On Reading and Reflecting, Not Reviewing

I have a blog, and I like to read, so it seemed to me the thing to do with my blog–from time to time at least–was to write book reviews. I did that for a year or two perhaps, but then it struck me one day that I don’t really like to write book reviews. I don’t like to critique books that I have chosen to read for my own pleasure. I just like to tell people what I personally got out of them.

I am doing a Goodreads book challenge this year, and I noticed a few days ago that I’ve rated nearly all of my entries as 4 out of 5 stars. This is absurdly useless. Of course I didn’t like every book I rated exactly the same. Of course I consider some to be of higher merit than others. But I’m not really into the whole star concept, and if I didn’t like a book, I probably never finished it and therefore never counted it. There aren’t very many people forcing me to finish books I don’t like these days.

I’ll probably continue to rate almost every book I complete at 4 out of 5 stars. You can continue to snigger at my lack of variety and dismiss my rating altogether. That’s okay. I don’t pay much attention to your ratings either. What I care about is if you make a comment that tells me what you got out of the book.

Thus, for the second half of Twenty-Twelve, I’ve decided to shift into writing a reading journal rather than a series of reviews or whatever.

This is my first entry with my point being that you out there in blogland should ignore everything I say. Every book is either a 4 to me, or it is dead to me, and your 4 is probably completely different from my 4.

Right now I am reading The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner and Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch.

We’ll find out what I have to say about these book when we find out if there is ever a second entry to my new Twenty-Twelve reading journal.