Long or Short?
I’m not talking dick size – you can head over to Jessewave’s funny post on penis size in m/m romance books for that.
I’m talking review size. Recently some great reviewers I know have shortened their style. I realize in the ADD like attention span of the internet readers want the basics in a quick, easy to read fashion so they can glean the facts and move on. So does this translate to reviews as well?
The average review tends to have a lengthy plot summary that either expounds on the blurb or points out the key tension element. Then usually it goes on to say the reviewer’s feelings on the book, if it worked, if the characters were decent, and if they liked the writing. Some reviewers manage to do all of this in a quick paragraph while others (like my overly winded self) tend to wax on and on ad nausea. I tend to say it is a personal preference about the length of reviews and this is likely true. Some don’t want to write long, involved reviews but want to express their opinions.
Since reviews are for readers, the mix of long and short reviews is likely a key element in deciding on a book. Perhaps for a quick to the point look, short reviews help make a decision but if waffling on a book, longer more in depth reviews can tip the balance.
I’ve noticed that several reviewers tend to summarize their feelings up front then go into more detail. For example I always put a TLDR – too long didn’t read – paragraph at the top of my reviews that sums up my feelings of the book if no one can be bothered to read further. I like this bottom line first kind of summary and other reviewers do it incredibly well.
I like the longer review style and can’t see that changing. Some readers (us included) were frustrated by the brevity on other review sites and wanted to offer something different for those that want more meat to their reviews. Perhaps we are overly bloated at times but reviewing styles are always work in progress.
What about others?
Do you like short or longer reviews?
Do you read both for different purposes?