So many books, So little time!

All good and true book-lovers practice the pleasing and improving avocation of reading in bed….No book can be appreciated until it has been slept with and dreamed over. ~ Eugene Field, Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac (1896) 

Books are the windows through which the soul looks out. A home without books is like a room without windows. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

There are a lot of people like me, people who need books the way they need air. ~ Richard Marek

To see more book quotes: www.seasonedwithlove.com/book_lover_quotes.htm

Top Ten Reasons for Reviewing

1.  I read so I can write reviews. 

2. I enjoy playing in author’s minds. They have the most delicious thoughts. 

3. I have a hunger for knowledge and I need books like I need air. 

4. It is a good excuse to climb into bed and stay there all day. 

5. Reading gives me new ideas.

6. Because I love the feel of paper and how a book feels when you hold it in your hands. I like how books look all sitting in a row on the bookshelf and I am tormented by the  thought of running out of books to read. Although, that has yet to happen. I’m not overly excited about reading books online. It just doesn’t appeal to my “reading in bed” nature. 

7. Because I love words and books are full of them. 

8. Because I collect quotes and I find it enjoyable to read books just to find great quotes. 

9. Books are playgrounds where pretty words dance.  

10. You can escape into a world of words and learn a great number of important life-altering lessons.

The Top Ten Concerns Readers/Authors Have About Reviewers

After analyzing all the comments I get on a daily basis, this is what
I discovered about author/reader concerns.

1. Accuracy – Does the reviewer actually read the material and have enough background to be able to analyze the book. Some reviewers are accused of “reading the book jacket” or “not reading the book” or “getting the character’s name wrong.” Now with Amazon’s new comments feature, readers can correct reviews in live time and reviewers can edit their review if they have made a mistake.

2. Conflict of Interest –  Did the reviewer receive the product for free? Some people don’t realize this is quite normal and see it differently. Professional reviewers often get books for free. Amazon now requires you to disclose if you got something for free.

3. Fairness & Honesty – Is the reviewer able to write a review without attacking the author’s character, life choices or content selection?  This is mostly a concern authors express.

4. Critical Analysis – Some readers want to read reviews that take an author to task and some want to read a review promoting the content of a book. This is a very personal decision. Critical reviews can be fun to read if you disliked the book or are looking for reasons not to buy the book, although it can also be a reason to buy because negative or critical reviews can create controversy and that tends to sell items pretty fast.

5. Star Ratings – People don’t trust a reviewer when they only review five star items. Balance is needed.

6.  Specialization – Does the person reviewing the book have the qualifications to review the book in hand. Do they have enough life experience to understand the content or are they simply making judgments based on their own lack of experience. At times people actually complain if you look like you know how to write a review. This is a very tricky area to even step into because personal experience determines how well you write and many people do read books on how to improve their writing.

7. Diversity – Many times people are concerned with this aspect because they don’t think about the “specialization” aspect. A reviewer may only choose to review cookbooks or focus only on novels. For some specializing can also annoy readers and people want to see you as a person with many interests. This is a difficult one to address, but I’ve expanded my interests substantially. I think this is more a concern of authors who want you to review their work, although I’ve had people question me on this subject when they only noticed certain reviews and did not consider looking through a few hundred. It is difficult to see the categories I review because Amazon no longer has the categories and I’ve had to resort listing items in “tag lists” to retain my credibility.🙂

But honestly, I review so many things, I think I have too many interests.

8. Reviewing more than Books – This is an idea that at first caused great alarm at the discussion boards. I reviewed a box of Altoid mints and the world ended. Then, people started to review more than just books and even sometimes would listen to music and now and then they felt adventurous and would review something from the kitchen store. While I thought it was great fun to review lots of different things, this did cause a lot of concern for more traditional reviewers.

Now and then, I still see this problem when I get an angry e-mail or comment about something I loved and reviewed. The world is an ever expanding miracle and to me, commenting on a wide variety of items is purely “fun.” So, to insist that I only review one type of book or only focus on music or books is to me very restrictive and that is not a world in which I ever want to live. Believe it or not, I have had to fight for the right to talk about what I love.

9. Taste – A general dislike of someone’s tastes can promote anger. I have seen this expressed in reviews and in comments/e-mails. Generally I assume that if I never like something one person is reviewing, then we have different tastes. That is not a level of “taste,” but more the type of items a person reviews.

10. Lifestyle Choices – This is a really tricky one because each individual has made choices on how they want to live.

 

 

My Idea of a Good Review

1. A Description of Content – Just enough to whet the reading appetite and yet the information doesn’t ruin the work for others who have not read the book or viewed the movie.

2. A Description of Delight or Dissatisfaction or maybe even Mediocrity – I want to know if a work changed a life, moved someone to tears or brought a smile to their face.

3. Personal Experience – Information that makes me want to purchase an item so it will enhance my life. I’ll also buy items just to see how bad they could possibly be.

You can really say that once you have watched a movie, read reviews on the movie and written a review of the movie, that it has become a part of you. There are elements you will draw from the entire experience that will change you. What you read and view might be who you are becoming.

I Believe in Reviewing

I believe in reviewing books that are old and books that are new. There have been years in my life where I didn’t read a single book and other years when I read a book almost every day. To me, there is nothing more cozy than settling into a warm bed for a night of reading with a cat nearby.

During the day I am not afraid of looking silly carrying twelve books out of the library. I am on a mission. The thought of running out of books to read terrifies me. To be alone at home without a new book leaves me restless. I must process new information on a constant basis or I get bored.

Each new book I read is an adventure.

Some authors pour their souls into their books and as a reader I appreciate their gift. I believe in the right to publish your own book if no one else will. I love the determination new authors exhibit when they have suffered through numerous rejection letters and finally decide the world must read their book so they publish it themselves. I love finding those types of books and since I review at amazon.com authors often find me before I find them.

I believe in buying as many books as you can afford. I don’t keep all the books I buy, most of the time I donate my used books to my local library. I believe in sharing books and feel that a book languishing on a shelf is a sad book. Books are meant to be read until they are worn out and recycled. Of course some people collect books and obtaining books becomes a sort of obsession. I am more obsessed with reviewing books than collecting them.

If everyone in the world read more good books maybe there would be less time for war. I believe in books that bring peace to the world and peace to your heart. I read books to understand the full range of human experience.

Be careful which books you read because words are powerful and they will change your life.

I Love Reviewing

Here I am in my office where I review books

The quiet earth is an inspiration at night as my thoughts roam freely through the pages of another book. No noisy clatter outside my window, the moon streaming into the stillness of my room. Leaving the window open enhances the mystery, a delicate breeze scented with primroses and my mind wandering in an author’s world. 

 

 

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