Tainted Book Love

Alison Morris - September 20, 2007

Continuing the theme of my last post, I’m still thinking about when would be the ideal time to review a book. I often feel like it’s unfair or inaccurate for me to write up my review immediately after I’ve put down a book, as I’m often still in a storybook fog or my emotions are still tied to what’s just happened on the final pages. I feel like maybe I should give the book a little breathing room first, put a little distance between us, from which I can then assess things a bit better. But then again, if that book was able to cast a spell over me, isn’t that part of its success? Am I doing it a disservice by waiting for thrill to dissipate?

I suppose this gets tricker if you’re judging the actual writing in a book, rather than its plot or your overall "enjoyment" of it. I would think that, in judging the quality of a book’s writing, there’s no better time than to make note of its finer qualities than while you are reading and immediately after you’ve finished.

Ideally I suppose I would record my thoughts on the quality of the book’s writing while I’m reading it. I would wait a few days before recording my thoughts on how much I really enjoyed the book, and I would wait still longer before I assessed its "staying power," as mentioned before.

Is it just me, or has reviewing a book suddenly become immensely complicated? In the end would my carefully spaced review sessions reveal results all that different from my post-reading "snap judgments"? Does anyone have the ideal reviewing time window? Please enlighten the rest of us if you do.

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