Reviewer Rotten-ly

I shouldn’t care what strangers say about me.
I should say that again.
I should not care what strangers say about me!
Yet, I do.
There. I said it.
I care. I definitely do.

Here’s why: I was cruising around my LibraryThing page, noticed a little “thumbs up” icon on certain reviews & got curious. What did that little icon mean and had it ever been applied to a review of mine? Hmmm….This is where I should have remembered the little saying about curiosity killing the cat because while searching my own reviews for that “thumbs up” icon I came across a review that had “tagged” as not a review. It was like a big, fat warning to all the professional reviewers out there, a flashing sign that read: “hey guys, don’t waste your time reading this horseshit. It’s not a real review.” Okay, so no one actually said that…but, that’s what it felt like. Not a review. Defenses up, demeaning name-calling at the ready: jerks…snobs! Who did they think they were? Then, I went back and read the post in question…Whomever tagged it was right. In the traditional sense it’s definitely NOT a review. See for yourself. Yet, the tag still stung. It’s like being called out as a fraud; no Great Oz. I have been tempted to go back and write a real review, something academically sterile and boring to compensate. I feel guilty because here I am, in the Early Review program and I break all the rules for writing a traditional review: You are supposed to review the plot: one, keeping first person voice out of it, and two, you’re not supposed to quote text. Two things I do all the time.
There is a disclaimer on my site that states I don’t review books in the traditional manner, but rather as proof that I took the time to read something for the BookLust Challenge. So, what now? Maybe I should write a traditional review for LibraryThing and leave my quoting and blathering for this site only???? I’m still pondering that….and sort of practicing that. LT gets the straight up this-is-the-book and WP gets ThisIsWhatTheBookMeantToMe. More work? Yes, but it will be worth it to not be so reveiwer rotten.

By the way …the “thumbs up” icon that got me in trouble in the first place? It was an was-this-review-helpful? indicator… Go figure.


5 Comments on “Reviewer Rotten-ly”

  1. Manda says:

    ha. that is SO not a review. But at this point, who the hell NEEDS a review of the diary of anne frank? it’s either your style or not, but it’s clearly a very important piece of writing. what can you say about it besides how you experienced it?

    people are silly.

  2. Tim says:

    Hey, I hope you won’t mind me saying something. This is the founder of LT. I found this on Google Blog Search.

    I *hate* that you felt this way. It’s exactly what I don’t want. It’s why there’s no “thumbs-down” feature. That can hurt.

    Personally, I’d draw the line around review very widely. Any serious engagement with the text is a review. I’m not interested only in “should you buy it?” reviews. Not at all. We put the feature in so that users could flag text like “read over spring break” or “Leather edition.” There’s an abuse flag so users can target reviews that were inappropriately stolen from another place. But I dislike the idea of someone reading something interesting and engaged with the text and then sniffing “not a review!”

  3. gr4c5 says:

    Manda ~ Yes, poeple are silly and I’m just as silly 🙂

    Tim~ Thank you. I’m a sensitive soul (which gets me into trouble). As you can see, I’m still learning about tags and whatnot!

  4. Manda says:

    yes you are. but it’s why I love ya.

  5. gr4c5 says:

    xoxox 🙂


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