dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish

4.14.2007

Why Review?

I recently decided to begin to post reviews of the books that I read. How I go about this will, in some respects, develop along the way. Some reviews may be mere synopses; others might include my own reflections on the book. In my last post, I explained why I read. What I've decided to do here is give, up front, my reasons for beginning to write reviews of those books.

Why write book reviews?

1. To help me to remember more of what I read. Unfortunately, as I look back at some of the titles I've read over the last couple of years, I can't remember much--maybe a general impression of the book, perhaps a point or two. I always remember what I'm reading better when I am able to to talk about it with others. There's something about having to verbalize the things that I've learned that helps me to remember them long term. Sitting down to write a review will hopefully have the same effect.

So why write them for my blog?

2. First, as an extra motivation to write something sensible. In the same way that blogging helps me to develop my thoughts logically (see #4 under Reasons for Blogging), knowing that someone else might (gasp!) read my review should keep me from merely jotting down poor synopses and ill-defined impressions.

3. To write something accessible. This goes two ways. Obviously, a blogged review is vastly more accessible to others than a review kept on a computer hard drive or in a notebook. On the one hand, it would be great if anyone else benefits from reading a review I write. Beyond this, however, the reviews would be more accessible to myself. Having them all on my blog sure beats flipping through notebooks trying to find what I wrote where!

4. I like to recommend good books to people I know. This could serve as a way of doing that--in an even better way than just saying You might like this.

Ratings
Those of you who know me well were, I'm sure, waiting for this part. (i.e. Here is where Jason explains how he will run a multi-level numerical analysis of each book's quality.) Well, guess what, I'm not going to give numerical ratings. I have, however, decided to list books that I read/review in one of four different categories:

Must Read
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Don't Bother

Don't think of them as being 1-4 stars. Reading takes time, and I try to choose what I know to be good books. These ratings are a way of separating the good from the really good, and the really good from the exceptionally good. If you really want to think in terms of numbers, even books listed as "Recommended" would probably be about a 7 on a 1-10 scale. When I say that I would recommend reading a book, I mean it. But there are a handful of books that I honestly believe everyone should read. (As an example, I loved reading John Piper's Life as a Vapor and recommend reading it, but don't find myself recommending it as a life-changing book to practically everyone I know, as I do with his book Don't Waste Your Life.) All right, enough said about reviewing books--my first review is, Lord willing, coming in the next week.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Melinda said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now...and I enjoy reading what you have to say.

I love to read! I am looking forward to hearing about the books you have read and enjoyed.

4/16/2007 10:50 AM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Hi Melinda, thanks for stopping by. I'm curious to know how you found my blog. The Rebelution forums?

4/17/2007 10:03 PM

 
Anonymous Melinda said...

Jason,

I probably did find your blog through The Rebelution...although I don't remember for 100%. I love to read blogs...and your posts frequently give me something to think about.

4/27/2007 1:39 AM

 

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