Tuesday, March 07, 2006

On My Reviews

As the description below Neth Space states, I’m not a professional reviewer of any sort. In fact, aside from a technical writing course for scientists and engineers I had in college, I haven’t had an English/Literature course since high school – which was more than a few years ago. I say this to emphasize that the reviews I write represent my own opinions and not any true criticism. These reviews are intended to be relatively brief, spoiler-free and not detailed critique. In some respects, I like to think that the reviews I write are for the ‘ordinary’ reader, not for those with a master’s degree (or higher) in literary deconstruction or the like.

I will say what I think and feel – I will not write marketing propaganda. If I dislike a book, I will let you know and I will tell what I didn’t like about it. The same can be said for my liking something – I want you to get an idea of what I liked about it. I typically read books of my own choosing and books that are recommended to me by people I trust to do so. This will skew my reviews; it looks like I like everything I read. I also receive (Advance) Review Copies (ARC) from several publishers - I certainly appreciate these, but my review will be based on how I feel about the book, and to the best of my ability, won't be influenced by the fact that the book was provided by a publisher rather than purchased by me. At this point it's safe to assume that any book I discuss on this site was provided by a publisher - this isn't exactly true (many are books I've paid for on my own), but it's a good assumption to make since it covers the majority.
I know many people really dislike ‘scoring’ or ‘rating’ a book; and equally as many people prefer it. I have chosen to rate books on a 10-point scale. A score of 5 is what I refer to as a take-it or leave-it book, which basically means that it is equally bad and good. This is the line I will typically draw between considering a book worth recommending and worthless. Since I generally choose my books and I know what I like, I’ve only scored a few books 5 or below. A score of 10 is what I consider unsurpassed – this is essentially the perfect book in every way. I am terrible at dealing with absolutes, which means I will probably never score anything a 10. Even a score of 9.5 would be considered astronomically high. With this style of scoring, anything scoring 7.5 and above is an excellent book receiving a very high recommendation from me. Scores between 5 and 7.5 are still recommended, but there is probably something about the book that I didn’t like, even though the book as a whole is still ‘good’. However, after saying that, anything around 6 or lower is a pretty low rating for me. I rate books by how much I enjoyed them (for whatever reasons). So books of wide-ranging 'quality' might score the same, of course this is like comparing apples and oranges and is a failing of ranking system like I use. Hopefully my reviews will provide enough for you to be able to judge my tastes versus your own, because in the end, it matters what your thoughts are, not mine.
As I mentioned above, I primarily read and review books provided by publishers. I discuss what sort of books I'm looking for here. To contact me, follow a link in the Contact Me section on the right. Happy Reading!

1 comment:

Neth said...

And the Greenhorn comic says...

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