18 September 2010

Reading Book Reviews

A book review is a great tool that helps readers form an opinion about a book and eventually either decide to purchase it, or add the title to the ‘to-be-purchased’ pile, or simply move on to another book of their liking.
However, giving a book a rating, sometimes misleads, since lately people glance at how many stars the book scored. What one reviewer liked in a book, might be the main reason why it garnered a poor rating from another reviewer. Even if there is an explanation of the rating system, one simply needs to read the review to appreciate the story, the writing style, and the plot’s strengths and weaknesses.
I’m not judging reviewing sites, on the contrary, I salute their efforts to spread the word and promote books in doing so. But I can’t help but wonder, how many people really read the review to find out what triggered the excellent or poor rating? Three and a half stars aren’t that far from four.
For example, let’s say that a reviewer is not keen on detailed love scenes. She might give a well-written book a poor rating because of her discomfort with just that. But if a reader were to read her review, they would discover that this was the only problem she had; otherwise the story was solid and intriguing. A reader, who doesn’t have a problem with detailed love scenes, will grab the book!
I’ve been toying with the idea of reviewing books here on Vivid Sentiments, but had to seriously consider the rating system. I've come to the following decision:
I will write reviews, summarizing the book, listing the details behind my decision, and the recommended audience to read it. To avoid confusion, I won’t be using a rating system.
After all, a review should be read!