Making lesbians happy – one book at a time

libraryI was talking to Saxon last night about reviews. Now, I’m not talking as a writer here, I’m talking as a reader. As a reader, I hate reviews. (as a writer, I try to not read them. My self-esteem is already low enough, thank you very much. One not-so-good review on one of my books is enough to make me vow to quit writing – for a couple of hours.)

I was reminiscing with Saxon about when I was a kid. As a kid I read anything and everything. My mother never cared what I read so I blindly wandered from Little House on the Prairie to Valley of the Dolls to Mandingo to Ramona the Pest. I loved every book I read. I can’t remember not finishing a single book. I devoured all books from cover to cover. I didn’t give any thought to sentence structure, plot or three-dimensional characters. I loved them all.
Last night I was reading one of the free books I got on Amazon – Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise. I was thoroughly enjoying it, too. I had read 30 percent of it before the dryer alarm went off. After I got back from folding laundry, I picked up my kindle. I thought, “I wonder how well this book has done in the Amazon ratings.” So before I read any further, I went to the Amazon store and read all the reviews on Charlotte Figg. I shouldn’t have. Most of the reviews were really good, some not so good. They claimed bad dialogue, too much God and praying in it, unbelievable situations and characters.
I went back to reading the book. But now I didn’t enjoy it as much. I started seeing all the things the other people didn’t like. Things that hadn’t bothered me before started annoying me now.
I don’t know if I’m more susceptible than other people or not. I wonder if the average reader’s experience is tainted by what others say. Especially if it’s a negative review they make.
What do you think?
I have decided to not read any more reviews of any books ever. At least not until I have finished reading the book. I want to make up my own mind. Actually, to be truthful, I’d like to go back to the innocence of my ten year-old self – where every book is a wondrous place to visit and there’s no such thing as not liking it while I’m there.
And as for Charlotte Figg? I think it’s a pretty good book. I plan on finishing it and enjoying every word of it.

Comments on: "The Worst Book I Ever Read Was Great" (6)

  1. I have a love-hate relationship with reviews. Sort of like the love-hate relationship I have with my washer and dryer. I’m really glad they exist, but I hate that I have to use them. It’s messed up.

  2. Review advice from JLNicky

    If you can get a sample of the book (i.e. Kindle) you don’t need to read the reviews. The samples give you a good 5 or 6 chapter, over 20 to 25 pages, to figure out if the writing style is good or the book hooks you or that it’s not worth your time. However, that said; if you are buying a technical book….read everything you can to make sure you get what you really want.

    If the book is for entertainment….and there is no sample, you can read the reviews or just check to see how many 4 and 5 stars there vs 1-2 stars. Usually the 1-2 stars would be relatively high if the book really sucks. Make sense? Yes. But, don’t judge a book when it has only 3 reviews or is so current/recent that the reviews are low in number and all bad. Check on facebook too.

    If you read something…make sure to blurb about it on the reviews for Amazon because a) you liked X about it and want to share and b) if there was plot issue that wasn’t really resolved, everyone should know and c) people (that means readers and authors) do read the reviews no matter what they say. I don’t care if they swore off reading reviews every morning while brushing their teeth. Oh and by the way, don’t blurb about spelling differences or misspelled words….its not important to me when I read!!!! Really, seriously, the way a word is spelled in British vs English….I don’t care.

    Back to our regularly scheduled rant by LacyeGardner

  3. I buy a book based on the blurb. I never read inside. I’m going to try not to read reviews until after I’ve read the book – so I won’t be tainted. I’ll let you know if I can actually hold myself to that! lol

  4. Sheri Campbell said:

    Lacey, If I didn’t know I would think you were writing about my young reading experience. At eleven, I made a life time goal to read every book in the local library. Stupid, I know now. Just so you know 99% of the reviews I write are positive and I do read others reviews. My mom told me if I can’t say something nice keep my thoughts to myself.. Pretty good rule. When I think my negative comment will be considered by the author I send it privately.
    Simply love your work and Saxon’s work. Hope to see all 3 of you at the GCLS in June

  5. Yes, Sherri, we both have that southern thang where we can’t say something negative. I have never written a negative review in my life and never will. I can hear my grandmother’s voice in my head if I ever did. “What makes you think people would want to look at your dirty panties?” lol
    I understand why some people write negative reviews and that’s fine. I just can’t bring myself to do it.

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