Monday, July 26, 2010

Musing Monday...It's All About the Love.

This week’s musing asks…
Do you review books? If so, for who?
If not, have you ever thought about doing so? Why, or why not?

Do I review books? Well, I try to! I will let my readers decide. ;-)
Yes, I do review books, most of the books, that I have read. Not as many as some bloggers, more than others.

Who do I review them for? Well, for my readers and for myself of course. But I don't think that is what you meant. I think you were asking if I review for certain groups or publishers or publicists. In other words, where do I get the books that I read and review.

Well, probably the first time I realized that it might be possible to get books from various sources other than me just buying them, was when I joined Library Thing. A wonderful site that allowed me to organize my books but that also exposed me to many other members, posting about books, and also the home of Library Thing Early Reviewers. For those not familiar with it, members of LT can request books from a monthly list of books being offered by publishers in return for a review on Library Thing. You make your request, a Giant Algorithm is applied, at least partially based on the books you have in your Library Thing list, and you may 'win' a book. Or you may not. I was very successful at first, winning about 12 books in a row in the first year and then having a drought for about the same amount of time. So I went in search of other sources. Again, LT was a great source of information, on several threads where I first read about these Advance Review Copies and how I might get a few of them. Again, the idea is that you read the book and publish a review and so my Blog was born.

I do not have any relationship with a particular publisher, requesting books solely based on what interests me, regardless of the source. And then, after maybe a year of blogging, I started receiving some offers of books for review from a numbers of publicists. I request some books and decline some books, first not to get too far ahead of what I can deal with and second based totally on what seems to be a book that I would enjoy and do justice to in a review. I like to try and accept books from a wide number of sources rather than just a couple of publicists because quite honestly, I don't think that a blogger who reviews books should be too cozy with any one person who, let's face it, is just looking to get the book they are being paid to represent out there. That is their job, a fine job, and many of them are very nice people, but my obligation is not to them. No my obligation is to the reader of my review who may be influenced to spend or not spend their money on a book based on what I say.

And finally, I am also a member of Amazon Vine. I admit that I was a little concerned about that program when I was offered the chance to join. Would a reviewer be tossed out if they posted too many negative reviews? Well, not so far!

But, I also get a good percentage of the books I read from more traditional sources, like the local public library. Of course, they want the books back. I used to think that was a bad thing, but as the piles of books in my house have grown, I am seeing it as a better and better thing. I read the book, write a review and if it is something that I really loved, then I can always buy a copy to have for my very own. Yes, I do still buy books. Not as many as I once did, what with these other sources, but sometimes I just have too. Take the third, and last, book in the Millennium Trilogy. I actually ordered that from a company in England, to get it before it was published in the US and I just bought the latest Tess Gerritsen book, after I found I had 37 people ahead of me when I requested it at the library.

That takes us back to my original, slightly joshing point. I review books not for the publishers, or the authors or the publicists. I don't do it for Library Thing or Amazon Vine. No,  I review them to share what I think with those of my readers who may be interested in what books I thought were great and those I thought were not so great.  I review them to help me be a better, more thoughtful reader. And ultimately, I do it to be part of a community of people who love books, who love to read books and love to talk about books. Yes, it's all about the book love!

Musing Monday is hosted, as always, by MizB at Should Be Reading. Drop by and check out some other answers.


  1. GREAT post - and I agree 100%. I just wish I didn't feel so much pressure to post a "well-written" review (pressure supplied by yours truly - no one else). That paralyzes me from writing more than I do.

  2. Well said and so true. Being in a long line for a library book is ok with me - it's not like I don't have something else to read in the meantime. Have a great week, Caite and happy reading, whatever your source might be.

  3. Very nice answer. Since I found book and review bloggers, I value their opinions of books and from those opinions, decide if a book goes on my tbr bucket list.

  4. I also started from Library Thing. I like doing reviews because it helps me remember the books I've read and not "lose" them to time!

  5. I read a lot of library books, too, and do the same as you -- if I loved the book, I'll eventually buy my own copy.

  6. I have found some really great books after reading reviews on all the book blogs.

    Here is my musing.

  7. I couldn't agree more, it is most definately all about the book love. Here is Mine

  8. Good answer! It sounds very similar to my feelings on the topic.

    BTW, caught a glimpse of your Irish breakfast in the post below...and now I'm hungry! lol

    Here's my musing:

  9. I've ended up enjoying the Vine program, much to my surprise. I love having no pressure to write a "glowing"'s nice to be able to write a review that is completely, 100% honest.

  10. I like to read reviews, but to write them, I find difficult. I always blame myself if I don't like a book.

  11. I've never belonged to Amazon Vine or LT or anything like that. I can barely keep up with the stuff I have. There are a number of publishers and authors that come around, but I don't accept exclusively from anyone. I often turn them down because I get overwhelmed, but once in awhile I just have to accept! (You write wonderful reviews!)

  12. Wonderful post! You have given me tons of ideas :D

  13. And your readers appreciate your reviews!

  14. I don't know how good my reviews are, but they are never easy to write. If I love a book, I want to write something that will get people to seek it out. If I don't like a book, I want to be fair to the author and clearly explain why.

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  16. I do post reviews for all that I read, but I have shortened them, as I was spending way too much time, and it was beginning to feel like work.

  17. I review for pleasure and realize it's the perfect way to keep a personal reading history. I review every book I read, and hoping to influence others to pick up some of the books I read.


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