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Discussing books and writing reviews.

Sometimes, oftentimes, I’m not as articulate as I wish I could be when I discuss books.

There are things that I understand on a subconscious level that won’t bubble up to the surface no matter how much I try.

I’ve found over the years that I tend to work things out verbally, which is why I did so well in English class. The group discussions would help solidify thoughts in my head. Many times I would raise my hand and only have a vague idea of what I wanted to say. It wasn’t uncommon for me to have aha moments once I started talking.

I think this is why it’s so important for me to discuss what I read on this blog and on other people’s blogs and in my book clubs and with co-workers and friends. Those discussions help solidify thoughts and feelings that are otherwise nebulous and bokehish. Discussions also help spark thoughts that are new to me, or thoughts that were there the whole time but didn’t have the words to make them alive.

Why is it important for you to discuss books? Or do you even need to discuss books?


17 Responses to “Discussing books and writing reviews.”

  1. Veens

    Well talking about books and hearing others thoughts brings about a perspective that I might have not thought about.
    **Those discussions help solidify thoughts and feelings that are otherwise nebulous and bokehish – so true!


  2. Sandy

    I was just having this conversation with a friend of mine. Often, I don’t know exactly how I feel about a book until I start writing. Like it is locked up somewhere and only comes out when I hit the keyboard (often times talking doesn’t even unlock it). Very strange. I don’t understand it, but nice to know I am not the only one!


  3. zibilee ()

    I am a lot like you, and sometimes unsure of just what kinds of things to say when reviewing books. I have an easier time when I am around people that have read some of the same books and that can discuss ideas intelligently and with passion. Most of the time I don’t go deep enough by myself, and the questions I ask myself about what I am reading are really not fully formed. When I get in front of other readers and we start gabbing about books, ideas come out, and different ways of looking at a book and the way it made me feel are more easily expressed. I love talking books, but rarely get to do it in real life. This is a great question, by the way!


  4. Jo-Jo

    Man I live for discussing books! I find myself striking up conversations in bookstores if someone is looking at a book that I might have read, because most likely we would have another book in common that we both have read. Sometimes I form thoughts and attitudes towards books after reading them, but always like to talk to other people that read the book to see if I might have missed something.

    This is the main reason I started my blog! I belong to a book club but every once and a while we read a book that challenges many of our members, so they don’t finish it because they didn’t like it. Once incident was the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I thought this was an amazing book with so much to offer and would be a wonderful discussion, but only a couple of gals read it and most of them disliked it. I think they just really needed to open their minds to the possibilities that this book had to offer.


    Patty Reply:

    I am always amazed when someone doesn’t finish a book. Even the ones I don’t like get read. I feel like I owe the author that much.I’ve never hated a book, but sometimes I am disappointed by the author.


  5. Virginia Bonnett

    I have to talk about it to solidify it too. I’m a thinker-out-louder. I also need to talk about it to share. Especially if it’s a book I’ve fallen in love with; it’d be like having a boyfriend who is charming and handsome and debonair and then hiding him on a shelf and not allowing your friends to stare at him in lust and jealousy. Who does that benefit? It must be shared!


  6. Elizabeth Kerri Mahon ()

    I’m a voracious reader and have been since I was first able to hold a book and understand what the words on the page meant. As I’ve gotten older and especially since I started blogging, I’ve been dying to share the stories that make me sit up and take notice. It’s also helped me understand why I like the books that I do, and what exactly was it about a book that made me either dislike or not able to enter fully into the experience the way the writer would have liked.


  7. Callista ()

    I don’t find the need to discuss fiction books, practically ever. The few times I’ve wanted to, it was just to ask someone else’s opinion on this one part in the book and that’s it. And I never do and I’m fine.

    I like discussing nonfiction books, mostly because I love learning and someone else may have taken away something different from the same book that I may not have thought about. Although that may be true of fiction too, I don’t care. Fiction is for fun, not for learning.

    I review books because I want others to get more into nonfiction and I”m hoping that a thorough review will help those who aren’t sure if the book would be what they want or not. Whenever I look up reviews for nonfiction, I never find enough information about the book. That’s why I started reviewing almost 10 years ago.


  8. Kathleen

    I’m definitely more of a verbal person and tend to start talking and figure it out as I go along. And I definitely benefit from hearing other people’s ideas. It helps me solidify my own thinking.


  9. Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog ()

    I’m a verbal processor too, and I’m all too familiar with the feeling of not having an idea fully formed until after I’ve started talking. I find that taking notes in my books as I’m reading helps me begin making sense of my thoughts, and then hand-writing an outline before I start typing a review allows the ideas to crystallize. So, I need to do some kind of verbal expression about what I’m reading, but it doesn’t need to be spoken (though I do love that kind).


  10. diana mack

    discussing a book is almost like gossiping…”why did she DO that” or “i can’t believe she wasn’t scared…i had to sleep with the light on”…and inevitably someone will bring up something i missed or didn’t understand and i see the book in a whole new light…..and the fun of trying to make someone LOVE the book you love when they just told you they hated it!


  11. Amused ()

    Great post! For me, I feel like I can’t talk to anyone else in my ‘real’ life about books so I needed any outlet for all of the good books (and not so good books) I read. My blog and everyone else’s has been a better forum than I good have ever imagined!


  12. Trisha ()

    Ditto to everything you’ve said. My ability to understand something works much much faster than my ability to articulate it. Plus, I like having a record of my reading with more than just a title. As a consummate re-reader, it’s nice to have a quick reference for books I really loved.


  13. Jennygirl

    I started my blog for many reasons, the main one being my love of books. I have always been a keen reader, but no one I know likes to discuss books that much, hence the blog. Then my writings turned into utilizing my analysis skills; a way of keeping up my writing skills. A freedom or outlet I guess you could say. Along the way the ideas I have about some books, the way I view some books has changed, and now I feel the need to put those out ther too. See if anyone agrees or disagrees, and their reasoning. I feel everything is a learning experience.

    I also feel as though I don’t always get down on “paper” what I want to say or how it should be said. I am a verbal person too. Heck, I talk to myself all day at work, enough said. So since this comment is probably very convoluted from what it started out to be, my sentiments exactly, is the easy reponse 🙂


  14. Leslie ()

    Re-reading my writing is my verbal discussion. That’s why I write my reviews and then re-read them the next day before I publish so I can make any changes that come to mind while I’m mulling them over. If that makes any sense.

    Most of my friends/family either read different types of books or not many at all so I don’t have too many people to discuss mine with. That’s one of the reasons I joined online book clubs, goodreads and started a book blog.


  15. Lisa

    I have five children and sometimes it feels like they will never grow-up, and then I turn around and my oldest has been accepted to the college of his choice…WHAT…how did that happen. Enjoy the time, it goes by fast and keep reading. I have read 155 books so far this year and it helps keep me sane. I love the library and the kids share my love of reading. That is a priceless legacy to give to them.


  16. Ivy ()

    As a book reviewer I experience the same struggle – trying to get my subconscious thoughts on paper.


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