To review or not to review…

Almost all of the book blogs that I have seen, review books in one way or another, and most of them write a review and grade the book with hearts, stars, thumbs up, or cute personalized icons that I don’t have the technical expertise to make. I resent that!

I resent the way, we as readers try to sum up an entire novel – perhaps years of work – to “good” “great” or the like. It is like Caesar’s ruling of thumbs up or down, after a gladiator has fought for survival against three barbarians, two Spartans, and one lion, imported especially for the purpose.

At the same time, it is final in the same way as answering “fine” to the question of “how are you” – a non-answer silencing the person posing the question. In my opinion it shows that we are unwilling to commit, unwilling to jump off the fence, and unwilling to let our opinion be known. If you like a book, then tell us why you like it. If you dislike a book, then again tell us why. Perhaps the reason is in the book itself; perhaps your associations cloud your judgment. Just let us know, instead of just stamping a book with a single label.

I have previously tried on Louise’s Home Library to get around the traditional reviewing tactic by sharing a recommendation. Something along the line of, to whom I would recommend the particular book. Perhaps it would be someone who loves a good mystery and historical fiction. However, really, who am I to say who would like a specific book? Read it yourself – and if you are a literary omnivore as I am, most likely you will enjoy the experience.

Instead, I will tell you my honest opinion about a book and leave you to make up your own mind about the book and my opinion. Due to this starting point, I don’t include traditional reviews on Louise’s Home Library. I call them reading experiences. They may be entirely about the book or they may be about this and that, prejudices and details that may not be important to the themes of the book, but were important to me as a reader.

What is your opinion on this issue? Please, let me know. Books are meant to be read, shared, and discussed.

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