On Culling my Goodreads Reviews


Before I start, I have a post about No-Holds-Barred writing up over at the Dojo today. Swing by to check it out!

Confession: I’m an opinionated reader. I start a lot of books with high expectations because of back-cover copy or rave reviews, then I’m easily disappointed, because the style doesn’t match up with the atmosphere or the fictional world as I see it. Or sometimes the writing just isn’t up to what I want it to be. I can feel how much better a book could be, but when I dive in I find it to be somewhat half-baked.

Up until a while ago, I had been putting all my reviews, both good and bad, up on Goodreads. I felt like it was my own private corner to both praise books to the sky and say it like it is when I found fault. The closer I get to the writing world in a professional way, though, the more I see that I just don’t want to release my negativism out into the world like that anymore. I’m all for an honest review, but I’m not always the best at giving objective reviews, and I have to deal with that part of myself in a professional way.

And so, I’ve created The Book of Bookish Opinions, and have started to backlog all of my Goodreads reviews in it. Yes, by hand. It’s been fun to re-experience some of these books in a detached sort of way, and to see how my reactions to some things have changed over time (or haven’t!). As I’ve gone, I’ve been taking down the mostly negative reviews, because really, you don’t need to hear my opinion on something that someone worked very hard on. You can read other people’s probably better balanced reviews instead. I don’t want to hurt feelings, and if I ever do gain any sort of clout in this community, I don’t want to be known for stepping on others’ work or discouraging reading anything.

I’m keeping up my enthusiastically positive reviews, though. Because they’re much nicer. Also more numerous, thankfully!

Here’s to loving books, eh? And here’s to finding a productive use for one of the many, many blank journals I own (probably more than one… I’m already halfway through this one!)

How are things in your neck of the woods?

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