Friday, January 22, 2016

Why I Write Book Reviews

Almost every time I write a book review, I think of the reasons that I write them. I have friends who review every book they read, and other friends who read without ever leaving a public review. Should you review books or not? I can't answer the question for you, but here's a couple of quite reasons why I write book reviews (as opposed to just slapping a "five stars" or "four stars" on it).


As a reader:
I want to know if there's anything "ugly" in a book by someone else's experience and not stumbling across it on my own ("Wha? They used THAT word?!" or "This is getting too graphic! Is this a Christian book even?!"). I confess: when I look up book reviews, I read the lowest star ratings. Were they just opinionated, picky readers? Or was there a real issue to be frowned upon in the book (immorality, cussing)? There have been many times that I've avoided books because someone I trusted put something in their review that warned me (thanks, Goodreads, for connecting us friend-readers easily!). I do not have time to read a hundred books a year, so I'd prefer spending my time reading a book that I know is worthwhile.

Because I, as a reader, appreciate these reviews, I know there are other people out there who also appreciate such reviews. This is one of the main reasons I write more than, "Good book. I enjoyed it." or "Eh...just wasn't my favorite." I'm sorry, but those reviews don't help me much so I'm not going to throw them at someone else.

As an author:
I now know first-hand what a blessing it is to have someone take the time to write a review as opposed to clicking "five stars" or "four stars." To hear how my story blessed someone, in turn blesses me. At the same time, I greatly appreciate those readers who have given honest, less-than-five-star reviews. Constructive criticism helps me to know where to grow in my writing, and I know that not everyone will love what I write.

Because I, as an author, appreciate these reviews, these are the reviews I tend to write. Yes, I realize that there is a live, flesh-and-blood author behind every book that I review. Yes, I have given a few books 3-or-less stars (I think there's only one book I've rated very low, based on moral content), but it is never my intent to bash the writer in doing so. Instead, I hope that the author will view it as something helpful.

~*~*~
There are many more reasons to write reviews--like I said, those are just two. 
What about you? Do you write reviews? If so, why do you write them?


Are you on Goodreads? Connect with methere!

2 comments:

Olivia said...

Oh good, I'm not the only one who reads low star reviews :)) Reviews are a big help to me and I try to write reviews with nearly every book. I certainly want others to know the content of a book (because I want to know pros and cons before reading as well).

Amanda T. said...

@ Olivia,

Haha! No, you're surely not the only one. ;) Thanks for commenting and sharing about your reviews--I've enjoyed reading them on Goodreads!

~Amanda

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