Wandering Thoughts: Things That I Want To Add In My Reviews But No Can Do

Image: Kaboompics

Wandering Thoughts is where I let my mind stray, think and talk about non-routine things. This is an avenue for bookish personal stories, fun posts, musings and discussions.

When I read reviews from reviews sites and fellow book bloggers, I sometimes stumble upon stuff that I find so pretty or brilliant or important that I want to also incorporate them with my own book reviews. I want to emulate them because they make their reviews so extra. Being extra means you love what you’re doing. Being extra shows passion. But most of the time, I end up not doing these things in my reviews because either I actually cannot do them myself or I could do them if I really try but it would eat up too much time. So here are some of the special stuff other people have in their reviews that I wish I have in mine but no can do.

  1. Book photography

    Image: Pixabay
    I cannot for the life of me take decent photos of anything. I have shaky hands so I almost always end up with blurry, or grainy, or off-center images. And on a really bad day, I do a combo of these three disasters  in one pic. Also, I have zero creative juice in arranging books to pretty flatlays. Like what background should I use with this particular book cover? Or how to pick things that goes with the book in the photo? I see people using flowers, candles, origami and such, how do they even come up with these themes, color coordination and all that aesthetic? My lack of competence in capturing pretty pictures is one of the reasons why I do not bookstagram. Book photography, while it comes natural for others is too much for me to handle.

    One of the many talented book blogger slash photographer out there is Hazel of Staybookish who takes crisp and clean photos. I also like the minimalist aesthetic of book photos by Shelumiel of Bookish and Awesome which also functions as header images for his review posts. And if going crazy with colors is your thing, Cait of Paper Fury is the ever reliable book blogger.

  2. Parental advisory

    Image: Pixabay
    It’s good practice to include trigger warning advisories in book reviews. I make sure that I do this in my reviews because I believe it’s important and the right thing to do. Another thing that I think important and value-adding is a parental advisory for books. TV shows and movies have them so why shouldn’t books be any different? I feel that this is needed especially for middle-grade and young adult books. I often see Goodreads questions from parents asking if this book or that contain mature content. I mean, I hope they are asking because they want to guide and explain sensitive matters (like sex and drug use) to their children and not to censor them on what to read or not. There are times when I feel obliged to include parental advisories in my reviews but I don’t do it because of general laziness. Woah, seeing my reason for not doing something I feel important in plain writing makes me look like an irresponsible adult. I suddenly feel bad. But the good thing is, there is a review site who does this kind of thing already. I found this review of “What to Say Next” by Julie Buxbaum from Common Sense Media really helpful and informative for parents. So for all the parentals in need of mature content warnings for their kids, head in on this review site.

  3. Book quote

    Image: Pixabay
    I do give quotes from the books I review, but not all the time. Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs is consistent in providing quotes at the end of her reviews. I dunno, perhaps blame my general laziness again. Even if the book is quotable, I keep forgetting to bookmark all the beautiful lines. And sometimes I am just more engrossed with the story and not conscious for searching quotable quotes while reading.

    Quote posters are gems that I wanna also be able to do in my reviews, too. Have you seen these quote posters in Hazel’s review of “Girls Made of Snow and Glass” by Melissa Bashardoust?! Darn nice, it’s like woven with magic or something. I dream of conjuring things like these but alas, I am the Squib of making things pretty. True story: back in high school, my Science teacher required us to prettify our notebooks and I made use of those pesky cray pass colors. Long story short, I made mine messy instead of pretty. Like I can’t even read my science notes through all the mess, what even is the point?

  4. Talk to me portion

    Image: Pixabay
    I would love to have more interaction in my review posts but sadly,comments come in trickles in this side of the internet space. It’s an arid, windy place where tumbleweeds go to tumble. Swoosh! There’ goes one tumbleweed a tumblin’, see?

    Of course I get few comments mainly because I have little (like close to zero) blog following. But being a little book blog aside, I think that another great way to get readers’ reactions and comments is by throwing them your post-related questions. It’s like give and take (or Newton’s Third Law which I don’t think I learned properly because of my stupid messed-up science notes). It works like this: I give you my thoughts about this book and I ask what’s your take on it. Have you read it yet? Are you planning to? Questions like that. An example would be, again the great Cait of Paper Fury. (Is it too obvious that I idolize her?!) She has this “Chat With Me” portion at the end of every post and look at the flurry of comments in her blog. But then again, we have to factor in her huge blog following. So I guess the formula is blog fame + asking questions in posts = party everytime in the comments section! Would I like to test this little theory and put it to practice in my blog? Partly yes, but mostly no. I can work on asking questions with my blog posts from time to time but amassing a huge following is a tricky thing to achieve.

There you have it, the extra stuff that I really want to add in my book reviews but can’t. Mostly because of laziness and incompetence. Or euphemistically speaking, let’s just say that I’d rather spend more time reading and being content with my own style of reviewing than trying too hard on things that I have no talent for. Don’t get me wrong tho, the lack of pizzaz in my reviews does not mean that I don’t love what I’m doing. I treasure my book blog. I enjoy talking about books. I put effort in every post that I write. I work through my word wall of reviews, brick by brick with my own sweat and tears.

Talk to me portion: Hah, let’s do this! How about you? Are there “extra” stuff that other bloggers do that you wish you can do in your own blog? Or are you one of the talented book bloggers out there? Maybe you make art nails that look like the art cover of books? Or you put fashion pieces together to capture the aesthetic of book covers? Show me your stuff, leave your artsy reviews in the comments so I can see them.

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