Friday, August 5, 2011

What about not-so-great books?

I know the question of whether to post bad reviews has been discussed to death, but . . . apparently I'm going to make you discuss it again. It's been bothering me since my earlier post, because even though I didn't say a book was bad, I did say I didn't think one book was as good as another book. Which . . . is true. And honest. And everyone makes value judgments about what they read. But. These are my concerns:

1) Well, if a book is REALLY bad, I'll probably not finish it, and I wouldn't review something I didn't read in its entirety. So I guess I'm really asking about "I wasn't crazy about this" books, rather than "OMG this is awful" books.

2) I know authors Google themselves - everyone Googles themselves - and I don't like the idea of them coming here and finding primarily negative things. I realize this is sort of silly, but . . . still.

3) I assume you all know that these are all MY opinions here, and have nothing to do with my employer, but I am still afraid of someone thinking badly of her because I didn't like their book, or something. Again, I realize this is silly, but I worry. About everything, basically.

4) I don't have infinite blogging time, so I'd rather spend my time and energy telling you about books I love!

But at the same time, I don't want to make it sound like I LOVE EVERYTHING, you know? And I would NEVER say I liked something if I didn't. I would just not mention it. This is what I'm leaning toward - writing book recommendations, rather than reviews, and just not mentioning the books I wouldn't recommend, unless they come up when I'm writing about a certain topic.

Does this make sense? Thoughts?

Edited to add: I also don't mean saying only positive things. "I loved everything about this" isn't really helpful. There's always room for "I wish the author had..." or "I wasn't crazy about this one thing because..." even when a review is generally positive.


  1. Because you don't have a lot of blogging time and you're leaning towards recs instead of reviews, I'd say just leave out books you didn't like/enjoy.

  2. JP - Thank you! Obviously that is the way I am leaning as well, but good to hear that you do not think it is wrong/mad.

  3. I had the same thought process when I started my blog. What I came up with is this... the name of my site is "Books Make Me Happy". I'm a "safe" reader, becuase I read for entertainment, I make pretty sure that I'm gonna like the book before I ever start it. Then... I write my review. I set myself up for "happy" reviews, because I'm picky to start with. Now... like you said... I may not love everyone about a particular book, but in most cases... I'm certain to enjoy the majority of the story. My problem these days is not that I don't care for a book I read... it's that I have SO MANY GOOD ONES I WANT TO READ!! *looks around from my timeturner*

  4. Jennifer - I also wish for a timeturner! I have SO MANY BOOKS sitting around my house right now. (And, um, always. I don't know why I said "right now" as though it is a temporary state.)

  5. I mostly agree with JP. Stick with what interests you. If you have a lot that's interesting to say about *why* you disliked a book, go for it. (For instance, it was interesting to read the contrast between what you didn't like about Bitter End and what you did like about Stay.)

    For the most part, though, it's more interesting to hear about a good book that excited you than a bad book that didn't.

  6. I think it depends mainly on how inspired the book makes you. I have blogged about books I really didn't like because I wanted to say why and maybe to tell my readers not to read it. Save them some time to read good books ^^.

  7. Egli - I'm glad the Bitter End/Stay contrast worked for you! Thanks.

  8. Bloodyselena - True. I guess if I had something particularly interesting to say about why I didn't like something, I'd say it, but usually it's more like "Meh, someone else might like this but it didn't work that well for me."