I 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.