Blog Neglect and Reviews

"Watch me, Mom!"

"Watch me, Mom!"

Due to the lure of summer and the demands of work and children, I’ve been neglecting my blog.  I’m down from 3-5 posts per week to 1-2.  It’s not that I have less to say, only that I have less time to say it.  

But I have been reading!  I read during the kids’ pre-lifeguard classes at the high school. I read while watching their back handsprings and round-offs during tumbling.  I read on the front steps of the library as the girls return their books and look for new ones.  I read at the roller rink while they skate.  I read in the food court at the mall as they and their friends spend an hour at Claire’s poring over $2 earrings and purple and green nail polish, or visiting the puppies at the pet store.  I read while sitting at the pool as they perfect their dives and their butterfly stroke.  “Watch me, Mom!”  “Time me, Mom!”  “On a scale of 1-10, how good was my dive?”  My To-Be-Reviewed stack is piling up.

Speaking of reviews.. I have a few questions for my fellow bloggers.

How long, on average, does it take you to write a review?

Do you read other reviews before or after you write yours?

Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit?

Do you pick up a new book to start the minute you finish one?

Inquiring minds want to know!!

Hope everyone is having a great summer!  Thanks to all of you who still come by and comment even though there’s not much going on around here lately!

49 Responses

  1. I’ll tell you right now that the only reason my blog is NOT getting neglected is b/c I’m at my office with very little to do so I’m blogging away at work.🙂

    My answers to your questions really vary by book but I’ll give you some answers anyway:

    How long, on average, does it take you to write a review?
    20-30 minutes – but I write at various times – I usually do the plot summary and links to other reviews one day then think about my opinions more and write those the next day

    Do you read other reviews before or after you write yours?
    I try not to read reviews of a book I’m reading right now or one that I’m going to read really soon – I like to have a FEW surprises while I’m reading. But I will read review of that same book after I finished reading it, b/c I want to know if other people agreed with me about it.

    Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit?
    depends on the book really

    Do you pick up a new book to start the minute you finish one?
    i didn’t used to but now, when I’m behind on challenges and my TBR list is out of control, i absolutely do!

    • How nice to get paid (by your employer) while blogging!! LOL

      Like you, I avoid reviews of a book I’m reading or am planning to start soon to avoid spoilers. I do like to know if others liked the book though.

      I take longer to write a review than you do.. I need to find a way to streamline a bit-

  2. Depends on the book, but I usually write reviews within a day or two of reading the book. They usually take me about a hour including writing and editing.
    I usually finish one book and pick up the next immediately!
    I read reviews before I read the book or after I’ve finished my review.

    • That is what I like to do- write the review within a day or two- but because the reviews take me so long and I’m short on time, I’m not doing that. I worry that the review will be less accurate by the time I write them because too much time has gone by!

  3. It usually takes me between 2 to 3 hours per review. Most of that time is usually spent writing the summary. That usually gets my juices and thoughts flowing for the rest of the review.

    I try not to read other reviews before I write mine. I do read others afterward, though. Too much pressure otherwise. LOL!

    99 times out of 100 I don’t write my reviews right away. I normally have at least two others waiting to be reviewed, but there is that occasional novel that demands that I review it the moment I close the book.

    I do pick up another book right away, even if it’s at 1am. I want to at least hold the next book and smell it (yes, I’m one of those)🙂

    • I take a long time too, usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours, which is seeming more and more ridiculous to me. I’ve thought about maybe borrowing the summary from the publisher’s website then just jotting down my impressions but for some reason that almost feels like cheating.

      I also avoid reading reviews before mine is written for fear I will have trouble voicing my own thoughts and opinions after reading the thoughts of others.

      Sometimes I need to sit with a book in my mind for a few days before I write the review. But if I let it go longer than a few days it becomes difficult.

      I do not sniff my books, LOL

  4. It takes me hours to write a review, and I’ve decided that I just don’t have time for that. So I’m going back to a little more informal of a review and trying to just let things flow. I’m going to try to pump out the reviews waiting to be written in the next two weeks, and then try to stay on top of them after that.

