How long are ideal book reviews?
In case you haven’t noticed or just don’t read my book reviews, they are looooong! My book reviews aren’t considered ‘done’ in my mind unless they’ve hit a minimum of 1,000 words. -.- Yeah. I know. That’s a lot!
Now, granted part of that is the synopsis and some of those are the nitty-gritty details like publication dates and what not, but most of it is my thoughts on the book. But why is it so long? Do I really have that much to say about the book? Meh. Probably not, but it’s my structure, which I think is pumping the length like a body-builder in a gym. >.> (Bad analogy? Eh. I’m working on ’em. :p)
Book Review Content
Obviously the biggest determinant of book review length is the content, as I just said. After all, book reviews are all about what the reader has to say about the book. Good books could have lots to say. Or the reader could be stunned speechless and leave just a few paragraphs. Bad reviews could be endless, soap-boxing tirades of anger. Or they could be a couple words: ‘don’t read this book.’ :p
Yet, the big question is: how much do you include in the book review? Even if you have lots to say about a good/bad book, your readers aren’t likely to read an entire four-chapter review complete with illustrated highlights and animated gifs. (as much as we’d love them to.) So, how do you decide what goes into a book review and what doesn’t?
Trying to narrow down the important content is one of the hardest things for a book reviewer to do. You have to focus on the real highlights: what was really good or really bad. Everything else in the middle probably has to be left out, which is a shame, but a necessary evil to retain readers. (Granted, spoilers could be one of those things that could be tossed out, which we discussed last week.)
Even with having narrowed your review down to the absolute bare minimum of what you need all your fellow friends and bloggers know, how do you know if it’s short/long enough? How do you know you’ve given them everything they need to know the book is good/bad? How do you know you’ve done your job as a book reviewer?
I guess that’s what I’m trying to figure out. Is there a word count range or a quantity of paragraphs that make a book review ‘long enough’? How much content is too much content? How far will your readers actually decide to read into your 3-page review of this book? Or do they just skim to the bottom where you put your star-rating picture?
Let me ask you guys: how much of a book review do you read? Will a long book review make you stop reading? Do you hit a certain number of paragraphs and just… peace out? What do you consider a ‘long’ book review? What’s too short?
What do you think is an ideal book review length?
Tell me in the comments below!
And check out last week’s discussion:
“Spoilers in Book Reviews“
If you have the time, please fill out my 7-question book review survey!
I’d love your opinions to improve my book reviews for you!