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Topic: Do you review the books you read?

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Subject: Do you review the books you read?
Date Posted: 7/25/2009 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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Do you write reviews of the books you've read here on PBS?  If not, I want to encourage you to do so.  Tell others WHY you liked the book or why you didn't care for it.  I've found that before I order a book that it is so incredibly helpful to read the reviews that others have posted.  It's saved me many times from getting books that I woudn't enjoy.  It's also helped me to select books that I DID enjoy and might not have chosen to order otherwise.

And before you go check how many books I've reviewed, I'll tell ya that I'm working on doing this....lol.

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2007
Posts: 775
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 I agree with you Melani!  Ive read alot of reviews and marked the ones that were helpful to me!    I think the reviews can definitly help in choosing the "right" book.  :)

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 7,024
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I agree as well.  I'm not real good at this as usually the only books I review are ones that I either hate or really, really like.  I will try to do better!! Thanks for the reminder.

Do you also find that if you know a certain member has liked or disliked a book that it pretty much guarantees you'll feel the same?  I know I have a couple members who have tastes like mine and have tried several books (or not) just based on their reviews, and have not been disappointed.

Last Edited on: 7/25/09 4:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/25/2009 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I think I end up doing more negative reviews than positive ones.  Not because I'm just perpetually cranky, although there's probably a bit of truth to that, but because it seems to me that there's a temptation to write a positive review of bad books just to get them moving off the shelves.  In fact, I think I wrote unwarrentedly glowing reviews of a couple of mediocre books here when I first started.  I've also read a lot of books with umpteen reviews already written, so I don't bother with those.  I have to like a book a lot before I write one of those glowing reviews now.

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I don't review every book, but I've been trying to do them more often, particularly is it's a book that doesn't have many reviews or if what I thought of the book doesn't square with a lot of the reviews already posted. I have to watch, because at one time, I seemed to be in a rut of only reviewing books I didn't care for, and it looked overall as if there wasn't anything I actually liked - which could not be farther from the truth. ;-)  Reading them over now, a lot of my reviews seemed mixed, with mentions of what I liked and what I didn't.

Anytime I look at a book here, I scroll down and read the reviews, and then mark whether they're helpful or not. If there aren't any reviews or just a few, I'll go over to Amazon and read the reviews there.


Date Posted: 7/25/2009 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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I'd say I review about 75% of the books I read. . . I'm trying to do more because I also find the reviews very helpful, especially when they go into some depth about what they did or did not like. I'm afraid for books I just like my reviews tend to be only 3-4 lines, but books that I really love or really dislike I tend to expound on and write a couple paragraphs analyzing my reaction. I am aware of the tendency to write a glowing review of a book I want to unload, but so far I've resisted. If I really didn't like a book and therefore want to unload it, I write the review and save it on my computer until the book has been shipped, then I post the review. Which still isn't totally fair, but at least I'm not lying. :)

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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Until I read this discussion, it had never occurred to me to save bad reviews for later or write a good review of a book I didn't like. Apparently my bad reviews deterred no one - almost all of those books were snapped up pretty quickly.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I keep a book journal where I write a review for each book I read--it just goes on my book blog so I have an online record of what I've read and I save it also in a Word document on an external drive on my computer. I've been writing my journal in Word doc formate for going on 5 years now, and it's saved me from ordering a book I'd already read a few times.

I can't even imagine withholding my opinion or tempering it specifically to get a book ordered from my shelf, though. I guess because I rarely read reviews myself or use them to help me choose a book I just haven't considered that it's any big deal. Just because you might not like a book, why would that stop me from ordering it? I don't know you from Adam or how much your taste in books resembles mine...so why would you let a negative review keep you from trying a book? A review is just one person's opinion. 

I don't put most of my reviews on PBS. If there are already 30 reviews for a book, I probably won't bother to copy/paste my review. If there are no reviews or maybe just a couple, I will be more likely to do so--and that happens fairly often as I tend to read less common books. It's not something I do regularly--once in awhile I'll do a "catch up session" and put up a couple dozen all at once and then it will be weeks before I get another wild hair and do another bunch.


Date Posted: 7/27/2009 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 441
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I have gotten in the habit of reading member's reviews -- if the majority are positive, I have ordered some of those books more confidently and have not been disappointed. I also try to write a review on most of the books I read now. I have found that people DO read them and find them helpful and maybe it has drawn some people to my bookshelf if they felt they could relate to me or my personality.

What I don't understand is people who write things like "I have not read this book" -- ok???? So why the heck are offering a review that tells us this? (I have seen this more than once). OR else I have seen on numerous occassions people basically just typing the same info that is on the back of the book or in the dust jacket describing what the story is all about. This is just a repeat of information that you can get just by clicking on the title of the book.

What I do find really helpful is when someone indicates that "this is part 2 of a trilogy" and lists the other books in the trilogy by title. Many times I am not aware that the book I am researching is in the middle of a series. I always like to read books in a series in order to follow the stories as they develop.

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 137
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I usually review books that I feel strongly about, either positive or negative.  I'll also review books that have no or few reviews. If I am undecided about a book, the reviews will either sway me toward or away from a book, and I try to keep that in mind and give details as to why I like/disliked a book, rather than generics.

Date Posted: 8/1/2009 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 115
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Yes, I review the books I read. I have quite a few that I posted recently that were just books we had moved from place to place that were DH's so I hadn't read them and those I did not review.  I find it helpful to read reviews by members here especially when it is more than just what is contained on the back or flyleaf of the book...you know, what they thought or what they found good or bad in the book.  I try to read at least a few reviews before requesting to get a "feel" for the book. I surely do appreciate those of you do write reviews!