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Also, do you read other people's reviews? And if you do, do you give thumbs-up for the reviews that help you? I have to confess, I only give thumbs-ups to reviews that contain no typos, even if it's a good review otherwise. I also flag reviews that aren't reviews (i.e. "TBR" or something).
So what's your review policy? :-)
True, but I happen to be a copy editor and rather particular about that sort of thing. My reasoning is, if you're going to write a review, at least try to look like someone who is competent to do so.
Watch, this post will be full of typos :-P
I'm more hesitant to write reviews about philosophy books, especially regarding the specific content/arguments made in them. I worry that doing so could come back to bite me in the ass in my career. The exception is textbooks, because I can say there if & why a text is helpful for teaching without commenting on the philosophy involved.
I definitely read reviews when considering a new book or whether or not something interests me. Typically, a review is more likely to turn me off from a book I'm interested in than to turn me on to a book I wasn't previously, but that's not always the case. I "thumbs up" good reviews that actually help me, I flag reviews that aren't reviews and reviews that are copyright violations. And while they're not thumb- or flag-worthy, I detest it when people include spoilers in their reviews!!! (Sometimes I'll leave a polite note on their profile asking them to edit the review to at least warn other users that a spoiler is included).
Hmmm... Anything else I do that's of interest? Umm... I also make a mean cumin-dusted chicken breast ;)
I typically don't write reviews, but lately it's something I have reconsidered and have since made an effort to write more. Right now I have seven reviews on LT that more than likely have spelling or other grammatical errors! :)
I do read reviews for books I'm thinking about purchasing, or books I've just purchased. I also like to give people thumbs up on their reviews. I don't think I've ever flagged a review, as far as I can remember. Although it REALLY irritates me when I read a review that is one or two lines. I agree with #2 that saying, "another great one by author X" is worthless to me. IMO, if you are going to write a review, it should at least be a paragraph long. Why bother to write two sentences that probably won't be helpful to anyone reading them.
Many others will disagree with me on this, but it also irritates me to see a review that is simply a link to a review on their blog. I refuse to click on them! If you want me to check out your blog, post the URL on your profile page. Don't force me to go just to read your review. I would much prefer they cut and paste their review here. If anything, they could cut and paste and then say something like, "Review copied from my blog www....".
Cumin-dusted chicken? Yum!
Anyway, I only have two up so far but plan to write more as time goes by. I only just started writing them (never having reviewed a book before) and I wanted to make sure I had the time to sit and write a half-decent one before I posted it. No point in putting up a review not worth reading, I figured. To me a review should be helpful to other people, not some two-sentence summary opinion for your own record; that is what personal notes are for.
Do you guys write summaries of the plot in your reviews? I prefer to include a spoiler-free blurb about the book at the beginning so people who clicked without prior knowledge about the book can have a bit of info at their finger-tips apart from my opinions.
I find myself looking to see how many other people have written reviews about the same book to see if my opinions even have a shot at counting for anything. Does anyone else do that? The way I figure it, if something has ~50 reviews, I doubt most people will read them all, and I probably won't be the last to review, mine will get lost soon enough anyway... so what's the point? On the other hand, I don't always like being the only one to write a review -- too much pressure!
Regardless, I would like to write more reviews in the future, and will probably write them as I finish books, rather than going back to review books I've read previously.
I prefer to write reviews for the small press books I have - they're more likely to need a review and I feel that a review is more likely to make an impression on a potential reader that way. Who cares what I think about HP? I'd post that in the HP group if I really wanted to say something.
LOL! I used to read other people's reviews before writing mine, but decided to switch that and glance through other people's reviews AFTER writing mine. It's funny sometimes how opposite our impressions can be.
I actually like being the only one to write a review for a book. That means that my ideas have no competition, LOL! :-P
I'm trying to write reviews for most of the books I read, but I have a hard time with some books because I'm not sure what to say other than, "I liked it fine, but it didn't change my life," which is not helpful to other users, nor does it help me crystallize my thoughts about a book. I love getting a thumbs-up on a real review, though, and try to leave them for others who have obviously put thought into their reviews.
If you want to make yourself write more reviews, join the Go Review That Book! group here on LT.
My book blog is at http://fashion_piranha.livejournal.com if anyone's interested.
You can look at my review here to see what I mean.
My book blog:
I LOVE reading other people's reviews.
Actually, I started writing reviews because I didn't think I was very good at them. I never felt like I could vocalize why I liked or didn't like a book, so I thought writing reviews would be a good practice for me. And now it's almost an addiction. I'm much more likely to finish a book than before just so I can write a review for it.
I am more likely to read other people's reviews AFTER I have read a book. I don't like to know much about a story before I read it, but I find it interesting to hear other opinions after I've finished.
Most of my leisure reading time over the past 2 years has been dedicated to reviewing books for "Library Journal." I receive an ARC about every month or so. I don't post my reviews for those materials here, as I am unsure who owns the rights. I guess I could link to my reviews from LT to LJ.
As for reviews on LT, I do read other people's reviews. I honestly don't rate the reviews or flag, unless something is blaringly wrong.
An aside, I've been in school for so long that I haven't had much time to read on my own. I will be finishing up with my MLIS next week (ack!) so, hopefully from then on, I will be able to read what I want to read, rather than focusing on coursework.
I've reviewed some stuff that I've read previously, too. Mostly the very good and very bad.
My reviews, though, vary from a sentence or two, to very long. Madame Bovary got about 10 paragraphs from me recently. If something makes me think, or I notice somethings about a book (Lost in a Good Book talks about families a lot), I put it in. If it was the worst book on the topic that I've ever read, that might be all the notice it gets.
As for reading other people's reviews -- I mostly read them if a boo I have has only a handful of reviews and owners. I like reading about the more odd or obscure stuff.
But nevertheless, I am trying to review more of my library, partly to fill in some gaps on some obscure history and science stuff, and partly to help me remember what I thought about the books. My current (stop and go) task is to try to go back through what I've read previously and make a few notes as a review. Occasionally, I will go back and edit or expand on a review as well. Always room for improvement!
If there are reviews that I find really give me a sense of whether or not I will like the book, or if it's well written, funny, or interesting, I'll give a thumbs up. I appreciate it when people give me positive feedback, I assume the reverse is also true.
I've been trying to write more reviews lately, but I feel weird about reviewing books on politics since that is my work reading. I read very few books for pleasure these days--but when I do, I try to write clever reviews.
I sometimes try for a postmodern-type reflection review.
I absolutely LOVE reading other people's reviews!
What started me on this was actually reading your reviews. :) I'm such a fan! I am always checking to see if you've written more. They are great!
I only flag reviews if I really enjoy reading them, even if sometimes I don't exactly agree with the reviewer on that particular book. Well written, long or at least detailed, insightful reviews get my vote.
I flag reviews that aren't reviews too, and I hate when people write things like "Good book." or "4.5 stars out of 5." Okay.... so that isn't really a review.... Sigh.
I thumb reviews I really like. I regularly check out reviews written by my friends here at LT. Not only because they are my friends but because most of them are very good reviewers. I rarely flag reviews. I flag them only if they are really not reviews at all. Like ‘Started’ or ‘Borrowed’, etc, etc.
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