The 10 types of book reviewer!

When you read and write a lot of book reviews, you can’t help noticing the different styles and approaches of other reviewers, or even of your own reviews. Just for fun, here are 10 types of reviewer I’ve identified. All are valid approaches! There is no right or wrong way to write a book review.

The Minimalist. The master of one-liners or short paragraphs which get to the essence of what the book is about and briefly communicate their opinion.

The Aesthete. Enthuses about the physical aspects of a book, such as cover design, signed copy, layout, luxury binding. Almost forgets to discuss the contents…

The Empath. Focuses on the emotional connection, especially if the book made them cry and left them devastated, heartbroken even. Really feels for the characters as if they were dear friends.

The Rambler. Wordy essays which are liable to go off on a tangent and have a very loose structure. They might use the review as an opportunity to work through their thought processes.

The Ranter. Very passionate in their reviews, possibly with the use of helpful gifs and emojis. They will absolutely love a book, completely hate it, or be annoyed that they found it mediocre.

The Philosopher. Thinks about the concepts in a book more than the writing style, characters etc. Uses the review to consider deep questions inspired by their reaction to the book.

The Cheerleader. Always positive about the books they review, usually 5 star ratings. They take every opportunity to recommend the books and praise the authors.

The Analyst. Takes apart the structure, writing style and context of a book. May be a writer themselves or have studied literature. Not likely to let their emotional response dominate the review.

The Summariser. Mainly describes the plot and the characters, with less space given to opinions. More like the other definition of review, ‘an assessment’, rather than ‘a critical appraisal’.

The Apologist. Sorry for not liking a book that has been hyped, or has won awards, etc. May also apologise for various aspects of their review, such as the length, coherence or the gap between reading and reviewing.

Which type(s) are you? Would you add more any to the list?

29 thoughts on “The 10 types of book reviewer!”

  1. Love this. I would say I’m a cross between an empath (I love sad books, and if it just ends leaving loose ends or doesn’t have a happy ending, all the better) and a philosopher. My favourite book for a not so happy ending is Fragile by Sarah Hilary.

    1. Thanks! I’m not really an empath – although I tend not to read books with happy endings too. I get distracted by the writing style so I guess I’m an analyst. I haven’t heard of Fragile but as it is a thriller I will check it out 🙂

  2. I definitely learn toward apologist, but could probably also be classified as a narcissist–I mean, not truly. However, when I write reviews I try to show readers (of my reviews) how I related to the book on a personal level. That’s more review for performance (a review-essay) I guess. I feel like I more regular, objective reviews are a dime a dozen on Goodreads–so better add something extra. I also ascribe to cheerleader philosophy and don’t generally provide real reviews unless I enjoyed a book. 4 or 5 or nothing is my way. I don’t waste time on books I don’t like.

    1. That’s very interesting… maybe I will classify you as an ‘essayist’ or ‘performer’, number 11 for the list! I love your take on it, which results in a unique review. A lot of reviewers will only review those they enjoyed, which is fine but not my style – although there are very occasionally books I won’t finish and then I won’t review them.

    1. I think there is a little of each in every reviewer! 😀 Thanks, it was another of my inspired moments.

  3. My reply to the post: This is so interesting. I really never fully formulated the many types or that my style had a type. Yikes! I guess I’m mainly an analyst (English major/teacher/editor/writer) but do a minimalist review often (rushed? not sure what I want to say? feel like it’s already been said?). To friends and book groups, I find myself sometimes an empath. And yeah, here, I’m rambling. (tee hee). Great post! Thanks

    1. Thanks, great reply! Like you, I’m also an analyst and can be a minimalist. It’s a hazard of being a literature graduate and a writer! I do sometimes wish I could just enjoy a book like an empath would but I get distracted by how the book is written and structured.

  4. Haha, that was fun! As always with classifications, most of us are some sort of mix. I think, I am analyst / empath / philosopher. Which sounds contradictory since analyst and empath are opposites. Still, even if I am an analyst at heart, emotional connection with the story and the characters are quite important to me.

    1. That’s interesting! Yes, I’m not saying that an analyst won’t care about the emotional aspects of a book, I guess it’s about what seems most natural for each review. Thanks for your comment 😀

  5. I think I’m a bit of a few of these. Analyst for sure, Empath as well, and a touch of a Rambler. So, call me an empathetic analyst who sometimes rambles!.

    1. Sounds like a good combination! 🙂 I am mainly the analyst I think, with a touch of minimalist (I don’t tend to ramble, or at least I don’t think so…)

  6. Hmm I find it hard where to put myself! Empath- yes. Sometimes ranter (but no gif) and philosopher. My average rating is high but not every book is 5 star. I like to talk about writing and other aspect but I didn’t study literature nor I call myself writer.

    1. Maybe you’re a little bit of everything 😉 I’m quite a critical reviewer and usually have mixed opinions on everything. It’s interesting that many reviewers will talk about how the book made them feel and not look so much at the writing / crafting of the book, I think anyone who studied literature is probably more inclined to look at the writing but of course everyone is different and no two reviewers are going to be the same 🙂

  7. Oh, dear! I wish I was a minimalist and an analyst (like you) but I’m not.
    I’ve never thought about this before, but have enjoyed your post, thinking about my own review style and reading other’s comments.

    1. There is no best answer 😀 I like how everyone has their unique review styles. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  8. Haha, fun post, and I definitely recognise these categories from the blogs I follow. I’m definitely a Rambler, though occasionally I turn into a Ranter. 😂

    1. Thanks! Aha, yes I thought they would be familiar. Nothing wrong with being a rambler 😀 I sometimes wish I could do that but I run out of words. Sometimes you just need to rant, some books deserve it 😉

    1. So am I, just occasionally a ranter, usually if the book has been hyped and I didn’t like it!

  9. I tend to be an empathetic minimalist cheerleader. I’ve never been big on including a summary of the book because the book’s blurb does that for me. But, I definitely have landed in each category at some point

    1. I really admire the empaths in particular, I tend to struggle a little with that side of a review. Interestingly no one is admitting to being an aesthete but I think we all do that sometimes!

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