On Book Reviews

I’ve been pondering book reviews lately and noticed that I never write bad book reviews. I then thought about why that is. The reason none of my reviews are ever bad, is simply because if I do not enjoy a book, I don’t finish it. This could be for various reasons, the main ones being that I simply can’t get into the book, the main character bothers me, there is sexual violence, or there is other content that I simply do not wish to read about.

When it comes to books, I really have to enjoy it to finish it. There are too many amazing books out there for me to waste my time on something I don’t enjoy. That being said, those books that I don’t enjoy, might be favorites to someone else. In the end, I don’t want to judge books by whether I think they are good or not. Who am I to really decide that? Even if I hated a book and didn’t end up finishing it, someone else might love it, and I know that the author most likely put a lot of work into it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying no one should give bad and honest reviews. I’ve found bad reviews very helpful. Its only that for me, personally, I never really have to because I just don’t finish books I don’t enjoy. I also fully expect to receive some terrible reviews when I eventually publish my books. I’m definitely okay with that!

Do you finish books you don’t enjoy? Do you leave bad reviews?

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19 thoughts on “On Book Reviews

  1. I think this is a really interesting question. I think you have to use your judgment when it comes to reviewing a book. If you don’t like it but still want to write a review about it, that shows this book in an unfavorable light, I think it’s important to take the authors situation into account. If it is an established author, giving the book a poor review is just seen as your opinion. If it is a author who is not known and your review is one of five, well, then, it can be a problem, because at that point some people will read that poor review and take it for truth. Bad reviews don’t really hurt established writers when it comes to amazon or good reads. Bad reviews can destroy an unknown author… it seems to me.

  2. I have to be honest and say that if I’m not enjoying a book, I stop reading it and don’t leave a review. However, the book is retained for trying again in the future when my mood may be more suited to it.
    I’ve been very fortunate to have received books for review that I’ve genuinely enjoyed so far, with only a few exceptions, because I carefully vet their synopsis prior to accepting them.
    This has avoided most potential embarrassment issues on both sides.

  3. I might give up on a book if I’m not really into it, but I do still end up finishing books that just aren’t right for me. Maybe it was a quick read so I decided to stick with it, maybe it was something that happened right at the end that gave me the bad impression… I have no problems saying if I didn’t like a book, but I generally don’t put the effort into writing a review for my blog unless it’s a book I enjoyed.

    • There are a few books that I have slugged through. Then I really wouldn’t mind leaving a review explaining why I didn’t enjoy it. But it is more enjoyable to write reviews for books I love. Thanks for sharing! šŸ™‚

  4. I am exactly the same. I often like to read bad reviews, Simply because it guides me away from worthless books. But then, often, I wonder if my opinion and the reviewer’s opinion would be completely different. I only write good reviews not because I don’t finish the books, but because I only want to share my love of good books, not my opinion of bad ones.

  5. I am not a masochist, but regarding books, I finish them, even though reading them turns out to be torturous! hahahaha

    And regarding my reviews, I review them from a plain normal reader point of view. I don’t proclaim myself a literary pro. In my reviews I make it clear if I liked the book or not. I am not nasty when reviewing a book I didn’t like.

    I don’t think that stating the reasons why I didn’t like a book should be considered a bad review. I don’t think reviews are good or bad, they are just that, reviews. People either like a book or not. That’s what reviews are for. Ways for people to share their reasons for liking or not the author’s work.

  6. I do reviews on a paid professional basis for mainstream newspapers and magazines; the key to them is being balanced and informative. Too many reviewers succumb to the temptaton to be clever, or to assert their territory if they have interests of their own in the field. I think the principles apply in any review circumstance, including the reader feedback review available on Amazon and other places.

  7. Pingback: If You’ve Finished… | The Literary Syndicate

  8. I usually make every effort to finish a book, but I may stop if it is inappropriate, especially for the students at the Jewish religious school where I am a librarian. There are so many wonderful, “clean” books out there! I see we’re on the same page in that regard. Thank you for liking and following my blog.

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