I do not tend to think of my blog slowdown (posting has neared a standstill at points over the last year!)(you may have noticed. or not.) as a positive thing. There are good books I've missed, even better conversations skipped entirely, and potential new internet friendships ignored. However, there is a silver lining to the quiet (probably several, really): I now sit with books. I make space to contemplate them – sometimes unconsciously. I still read them at the same speed as ever, and after I finish I continue to jot down notes and reflections to help recall later what I liked and didn't like.
But then I wait. I let my heart stop hammering and my tears dry. I turn those thoughts over and over. Sometimes I change my mind entirely. Sometimes when I get down to finally writing and posting the review I focus on a theme or outside concern that doesn't bear any relation to the direction my notes took in the first place. I think it’s a wonderful change. My reviews end up more thoughtful, or at least more representative of the reading experience I had and the way I'll remember the book down the road.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that these long-mulled reviews end up being more positive than the ones I used to finish one night and post the next day. And I don’t mean positive as in “I love every book I read now!” I mean it in the sense that I am more enthusiastic about the books I’ve read, and who they might be perfect for. I bring up books in conversation more often, even if they were not my cup of tea. I’m sharing them more readily, too (both recommendations and physical copies).
I take this rekindled enthusiasm as a promising sign for both my reading and my blog. I needed the “blog break” over the past year, though I lamented (and was ashamed of) it at the time. But these days I’m excited to read, and consider my reading, in a slightly different way. It’s a good thing.
I’m curious: How long do you consider a review and/or how long does it take you to write a review?