Saturday 1 January 2005

Meme: Negativity

I was tagged by Jeane from Dog Ear Diary for this Meme.

1. When you dislike a book, do you say so in your blog? Why or why not?

Yes, though I do usually add the general disclaimer that just because a book wasn’t to my taste doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be suited to other readers. I want the readers of my blog to be able to trust and value my opinion and that requires an honest – even if negative – review.

2. Do you temper your feelings about books you didn’t like, so as not to completely slam them? Why or why not?

See the above comment about the disclaimer. That said, I don’t think I have ever ‘slammed’ a book. When I first started out with my reviewing, I looked around at a few different sites and there are a number of them who not only feel free to slam books in the worst way, but also like to attack authors on a personal level. That isn’t what I am about. I believe a book should be reviewed in a truthful and constructive manner. I find that if authors do read my blog and the review of their latest book, they are usually far more open to constructive criticism. I am a really positive person though too so I probably automatically shy away from negativity. There is enough of it in the world.

3. What do you think is the best way to respond when you see a negative review about a book you enjoyed?

Every person is different. I don’t believe a book exists which will have everyone loving or hating it (though Moby Dick has to be mighty close). I tend not to say anything about the opinions of others but rather I encourage those around me to always look for multiple reviews rather than rely on the opinion of one person.

4. What is your own most common reaction when you see a negative review of a book you loved or a positive review of a book you hated?

The same response as shared in #3.

5. What is your own most common reaction when you get a comment that disagrees with your opinion of a book?

I feel a little sadness if someone dislikes a book I absolutely loved but as stated before, each person has his or her own tastes in books. I encourage people to leave comments on my blog if they read a title I have reviewed as I find it interesting to get other opinions. Often those opinions allow me to view that same book from a different direction and that gives me a little food for thought, which is never a bad thing. Sometimes it even encourages me to re-read a book that I may not have thought too much of.

6. What if you don’t like a book that was a free review copy? What then?

I always write an honest review. I appreciate that I am sent free books but I trust that the publishers and authors who share these titles with me are looking for an honest opinion and I try to provide exactly that.

7. What do you do if you don’t finish a book? Do you review it or not? If you review it, do you mention that you didn’t finish it?

I always finish a book, even if it involves me feeling like ¾ of the way through it I would find it preferable to go see a dentist and have my entire mouth worked on without anaesthetic (again, Moby Dick springs to mind). Sometimes I have been pleasantly surprised and found that by the time I finish the book, I actually really enjoyed it. Even if I hated it, at least I can say I did read it and gave it a fair shot.

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