Monday, February 21, 2011

Here's My Question of the Day

I tend to not finish books I don't like.  I figure, why keep going, when I don't like what I'm reading.  I'd rather read something else--and there are a lot of books I've been waiting to read.

But yet, if you don't read outside your comfort zone, how do you grow and appreciate what others have written?

Do I review books I don't like?  Not necessarily.  If it is a book that made me uncomfortable, I will probably review it, because it created a feeling in me that made me have to discuss the book with others.  If it's just a book I thought was badly written, or had no plot:  well, usually I won't review it.  I guess I still want to be nice.  There are plenty of books I've enjoyed but not raved about, and many that I haven't reviewed.  Mostly this is because of time constraints and not because I didn't like the book.

Here's my question (s):  Do you still tell people about a book you didn't like?  Do you tell them why you didn't like it, and steer them away from it?  I will be honest with a customer at our store, and tell them if I liked or didn't like a book and why.  It is up to them to decide if it's to their taste.  My job is to put a book in a customer's hands, whether I read the book or not and whether I like the book or hate the subject matter.   No judgements on what people read ever.  

 All I can say is that I would be honest with my review and the author.  It's hard not to take a bad review personally, because that book was a lot of hard work to write, and get published.  I understand.  But like all art, some people will enjoy it, and some won't.  Isn't is a great thing that we don't all have to like the same stuff?  That we have choices?  And really, who says we have to be a professional writer or reviewer to express our opinion?  You're a reader.  That qualifies you to express your opinion.  


  1. i rate all my books with 1-5 stars, i am pretty sure i am more generous with 5 stars then most, it may just be that book opened my mind more, and for that alone i am appreciative. i rate them all so its an indicator of how i think and feel, i can look at others ratings and tell if we think alike. if someone raves about something i think is avg enough times i know our tastes are not in synch and i won't bother with their recommendations. i am into the story, the message, the feelings i get from reading, i get disgusted with those who critique editing, the probable reality of this or that sentence, its all so petty to me, i am out for the pic big, i think most want to sound like big shots in a little pond, i want to get to the heart of the story, however they present it to me is fine, as long as i comprehend it.

    i do read everything i start, even if i hate it... only this year did i refuse to go on with one book because i detested how she used a foreign language in every paragraph leaving me completely in the dark with no translation. people gave it 5 stars, i bailed at 80 pages, disgusted with her formatting, giving it 1 star. its a pet peeve of mine how authors use other languages at the end of key sentences, a punch line or grand finale, leaving me clueless and not interested in researching every word in polish, french or arabic... beyond annoying, i want to comprehend what i read and i am clearly not multilingual :(

    last year i reviewed every book i read, even cooked for them all for food for thought, this year i am only giving a heads up on books that i feel are 4&5 stars only. i still rate them all on my sidebar, but i just keep mum if its average or less. i think i have only rated 3 books out of several 100 1 or 2 stars. i had an editor send me an email when i said just skip this book, not worth reading, which i find interesting that they bother tracking you down for expressing your opinion... i think sharing the good and bad is all fine, everyone has different taste, i just use their reviews to see how closely we will align in the future. i am a firm believer in amazon rating, i only buy books 4 stars and up, the consensus usually has it right :)

  2. I rarely find a book that I cannot finish. I seem to enjoy each book for what it is...not all are epic or memorable tales but I can usually find something redeeming about any book. I will tell people my honest opinion about a book if asked but try not to put any negative thoughts out there, prefering to let them form their own opinions without my influencing them. I will, however, rave about a book and tell my friends they have to read it (mainly for selfish reasons-I love talking about books I love).

    I don't review books so that's not an issue for me.

    Great question.

  3. Yep, I'm not one to analyze writing, flow, all that stuff. I just know I liked the book if it keeps me thinking about it after I've finished. If I can't sleep at night because of a book, then I know I really liked it!

    I'm bad at remembering all the plots, and character names, but I can look at a book cover and tell you how I felt about it. That's the most important thing for me.

    thanks for your comments!