June 21, 2024

Read and Review! by Tracy Krauss

Good writers read. Widely. I’m sure we’ve all heard this advice and can agree. 

But how many of us take the time to review what we’ve read? 

We should all know by now that reviews are an author’s best friend. They add credibility and are what propels books forward in search engines. In short, online reviews are valuable to authors, no question. But what about the value of writing a review to YOU as the reader?

I make it my practice to write a review for every single book I read. (Almost.*) 

Writing reviews is excellent writing practice. It’s the perfect practical way to hone one’s writing skills and is a great exercise in writing concisely while also using descriptive details. Writing reviews also sharpens analytical skills, requiring one to reflect on character development, motivation, pace, or overarching themes—all aspects of writing that any author should want to develop. 

It forces one to distill the story down to its most basic elements without sounding cliché or giving too much away (unless you like spoilers) while still engaging with readers beyond a mere retelling of the plot. It stretches one to think of different ways of saying similar things. (“I loved this book!” isn’t really saying much. WHY did I love this book?) 

There are many good reasons to write reviews. First, they are very helpful—crucial even—for today’s authors. So, if you truly like an author, why not give them a boost by writing a review? This shouldn’t be a daunting task. As writers ourselves, we should be able to express our views with a certain amount of eloquence. Instead of a burden or a chore, look at writing a review as an opportunity! 

* The exception are books that are so poorly written that I can’t honestly give them higher than a one star. I’m not in the business of crushing a person’s self-esteem, especially online for all to see. However, if I have a relationship with that person, I would likely contact them privately with my feedback in order to facilitate future growth. (I suppose it’s the teacher in me.) It’s a bit like telling someone they have spinach in their teeth or their dress is tucked into their nylons… Sure its awkward, but that’s what a true friend would do to help them avoid future embarrassment. 


Tracy Krauss
lives and writes in Tumbler Ridge, BC. Writing reviews is a fun way to bring closure to each book she reads! Visit her website https://tracykrauss.com


  1. What a great post, Tracy. I always mean to write reviews for other authors. And I always mean to write little reviews for myself of all the books I read. Good intentions but too rarely followed through. I'm glad for your reminder that writing reviews is good writing practice. I used to write reviews of library books for the local newspaper. I found that a very rewarding exercise. Learning to say something descriptive and original in as few words as possible - I think it was under 200 words. Thanks!

    1. Sometimes I don;' feel like it, but I usually just do it because I know the benefits - not only to the author but also that it keeps me sharp.

  2. I love your attitude about reviews, dear Tracy. It's a gift readers can give to authors when they take the extra step to post a review.

    Like you, I avoid writing reviews about books I wouldn't want my friends to read. Recently a well written book I read contained something so graphic I couldn't finish the book. It was a Christian book too. I think it was the timing that made it hard to read. So much violence in the world right now means many of us crave a break from all the sad news.

    Wonderful post. Wonderful advice. Blessings.

    1. If I think a book needs a "warning" I probably would write a review, even if it was not very high. In that case, I think readers need to know... Thanks for all you do here Wendy!

  3. Thanks for your encouragement to write book reviews, Tracy. You've given me may reasons to write more reviews!!

  4. Thanks for this important reminder, Tracy. I used to write reviews often but have been lacking lately. Two thumbs up for a winner of a post!


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