A Question About Book Reviews – Book Review

Ah, books. We read them a lot here at Pens and Words. Sometimes we read them on the weekends to pass the time. Sometimes we read them before we go to bed after a long day at work. And other times, we read them because we ran out of things to watch on Netflix and we are taking a break from playing Animal Crossing. That last one maybe me. Every so often, when we feel like it, and we have the right amount of coffee in our systems, we even write reviews about the books we read. We give you our original, sophisticated take on a book that no one else has heard of because there aren’t enough book bloggers out there doing the exact same thing, and we thought we’d share our opinion too. It’s innovative, trust me. We aren’t going to say we invented the book review, but we aren’t going to say we didn’t either. In the meeting this week, I told our bloggers about this great idea I had. Of something new and unseen in literature before. The book review. They asked me, “What does that mean? Is it Latin?” I answered, “We will review a book.” The internet could never be crowded because the task of reading a book and then creating an article for it is straining on the creative mind.

And then, there are other times as readers when we are ¾ of the way done with a book we plan on reviewing, we misplace it, and instead of finding it, we forget it, until three weeks go by and we never write that book review. It’s too far removed from our recent reading time. Oh, wait. Is that only me too? Is that a thing that is common? (The recent reading time, not me losing books.)

Is there a deadline for how recently you have to read a book in order to review it? Is it a week? A month? Some other time frame that I can’t think of at the moment? If that’s not the case, can’t I review books I read as a kid? I could give you some thoughts on Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. (I am thoroughly convinced that it is a metaphor for something.) What’s the difference? A review is a review. I give you a summary. Tell you some spoilers. (It was the judge.) And an odd take on the book that makes you respect me as an authority in the field. You don’t want to read some schmo who just so happened to finish the book and stumbled upon a site and wrote up a few words on the book. No. That kind of professionalism is not something you stand for. “What’s that? What?” My editor is telling me to delete that last line because I am describing myself. Oops. Give me some credit, I didn’t fall over when I stumbled. Who cares when I read the book right?

Then again, there is a difference in how you view a recently read book and one you read in the past. Duh right? And next, for the obvious facts, I’d like to offer the reader: The sky is blue. You’re welcome. I’m here all week. (Aside from the weekends. I don’t work weekends.) Writing a review for a recent book leaves the reviewer of the possibility that their review is completely off. Society has yet to get a hold on the book, and that one person’s opinion on the book may be wrong. You don’t want to be the one jackass who wrote a scathing review of The Catcher In The Rye. “There is no plot. All the kid does is complain. I hate it.” And then you go down in history as the one guy who didn’t like a classic. You, the authority in the field, the innovator, the professional book reviewer, couldn’t identify a classic when presented one. There is nothing like being an expert. What do you think? Is there a deadline for when a book review should be written? Oh, were you expecting me to write a book review here? Yeah. No. That’s not happening. I lost the book.

“The pages were filled with words. Some I like. Some I disliked. Some I accidentally skipped. This book was definitely one I could say I read.” – Every book reviewer ever

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Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. His favorite writers are Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. He enjoys reading up on history, watching comedies, and playing video games, when he is not writing down a few notes for his next piece. He started this blog out of his love for literature and hopes that the reader shares that same passion.

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