About a year ago (if not longer), I switched over to reading primarily ebooks unless I received a print novel for review or from some other source. It’s far more convenient for me to read on my android phone or pull my Kindle out whenever I find myself with a few minutes to read. Because that’s generally all I have. I’m a stay at home mom…no wait…whether I work or not doesn’t matter. I am MOM!!!! It doesn’t matter if I leave the house to work or if I stay home with my two monkeys, whenever something happens or needs to be done, it’s always mom they come to. I’m sure I’m not the only mother out there who has this same situation at home.
So my time to read is usually whenever I can carve out a few minutes to sit down – generally in the bathroom or the grocery store parking lot. *grin* Reading is usually a spur of the moment thing and my ereader can satisfy that spontaneity better than a print book. For one, the ereader will never lose my page (because the boys are forbidden from touching it), so I won’t have to spend precious moments searching for my page because one of the boys has moved my bookmark; and two because it doesn’t matter what book I’m reading, or if I finish one, because I have a virtual library at my fingertips.
So while my ereader has made my reading life easier ever since it’s been invaded by children, it has not made my reviewing life easier. If fact, I’m pretty sure it has nearly killed it. Literary Escapism started 6-7 years ago and I was doing pretty well with reviewing every book I read, and it was mainly print I was reading at the time. It didn’t matter if I loved it or hated it, I always had something to say. Two kids later and barely a print book in sight, my reviewing has gone down to one every other month or so. It sucks. I love talking about the books I read, but finding the words to put into a review have been alluding me. I was sitting here, working on the bag for the Authors After Dark raffle donation, and I started thinking about why my reviewing had slowed down. Yes, I no longer read ten novels a month and I’m lucky if I read one a month, but that’s not it. I just read 2 books within 48 hours, so while I don’t have as much time to read, my speed hasn’t gone down. BUT how I read has changed. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that digital books may have given me better chances at finding time to read, it did not make it easier to write a review.
Everyone has their own way of writing their reviews and each process is unique to that person. For me, I like having that print book in front of me so I can go back and reference pages. As soon as I finished a book, I would sit at my computer, open it back up to page one and go. My memory can be selective, but when it comes to books, scenes and characters are embedded in my mind and I can instantly pull them back to the front of my mind. Writing reviews were easy because if there was a scene I was remembering, but wanted to check something, I could flip through the pages, find it, and read a few pages to make sure what I was saying made sense with the context. One I was happy with the review, then it would get put back on the bookshelf and a new book was pulled out.
With ebooks, I’m not doing that. My Kindle doesn’t go on the shelf. As soon as I click out of that book, it’s been shelved and it’s really easy to shove it aside and start something else right away. I’ve lost count of the number of books I’ve read, with every intention of reviewing, but have forgotten to do because I was able to immediately pull up a new story and dive into a different world. Plus, I’m not a note taker. Not while I’m reading and making notations in my Kindle is something I haven’t mastered yet. So while I still can remember scenes and characters, it’s harder now to find where they take place than before. I can flip through print pages far easier (and faster) than I can with a digital book. My Kindle’s processor, or memory or whatever controls the speed, can’t keep up with me when I’m searching for something, so instead of finding what I’m looking for, I’ll give up and hope for the best.
Thinking about these two scenarios, I’m convinced that my reviewing habits have taken a mortal hit when I made the switched to reading primarily ebooks. Don’t get me wrong, I love ebooks and sometimes print books can be just as hard to read/review; but I know that when I do go back to review them, it’ll be easier to refresh my memory because I’ll be able to flip through the physical pages with more confidence.
Now that I’ve made that connection, I need to concentrate on revamping my method of reviewing. Should I start keeping a notepad next to my kindle so I can jot down notes as I read? Should I figure out how to leave notes in my Kindle (fyi…it’s a Gen2 Kindle, so not a new one) so I can go back to that section later? I’m not sure how I’m going to change my habits yet, but I know I need to figure something out. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them.
For those who have made the switch between digital and print, have you noticed a change in your reviewing habits? Do you find it easier to review a digital book? A print novel? Am I the only one who noticed a drastic change in their reviewing habits?