New (ish) Year, New (ish) Schedule!

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One of my blogging goals for this year is to be more organised (I can only hope). So I’ve laid out a rough weekly schedule which I’m going to try and stick to.

Review days won’t necessarily always have a review – depending on how much reading I’ve got through – but when I do have a review to post it’ll be on one of those days.

Monday: Review Day

Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday

The hugely popular meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish in which they pick a different topic each week.

Wednesday: Review Day; This Week in Books

This Week in Books is my weekly round-up which started out as the WWW Wednesdays meme but which I have now tweaked to my own format since the host cancelled it (it has since returned but I like my post). This post includes what I’ve been reading Now, Then & Next; What I’ve added to my shelves and wishlist (linking up with Stacking the Shelves), and the book I particularly can’t wait for (linking up with Waiting on Wednesday).

Thursday: Guest Post/Promo Post/Blog Tour or Bookish & Not so Bookish Thoughts

I will try to post any guest posts including author interviews, book promo posts or blog tour posts on Thursdays. If I don’t have any lined up I’ll take part in the Bookish or Not so Bookish meme, which is a really fun way of having a weekly rant about books and life. I really love that meme but my life isn’t interesting enough to find enough things to talk about every single week.

Friday: Friday Feature

Features can include spotlights of my favourite books & authors, book trends such as this one, cover love… anything goes really. I’m going to try my best to get at least 3 of these out a month.

Saturday: Lazy Saturday Review or Shop Post

I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy and concentrate less on the plot and writing and more on my general feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

Shop posts will look at any new activity going on in my Etsy Vintage Book Shop; new books I’ve found, any I’ve sold and my favourites on the shelf.

Sunday: Off/Free

Other Regular Posts:

Monthly Round-up – Hopefully posted at the end/beginning of the month. This post also includes the following month’s hot releases.

Coming Up – Where I simply discuss the books I have lined up to read and review.

Discussion Posts/Polls – Getting the blogosphere engaged in a bookish discussion needs to happen now and again.

Di & Lipsy Do…– A collaboration with my YA BFF Di in which we have a rant about a book we’ve both read. You can call them reviews if you want…but most people wouldn’t. πŸ˜‰

Friday Feature: We Need to Talk About…

…reviewing books in a series.

What happened to #1???
What happened to #1???

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. In a similar way to how I find reviewing 5-star (or in my case 5-Unicorn) books difficult, I find reviewing individual books from a series just as difficult.

I’m wondering this as I try to write a coherent review of Monsters of Men, the final book in Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy. But I’m not even talking about trilogies here. They are hard enough, but what about say a book #6 or #10 in a series? How do you, as reviewers, tackle those? I tend to get vaguer with every sequel I talk about!

Here are the obstacles as I see them:

1. Spoilers: It’s pretty much impossible to review one of the books with enough depth without giving away any spoilers from any of the previous books. Depending on the complexity of the series of course, but it can be impossible to mention anything plot-wise that will not give away something that you wouldn’t want to know if you hadn’t read the previous books.

2. Content: And then there’s the actual content of the review. Do you give an overview of the story so far each time, or do you just concentrate on that one book? If you don’t give any background, will what you say even make any sense?

3. Audience: Which brings me to wonder if only people who have read, or at least started the series, will want to read the review? I must admit – I do it. If bloggers put one of those handy ‘about’ bits at the start of their review and it says ‘Series so and so’ #4′ I probably wouldn’t bother reading the review. I might see if it gives the name of the first book to check out, but 9 times out of 10 I wouldn’t read the main body of the post. Don’t get me wrong, blog stats are not the be all and end all for me at all. But what’s the point of spending time writing something and posting it on a public outlet for no one to read it. That’s why we blog right? Especially if you do that for 8 books that the majority of your readers won’t read.

Luckily for me, I am pretty rubbish at sticking to series. I have to be really engrossed by them read every book just because I don’t like to read the same kind of things back to back, and when I take a break from a series to read something else I usually forget to go back to them…and by the time I do remember I don’t feel the same need to read the next book any more. Madness, I know.

One I do want to continue with though are the Vampire Academy books by Richelle Mead. I really enjoyed the first book and I’m waiting for the next one to arrive. Early days yet, but if I do end up reading the whole series I’m wondering how to tackle it. I know I won’t read them all in one go so it could be forever until I finish them if I wanted to review the series as a whole. Or do I just do mini-reviews (I think I like this idea the most – anything to save a bit of time)…?

So I ask you lovely blogosphere…have you come across any of these obstacles? And, if so, do you have any tips to share?

Friday Feature: Why are good reviews so hard to write?

For my first proper Friday Feature– a weekly post in which I’ve decided that basically anything goes – I want to get something off my chest.

Why is it so hard to write good reviews?

I don’t know why, but when I LOVE a book, like seriously love it, I find it really hard to construct a decent review.

Is it just me? Is it because I’d rather slag something off than think about what I liked about it?

It’s easy to have a rant, whether it’s a good rant or bad one, but to seriously review a book you’ve loved is pretty daunting. Take Twilight for example (yes, you’re allowed to snort in derision), I love it and I’ve read it a really embarrassing amount of times, yet I completely agree that it’s trashy, often derivative and full of really unattractive character traits.

I might agree with a lot of the bad press it gets but I still love it and I have no idea why. So I’ve never written a review of it. (It is however one of the books on my Rereads Challenge so you can laugh at my attempt at some point!)

So guys, I’m opening it up for discussion, feel free to tell me if I’m just weird:

Do you prefer to write good or bad reviews (I’m guessing most of you will say good reviews, because you’re all so lovely), and which do you find easiest to tackle?