you’ll love this one weird reason why reviewing is good

to do. The successful review is often a search you don’t remember pursuing. A week, a month, a year later, reading back, you suddenly understand that even when you didn’t recognise what you were looking for, your review did. A book is good if it draws such useful unconscious work from you, whatever you thought of it during the reading phase. A review, like every other kind of writing, is the search for what you’re speaking about. Also, & perhaps separately: unless you deal with them, consciously or unconsciously, review books will lodge a barb in you—some organic sharpened hook that will get inside you without your knowing, some quality that, like a repressed memory, will deal with you.