I definitely use bookmarks, and have for years – but I must confess that I am a reformed dog-earer. My first favorite bookmark was a silver-plated clip style; I think I still have it somewhere, although I haven’t used it for quite some time.
I found my favorite bookmarks a few years ago in the Levenger catalog (also online at Levenger.com). They’re a little pricey, but if you have a tendency to drop books like I do, few things will keep your place better than a sturdy, long-lasting Book Bungee. There’s even a version called the Writer’s Book Bungee that can hold pens and reading glasses in addition to your page – I just discovered it when looking up the pictures to include in this post, and I just might have to order myself one or two.
(Please note that I am mentioning these products because I have bought and used them myself – I have received no promotional material or incentives from the vendors!)
These bookmarks get a lot of use, since I’m always reading a book, and it’s nearly always one I’ll eventually review here. Last week’s Weekly Geeks topic was guest-posted by Care of Care’s Online Book Club and asked about review formats. She offered several options for response, but since I’m late I’m just going to take the first one, which gets to the basics:
I didn’t have a review format for my first months of book blogging, but I implemented one at the beginning of 2008. By then, I’d been reading enough book blogs to get a sense of how people approached their reviews, and my structure was most influenced by Dewey and Literary Feline. I had a rating system before I settled on a review format, and I incorporated it into the structure of the review posts:
- Picture of book cover
- Title, including a link to the book’s listing on LibraryThing, where all of my books are cataloged
- Author’s name, with a link to his/her website or blog, if available (if I can’t find anything else, I try to link to author info on the publisher’s website)
- Publishing data: publisher, format, publication date, ISBN, genre, number of pages
- First sentence, occasionally supplemented by another random two-sentence quote (“Teaser Tuesday“-style)
- Book description, pasted from (and linked to) book or publisher’s website; I try not to get this info from Amazon, since I will include a purchasing link through my Amazon Associate account at the end of the review post
- Comments: My discussion of the book here may include any or all of the following, but will include my overall opinion:
critique of the writing style
what appealed to me, and what didn’t
- Rating: 5 point scale, with fractional points (.25, .5, .75) used – I view this as a summary of my comments
4-4.75 – very good to excellent
3-3.75 – average to better than average
2-2.75 – unimpressive
1-1.75 – disappointing
- Recommendation: used instead of a rating for certain types of nonfiction only (how-to, prescriptive)
- Book purchase link (to Amazon.com, as mentioned above)
- Links to other bloggers’ reviews of the book, in keeping with Weekly Geeks policy
Occasionally I’ll vary things a bit if the book warrants it, but for the most part this seems to be working – I think my reviews are more effective with a structure than without. If you have an opinion on that, please let me know!
Working on your Mommy Mojo? Check out the review of Mojo Mom, and enter my giveaway by Saturday, May 16 to win a copy!