The extra tidbits in a review…

Okay, there is this one thing I wanted to ask everyone who reads or writes books reviews.

Don’t worry, it’s not about what should or should not be there in the actual review, but the little things that might or might not matter.

When I started reviewing I did not include any information except the review of course. But as I started reading reviews on other blogs I started to note down what I liked and what I didn’t. I started including information in my reviews what I wanted to read in others.

The title and author: Obviously.
The Publisher and the publishing date: I like to know old the book is.
The number of pages: As I have mentioned many times, I dread chunksters. So if you are reviewing an 800 pages book, I’ll not bother adding it to my wishlist. It will just save me time, rather than to Google it and then realize it’s too huge for my taste. I might exclude Classics from this though.
Author Information: Not necessary actually. I add Author Information only for new authors or review copy authors. I don’t see much point in adding information on Stephen King or Wodehouse.
Rating: I never rated books before, just because I found it really difficult to rate books. But I’ve realized that whenever I read reviews, sometimes it’s not really very clear about how much the reviewer really enjoyed the book unless he/she says, ”Go, get the book now” or “Outstanding”. You liked the book, but how much? Well, you get my point.

Should I include something in my reviews too? I just read on TheKoolAidMom’s site that she likes to see an ISBN. I never really paid much attention to it.

See? Confusion, confusion!!!

What do you expect when you see reviews? Or what extra information do you really wish people should include in their reviews? Something that is to your liking? Or it absolutely does not matter?

29 thoughts on “The extra tidbits in a review…

Add yours

  1. I think it’d be most useful if bookbloggers will include those information onto their reviews, but I wouldn’t mind if they didn’t include any or just a few necessary info because my priority is to read their opinions and how they feel after reading the book. If I’m really interested in the book, I’d google it. 🙂

    However, I do feel it’s necessary to let the readers know if the book is part of a series because I wouldn’t want to buy a book and then find out I’m not reading the first book. ;P


    1. Exactly, thats why I feel these are unecessary tidbits 🙂

      But I do really think people should include ratings (I don’t believe I’m saying this as I was the one who once said I don’t believe in them).

      Mentioning the series is a really good point. I’ve bought many books lately and then realized they are part of the series, very frustating.


  2. I suppose what’s most important for me is the content of the review. I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I think the audience is very important. A reviewer should say that he/she didn’t particularly like it, but group X might, or group Y should avoid this, in addition to the reviewer’s own personal opinion. I always appreciate when a reviewer suggests the targeted audience for the book and even if the reviewer liked it, who might not enjoy it, in addition to the “why”. This objective view in addition to the personal opinion adds a lot in my opinion. Facts such as those listed above are useful but unnecessary, as you pointed out. I feel that the extra time spent finding out those little details should be dedicated to adding the more useful information to the review itself.


    1. I agree with you. I try to include that in my reviews if I don’t like a book, but sometiems it gets difficult. But I do try and include links to positive reveiws if possible. Some extra work but if it does the book some good, why not 🙂


  3. I include title and author, year published and pages, genre (this is new), and rating. I used to include when I finished the book, but I have other ways to track. I like seeing all of these things when I read a review just for the same reasons you listed. The publisher I don’t care about. 🙂 I think I saw someone mention somewhere that you should include the publisher or ISBN because that’s how publishers search for their books, but personally it doesn’t matter to me.

    I think it’s all a matter of preference. It DOES drive me crazy when people don’t put the title of the book in the title of their post. Some put little catchy titles which are fun, but it doesn’t make searching easy.


    1. I’ve never thought about the title of the post and the book that is reveiwed. Sometimes I like to club a couple of reviews. But yes, I can see how that could make a difference.

      I forget to include genre’s in my review most of the time. I simply don’t remember to unless someone comments and asks me if the book is a memoir


  4. I have been thinking about this recently too. If the book is long then I often comment on the fact, and always add it to the ‘chunkster’ category on my blog, but this isn’t the easiest thing to spot.

    I have just started to add publication date as a category, but again this isn’t immediately obvious. I don’t really mind whether these things are in other people’s reviews, as I will look up a book if I’m interested.

    I like to know if a book has won an award, but I think I’m in the minority for this – people think I’m a prize snob – but really I’m just a list completer!!

    I’m not sure about the publisher thing – it is fine for new books, but older ones can have multiple publishers and there are often different ones for each country the book is released in. Some people would become confused by this, and adding the ISBN number may lead to you buying an expensive copy of the book from overseas, when there is a cheaper one in your own country.

