I’ve been struggling, for a long time, basically since I started writing this blog, to figure out how best to write about books.
For a while, I tried a series called Tuesday Books For Writers. Mostly, it was a challenge to myself. To articulate what I learned from a book as a writer and relay it to you. But I often found it excruciating to write. I never looked forward to the experience so I stopped full stop.
While I am inspired by those writers that review books (I read so many book blogs, it is insane) I have never felt comfortable writing a so-called book review. When you review a book you must examine it. You must study and consider it. In some ways, it becomes a formal inspection. A military-like evaluation. And when you write a review you must give a critical report.
That sense of formality, that structure, gives me anxiety. What are the terms? How should a book’s quality be measured? And what kind of balanced evaluation do you owe a reader (or the author for that matter)? How many books can you celebrate or attack before you lose a reader’s trust? And, in the end, is it really about earning that trust at all?
In other words…I am in awe of those that tackle these questions and churn out reviews so that I don’t have to.
But the reviews I love to read have none of that formality. They express a feeling, a guttural impression. They capture what it feels like to be with an author’s words, to breathe them in, and be left breathless.
I want to do that. I don’t know how. I will not call it a review. I might not call it anything at all. But I want to find the virtual equivalent of handing over a book to a friend and saying, I want you to have this.
Thoughts? I know you have them.