    Even though I only read about 2 books a week, I don’t have 4-6 hours a week to write reviews. So something’s got to give. And I like writing about every book I’ve read, so letting the review be more spontaneous is how I’ve decided to rectify my problem.🙂

    I don’t read other reviews before I write my own because then I get that writer’s wording in my head and can’t think of how *I* would say it.

    • Yep, I think that’s where I’m at too- I’m trying to figure out how to just write my impressions of a book without doing a full on formal review.

  5. How long, on average, does it take you to write a review?

    20 min on a good day.

    Do you read other reviews before or after you write yours?

    I read reviews of books that I want to read but I won’t read a review of a book that I am reviewing until I have already posted mine. I find that I am too easily swayed by a reviewer’s opnion that it colors my own.

    Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit?

    My preference is to write the review ASAP. It doesn’t always work out that way though. I have a hard time holding the details in my head unless it was glaringly bad. Funny, huh?

    Do you pick up a new book to start the minute you finish one?

    Yes, I pick one up immediately but I typically read 2-3 at a time so I always have one in the works.

    • 20 minutes!! WOW you are SPEEDY!

      Very funny how you remember the details of the bad books more than the others!!

      I am not good at juggling books and don’t generally have more than one going at a time. I’m impressed that you can do that!

  6. Your girls are darling, Lisa! : )

    I’ve wondered myself about all the questions you pose, about what’s the best approach.

    Writing a review may take only half an hour or so, initially, but editing it and putting in links and pictures takes more time, so it can be couple of hours, or more. Sometimes I start a “bare bones” review days beforehand (while still reading the book).

    I’m not sure if it’s better to read the reviews of others or not before reviewing the same book. Sometimes I will, for ideas, and just to be sure that mine will be different from theirs (for example, not use the same quotes, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing)..

    I try to write soon after I’ve finished a book, so it’s fresh in my mind. If too much time has gone by and/or if I’ve started another book, then I won’t remember as many details.

    I don’t always pick up a new book right away. The next book needs to be the right book, and I feel disloyal to the previous book sometimes if I find a new one too quickly.

    • Thanks, Susan!! But as they say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, LOL! No, I’m kidding, my girls are sweet. Usually.

      The editing and linking do take a lot of time. That’s a good idea to start the post before you finish the book and save it as a draft. I’m going to do that from now on!!

      I know exactly what you mean about feeling disloyal to the previous book by starting a new one immediately. Especially if it’s a book you loved, right? I can’t just pick up another one 5 minutes later.

      • I write all of my reviews in email (microsoft office) and simply copy/paste when I’m ready. I find the editing process easier….

  7. I feel your pain! I can read about 4 books a week but because of work and the kids, I can’t always write the review immediately after completing a book. I’m doing my best to rectify this.

    When I write a review, it can take me anywhere from 25 minutes up to an hour to write the review. I do read other reviews while reading the book, but try not to read them while I’m writing the review.

    And yes, generally I do pick up a new book right after I finish one. However, there have been instances where I need to take a break from reading to truly absorb a book (Speak and Hunger Games come to mind).

  8. The time I spend on reviews depends on the book. The harder it is for me to review, the longer the review takes to write. This usually happens with books I’m ambivalent about or books that I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like them. Generally, reviews are between 30 min. to an hour.

    I try to write my reviews while reading the book, jotting down ideas and fleshing them out when I finish reading.

    I only read reviews after I’ve written mine. Unless I am having trouble trying to find a starting point, then I read reviews.

    I generally read 2-3 books at a time, so I guess I do read immediately after finishing one book.

  9. I write them as soon after finishing the book because I like to make sure my ideas are as fresh as possible. I free write the review then once I think I’ve said all I want to say then I go back and fix the spelling and what nots. On average it takes me about 10-30 minutes, depending on how much I liked the book.

  10. It depends. I try not to wait too long. Usually between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on how easily the ideas flow and what I was thinking about as I was reading. Some books I review in my head as I am reading, so those are generally easier.

