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!


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!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...