What has happened to civility? It seems to be running in short supply. Politicians have become experts at delivering stinging comments to their colleagues all in view of the ever present cameras. Bullying is commonplace – and its not limited to children and teens. It seems as though, in a day of media excess, offensive behavior has become acceptable.
This behavior is carrying over to book reviews.
I am on a mailing list for e-BookSoda and BookBub. I receive emails promoting books everyday. Before purchasing/downloading a book, I typically read the reviews. I’m always struck by the range of opinions. I guess there is truth in the saying – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Recently, I read a one star review – I understood that the reviewer didn’t care for the story. I was floored however, when she ended her assessment with the comment that the book might be an excellent read for someone who liked this particular genre. Really? So why only one star?
Another reviewer (different book) was nothing short of catty. Curiosity got the best of me – so I looked up her other reviews – she must have had the absolute worst luck when choosing reading material. I mean, honestly, what’s the chance of finding 19 books out of 30 that are so horrible they only deserve one star?
I’m not saying that reviewers should lie. Obviously, not everyone will connect with a story. I’m suggesting that as readers, we should consider how much weight we want to give any particular review.