Writing a book review requires some extra attention as compared to merely rating a book. Though it is a slower process as compared to simply rating it between 1 to 5 stars, it is very beneficial to write a book review even if you publish it or not. Here we will discuss the reasons why you should write a book review. Things you should do while reading and before writing the book review, and lastly, the actual process of writing it. We’ll share a comprehensive book review template & worksheet for download to make this process simple, easy and fun.
Why should you write a book review?
Writing a book review always appears a daunting task for someone who doesn’t write any book review regularly. We’ll discuss how to write a book review later in this article. But first, let’s talk about the advantages of writing a book review. One simplest answer to this is when you read a book keeping in mind that you have to write its review later. You will pay more attention while reading, not just for the sake of finishing the book.
Furthermore, rather than closing it and moving to the next book, You’ll have to through the book again which is an important step while writing a good book review. You’ll revise the entire book again quickly which will help you to get a clearer picture of the topic. Moreover, it makes you realize what you learned from the book and how it impacted your point of view. So publishing a book review is secondary, even writing it is pretty fruitful.
8 Things to do before writing a book review
To make the process of writing a book review easy, I listed a few simple things you can do while reading the book and before starting on the book review.
- Take notes while reading: Keep some paper slips in the book. While reading, take notes if you come across something interesting. It will be helpful while writing the book review. You can keep a diary handy as well and can do this even while reading on Kindle because taking notes in Kindle is not so seamless. Another nice way is to write your views every time after completing a certain length of the book. For example, while you read the book, Write down one paragraph about your views about the book after finishing 10%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the book. Using this technique, writing a book review on finishing the book will be very easy. Click here to read the comparison between ebooks vs printed books.
- Annotate the book: Annotate the book while reading (of course, not with the borrowed ones!). Underline the important sentences, highlight in different colors, take small notes, draw on it, etc. Do it consciously so as not to overdo it. That will help you to revise later. If you read on Kindle, utilize its features of highlighting and bookmarking, which makes the process easy.
- Keep track of slow parts: Feeling any part of the book slow or boring? Keep a track of the parts where you find the book boring, slow or unnecessarily lengthy. While writing a book review, you can mention these points as well. After all, your book review needs to be honest and must include critical comments, not just appreciation.
- If you leave the book in the middle, DO NOT write a book review. It is not fair to write a book review before fully reading it. Fully reading doesn’t mean reading every small sentence. But you need to make sure you understand everything the book is offering. If you still leave the book in the middle and write a book review. Mention that in the book review along with a strong reason on why you left the book in the middle.
- Figure out writing style of the book: Keep a track of how many times you had to use the dictionary to find out the meaning of difficult words. How many times you felt something missing or out of story track and you had to reread a paragraph? This will help you understand the writing style of the book. This should be an important point to mention while writing the book review.
- Form an opinion: When the book is almost 75-80% complete, start forming an opinion about the book. One important thing you need to figure out is, does this book impact your life in any way, mild or strong? At the end of the book, rate the book before you start writing the review. That will help you to write a steady book review.
- List down the confusing characters: Applicable only to fiction. At the end of the book, list down the characters you found incomplete or confusing. You can mention that in a “could-be-better’ section of the book review.
- Read the book twice: If you can’t, at least skim it before writing the book review. This will help you write a strong book review.
The process of writing it using a book review template
When it comes to writing a book review, one might fall in writer’s block. In other words, someone might find it difficult to start. So here is the solution. I created a comprehensive book review template to make the process easy and fun to do. Divide the book review into different sections. Not only it will make it easy to write, but it will make it easy to read as well.
Here are a
What this book is about? (Required)
Write a short introduction
Why did I pick this book? – My Expectations
In 100-200 words, write about the reason you chose to read this book. Where did you get the recommendation or reference? What were your expectations from the book after reading the synopsis? You can write some of it before even starting the book.
How I found the book? – My Experience
In 100-200 words, Write about your experiences or takeaways from the book. How did you find the book? Did it meet your expectations? Was reading it a good or bad experience?
In around 200-300 words, write about your most critical comments about this book. These should have some strong judgments about the book or some disapproving arguments about the entire book or any specific sections. Additionally, You can mention things which could be better, the writing style, the slow and unnecessary parts. This part should be written in a thoughtful manner. If this looks intense to you, you can skip this and use My Likes/Dislike section which is more objective.
Lessons to learn from the book
Include this section if you think you learned something from the book. Usually, this section is added when you rate a book 4 or 5 stars. Mention all the things in bullets or paragraph, about the things you
An optional section, write out your favourite or interesting quotes from the book.
If you have a clearer picture of your likes or dislikes about the book. You can skip the Critical comments section and use this section.
Book vs Movie (Optional)
Not all book reviews will have this section. This will be mainly for fiction books which were later adapted into a movie. If there is a movie based on the book and you have watched it. You can write your views comparing the movie and the book and include various factors and which was better. Additionally, you can include a link to the youtube trailer of the movie, readers find that helpful. For example, the books like Wonder, Animal Farm, The Girl on the Train and 1984 by George Orwell had movies and I included this section in my book reviews.
Final notes and Recommendation
Finally, the most important section, your final notes, and recommendations about the book. Summarize your views in 100-150 words. Would you recommend it to all or a certain group of people and why? Also, mention your ratings of the book from 1 to 5.
You can visit our Book Reviews section to check our book reviews to see how we have used this method to write different book reviews (fiction & non-fiction). Additionally, you can check our book rating system, how to rate a book.
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