Valuing books; are reviews the best way forward for writers? A good promotion through someone else talking with praise about what you’ve written is gold dust, wind in the sails for any writer. To hear or read the pleasure something you’ve written has brought to another person is pure joy. It vindicates that scary moment of putting your prodigy out there with all the doubts and dreams that this involves. It’s not done on a whim, it’s tough.
But is the fear of the troll which (not who) can possibly destroy any star or carefully worded compliment or intelligent estimate of the work’s value, to be considered? So, hotels and restaurants have been plagued by the wretched creatures, for that is all they are; those who deem it their right to sneer and deride anything worthwhile in order to justify their own bitterness with the world around them. Or do they consider it fun? Sad.
No; a thick skin and belief in your own ability with the support of those who’ve pressed you to put yourself out there, is needed.
No one has to read something they don’t enjoy when it’s bought or given for pleasure. In fact I would always say that if you’re bored by the third chapter, no character has come to grab your attention, you couldn’t careless where the plot is going, whether there is a middle or an end, stop. Give it away.
How many of us enjoy the same books? Different tastes at different times, for different people. I’ve recently struggled through a Booker shortlisted novel, continued as I will be discussing as part of a book group, and I want to be able to justify why this writing is not to my taste. I found it tedious and unbelievable. I found no connection with the characters, became disinterested in how it would end. Nevertheless I can see it’s merits, the clever associations which to me became its faults. However that’s me, my perception. Reading all the reviews which summarise its virtues and tell me that it is an outstanding book, doesn’t alter my view. Yet I’m devouring twice over another prize winner which some found difficult and put down. And this is the same for all of us. There are few very bad books, few very good books and amongst the various genre something for us all.
So back to that review. A fair summary without bias is what is needed for any product. Say what you like and enjoy, justify what you don’t, and remember that in the case of a good review it is hard to write, to give, but undoubtedly a joy to receive.