Bookish Discussion: The Power of Being a Reviewer

May 25, 2013 Bookish chat, bookish habits 1

I have talked before about how I don’t really do snarky reviews as it doesn’t feel right for me personally. However that doesn’t mean I love all the books, far from it. On a recent 2 star review, I had a comment that someone was striking that book off their wish list. And that made me feel a little bad.
I didn’t like that book and I don’t recommend it and outlined my reasons why precisely in my review. However I still felt uneasy that someone listened to me! I know that makes no sense, I review books to give my opinion and it’s lovely to see that my opinion is trusted but I still feel bad.
I know authors love their books and it must be scary to send them out in the bad world for reviewers to knock them back. I suppose at the end of the day, it’s all very personal and going into details on what didn’t work for you might help. I hate insta-love but someone must love it. Right? Else why is it in every other YA book? So if I knock it back for x reason, well that might be your exact reason for buying it.
If I’m the odd man out on my review, spreading hate when everyone else is spreading love, then that fact is something I would definitely share too. I think that’s only fair. I always try and find something positive to say too, there is usually something that kept me reading otherwise I would DNF and so even in a negative review, I will point out something I liked.
Which reminds me of a review by a famous UK critic (but I can’t remember who for the life of me) that slated a famous book but started off by saying something he did like. So he pointed out that the font was nice and he liked the quality of the paper. Ouch!
I’m not big headed enough to think that people are making book buying decisions based on my blog alone, I know we all read tonnes of blogs and make our minds up based on a number of reviews. But still, that comment gave me a sense of the power that we all hold. And it still makes me feel a bit funny.
Bookish Chat: Negative reviews are inevitable but how do you feel when you know you put someone off a book. Do you feel guilty like I do?

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One Response to “Bookish Discussion: The Power of Being a Reviewer”

  1. Greg

    I think so, a little. If a book doesn’t work it might work for someone else, so I try to explain why I didn’t like it but hopefully give enough information that someone can say ah he didn’t like it for that but I might like it because of x. I think the best reviews do that- give you a feel for the book while explaining a subjective recommendation (or non- recommendation).

    I feel for authors too because as someone who loves to write I can imagine how they feel when they see negative reviews on the big sites. So I always try to be nice- I’m with you, I never want to be mean. What’s the point of that? 🙂
    Greg recently posted…Game of Thrones

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