Reading A Book vs. Writing A Review: The Dilemma

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The idea of writing this post popped into my mind while I was in the bathroom. Have you ever experienced that? Because that’s pretty normal to me.

This dilemma is something I have always had to deal with ever since I started blogging. And this mostly happens when I just finished a really great book. It’s actually been a long time since this happened to me. So, when I had to deal with this dilemma again after quite a long time, because I just finished the excellent book that feel like it’s written solely for me like less than an hour ago, which is Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios, I knew I just have to talk and ramble about this. I have to get this out of my chest because the dilemma is real.

(I am warning you, this is just going to be a ramble-disguised-as-a-discussion blog post. Sorry, I know you deserve better than this.)

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It’s the dilemma of choosing between writing a book review immediately or picking up and starting to read another book instead, after finishing a book.

I want to vent and ramble about this because it did not happen to me only once or twice. It happens A LOT. And again, the dilemma IS REAL. And the feeling of having to choose can sometimes be overwhelming, stressful or exhausting for me. SRSLY. Because sometimes, I literally just sit and waste my time thinking why should I choose this side or why not. And it can also be frustrating after, knowing that I wasted my time thinking only to come up with no decision at all.

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For me, I just simply have to choose because I CANNOT DO BOTH. I cannot choose both. I cannot write a review and also start to give my attention to another book. If you are someone who can, I honestly envy you. (How to be you po? Chss!) I cannot because… I don’t want to give my heart in half. I want to be focused. So I can pour my heart out or just let myself be consumed by another world, by another story. Without having to think of other things. Without my mind wandering around.

Also, I don’t usually consider taking a break. Like, taking a break from these two options. Simply because I know that when I take a break, that equates to a high possibility of falling into the hellhole of a reading slump again. And who wants to fall in that hole?!

When I just finished a book, that usually means that I am in the mood for reading. So, I consider picking up another book to make use of the opportunity while I am still in the mood and can still focus on reading. But at the same time, I also consider writing a review immediately because of the feelings inside that I can still feel right after reading the book. Like what I’ve said, I always have to deal with this dilemma after reading a great book. And I’m afraid that, if I’ll let the time pass, I’ll be distracted and my thoughts and feelings, which are all like inside a balloon, will slip from my hands and fly away. And I won’t be able to get it back.

For me, both options are really good. If I’ll choose to write, great. If I’ll choose to read, great. However, that is also the main problem – both are good. If I’ll write, yes it’s great, but what if while or after writing my review, I suddenly feel like not reading anymore? Or, what if I’ll read another book and be completely dragged into its world that I start to forget what I feel about the last book I just read which review is I haven’t still written yet?

Like I said, the DILEMMA IS REAL.

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Out of the uncountable times I had to go through this in my almost 3 years of blogging, I honestly couldn’t remember what I usually choose in those moments. But right now in my current situation?

I honestly don’t know.

That is why I am here, rambling.

It’s just hours after I finished reading Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios and my heart is still full – full of hate, sadness, pain, relief, hope and happiness – and to be honest, it’s overwhelming I might even cry while writing my review. The book is just really personal for me. It makes me feel so seen and understood – by the author herself and I found a friend in Grace and the other characters that it just overwhelms me. I want to write a review immediately because I love the book so much and I am truly grateful for the author that I feel like I owe it to her to write a good or at least decent review that will be able to make other readers know how great this book is for me and how it made me feel. And I know that I will be able to do that if I’ll start drafting now. And I MIGHT. Later. I don’t know. I want to calm my heart down first because I also want my review to be objective and not wholly subjective.

Also, I MIGHT start reading another book when I’m halfway into finishing my review. IDK, srlsy. I want to read another book because I don’t want to waste this time (lol but what am I doing, exactly?) and this mood where I still can focus on reading.

But all of these are just “might” because I am still conflicted.

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What do you do when you find yourself in this situation? What do you choose, writing a review or starting another book? Or have you never felt this dilemma before?

What are your thoughts about the dilemma of writing a review vs. reading another book? Share your thoughts and let us discuss below!

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19 thoughts on “Reading A Book vs. Writing A Review: The Dilemma

  1. I’m one of those folks who can pick up another book before a review, but ONLY if I have taken enough notes. I take notes on major plot points, character names (cause Drunk Sam forgets them), and notes/thoughts. If I have those, then I can write a good review after having started (and sometimes finished) another book.

    I feel you though, the further away from the book I get, the harder it is to write the review.

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  2. I’ve started trying to take down notes while I’m reading – and I do a ‘mini-review’ on instagram almost immediately after finishing a book, so I no longer feel super guilty when I pick up another book before I have completed the review of the previous one. It is very difficult for me to write a review without some notes though, especially if I start a new book, so I completely feel this post.

