Aug 18, 2011

hey darklyss? what do you think of...?

I don't write book reviews, as a rule. I have written about books I've read on this blog, but usually I write my opinion in a short paragraph or so.

I do this for a number of reasons:

a) I am a time-poor Mum of a toddler, with a casual job, a full life, and a big book addiction!
b) I don't have time to read lengthy reviews, and I assume there are others like me who don't either!
c) I can usually say what I think about a book in a few minutes thusly:

"I liked it/hated it. I liked it because ***. I didn't like it because ***. If you like ***, you'll probably like this one too."

That's all I usually want to know when I read a book review. Call me overly simplistic, but if I wanted to know in copious detail about the themes/characters/plot - I might as well read the book! (And make up my own mind!)
d) The fourth reason - in all honesty - is that I don't think I write that well, nor do I think that my opinion is necessarily gospel! Just cause I loved it, doesn't mean you will! And if I hated it - I'd want you to read it anyway, and make your own mind up!

What do you think? Do you write/read book reviews? Do you feel like they affect your opinion of a book, or what you read?

Here's Darryl Campbell's view on reviewing books:

And some pointers by John Pinsky:

What do you think?


  1. I was all prepared to defend book reviews, and then I realized that the only lengthy ones that I read are the ones Dorothy Parker wrote for the New Yorker under the name Constant Reader. They are so well done and so funny that you don't really care what book she's talking about.

    I can't remember the last time I read a professional book review for a current book. I peruse the occasional customer review on Amazon, particularly when I hate a book and hope others hated it as much as I do (I am looking at you, A Discovery of Witches). But as for pro reviews of current books, I couldn't tell you the last one I read!

  2. gonna check out those links. I totally get what you mean though. I always feel bummed when I rate a book because I LOVE it and then someone slams it..
    totally agree about just reading the book and avoiding lengthy descriptions of the plot. ugh

  3. Like you I don't like lengthy book reviews that give away too much of the story. When I write a review it is more my impressions and how I responded to the book rather than retelling the story.