Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rating Systems? Why I Think They're Important

I started this blog because I love to read. I really love to read...and I hope that others reading this have the same passion I do. That being said, I think everyone has a favorite series they enjoy. A couple of mine are Maddy Hunter's Emily Andrews. This series is just hilarious, with Emily and her group of senior citizens traveling the world. The first in the series, Alpine for You got me hooked, and I've been traveling with them along the way. The second series I absolutely love is Carolyn Haines' Sarah Booth Delaney. Beginning with Them Bones, she had me deep in the delta of Mississippi and I've been there ever since.

There are also several series I just couldn't read, no matter how hard I've tried. For whatever reason, the characters just didn't pull me in. And I do try to give books a chance. If it's a series, I like to 'become involved' with the characters usually in the first book, but I have read up to the third. If you can't get me into it by then, I won't waste my time reading any further. If it's a stand alone book, I need to want to continue reading by the third chapter.

That being said, I realize everyones' tastes are different and we all look at books differently. Some people read them for escapism, some lose themselves in the book, some actually become the characters in the book. There are any number of reasons people read, but the important thing is they do read, because reading is a pleasure and books are many different things - they can take you places you may never visit, introduce you to people you enjoy being with, give you ideas to begin new things, and so much more.

Like most readers, I have a great love of it and am always looking for new books to read. If I particularly enjoy a book, I'll put it in my 'do not lend' pile and re-read it again at some point (said pile is quite large already, and growing).

How I choose the books I read I'll save for another day. But I will say that I'm an analytical person and a crafter; and as such, I pay attention to detail. Which translates into I Notice Everything. I'll notice local idioms, the way characters dress, things they say, things they do. If you can't (or wouldn't) do it in the real world, you probably shouldn't in a book, either (unless it's Fantasy or Sci-Fi, in which case anything goes).

If I've already starting reading the book, and I'm close to halfway through; or if I like a certain character in the book, I'll finish it. Very rarely will I not finish a book; it has to be pretty bad to make me do that. But I won't sugarcoat my reviews. I don't read books so I can give them a bad review, but I won't read a bad book and give it a good review, either. That's unfair to other readers, and they won't trust anything I say if I do it. They especially won't trust anything I say if they read all the books themselves if I've given all good reviews and they think half of them stink (although I am sure people won't agree with every one of my reviews).

I cannot live without books - Thomas Jefferson

The way I feel about reading is this:

You wouldn't want to spend time with someone you didn't like, would you? (Unless you have no backbone, of course), and if a friend wanted you to go see that person, you'd tell them. You wouldn't say, "Oh, they're great. I just love the way she laughs, and she tells such funny stories." If you did that, your friend would think you were crazy and wouldn't understand why you didn't want to see them. I don't tell them all the good things and then add, 'but I really don't want to visit them.' I won't lie about it.

Well, books are like people. A few great, most good, some mediocre, and some I wouldn't want to be alone with. That's why not all of my reviews are 5 stars. For these reasons, I will give an honest and fair review. If I love the book, I'll tell you.   If I hate it, I'll explain why the best I can.  I believe that if I, myself, can't give an honest review about all books, not just what I consider the good or great ones, then I have no business writing this blog.


What's a book? Everything or nothing. The eye that sees it all - Ralph Waldo Emerson

1 comment:

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