it is done. Then I go onto discuss the main characters and main plotlines (as spoiler free as possible) and how they made me feel. I also will discuss the genre it is in and if I think it was a fit. For the romance novels, I will discuss chemistry and sex. Then I have a closing statement. Which is followed by 3 things I like, 3 things I disliked about the book. Then why I chose the rating and what age range I feel the book is appropriate for.

    I will make notes on my Kindle but never have them on paper. I am horrible with that. I am also horrible with checking my notes I make on the Kindle….lol. You can find me flipping back through the book to double check what I am writing is correct.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh I love your whole review process, Jolie! My first question to myself is always “how am I going to start this” too even though I have a format I follow….I still get stumped! LOL I’m so glad you liked my question for this week and thank you so much for sharing! I loved reading how you review! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Great question ladies, I’m loving this new feature! I take probably up to forty-five minutes to write a review but it can take slightly longer if I have a lot to say and blabber on. I’m not sure how I’d describe my reviewing style, I tend to sum up my feelings in the first paragraph, talk a little bit about the content in the second and in the third and fourth (and sometimes fifth! 😂) delve a little deeper into why I liked the book/any criticisms. I think I’m quite an emotional writer, I tend to say exactly what I think but try to stay fair and have positive things to say even if I’ve been a bit critical! 😕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Beth and I’m so happy to hear that you are loving this feature! I am loving it too and it is so much fun learning how we all review. Thanks so much for sharing your review process and I think you write great reviews! 🙂

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  7. I am like Kristin. Some of my reviews take a short time and flow easily, others take longer. It is important to me that I do my reviews almost right after reading the book when my thoughts are fresh. I can always go back and change them if my ideas change after letting my ideas stew a bit. I do not really have a format, but I try to include a brief synopsis of the story, then talk about the characters, the plot etc. I need to think more about how a story makes me feel, that is something that is hit and miss for me. I like the idea of your stats, or reviews that list, what I liked and what I didn’t like but books are not that cut and dried for me. I guess overall, I am all over the place and that seems to work for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well I totally think your reviews are awesome, Carla so it is definitely working for you! 🙂
      Brenda tells me I have to think more about what I am reading instead of what I’m feeling! LOL I’m definitely an emotional reader.
      Thanks so much for sharing, Carla! I loved reading how you review! 🙂

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  8. This is such a great question! I have often wondered about this process. I find I do best if I write the review immediately after reading the book. I don’t spend much time on it. I take notes along the way of things I might want to include. I glance at the notes and write my feelings. I always double check the blurb so I don’t give more away than that. If I put it off, it is much harder for me to gather my thoughts. I think it is because I am no longer having the strong feeling of excitement over the book at that point. I still remember liking it but that actual “thrill” gasp, omg feeling has passed. Loved this question! It is so interesting to see what others do.

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    1. I am so happy that you enjoyed this weeks question, Kim and thank you so much for sharing your review process! I’m with you in reviewing immediately after finishing a book as I feel pretty much the same way that you do. I remember liking the book but then I have such a problem pinpointing what it was that I actually did like. I find it really interesting as well seeing what others do and loving everyone’s answers! 🙂

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  9. I usually follow my own format for reviews (and make sure that include both good and bad things!). However, I usually take notes as I read through so that helps time-wise – nothing very formal, just on a scrap of paper or the notes on my phone. If I liked the book, I can get a review done in an hour, and if I didn’t it can take a good few!

    I think the idea of doing your own ‘stats’ is great though, I hope that when I’ve written a few more reviews I can include something more unique!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree if I loved the book the review flows much more smoothly than if it was just an okay read. I try to remain positive whether I disliked something or not and sometimes that is hard to express properly in my reviews. I am so happy to hear that you like my stats. I really wanted to come up with something that makes my reviews uniquely Norma’s. LOL

      Thanks so much for sharing your review process and I am sure that you will come up with something uniquely yours as well! I look forward to seeing what you come up with so please let me know when you do!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I do jot down notes usually when I read so that when I’m done I can recall enough to write a review that doesn’t take forever. This helps since sometimes I read several books at once and keeping everything straight can be a challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great way to keep the books separate and your thoughts organized! And probably makes review writing a little easier. Thanks for your thoughts!! 😊💜

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