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  3. I will often start a new book before I get around to writing a review of the previous. I do try not to leave it more than a week or so before writing one though, usually a couple of days. I did try to write notes once I’d finished a book but I wasn’t very good at that. I kind of just wing it haha.
    Gemma @ Gemma’s Book Nook

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  4. I am someone who starts up another book generally. I try to take some notes though to make sure I have enough to jog my memory good enough. I have let too much time go in the past where I couldn’t write a fair review, so I had to wait till I had time to read it again – which I always get mad at myself when I do that. It’s hard though because it’s all about trying to balance. I run a very active online book group, as well as blogging and sometimes trying to find the time for everything is pretty much impossible so you gotta do what you gotta do lol

    I should say that I only write notes about 20% of the time and they are just kind of like done in point form. I’m much more of a wing it kind of person and my thoughts tend to organize better when I’m writing them out – I’m not that organized lol Great post and topic.

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  5. THIS! I tend to be one of the “pick up another book before reviewing” people, just because of when I write my reviews vs when I’m usually reading. It usually tends to work out fine, but sometimes it bites me in the butt and I can’t remember enough about the first book to write a decent review!

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  6. Happens all the time! That’s why I just started taking notes while reading, and later just writing actual full paragraphs of the review as I read. Finishing the review becomes really easy then xD and I write the ideas down as I have them, so I’m always in the flow, so to say. It’s a good way of saving time and not feeling bad about reviews that have been hanging there for ages 😀 because yeah, I’m often too impatient to wait and savor the feeling – I just want to use the momentum to read something new 😀

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  7. I totally get this! I have to write the review before I can pick up the next book or I fear I will forget those intangible thoughts and feelings the book sparked in me. But if I’m struggling to write the review – I am better off if I leave it and go for a walk or do something else while I let it gel or percolate.

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  8. I almost always have to review immediately. The thing that helps me is to take notes while I’m reading; when I do that I find that the review almost writes itself by the time I’ve finished the book. But I feel your pain! I’m always afraid of losing my reviewing mojo if I wait until I’ve started reading another book.

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  9. I am currently 33 reviews behind. It was well over 40 but I got a handful of them done. I always pick up a book as soon as I finish one. I am generally 9 to 10 reviews behind but due to a host of issues that number has risen extremely high. I know that I am a mood writer but I am blessed with the ability to remember just about everything about a book. This includes characters, facts, scenes, and even emotions that were stirred within me while reading a book. So what I do is set a goal to write two or three reviews a day until I catch up. Unfortunately I had a horrid weekend and haven’t written since maybe Friday.

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  10. I have this issue often and it causes a back up on my goodreads very often. My issue goes even further because I read one and would rather read another than pause and review and then before I know it I’ve read five books! Bare in mind this usually only happens when I find an author I fall in love with. You’re not alone but I have no advice because we’re in the same boat.

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  11. It really depends with me. When I finish a book I’m not always in a place to be able to write the review. I could be out or in the bath etc, so I do then start another book but always in a different genre as I don’t want the two books being muddled in my head. If I’m at home I often write the review first then pick up the new book.

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  12. For me it depends on the day. I typically tend to start my next book right away, but there are times where I’ve forgotten the previous novel when trying to write my review.

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  13. Omg, I kind of forgot about this ‘dilemma’ 😂 I GET IT TOOOOOOO!! I always end up thinking I should just start a booktube because then I can record all my thoughts faster than typing it out on my phone. Hey, this gives me an idea, what if you used the speech-to-text function and drafted a post? That way it’d be faster and you’ll get the best of both worlds. Unless the reading urge dies lightning fast 😓

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    1. Omg lol I actually thought of that starting booktube because it’s easier to say them out loud than write a constructive review before! I always write notes for each book that I’m reading. I write every thoughts I have so I won’t forget them when I write a review but the thing is, even though I have notes, I still find it hard to actually write when I don’t feel the book anymore. Like I don’t make sense of the notes I am reading sometimes lol. Thanks for that advice! I actually haven’t used that function on my phone every before. Have you?

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      1. Hahaha, lazy minds think alike! 😁 Though it’s pretty efficient to be calles lazy 😂 I have to write notes, too, or I’ll definitely forget half of my thoughts. And YES, I can’t muster up my initial enthusiasm when I’ve let it simmer for too long either 😣 omg, LOL, same!! Sometimes I look at what I highlighted in the kindle app and I’m so lost as to WHY I even thought to highlight it in the first place!

        You’re very welcome! I have used it but it depends on how accurate your speech-to-text software is like. My old phone couldn’t do English well. It was laughable. My current phone is surprisingly good at it! I wonder if an app can do that…I’d be surprised if it couldn’t.

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