In the past week, I've read two books. This is very exciting, considering how little time I've found to read lately. I'm hoping to dive into more from here on out (and you can take a peek at what I've read and what's on-deck over here).
I use Goodreads to keep track of what I have read and want to read, but if you take a look over there, you'll see I don't post reviews. I don't even assign stars, generally.
Why not? It's something I've struggled with a bit. As a reader, I definitely have opinions. Maybe too many sometimes. And I've seen how it can look when authors get super-critical of other books—not pretty.
But authors should be allowed to voice their opinions, right? We're readers, too—maybe first and foremost. At the least, most of us have been reading longer than writing.
There's validity to that, and I would never tell others what to do on that front. Here are some of my thoughts that led me to just refrain from public reviewing.
Who would I be writing the reviews for? If my friends know I read a book and ask what I thought, I'll tell them. So I would post for strangers, for the random internet shopper. Why should a stranger care what I think of a book? (I admit, this is a weak reason, but it speaks more to my lack of motivation about writing reviews.)
Writing thoughtful reviews takes time. I can barely find time to read the books in the first place.
But giving stars on a site like Goodreads hardly takes any time, right? True, but if I hate the book and give it a low star rating, I wouldn't want to click one star and leave no reason why.
Maybe I could only give stars/reviews to books I really like. But I have a lot of friends with books out—everything from self-published to Big-6-published. If I review some and not others, it's easy to infer I didn't like those others. It gets iffy from there.
These reasons probably don't hold much water for anyone other than me, but it comes down to something simple for me. I'm a book-writer and a book-talker, but I'm not a book-reviewer. At least, not for now. I imagine I'll make some exceptions, and maybe I'll change my mind someday. Until then, this works for me.
How do you feel about authors reviewing books? Do you have a policy of your own? What considerations went into it?