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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Role of the Reviewer

Over on Jen's Book Thoughts, Jen had a great post on the role of reviewers with links to other essays and commentaries.

One of her main points is that she only reviews books that she enjoyed mostly because (like me) she takes writing the reviews seriously and it takes her a good 75-90 minutes to write them (also like me).  Her argument is that since she invest so much time in reading and reviewing the books, she does not want that time wasted on a book she did not enjoy.

I appreciate her point, but from my perspective as a RA librarian, it does not matter whether or not I like a book.  I am reading and reviewing books in an attempt to experience a range of books.  Whether or not I like them is irrelevant, rather I am focused on who would like a book and why.  I need to have knowledge about a lot of different types of books because I am working with a wide range of readers.

Here is an example of a book I did not enjoy, but in my review I focused on who would.

I guess the point is, every reviewer has a methodology behind why and how they review what they review.  Reviewers need to be clear as to their personal focus in order for readers to get the most out of the review.  Why I review books is completely different than why Jen does.  It does not make one of us better than the other, but it makes a difference in how you, the reader, then use the reviews to help you to decide if you should read the book.

Check out Jen's post for more on the role of the reviewer.

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