Just my Random Thoughts on Book Reviews

Before I was a writer I was a reader. Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies. Since reading is such a solitary endeavor, I found myself wanting to share thoughts about my favorite books with others. So about five years ago I started a blog where I reviewed the books I read. Eventually I started reviewing books on Amazon and Goodreads as well. The thing I love about it is that it’s a place to connect with other readers and share about the books I love. But I really never review books I don’t like. If I’m not into a book I have no desire to talk about it. I just move on to another book. The books I like to review are the ones I love. Those are the ones I like to rehash and highlight the bright spots.
Since becoming a published author I’m astounded at how often people will review books they hate. I’ve even read reviews (not of my books but others) where the reviewer states: I’ve never written a review before but this book was so awful that I had to write one.
I can’t even relate to that statement. Books that are great are the ones that draw a review out of me. I like to praise authors, gush about them even. I have absolutely no desire to bash them.
As an author I can’t respond to my reviews. It wouldn’t be professional. Therefore, this post isn’t about my reviews. It’s just about reviews in general. There has been a lot of author bashing going on in our little indie community, and I guess it got me thinking about reader’s motivation to write reviews.
Personally, I don’t write negative reviews because I realize that opinions are subjective. What one person may hate another may like. So if I don’t like someone’s book it doesn’t mean others won’t like it. And I don’t want to stop others from trying out an author’s work just because it isn’t my thing. Also, as a writer myself, I know how much work goes into a book, how much blood, sweat and tears are shed. This isn’t to be taken lightly. And most importantly, authors are people too. Authors read their reviews, they see the rude comments. And as thick skinned as we are, it sometimes hurts. I would never want to hurt another author, and therefore I won’t write condemning reviews.
The thing I’m most curious about though, is the value of reviews. Do readers really pick a book based on good reviews, or not pick a book based on poor reviews? I honestly don’t think reviews sway me one way or another.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Sound off in the comments below.

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3 thoughts on “Just my Random Thoughts on Book Reviews

  1. Frankly, I’ve never met a book I didn’t like. If I put a book down because it doesn’t interest me, I always try to pick it up later and finish it. I won’t write a bad review but I might suggest how they can make it better.
    I think people who write bad reviews just like to hurt other people and I don’t think that’s right! I love Indy books! And hope the bad reviews don’t stop anyone from writing!!

  2. I try to love the journey of every book, and I think it is horrible when someone attacks an author or their book. You all have much more creativity than me 🙂 I do try to finish books, but sometimes it takes me a while to get back to it because there are so many books that I want to read. It is not often that I find something I don’t like, but I usually say it is just not for me and suggest who it would appeal to. I just write my thoughts down hoping it might help someone make a decision to read it. I’m not a professional, I just like to share books 🙂

  3. I prefer to write about books I love too. I do find reviews really helpful, thou in deciding something I’m interested in but want to find more than the blurb gives me.
    Author bashing is absolutely unacceptable. I’m not an authors just a reader and book blogger, but I have no tolerance for author bashing.
    If I find a book I don’t care for– I do state why I didn’t care for it (without attacking he author). I I read a review on a book that the reader didnt particularly like.. I can usually tell if it would be a book if like by the reasons the reader listed as to why they didnt like it.
    If it’s an Indy book I’m definitely more thoughtful and try to write a longer review..I like to give them special care! 🙂

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