by syaffolee

The Review Killers

Gloom and Doom, review-style. Every so often, I come upon these posts on various book and writing blogs from authors moaning about bad reviews and readers vowing that they never take any reviews seriously. And on top of that, there’s the declaration that anonymous reviewers are cowardly. So I guess in their view, I’m cowardly because I write under a pseudonym.

But if people don’t like reading reviews, whether they are positive or negative, what’s the point in doing a review anyway? Do readers want their reading choices be spoon-fed to them by advertisements and promotions churned out by a well-oiled PR machine? Do authors only want to hear positive lip-service?

When I write a review of a book, I write about my opinion. I don’t pretend to speak for anyone else. And at any rate, I am merely one reader among hundreds, thousands, millions of other readers. I’m pretty sure most people stumbling upon any reviews on my little corner of the web are authors googling themselves or students trying to cheat on their book reports (too bad suckers, I don’t do book analyses). But for the small percentage of people who are looking for someone who actually has read the book, perhaps an honest reaction from me might be an interesting diversion.

I’m not seeking to influence anyone’s book reading habits. So it’s perplexing that someone can get so riled up about an opinion and then spread their annoyance to every other opinion. While people have the freedom to not read reviews, I have the freedom to express my opinion on whether or not I liked a book. I’m not going to pander to anyone by deliberately writing glowing drivel or disgruntled snark.