So my six-month anniversary is approaching rapidly on the 13th. (For my blog, not my relationship!) And now that I look back on my book reviewing, I’ve learned a lot of things and life has been awesome for me lately. Why? Read on!
1. I can read so much faster now!
I’m not sure what my reading speed was before, but since I panic and often leave reading books to the last minute, I’ve had ample opportunity to speed up my reading. Now my average reading speed is around 100 pages an hour, which is really helpful in calculating how long I need to set aside in a day to get through whatever books I need to. Even when I’m not reading for my blog, I’ve noticed that I can read a lot faster than I used to.
2. I have to actually think about books.
Book reviewing, if you do it right, forces you to think a lot more about books than you normally would. It forces you to look at the quality of world-building, writing style, plot, dialogue, characters and so much more. Personally, it has made it easier for me to spot ‘plot twists’ in most YA books as I’ve become an even more cynical reader than before. Before I sit down to write a review, I go over in my mind what I liked and what I didn’t like, something I never did before unless I was recommending a book to a friend. So now with my mind constantly on dissecting books for reviews, it’s a lot easier to spot a lemon within the first few chapters, rather than halfway through the book.
3. I’m more responsible.
I publish one book review per day, which forces me to carefully schedule all my book reviews for the week, sometimes even the month. I’m my own boss; I don’t have someone breathing down my neck reminding me this review has to get done now you worthless slob. If I don’t feel like posting, I don’t have to, but there will be consequences like a confused/annoyed readership and lower search engine rankings. So now I am a heck of a lot more responsible than before, but for my blog and in “real life.”
4. I can get books for free.
Once you build up enough of an audience, publishers will actually give you free books to review. Mind you, it’s mostly ebooks from services like NetGalley, but the principle is still the same. You have to have a well-maintained blog with a decent number of followers and publishers can deny your book requests on a case-by-case basis, but it’s still awesome reading books I never would have discovered otherwise. Amazing books like Wilde’s Fire by Krystal Wade, or Painted Blind by Michelle Hansen. And they’re free! All you have to do in return is review them, which I do with 99% of the books I read anyway.
Having a book reviewing blog has been great and six months in, I can honestly say I’m going to be here six months later. What about my fellow reviewers? How has book reviewing helped you?