Saturday, April 2, 2011

Do I Like Every Book I Read?

Some of you have noticed that the vast majority of my recent reviews have been favorable. Have I gone soft? No. I've just decided that, with the limited time I have, I'm not particularly interested in taking the time to write reviews for books I don't like. Although my reviews are generally short, each one takes at least an hour to write and most take several hours. I've got a substantial list of books I've read recently that I would rate no better than a 3.5 out of 5 (some would be 1/5 or 2/5). I keep meaning to write up a few of those reviews to mix in with my more favorable reviews, but since that task is so much less pleasant than writing a positive review of a book I'm excited to tell you about, I never seem to get around to it. For every review posted here at Literary License, there's at least one review (and often more) that never gets written. So, rest assured, I haven't lost my objectivity. I've just lost the motivation to tell you about books I don't like.


Tina said...

I am letting out a huge sigh of relief----it's not just me! I too have been reading a lot lately, and too often finding myself less than enthusiastic about a book--in fact, several I've just put aside. There are too many good ones to waste time reading ones that don't appeal to me.

I really don't have the energy to write a review that is nuanced enough to indicate that while it wasn't for me it might still be appealing to someone else. I actually have a paragraph in tomorrow's Sunday Salon about two such books, and think that what I may do is simply do a periodic compilation of those that didn't make the cut.

OTOH, if they're truly awful, I do want to warn readers that they may be wasting their time, so I'll do some sort of review to indicate that.

Thanks Gwen for letting us all realize that there is only so much time in a day, and while we all really love to read, reviewing can really take the joy out of reading if it's not a great book.

Zibilee said...

I totally know what you mean about hating to have to expend the energy on reviewing books you did not love. If I were a better blogger, I would only review the things that captivated me, but I tend to mix in some unfavorable reviews among the positive ones. I do thank you for taking the time to get this straight with us. I guess I just assumed that you were on a roll of good reading!

johnnyd48 said...

I'm a first-time visitor and intrigued by what you cover and what you have to say.

I guess my question would be: Why not list the titles you've read that you won't be reviewing and assign your grade to them? Your regular readers will have at least some sense of what you like and don't like and the lower rankings may be useful guideposts to what might interest them.

Anonymous said...

Gwen - I agree with Johnny - simply give ratings to the "less favored" books without the hassle of a full review! Amy H