HelpThing was written by members like you, with some help from LibraryThing staff.
View a list of all of the HelpThing topics.
The first rule of HelpThing is "be bold!" If you can add or edit it, go ahead. We also have a HelpThing Style Guide.
 What is a review?
Merriam-Webster defines review this way: "to write a critical examination of."
There is some debate over what constitutes a review, but in general, a review is a statement of your opinion about a book. Some reviews contain a summary or description of the book as well. Reviews will appear on the work page and will be read by others; your own personal notes about a book are better suited to one of the "Comments" fields. Links to your review on another site (such as your blog) are acceptable, although many users prefer to have the review copy-and-pasted instead of having to click away from LibraryThing.
NOTE: This is a section for YOUR opinion about a book. Do not copy reviews from other sources unless you have copyright permission to do so. Citing the original source of the review does not constitute copyright permission.
Recommendation: Leave a mystery book a mystery, not revealing in your review key elements to figuring out who done it.
 How do I post a review?
First, make sure the book is in your catalog; LT requires this to limit review-spamming of controversial books. This means that if you delete a book from your catalog, its review will disappear as well.
There are two ways to add a review to a book. The easiest way is probably to click on the "edit" icon in your catalog, under the "Your Library" heading of a work's main page, or on the "Edit book" link in the left-hand column on a work page. This will take you to your "Edit book" page; the fifth box down is titled "Your Review". Type your review in here, and click the "save" icon. Your review can include some basic html formatting.
Alternatively, you can edit your catalog display fields to include "Review" as a column in one of your catalog views. Double-clicking in that column will allow you to edit your review right in your catalog.
 What is the review language and how do I set it?
Choosing the right language for your review helps other users find reviews in their own language. The default language for your reviews is whatever language you have set as the default for your account, on the profile page. You can change the language for individual reviews by editing the review. You can also use power edit to set the language for multiple reviews at a time. Only a review's author may set a review's language. (See the blog post about this feature.)
 Where do reviews appear?
The main place that reviews appear is on the work page. The main work page includes three member reviews; clicking on the "Member Reviews" link in the left-hand column will show all reviews for that work.
You can see all of the reviews you've written by clicking on the "reviews" link on your profile page. This page also includes the "in your library and reviewed by others" section; your reviews will show up in this section of the profile pages of people who share your books, as well as on the Reviews page of the Zeitgeist.
 How do I link to a review?
At the bottom of each review is an icon for a permanent link to your review. This will bring up the work page with a single review in the main area of the page, with a link to show all member reviews for that work.
To manually create a link to your review:
- The basic LibraryThing address for each book is www.librarything.com/worknumber/booknumber or www.librarything.com/worknumber/details/booknumber
- To create a link to a particular review, you can type www.librarything.com/review/booknumber which will automatically expand to www.librarything.com/worknumber/reviews/booknumber
 Thumbs & Flags
If you like a review or found it helpful, click on the thumb icon. It will change from white to green , and the small number next to the thumb will increase by one. You can also sort reviews based on the number of positive votes they've received to pull the reviews that the most people have marked as helpful to the top. If two or more reviews are tied for votes, they are sorted with the more recent reviews at the top. For obvious reasons you cannot give your own review a thumbs-up. Don't be a jerk and create shell accounts just to give your own review a thumbs-up.
Clicking on the flag link gives you the option to chose either a blue or a red flag. Red flags are meant for reviews that are a clear violation of the terms of service, such as spam reviews or posting copyrighted material without permission. Note that saying where you got someone else's text does not constitute permission -- it is not okay to copy and paste a review from an external source even if you say where you copied it from. Red flags act as a -1 vote; reviews with flags will be sorted to the bottom of the list. Blue flags are intended for things that are clearly not a review. Blue flags are NOT appropriate for short reviews (even "I liked it" is a valid statement of opinion about a book), links to the review on another site, or reviews with which you disagree. Blue flags are intended for reviews such as "$7.99", "got this from my sister", and other clear non-reviews.
If you see a review that has been illegitimately flagged, there is a green flag which is intended to counteract the other flags. Green flags come in both antiblue and antired. For obvious reasons, you cannot unflag your own reviews.
 What about spoilers?
As of now, there is no spoiler-text mark-up feature, and no way to flag other people's reviews as containing spoilers. Please be considerate of other readers, and give spoiler warnings at the beginning of your own reviews if necessary. If you find someone else's review that has a spoiler, the best thing you can do is to leave them a polite profile note asking them to edit their review to include a warning.
 Who can use my reviews?
You own the intellectual rights to the reviews you write, and can re-post them on Amazon, your own blog, etc.
LibraryThing gives you the option of allowing them to share your review with others. On your Edit Profile/Account Settings page, at the bottom, you can choose whether you want your reviews to stay only on LibraryThing, or be shared with other entities (i.e. libraries that use LibraryThing for Libraries).
 More Discussion
- LibraryThing Early Reviewers program and group
- Book Reviewers group
- Go Review That Book!, a group game to increase the number of reviews on LT