Book Reviews for Fun and Profit

Book Reviews for Fun and Profit

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How can book reviews be fun? That’s something you had to do for school? And profit? People give away their book reviews.

It’s not that kind of fun or profit.

I’m suggesting you write a review any time a book gives you something you can use. Books supply us with new information and ideas. A great idea that’s only in your head can get lost in the noise. Write it down and you will have it forever.

It may be something that gives you insights into your personal and social life or that demonstrates writing techniques worth imitating. With practice, you can find something that feeds your writing in almost everything you read.

How Reading Feeds Your Writing

Nonfiction Arts

The humanities tell you about human behavior from many different perspectives. Psychology, sociology, philosophy, political science, and anthropology all have different ways of looking at the human condition. This feeds into character development. Three dimensional characters are more interesting to read about than a cast of clones.

Nonfiction Science and Business

Your characters need to do something for a living. Your most believable character careers will be ones you’ve had yourself, but you don’t need to stop there. When you’ve studied a field well enough to know the basic terminology, you can give that career to a character and do further research as it’s needed for the story.


Novels and short stories can be a gold mine of writing techniques or cookie cutter imitations of what has been written before. If you want your writing to stand out, you need examples of how it’s done.

Those ideas are fine for fiction, but what about nonfiction? There are variations there too. Even though the main point is to get information across, there are different ways of doing it. How long do you make your chapters? How many subsections should you have? What about graphics? How can you write effective anecdotes? Everything you read can be an example of how to write.

How to Write a Book Review

I’m sure you know how to write a book review according to someone else’s specifications. But how do you write one for yourself? Ask yourself a few questions as you finish each book.

Was there anything special about this book?

If not, don’t bother with a review. If the author has a unique style, but this book is the same as all of their other books, you might want to review the author’s writing style.

What was special about the overall story?

Were there amazing twists? Did the story build up to the conclusion in some special way? Were the chapters painfully long or ridiculously short? Did it get you interested in something you never would have thought could be appealing?

What was special about the characters or their descriptions?

Did this book have any characters unlike any you ever saw before? Did the author use any special tricks to reveal character? Were the characters only names with no special traits? Did the authors choices about character depth make sense in the context of the story?

What points of view were used?

Is the story told from first person, third person or God mode point of view? Was it a combination of views? Multiple first person? A combo of one first person and one third? Why did the author pick these views and were they the right picks?

Has this book done anything to make your life better?

Did this book have something you considered an important life lesson? Did you learn something new? Was it worth the read for the entertainment value alone?

What is your final impression?

Are you glad you read the book? Any reservations? Where did the author triumph? Where did they fail?

Whatever you put in your review, a good finish is a description of what the book did for you. What does it inspire you to do in your own writing? Give yourself a call to action in the conclusion.

Now, how about writing a report on the last great book you read?

Article by Ivan Izo.

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