Then, my computer crashed, I didn’t have time, the cat was sick. Now it’s too late.
These are just a few of the reasons we find not to sit down and write a review for a book we’ve read. That is, if we even think about it in the first place. I know I’m guilty of thinking that, as an author, I have a duty to write something sparkling and incisive, which obviously takes more than five minutes, so it’s easy to say to myself that I’ll do it the next day/week. Then I forget. That’s really the crux of my particular problem. I don’t remember to pay bills, I don’t remember to watch a tennis match I’ve been waiting to see, I even forgot to pick up my daughter from a babysitter years ago. So it’s got nothing to do with getting older!
When I eventually remember that I’ve missed reviewing a book, I think it’s too late. I can’t quite remember the protagonist’s name, or even the title and/or author! So I don’t write a review.
Some time ago, a reader was honest enough to leave a review of My Grandfather’s Eyes that said:
‘I read awhile ago so I don't remember exactly why I like it, but I know I liked it a lot.’
This made me smile. I didn’t care about the typo. I didn’t care about the vagueness of the comment. What made me feel good about my writing was that it had somehow left its mark and that this person had taken the time to rate my book and comment months after reading it.
A review doesn’t have to be detailed. I know a lot of people must worry that they have to summarise the plot and analyse the characters - it will take too long. But a few words can say a lot. These are some of the very brief reviews that readers have kindly left for My Grandfather’s Eyes:
‘Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Well written and suspenseful, Kept me gripped till the very end, then I wanted more!’
’I liked Alex, I felt she was a well rounded character, with flaws, but they only made her more real.’
‘This was very well written. It kept me interested and engrossed. I would definitely add this author to my must read list.’
Just one or two (or three) sentences.
So, I’ve decided to go back to my kindle management page and write five quick reviews for books I’ve read and not reviewed. It will make me feel good and I know it will make the authors feel even better. I like positivity more than anything!
I do read a lot, so I’m not going to promise myself that I’ll seek out every book I’ve missed. But from now on, I shall at least try to give a quick comment. One advantage will be that I’ll have a written record for when my friends ask me to recommend a good book to them! You know the feeling when you want to tell them about one you’ve enjoyed and the words just won’t come out in the right order…
Life is not as complicated as I try to make it. Not all the time, anyway.
Still can't decide whether I like my chimney pot. It's only been seven years.