How do professional reviewers, review books?

How do professional reviewers, review books? No idea.

How do I choose my books? Mostly by cover, quite frankly. I do indeed judge the book by its cover. But usually, and bear with me here, it’s by feel.

I will stroll along a book aisle, yes in a real bookstore, and touch books. Sometimes I get paper cuts. Sometimes I get “a feeling.” A book will catch my eye and my hand will stop (or vice versa), and I will pick up a book, and, well, must hold it. I will run my hands along the cover, maybe flip it over. I will flick through the pages, stopping here and there, and read a sentence on whatever page it lands on. If it catches my attention, then that’s the book I choose.

Sue browsing a shelf of books, not touching. Nothing of interest here. Soon to move on.
Just browsing a shelf of books, not touching. Nothing of interest here. Soon to move on.

If I am feeling poor, I will take a photo of the book, then order it from the Library. If I am feeling flush, I buy the book. Simple. Then if the book is lucky, I actually read the book. And if it’s really really good, I finish it.

Some books require audiobook or eBook versions instead. Janis Ian’s biography (completed by not yet reviewed) was an amazing audiobook. For my rare foray into fiction with The Life of Pi a few years ago (I did touch this book, but it did nothing for me. I just thought I ought to read it since everyone was gushing about it), the audiobook, at double speed, was good enough to at least get through it. I have not reviewed it, even though I read it 3 or 4 years ago.

For a brief moment, I entertained the idea of writing “professional” book reviews. I even went as far as looking up John Updike’s 6 rules for reviewing books.

But then I was like, “Nah, dude*, where’s the fun in that?” I am trying hard in my life not to be so full of myself. There are people smarter than me, wittier than me, meaner than me, and better read than me. Let them write the professional reviews. All I can offer up is a huge catalogue of lesbian books because the wife and I are obsessive list creators (see, I bet someone more professional than me would know if there’s a word for that), and then my goofy, personal and rather short reviews of books that sometimes have nothing to do with lesbians, except it was read by one. Me. Okay, it was probably read by more than me, but you see? This is why I leave the professional reviews to the professionals, and just give you, me.


P.S. I looked up a word for list-making, and there doesn’t seem to be one specifically for that. But according to Dr. Internet, we are both either obsessive compulsive with a need to control our surroundings, or we are manic Type-A left-brain thinkers. Geez, I think there’s enough here to start making a list…
* Dude is not used in a gender-specific way. In this context, “dude” was used for a non-existent conversational partner. Dude can also be used for a water facet that turns on too high and splashes everywhere, or a door that shuts unexpectedly in your face. And since I am happy to use the word “dude” like this, it’s probably best that I am not a professional reviewer.

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