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Peoples Network

Writing about books

The reader2reader site aims to bring readers of all kinds together to share their reading experiences and to help with the all-important question, 'What shall I read next?'

If you've never written about books other than for essays or exams, or even for publication in a literary magazine or journal, it's a good idea to pause and consider the difference between the academic deconstruction required in those situations and the friendly, informal approach you'd use when talking to another reading enthusiast.

When you're writing about books for this site, think about those other readers you are addressing. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, 'What is it they need to know? What do I wish somebody had told me about this book before I read it?'

Here are a few things that might help you write about books for this site:

  • There's no need for academic objectivity – let rip! Say what the book made you feel and think.
  • Giving a chapter-by-chapter summary of the plot can spoil it for the next reader. Just try to give the flavour of the read.
  • If you didn’t like the book, try to give clear reasons rather than simply dismissing it as 'rubbish' or 'the worst thing I've ever read'. Other readers will be interested to know what it was exactly that put you off.
  • If you think some readers might be put off by a particular aspect of the book – perhaps there has been controversy surrounding the book or the author or maybe the book has a lot of explicit violence – think what you might say to reassure them that it's a rewarding read despite that.


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