Thursday, February 9, 2017

Week 5 Prompt

1. I appreciate the reasoning behind Booklist posting only positive reviews, but that doesn't seem to be very helpful. Likewise, I think posting a crushingly negative review isn't that helpful either. I think it's important to express your honest opinion, but also to find a balance between criticism and positive aspects. Critical thinking is key. As for ebook only books - without reviews of these materials, it will be quite difficult to add them to your collection because you may not be aware of their existence, and if you are -- you have no idea what you're dealing with. You run the risk of adding inappropriate materials to your collection, or missing really valuable items that your patrons would love to read. Knowledge is power! 

2. I think that both reviews are reliable in the sense that they express the opinion of the reader. I didn't think the blog review did a good job of explaining why the book was appealing. The synopsis of the story on the blog is nice, but I didn't enjoy reading statements like, "I wasn't hooked to core, but it's okay. I don't dislike it. It's just fine." What does that even mean? And the "I was reading this on New Year's Eve. lol" part really bugged me. Use quotes, give examples, and for god's sake make your review a little more polished and professional. That said -- the writer of this blog post is reading books and reviewing them because they love doing that and I don't mean to sound overly critical. It's just in the context of this course it's a very underdeveloped review. The Amazon review is pretty weak as well because it lacks a real synopsis, but I found the statements about why they liked the novel to be more reliable. I also appreciated that she mentioned that the novel was clean. I think since the romance novel in question is Christmas related and clean, I would definitely add this to my collection. After reading the reviews, I'm not convinced that the story is a romantic suspense novel.  

3. I have never read Angela's Ashes, but after reading the reviews it sounds like McCourt's life was so horrible it sounds almost like fiction. I also found myself getting a little angry and frustrated because the family was so destitute and I couldn't really figure out why they couldn't turn it around. Because the reviews I read sparked that emotional response in me, I would absolutely add this to my collection. It made me want to learn more about the story and Frank McCourt's life in general. Also, because this is a memoir that describes life in a different part of the world in a different time, I think it offers a really valuable point of view that is worthy of any library collection. 

4. It's definitely not fair that one type of book (or one title) is reviewed to death while others don't get as much (if any) coverage. This makes it seem like publishers with big marketing departments are the only ones who get coverage for their books. This makes a library's collection a little skewed to the biggest publishers and indie publishers may get left out. As mentioned above, I think review sources that won't print negative content aren't doing their readers any favors. I think posting savagely negative reviews are just as bad. Maybe I'm weird, but if you don't like a book you should absolutely tell people that in your review, but I appreciate reviews more if they're balanced. It seems more genuine to me that someone just ripping a book, movie or album to shreds. A music blog I read, Pitchfork, once posted a review of Jet album that was simply a video of a monkey peeing in its own mouth. That's just unnecessary and while some might find it humorous, I think it makes the site and the reviewer seem entirely unreliable. 

I don't buy anything for a library, so I'll answer the other question about reviews for personal reading. When I look for reviews I always check out Amazon and GoodReads. I kind of get the feeling that there are about a bajillion book snobs on GoodReads and I think that their reviews can be a little off putting, so I check Amazon too. 

1 comment:

  1. wonderfully written and detailed responses. full points!