Growing up I loved The Muppets, particularly Statler and Waldorf, the grumpy old men heckling everyone from the balcony seat. Years later I found a new love in Simon Cowell, his scathing, yet brutally honest reviews of the singers on American Idol was my favorite part of the show. It is perhaps surprising then that I am struggling as a book reviewer with the stories that I just don’t like. I tend to be a “leap first, look after” type of person and simply did not anticipate that reading “critically” would be that different from the leisure reading I had done my entire life. Thus my current dilemma of what to do when I just don’t like a book. Perhaps I am lending undue weight to my opinion because at the end of the day that is what it is.
Despite my rash approach to most things I have and am continuing to actively research review formats and content. I read somewhere that publishers do not like negative reviews which from a business standpoint makes perfect sense but ultimately isn’t it the reviewers responsibility to give their “honest” opinion of what they have read? I believe there is value in almost every review and many times I scroll to the “bad reviews” to determine whether I am going to take a chance on a book however I disregard 1 and 2 star reviews with no explanation to support their rating.
This being said I believe that all reviewers, critics, bloggers, readers and the like should subscribe to a personal code of ethics and in doing so remember to make sure that their criticism ultimately is constructive.
- Do Book Critics Need a Code of Ethics? (entertainment.time.com)
- Armchair BEA, Day 4 – Ethics and NonFiction (kid-lit-reviews.com)
- Writers write, Readers read…Can’t We Just Support Each Other? (paigematthews.com)