I have reached a point in my reading life where I do not read books I am not enjoying. I do not see the point in wasting time on a book if you aren’t enjoying the experience of reading it. I adore classics and modern classics, but not all of them are to my taste, I found the Hobbit tremendously dull. I respect the talent of J. R. R. Tolkien, however, I have no time for his prose. I often find him on ‘must read’ lists, but if you are reading a book purely because it looks good to have read it you’ve missed the point – read for yourself not others.
As I no longer read books that I struggle through it is rare to find me rating book harshly on GoodReads or giving it a less than respectful review here. I know some visitors dislike a blog that has consistently positive reviews, but as I am reading what I am enjoying I am not going to find things to complain about for the sake of entertainment. I often try to balance my reviews, yet, if I love a book I want to share that feeling over any need for objectivity.
My reviews could probably be described as part technical discussion and part a discussion on how it has made me feel or think, percentage dependant on the subject or genre. There are no clear rules that I can see that I may template my analysis to. (If you have noticed a pattern, I would be interested to know.)
To get to the point, I am wondering how you review. What do you think about as you are reading? Do make notes? Do you have a template for discussion, or does it just flow from you? If you review ARCs how long do you make the review, do you include any spoilers? If you are reviewing published novels, do you think spoilers matter? Do you widen the discussion to talk about themes in the novel? Do you chat about how feminist/sexists/racist a novel may be?