I’ve been thinking about this lately ever since I started writing detailed reviews and blogging – how the time period between finishing reading a book and reviewing it changes your outlook or how you review it. Is there a correlation between the length of waiting to review and your enjoyability of that book?
Even after reviewing a book then looking back to it, say a year later can change your perspective and I’ve heard and seen a lot of people cop off a star when they review a review and there are so many reasons. Sometimes the rating goes up when you realise perhaps you were a bit harsh and a bit unreasonable. That’s for another time. For now, I’ll try to stay on track otherwise this blog post can transform into a rambling essay. I know many people rate and review ASAP to remember all their thoughts or it seems like the most appropriate time.
However, I’m one of those people who likes to chill and calm down, then wait. Then write a word vomit review. Then write a full coherent review. That “coherent” review can sometimes take days after I finish reading the book because I am a pro at procrastination.
And yes I do that entire process on purpose because (a) I write down notes in a separate notebook. SEPARATE. So I don’t forget what I thought at that point of reading and I can check if my predictions are correct. Though it’s hardly legible most of the time because I just want to get back to reading and sometimes when I read back, it doesn’t even make sense. Reason (b) is because I think when writing that review straight away, I’m going to be highly influenced by the ending, and though the ending is VERY important to a story, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole book. If the ending is meh, I’m more likely going to dim down my appreciation of the book and a rant may replace that review. On the other hand, if the ending is absolutely phenomenal, mind-blowing, extraordinary and all those words, I’m more likely going to disregard flaws in the book that I’ll sweep aside because. THAT ending.
I’m not saying what I do is right, nor is a different approach the wrong one, but I want my reviews to indicate the spectacular parts of the book as well as the… weaknesses? Last impressions count, eh?
However, writing reviews are such a personal thing and there isn’t the “proper” way of writing them. I just want to consider the difference of reviews, if you write it immediately to if you write it hours or even days later.
This blog post was literally an excuse to use that GIF.
I find that usually when I review a book, my rating or my thoughts become more negative over time which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Also being the world’s biggest overthinker, I will in fact: overthink. I also have a bad habit of looking at the average Goodreads rating and my friends’. Stop me please. I constantly need to remind myself that this is my review, my thoughts and my opinion on the book which can’t be wrong as long as I justify my “reasoning”. Yes often I have to translate this reason: laergjne dhlsgiu aghhhh in my head to actual English words.
I guess that’s a disadvantage of leaving time between reading and reviewing; influences. Sometimes you know exactly what you think of a book, and the review is nice and pretty. Other days, it can be easier to point at a sentence on another person’s review and say “that’s exactly what I thought too” OR “I thought the complete opposite of that”, rather than come up with what you thought which may actually be in the middle of those two, and difficulties of verbalising arise. Maybe that’s just me and you are all satisfactory (and above) at pinpointing your thoughts and reasoning.
Even if you don’t look at other or similar perspectives of a book, what seemed appealing during the time of reading might actually turn out to be disturbing the more you think about it… and you don’t like disturbing. Or after a while you realised that character you hated who ruined the whole book only spoke twice in that 500-page novel, therefore it might be irrational thinking to take off 2 stars. Just a thought.
Just like how everyone’s rating systems are different, so are the aspects of the book that contribute to someone’s opinion of a good book. And sometimes, you need time to truly appreciate an aspect of a book or let it sink in. Making connections between things may also take some time.
Me (after reading): that was fun
Me (1 hour after reading): what about…
Me (3 hours after reading): THAT’S SO SMART AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE because … [me going off on a tangent]
Come on you know the lyric:
… and at last I SEE THE LIGHT (#relevance)
But then does that make the review you write later on not *dramatic pause* your review?!? Is “your review” just a carbon copy of other reviews disguised under a mix of connecting words. Everyone: *a sea of eye rolls* stop being ridiculous, Emily. Me: sorry. Does allowing time to before you review even make a difference? This may very much end up being a personal “theory” that only applies to me. Your mind can change about the book anytime, and that’s okay!
I’ve done a lot of devil’s advocate today so I hope that wasn’t too confusing. Am I making this more complicated than it actually is? Very likely. Am I going to make you overthink it next time you review a book? Perhaps a little. Nah, my mind control powers aren’t that strong. Yet. I guess I’m in a very musical mood with the GIFs I’ve chosen in this post. So the ultimate question: when is it the best time to review a book? Is there even a “best waiting period”?
Do you review the books you read after an allocated period of time? Oooh look a poll to help (also because they’re fun). Other responses or thoughts you want to contribute are welcome too. Comment below!