    If I read reviews before, I find my ideas get tainted a bit, so I try to steer clear until I have the bulk of what I want to say on paper.

  11. How long, on average, does it take you to write a review?
    half an hour max. I do have rare occasions when it took me more than a week.

    Do you read other reviews before or after you write yours?
    Strictly no before writing mine. I do read reviews after I have written mine though.

    Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit?
    Again depends. Its mostly within 2-3 days or I start forgetting the names of people and places in the book.

    Do you pick up a new book to start the minute you finish one?
    Not usually. I would start the next day or may be after a couple of hours.

  12. How long, on average, does it take you to write a review? —- 20 to 30 minutes on average for the actual writing. The posting and rest of the process described below can take an hour.

    Do you read other reviews before or after you write yours? —- Usually no – I’ll most likely have read a few before I read the book. If I’m really struggling with how I want to rate a book, I may skim a few other reviews to see what other folks thought but that comes after I’ve written most of mine.

    Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit? —- I usually write my blog post immediately after I finish the book – worst case scenario the next day. Part of my ritual of finishing a book is write and post to my blog, update all my TBR, Books Read, and Challenge Spreadsheets, as well as posts to any Yahoo Groups that might apply (Book-A-Week, TBR Challenge), and links to challenge blogs.

    Note I call it my blog post and not a review. I don’t get all complex and literary in my blog posts. I’m not a one paragraph minimalist either. I include a short synopsis or description of what the book is about, what I liked or didn’t like about it, whether or not I’d recommend it and a rating. I don’t feel that I do any analysis or anything formal. It’s just my thoughts and impressions.

    I’ll often start my post as I’m nearing the end of the book – I keep a word document of my blog posts on my palm pilot so I can work on it on both my work and home computers.

    Do you pick up a new book to start the minute you finish one? —- I usually don’t pick up the next book until I finish the above process unless I’m finishing it at work (lunchtime or train reading time) or at night and I’m already in bed.

  13. I love these questions! It sometimes takes me 1/2 the day to write one post, what with researching the author a little, grabbing the cover photo, editing over and over again. I usually don’t read other reviews until I finish. I don’t want what someone else has written to creep into what I am writing.
    I usually write reviews pretty quickly after I’ve read the book. I do dive right back into another book, because I can’t help myself. Only sometime I knit for a day or two, if it was a mind-blowing book and I need to give it time.

  14. I try to write the review within a day or two of completing the book. Reading a book a week, on average, helps me not have a backlog of reviews to write. I am simply amazed to learn just how many books some reviewers read in a week (good for you)!

    Call me anal but before I read a book I tend to have most of the write up written (the research part). I also have the pain.. oops… luxury of sitting on 6 hour conf calls for work quite often! I can prep while listening.

    I’m glad to hear you are having a great summer!

  15. OK, I have the EXACT same answers to most of your questions as Heather J, with the exception of the one that asks – Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit? I try to write the review as soon as I finish so I get all the details right!!

  16. How long, on average, does it take you to write a review? 1-3 hours. or days!
    Do you read other reviews before or after you write yours? If I read ANY reviews before I start writing, it severely affects my confidence in my own.
    Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit? I try to write the review right away, but it just depends on life schedule.
    Do you pick up a new book to start the minute you finish one? no. sometimes. Usually it is right after I post my review!

  17. It usually takes me an hour to write a full review (cover picture, links, etc. included). Books I had problems with often take me an hour and a half as I’m trying to figure out how much I should say and how I should word things.

    I don’t usually read other reviews before I write mine, but I often look at other reviews afterward.

    I take review notes about the book as I read it and usually write the review the day after I finish reading the book.

    Yes, I start a new book the minute I finish the last one. It’s the only way to get through 1 fiction and 2 non-fiction books a week.

    So now you know.🙂

  18. A review ususally takes me between 1 and 3 hours to write. I have it written within a week of finishing a book. My ideal timing is 1-2 days after I’m done, since this gives it time to settle without too many details fading.

    I try not to read other reviews of the same book until I’m done writing mine. I will sometimes read them after I’m finished but before it is published, and that will occasionally trigger an “Oh yes, I wanted to talk about that!”, and I’ll go back and add to my review.

