So it’s movie night and my husband and I were searching for a movie to watch. Better yet stream. I suggested Hot Pursuit starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. He then asked me if it was any good.
“Is it any good?” How many times we asked or have been asked that question? The most obvious way to find out is through reviewers, critics and recommendations.
But what if valid points are provided to why something (movie, game, play, book, etc) isn’t good? Should we just listen and avoid it like the plague? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to discount their assessment. They’ve dedicated their time to read, appraise and write up their thoughts and I respect that. I myself provide reviews and critiques on Scribophile.com. And once thought about including poetry reviews on my blog, which I still haven’t done. Sigh.
I just rather like to view them as commendation guides. After all, all writing and other forms of artistic expression is subjective. So the final decision to read or not to read a book, remains with the reader. Here’s why:
- Even a bad review is a good review. Writers use their blood, sweat and tears to bring out the fictional worlds living inside them. Why? Because it has to come out. But not everyone would share the same feelings about the story. So before you give up on a book, research the author. Find other short works they might’ve written. Do you like their writing style? Their voice and or the themes explored? Whether the answer is yes or no, the decision to read a longer work, like the book in question, is up to you.
- One reader’s garbage is another reader’s treasure. Not everyone reads eye to eye. There’ll bound to be certain aspects of the story the reviewer didn’t like. But that might not be the same for you and shouldn’t deter you. Just ask yourself if the genre, sub-genre, plot, blurb, etc. is to your liking. If it is, then you’d probably struck gold. Never walk away from a reading opportunity. You might regret it.
- It’s better to have read and lost, then never to have read at all. Reading is important. In a time where the world is at our fingertips due to technology, at times we’re awfully disconnected. Ironic isn’t it? But by reading, we become more self aware of the issues today, even in the lies of fiction. Writers write because they have something to say. What that is, is only known if we read. The question then remains if you’re willing to find out.
As a book lover myself, I know the importance of finding a new book to read, love and add to our library. Which is why I hold book reviewers in great esteem. For without them I am made more aware of the books I’m currently not reading. Could and should be reading. Yet, by the end of the day, they’re not the only factors that goes into my book reading decisions. How about you?
Have you ever read a gem of a book but it had received a negative review? What are your thoughts about book reviews? Please share in the comments section below.
PS Submitted 2 new poems to my local writing group’s No Additional Postage Necessary, Vol II anthology. Doing another poetry submission to the Tinder Box Poetry Journal. And I’m still awaiting the results of my submissions to Black Fox Literary Magazine. Wish me luck!