“Open confession is good for the soul.” — Scottish proverb.
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I hate writing book reviews.
There, I said it.
I know what “they” say:
- Writers should pay it forward by penning reviews.
- Getting your name — and words — “out there” is an important part of “platform.”
But I hate writing reviews. Especially on books I won as a gift in a blog drawing.
- Memories. Book reviews are hauntingly reminiscent of school book reports. ‘Nuff said!
- Ethics. The journalists’ ethics code cautions against accepting freebies (generally made in exchange for writing).
- Value. I don’t choose (or reject) books based on recommendations, so who am I to tell others what to read?
- Time. I’m a web designer and spend enough time staring at a computer screen. Adding another social media site to my already-long list isn’t something I want to do.
Now I admire folks who can spend a lot of time writing reviews on Goodreads. Or Amazon. I admire those who blog every single day, too.
And I especially admire writers brave enough to publish their words and open themselves up to all sorts of potentially mean-spirited, jealous jabs, just for the sake of becoming noticed.
But one of Life’s challenges is knowing thyself. And I’m not a book-review kind of gal.
I much prefer writing the author a personal note, bragging on the book as needed or tactfully pointing out problem areas.
When I read, I’m working. Studying how the author connected the dots of the plot line, what techniques he used to make the dialog realistic, which point-of-view he chose, how he made the protagonist believable and heroic. I’m trying to spot red herrings, learn new things, see how the author put into practice the steps necessary for book success. I’m analyzing, dissecting, absorbing.
And enjoying the story.
By the time I come to The End, my mind is tired and I need a break. Not more thinking.
Definitely not writing a review.
I might change my tune when my own book gets published.
But for right here, right now, this is my story and I’m sticking to it.
What are your thoughts on book reviews? Do you write them? Read them? Heed them?