    I usually have 3 books going at a time, one audio and two paper. I do usually add another book in pretty soon after putting one down.

    I don’t think I’d ever get my reviews written this summer if it wasn’t for my daughter’s gymnastics! She’s a rhythmic gymnast and is currently at the gym 3 hours at a time– plenty of time to go home and write at least a first pass of a review🙂.

  19. Ok, totally blown away by the speed of my fellows books bloggers in writing reviews. 20-30 mins? I am embarrassed to say that it takes me 4-6 hours. *sulks in corner* Got to re-evaluate my process. Any suggestions from the speedy crowd?

    I usually do not read others reviews unless I get really stuck and have writers block. It will often remind me of a good point that I had thought to include earlier.

    I write the review immediately after finishing, so it is fresh.

    I wait a day before I start a new book. The most I can read in a week is one.

    Here’s a question about content. I recently had an author comment that I had not mentioned all of the characters in the book. This was a surprise. I usually do not talk about the plot past the first half, leaving something for the reader to discover. Since many characters appeared in the second half only, I did not mention them. Was that a faux paus?

    Second question. As a reader of other reviews, what do you think is the ideal length of a review in number of words?

    Cheers to all, Laurel Ann

    • Laurel Ann,

      I usually keep all my summaries very vague. I am always afraid I will spoil the plot by accident. I usually just mention the main characters, unless there was a specific supporting character that I enjoyed.

      My ideal length is short. When I write my reviews, I try for a max of 200 words. I don’t go into detail about the books I read. I explain what I liked, what I didn’t, and then give a star rating.

  20. It usually takes me about an hour to write a review, more if there’s a lot to examine and less if it’s easy to talk about or just not a very good book.

    I don’t usually have time to write my review as soon as I finish a book, but I do sit down immediately to transfer notes about my immediate thoughts and reactions and important quotes. Within a day or two, I gather my notes and start the review.

    I don’t read other reviews before I write mine. If I see a review of a book I have coming up on my TBRs on a blog, I’ll skim the review for the blogger’s overall response, but I don’t read the details. I do go back afteward, though, to see how our thoughts matched up.

    And yes, I generally do pick up a new book almost as soon as I finish one. Great questions!

  21. I write a review within a day of reading it. I always want to start reading something else right away, and I am not one of those people that can read more than one book at a time (I commend you guys that can!). I don’t even like starting another book until I’ve reviewed the one I just finished.

    I usually write a review in half an hour or so, but I usually do them at work and get distracted. Then I edit and make it look pretty!

    I try not to read TOO many reviews before I write my own, but sometimes it’s necessary to get my mind working. That usually happens with books that I wasn’t as into.

  22. Just wanted to say “hi” and that I enjoyed reading your post today!

  23. Sounds like you are having too much fun LOL

    As I am reading a book, I always jot down comments, quotes and other info I think I might want to reference in a review. I do the review within 24 hours of finishing the book, so I can move on.

    A review usually takes me about minutes; I try to keep it short enough so people are not bored to tears by detail.

    I always have atr least 2 books going at a time: an audio book and a print book.

    Good to read your post; thanks

  24. Hey Lisa, I’m glad you’r enjoying your summer! To answer your questions . . .

    It usually takes me 2-3 hours to complete a review.

    I hold off on reading other reviews until I’m finished writing mine. I don’t want other peoples reactions to influence my own.

    I typically write the review within 2 days of finishing the book so it’s still fresh in my mind. However, with my latest review (The only True Genius in the Family) I had to think about it for a few extra days to get my thoughts straight.

    I used to wait a few days to start a new book, but I don’t do that anymore. There’s too many great books out there and I want to read them ALL!! LOL

    Great questions Lisa!! Take care!

  25. Great questions! I take 30 minutes to an hour to write a review. ideally, I write it one day and publish it the next after revising it, but sometimes, I publish the day I write it.

    Glad to hear from you!

