Let’s talk about anything bookish!
A few weeks ago, my bookish friends and I were discussing the correct review length. Of course, the question: how long should your book review be? was asked. So, I decided to discuss this topic with you – book reviewers and readers! A few years ago, I also wrote about different book review styles but I don’t think I addressed the length!
What is the right length of a book review?
There really isn’t a right answer to this question. I’ve always had this thought about making the length of my reviews the length of a review that I like to read. And I really don’t like reading very long reviews.
That is how I judge the length of my reviews. It has to be something that I can stomach reading. And while this varies from book to book, I’ve noticed that I usually make them about 500-600 words total.
I’m not saying that this is the right length – that’s just the length of review that I usually like reading. Since I like that length, then that is usually the length that I keep my reviews.
What about really long book reviews?
I don’t have anything against a long book review. But honestly, my eyes tend to glaze over when I read a really long book review. In other words, there is a point when I am reading reviews that I skim.
This is not because I hate that particular review. It’s just that I don’t have a lot of time to spare to read a full scene by scene analysis of the book. A book review is NOT a book report, so I prefer them short and sweet.
What book review lengths are you comfortable with?
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books says
I agree that when I come across really lengthy reviews I will probably skim at some point. If it’s a book I have no interest in, I don’t really want/need a lot of information. And if it’s a book I do want to read, I don’t want to chance having anything ruined for me. I confess, though, that when writing reviews I sometimes have a hard time keeping it brief. I get started and realize that I have so much to say! LOL
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…The Sunday Post #137
Same! I try to make mine as brief as I can and I try not to include a synopsis of the book 🙂
SE White says
5-600 words sounds just fine to me. Maybe 800 or so for a really rapturous review with lots of good points. I tend to like super short bullet point type reviews, both for the humor and because I’m usually reading very quickly in-between lots of other work. Would you consider a post answering whether or not authors should respond to a good review? Like, is a thank you appropriate? We’ve both kind of covered the authors-responding-to-bad-reviews and we agree on NO, but is it ever okay for an author to comment on a good review of their book? Or should they just stay out of the discussion entirely? Interested in your thoughts.
I’ve tried the bullet review before and I think it depends on what book I’m reviewing. I also like to read reviews quickly since I don’t have a lot of time to read really long reviews.
By the way, I like that topic. I’ll try to write a discussion about it 🙂
Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says
For me book reviews are bread and butter. I am an analyzer so I write perhaps a little more in depth than most reviewers… however I divide my review up into parts so that you can read the part that interests you… I even have a section where its made to skim if you want to just get the jist!! 😉
Dani @ Perspective of a Writer recently posted…Do YOU Heart Eyes Characters?!
That is an awesome idea, Dani! I’ve read your reviews and splitting it up is really helpful! I used to have a short blurb review for each book I reviewed but it was an additional step in writing my review that I have done away with it. It’s an image so it was additional work for me. 🙂
I think 500-600 words sounds about right. I definitely feel like my reviews sometimes get a bit too long, as I have a tendency to ramble. I prefer to read shorter reviews too though, so I have tried to cut them down a bit! 🙂
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Same! I’ve seen others write long bulleted reviews that are awesome! I’m not good with that so I try to make mine as short as possible 🙂