How to do Book Reviews? Becoming a Book Critic


Writing book reviews is certainly a task that most of us want to do but when it comes to doing the same, we tend to shy away. In the beginning, it happens. We are just not sure what needs to be done in the terms of writing a book review. And in most of the cases, the beginners end up writing a precis instead of an actual review and it is quite normal because most of the newbies in the field of book-criticism has made a habit of doing the same. Today, I would like to discuss the art of book reviewing and would like to point out certain facts that will help the newcomers in the field of book reviewing.


The term ‘review,’ within the ambit of this discourse, means to appraise critically. Now, in turn, the term ‘appraise,’ very well within the limited domain of this article, means to judge the significance, nature, value, or the quality of ‘anything’. I am sure I don’t need to define anything. Now, adding ‘book’ to the term ‘review’ offers us the job description – book review. So, what does a book reviewer needs to do?

As a book critic of book reviewer, a person is supposed to read the book not only as a reader but as someone with the ‘keen interest’ to find out the points in the book which common readers cannot generally find and point them out to the general public (of course those who are interested in reading). All sounds too easy, huh? But it ain’t so easy as the phrase all roads lead to Rome sounds! There are certain basic facts and fundamental rules which a person as a book reviewer needs to keep in mind while doing the job.

  • What kind of book this is? The genre.
  • What kind of narrative is used? First person or third person.
  • What is the nature of the plot? Overcrowded or mildly populated or just a deserted island.
  • What is the strongest part in the book? Any character, any significant scenario, any allusion, any symbolism etc.
  • What is the weakest part of the book, if any? Like some character just entirely not needed and unnecessarily annoying the plot.
  • Could the book be any better?
  • Can the book be related to any current of past ‘actuality’?
  • What is the significance that this book brings to the torrent of the literature in the present day?
  • The concluding remarks.


Other than that, things which seem important can be added and things which don’t look getting along can be removed. Always keep the process dynamic and don’t try sticking to a single ‘steps to follow’ chart! And I hope you will become a good book reviewer in the coming days. All the best! 


by a TBB contributor

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