  26. Well, at least you’re enjoying your summer! The blog world will still be here when you have more time.

    My reviews take 30 minutes usually. They can take up to an hour if it’s a particularly hard review to write, but once I get going I can normally just write until I’ve finished. I very rarely read reviews before I’ve written my own, I find that it influences my thinking and writing, but I will look at them if it’s a particularly difficult book to review. I will go look at them after I’ve finished, though.

    I almost always have a review backlog, so I usually aim to write a review within a week of finishing the book.

    I do pick up another book right after I’ve finished one. The only exceptions are when I read truly fantastic books that need time to sit alone in my brain for a bit.

  27. Lisa…I’m SO glad that you posted about this as I’ve been in a similar position this summer. Busy, summertime blues and struggling a bit to write my reviews. I usually write narrative reviews and today I tried a question/answer style that I asked for feedback on. I’m finding I prefer the narrative as it is more free flowing and as one person commented, they hear my voice more in a narrative. It’s been interesting to read all of the comments!

    How long, on average, does it take you to write a review?
    It usually takes me at least an hour to write a review and then another hour or so to format it and add links, quotes etc. Sometimes it takes longer as I always have spacing problems with blogger!

    Do you read other reviews before or after you write yours?
    I try to avoid reading reviews but at times I do like to read summaries if I have writers block! I want to maintain my own style so try to avoid that so as not to be influenced. I do read reviews after and at times have read reviews before I have even picked up the book.

    Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit?

    It varies on my schedule and time limits. I often like to start writing the review as soon as I can to get my thoughts written down. I like that I can save and update it so I often take a few days to write it out. Lately, it’s taken me much longer to get to writing reviews.

    Do you pick up a new book to start the minute you finish one?

    Most of the time, I do…I always have to have a book to read. It’s just the way I am.

  28. Normally I write my review of a book about two days after I have read it. If I am planning to review the book as I read it, I may begin to take a few notes as I read. It takes me two to three hours to do a review. As for how long after I finish one book do I start another, like many book bloggers I read 3 to 6 books simultaneously so I am always reading something.

  29. Anywhere from about 10 minutes (if I’m lazy or have a few thoughts I want to spew out) to hours to months (when I have a backlog, and I start a review, then I forget about it).

    I read other reviews if I see them in Google Reader, but I usually don’t go seeking them out.

    Ideally, I write it within a few days. But I was so behind that that wasn’t happening. Now that I’m caught up again, I hope to get back into the asap habit.

    Yes, unless it’s bedtime or I have something I need to do.

  30. How long? I’ve had them just flow out of me and be done in 30 minutes. And I’ve had some have to be dragged out of my brain and they’ll take hours and hours over the course of days!

    I don’t read other reviews, until I’ve reviewed. Unless, of course, a great review has brought a book to my attention in the first place!

    Again, sometimes I finish a book and I just KNOW what I want to say. The review is written immediately. Other times, I’ll write it right away, only to think about it and change the whole thing before posting. And finally, some books just don’t want me to write a review and they fight me every step of the way!

    I always start a new one within minutes of finishing a book. I’m an addict and like a smoker, I get jittery just knowing I’m on my last one if I don’t have a book “on deck”!

    Fun questions!!

  31. My reviews take about 20 mins to write and then I let it sit for a day or two and then take 20 mins or so to edit, add the picture, any links, etc…

    I usually write the review the day after I finish. Unless I feel the need to think about the novel and take an extra day or two to get my thoughts in order.

    I read a lot of blogger reviews, that is mainly where I get my recommendations from. However, by the time I get my hands on a copy, read it, and review it I have usually forgotten what other bloggers have said about it.

    Usually, I have 2 or 3 books going at the same time, so as soon as I finish one, I am usually half way through another.

  32. Family time always comes first!

    Q: How long, on average, does it take you to write a review?
    A: I think I’m outside the norm I labor over mine. Writing my reviews takes a minimum of three to four hours (not from start to finish mind you). I write, check, write, re-check….read it, move it around, LOL

    Q: Do you read other reviews before or after you write yours?
    A: In many cases my purchases are based on reviews so I’ve likely read a review somewhere. Having said that unless it is a really opinionated review I won’t remember enough for it to be influential.

