Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some Random Thoughts

I'm busy today getting things done so I have time to spend on the Bloggiesta this weekend, but I just came across an interesting post that I had to share before I lose my train of thought.

Those of you who hang around in the book blogosphere a lot probably are familiar with the whole print review/blogger review debate. This thing has been hashed and rehashed so many times, I'm not really going to get into it here. However, Collen over at Chasing Ray has been having some interesting discussions on reviews in general, including the latest one that tries to tie everything together.

What interested me was this. She points out a comment from an anonymous blogger who basically said this about print reviews/blog reviews: "However, I do believe that more and more the masses are looking for some sort of personal mirroring in their "critics" rather than being thankful that, well, someone with a lot of knowledge combed through hundreds of books (or movies or CDs) a year, each year, so that they could provide you with the best information possible [revering to print reviewers]. Anyone who comes from a highly informed background (years of study or professional status, advanced degree), in essence, has the power to make the masses feel bad for their taste. Don't like the latest wildly popular, crappily illustrated picture book best seller? You're "elitist."

Excuse me? Let's look at it this way. I've been doing reviews for almost four years. I also have a four year degree, so this is a subject I do have experience in. I also happen to not like Eragon, a book that is a best seller. So am I elitist? What do you think?

Here's the down low for me. Not everybody is going to like every book. Sometimes you don't have to like a best seller. And I think you should be free to tell people so. That's what reviews are, professional or not. They are someone's opinion on something they have experienced. I review because I like to. It's not my job. I update this blog because it's my hobby. I enjoy what I do. I read thousands of pages from books every year and I do it not for the better of the general public (although I enjoy sharing it with you) but because I want to. I'm an English major. I write. That's what I do, and this blog is just one of the ways I practice those writing skills.

Okay rant over. But I had to get that off my chest. Chime in if you'd like.


Kate said...

Very well said :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't believe someone said that. I do reviews because I love to read books and post my thoughts about them. I have a Master's degree but I really don't think that really matters when writing reviews. I prefer finding people who share my taste in books and seeing what they liked and disliked. BTW, I also did not like Eragon :)

David Stock said...

Generally, I find reviews to be extremely helpful- especially movie reviews of those deceptive trailers. I'm also comfortable with my taste, whether it is "socially accepted" or not- so maybe the person who wrote that comment needs to work on some issues, including looking up the meaning of the phrase "freedom of speech"? :-)