    I don’t really mind what you do – as long as you tell me whether you liked the book or not!


    1. I generally try and include if a book has won an award because I know it could be important to some people, but it isn’t that imp to me, so I tend to skip it sometimes (not intentionally though). I’ll try and do better in my future reviews 🙂


  5. The reason the ISBN is important to me is that when I like a book, I usually run over to BookMooch and PBS to add it to my wishlist (or snag if there’s an available copy). ISBNs are much easier to input than title or author, because you get the specific book with the ISBN, whereas you may get 50 books with similar titles or authors names.

    BTW, did you notice I put back page numbers right after your comment on my bloggiesta update 🙂 Just for you, ma’ dear 😉

    I haven’t thought much about awards, but now that you mention it, there are those list-mongers who would like that info. Still, I’m not googling a book to find out if it’s won some obscure “Aunt Tillie’s favorite book” award. If it says it on the book, or if the book’s impressed me enough to google it (Dune was one such, Farenheit 451 was another), then I do include it. I figure if you’re into lists, then you’ve got a spreadsheet somewhere to compare it… I know I do. 😀

    Thanks for the link 🙂


    1. Aw, thanks so much, I did see the page numbers but it didn’t quite sink in 🙂

      Thanks for the ISBN explanation, I guess there would be many people who do that.

      About lists, I guess Jackie might be maintaining an Excel sheet considering how many awards she keeps track of 🙂 For me it’s just exhausting.


      1. I don’t have a spreadsheet, but I probably should! I just have a list on my blog with links to the books I’ve reviewed, but I often don’t recognise books on the lists, especially long ones which go back several decades. I suppose it doesn’t really matter, as I plan to read them all anyway, but it is nice to read other people’s opinions of the books before I read them.


    2. It IS true about hunting down books in bookmooch being a real pain sometime when 200 pop up and you don’t have a clue what is hardback or re-release, etc. Great idea! Hadn’t thought to include ISBN and always thought it was TMI on a review. I’ll rethink this. 🙂


  6. This is something I’ve thought a lot about over time. I include only the title and author in my post. I think that the other information is useful, but I never read it myself. I know what you mean about ratings, too. It’s just too variable for me at times. Sometimes my rating right after finishing it might fluctuate, especially when I’m writing the review. I might give something more thought along the way. A lot of what I read I also consider to be average. Enjoyable, glad I read, not earth-shattering. Maybe I could come up with some kind of scale like that.

    Good topic. I need to revisit this and give it some additional thought.


    1. My ratings kind of fluctuate too. I have at times gone back to the reveiw and changed it, I know not a very good thing to do, but it’s happenend 2 times, so I guess thats okay 🙂


  7. Interesting topic. I usually just include title and author. If there are other things I think might be pertinent–book length, the date of the book, etc.–I will mention it, but in the text of my actual review. I don’t include ratings because I feel like they’re a false indicator about how I felt about the book. There are books I’ve rated three- or four-stars that I felt were keepers and love; and there are four-star books that I gave away.

    One thing the Book Smugglers do on their site that I really like is say why they picked the book to read in the first place. I think that gives the reader a good idea of where the reviewer is coming from and what she/he expects from the book. I try to say why I picked up a book a book, too, but again it’s in the text of the review itself and not listed on it own.


    1. If I decide it include why I picked up a particular book, 90% of the times I would be saying because I loved the concept or the cover or the title, which won’t be helpful to anyone. But some people do have different reasons, so that would be interesting to read.


  8. Usually, I just put the title and author. Sometimes I’ll put the publisher and/or release date. It doesn’t really matter to me if reviewers include that stuff or not because I can always google anything that looks interesting to me.


  9. Publishers, date of publication, and editions are new things to think about. I include the page number at the end and a read/skim/toss “pointer” for reference. Author info is dispensible.


  10. Title and author, always. The rest I don’t include. I can see how it could be helpful for some, but it’s not very time-consuming for someone who needs to know to look it up themselves.


  11. I get confused on the dates and publisher issues – Is it important to include JUST the date of the copy I’m reading or the original first-published date? I’ve included both when I didn’t know what was best.


  12. Great post. It’s interestng to see everyone’s views. I include all but the page total. Never really thought to because it doesn’t make a lot of difference to me. I’ll have to think on it. Thanks for generating the discussion.


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