    Q: Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit?
    A: I’ve got a pile of about 6+ books to write reviews for. I work full time so by the time I get home and get settled my thought processes are muddled so writing coherent reviews isn’t really something I’m capable of. That leaves the weekends. We all know that there is only so much a person can do in two days🙂

    Q: Do you pick up a new book to start the minute you finish one?
    A: Yes! I have so many I want to read I’m actually already thinking of what is next in line before I’m finished.

  33. How long, on average, does it take you to write a review?

    It takes me about three hours to type my reviews, but a lot of work goes into them beforehand.

    I take notes when I read, noting opinions as I go, correcting errors the author has made, etc. These I type up and adjust until I have a coherent review.

    Do you read other reviews before or after you write yours?

    Rarely, unless I’m really on the fence about a book, or want to know more about the author before I call out a poorly written book. You know how it goes…

    Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit?

    This strongly depends on what I’m doing. I try to write them as soon as I finish, but often they remain skeletons for months before I finish fleshing them out and publish them.

    Do you pick up a new book to start the minute you finish one?

    Absolutely! In fact, I usually have at least 2-3 books on the go at any given time, but usually only one of them is for review. The others tend to be either reference/non-fiction, or novels.

    Great questions!

    • Wow, reading over the responses here I really seem to be on the long end of things as for how much time it takes.

      I have no idea how anyone can write a critical review in 20 minutes! What’s your secret?!

      (For the interested, many of my reviews are published on spiralnature.com under the name Psyche.)

  34. 1.How long, on average, does it take you to write a review?

    I usually try to write the review the following day after I finish the book. I like to let it digest just a little.

    2. Do you read other reviews before or after you write yours?

    I try to never read other reviews beforehand.

    3. Do you write your review immediately upon finishing a book, or do you wait a while and let it sink in a bit?

    About a day.

    4. Do you pick up a new book to start the minute you finish one? I usually have at least one other book already going. I rarely read only one book at a time.

  35. My reviews are not too long so it might take me an hour to get the whole thing put together. I will read other reviews as I’m looking for ones I might want to link with mine; then I’m generally looking for reviews that give a different take on the book. I try to write the review within 24 hours or so of finishing the book just so it’s really fresh in my head. How soon I pick up a new book after I finish one depends on whether or not I liked the book. If it was something I really liked, then I like to bask in it for a while. But sometimes that’s hard to do–say if you’re taking kids to Claire’s, swimming lessons, or tumbling.

  36. It usually takes me about an hour to write a review, but I always re-read it and edit it before I post it. I like to write my reviews no later than the day after I’ve finished the book, but that doesn’t always work. I generally do start a new book right away.

  37. I generally write a review of a book within 24 hours after finishing it while it is still fresh in my mind. I like to pick up my next book immediately🙂 I almost never read a review of a book before I review it…once in awhile I will skim someone else’s review, but hardly ever.

  38. Wow, I just discovered your blog and am impressed with amount of comments.
    I write reviews on anything pregnancy. I read the book and write the review right away. I try not to read any reviews first as I am afraid I will judge myself to what they wrote. I love writing them as I really feel inspired by the books I review and want to inspire others to read them. I also review DVD’s.
    If you get a chance maybe you could let me know if you like the way I did a main page that links to reviews? Do you think there is a better way. I am new to all this but have so much to put in blog. It is still so raw.

  39. It takes me about an hour to write a review, I try to write the review right away or it stinks, I try to not to read other reviews, but sometimes I do.😉

    Enjoy your summer!!!

  40. It usually takes me about an hour to write a review, but sometimes I polish it over a few days, when something strikes me that should be changed.
    I don’t write my reviews right when I get done with the book, I wait for it all to settle for a few days, and usually write at the same time every week.
    I always grab another read from the stack as soon as I finish the last, because I have tons I want to read, and not that much free time in which to do it, so try not to waste time.
    As far as reading other reviews goes, I wait until I am done with mine and then check out all the others.
    These are great questions!

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