The Reviewer/Author relationship

It seems like these days, everyone is a reviewer.  One of my fav bogs is YA Highway.   Yesterday (Jan. 6, 2011) Veronica Roth posted a really thoughtful piece on the reviewer/author relationship.  Whether you are an author, reviewer or a consumer of books, it’s well worth your time.

It certainly got me thinking about my approach to books and blogging.  I started blogging because I love books, I love talking about them, and I love reading about other people’s take on the books they’ve been reading.  Some bloggers tend to take reviewing very seriously, but my approach to blogging tends to be personal.  I blog about all sorts of things aside from books…gardening, dragon boating, my dog, travel, and anything else that I feel like writing about.  I know my blog it isn’t for everyone, but that’s ok.  I figure that if you want book reviews, there are plenty out there.

I tend to shy away from official “reviews” for lots of reasons; one of them being, I’m more comfortable talking about things I really enjoy.  It may come from my mother’s “if you can’t say anything nice about someone keep quiet” upbringing, or it may just be that life is to short to dwell unpleasantness.  I prefer to talk about books I enjoy, authors I like to follow, and to post information about book awards or events.  I do like to let people know when I read a good book, or sometimes even when I’m a little disappointed in one. As an author myself, I’m careful about dissing books.  I know how hard it is to put your heart and soul on the page and have someone come along and rip it to shreds.  If I hate a book, I’m not likely to spend any more time with it, and reviewing does mean spending more time.  I’d rather just move on to something I like.  Of course there will be good books that I don’t write about if for no other reason than I haven’t had time to read them.  I mean hey, I can’t spend all my time procrastinating with this blog, or I’ll never get anything done on my own books!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sherylbooks
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 09:40:23

    Glad I’m not the only one Margaret…I know I spend at least as much time on social media (or perhaps even more) as I do writing. The thing is, social media connects you to people you’d not have come across otherwise. While I’ve read your books Margaret, we would likely never be having this or other fine conversations without it. When I was young, I felt quite isolated because I didn’t fit. Now I do. It’s just that my community is a little spread out…like around the world! So hey, a little procrastinating is good for the soul, and in my humble opinion, helps to make me a better writer through having had discussions like these.

    Reply

  2. Margaret
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 07:28:44

    I like what you are saying. I’m not sure if I will review any books in depth on my blog. But I do make note, at times, in my posts or in “My favourite things this week” section on my blog of the books I am reading and enjoying.

    I think it was Horn Book who for many years (not sure about now) only reviewed books they felt were worthy, well written books. If a didn’t make Horn Book, it was a disappointment, but at least the book didn’t get torn to shreds.

    I remind myself that a review is only ONE person’s opinion (good or bad) and also remind myself (more often!) that a writer can never satisfy everyone’s reading “tooth” (not should they be expected to). I’m not sure why there are so many review blogs out there – for me a book/novel is a private experience and I may share the title of the book with friends and say I enjoyed it, but can never guarantee my friends OR any other readers will like it. It does a disservice to other readers to turn them off a book they may enjoy, even if I didn’t.

    This is a very thoughful post, Sheryl, and one I appreciate. I also appreciate the procrastinating part as well. Very familiar with that!

    Reply

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