I have a lot of books to read. There are three waiting on my bookshelf and about 600 on my Kindle. So, I’ve stopped accepting review copies. This may seem at odds with my requests for people to review my book and books I publish for other people.
On the other hand I have resolved to review every single book I read. And so far so good. I know how important reviews are for writers. Reviews don’t have to be long. Two or three sentences are enough. I post them on Amazon, Goodreads, Storygraph and Discovery. Amazon, Storygrpah and Discovery are technical reads so I’m giving a type of intellectual analysis of them. On Goodreads I’m recommending to reading and writing friends. The latter is more about personal taste than me recognising the merits of some writing - or not. The words in the reviews may be the same or similar but sometimes I give a different star rating on Goodreads.
What if I read a book written by a friend and it’s terrible? So far, so good. That hasn’t happened. In fact, overall I’ve not had to give lower than three stars but this is in part because I’m only buying the sort of books I’m likely to like. So, I often don’t even mention to a friend that I’ve bought their book because it may take me a while to get round to reading it. And actually, I’ve bought the book. So she has the cash anyway.
I am honest in my reviews. I will give a one star or two star if I have to. By writing a lot of reviews I’m building my reputation as a reviewer. Hopefully people are seeing me as reliable.
I am fortunate. I can buy as many books as I like. This is partly to do with being comfortably off. But it’s also to do with having very few wants or needs. Other people are less fortunate so I’m happy to give them books in exchange for an honest review. Of course, it’s great when people buy books and review them.
I have also created my own catalogue of books for young people – The Young Person’s Library. The reviews here are very neutral. They provide information for teachers, school librarians, scholars, parents and other adults who like reading children’s books.
Finally there is my recommended reads blog where I post each month the book that has impressed me the most.
This is all another addition to how I spend my time in a very enjoyable way.