I acquire a lot of books. A lot of books. I can't walk past a bookshop without buying one, and I get quite a few sent to me to review.
I love books, and I love reviewing them. However, I’ve decided that a one-size fits all approach to reviewing books (or anything else, come to that), just won’t do. So I’ve categorised my reviews into 5 types:
Full review, in which I look at what the book is about, relate it to a wider context (such as education technology or writing), and look at its strengths and weaknesses, and recommend it (or not).
Thumbnail sketch, in which I very briefly say what the book is about and my thoughts on it. I try to keep reviews in this category to 200 words or fewer.
Honourable mention, in which I mention a book that looks good but which I haven’t actually read. For example, I may have read a sample of it on my Kindle or on the publisher’s website. Honourable mentions are my way of saying, “Look, I’ve come across this book. It seems like it might be useful, but I can’t really say because I don’t have a copy and so I haven’t read it yet.”.
Nano reviews, which is usually similar to the Honourable Mention except for my having actually read the book in question. Obviously, there are exceptions, but that is largely the case. These reviews borrow their form from the category of flash fiction -- very short fiction -- of the same name. In other words, they are 6 words long.
You can read my first foray into this form here: 7 books for teaching of computing and ICT. Tell me what you think.
And finally, Books I want to read but will probably never get around to. This title was inspired by Nick Jones’ Existential Ennui blog. Like me, Jones seems to have a compulsion to buy used books, and also like me he appears to buy more than he can ever hope to get through. He has a section entitled “ books I've bought but haven't got round to blogging about properly – indeed may never get round to blogging about properly – so this will have to do.” I quite like that, as I think it’s a useful mechanism for alerting people to the existence of a book without saying very much about it.