Disclaimer: I came upon a well written rant blog about book reviews becoming irrelevant – which was actually a great discussion question posted by TheDayDreamingBookworm. Visit it here.
I do read reviews from time to time BUT I often read them AFTER I finish reviewing a book. Let’s just say, I don’t want to let other reviewers influence how I react on a novel –this on the other hand is considered a cliche by many but then that doesn’t stop them from reading other blogs, does it? In my case, just as much as I hate it when people speak and interpret things in the movie theater, I detest the buzzing — and sometimes annoying– commentaries of book reviewers in my head, blocking the author’s [and the book’s] voice which after all IS what I have to review.
Why then, do I review books in my site? Believe it or not, I like listening to myself, reading my own interpretation of things, and I am a big show-off as many teachers are. It gives me immense satisfaction that people get to understand the way I think. Isn’t this the primary purpose of a blog after all?
Millions claim that internet is at our mercy-we use it as a tool to get information in the fastest way possible. Then again, we use the internet to feed our ego, to tell people what we know, the fastest way, yet again, to self-publishing.
What then is the relevance of reviewing books online? It is another strategy to calm the raging sea of thoughts in your head after reading a well written work or an extremely poor one– another version of journal writing to those who cannot be bothered to use the traditional pen and paper.
In short, the way I personally see it, we review books, not with the purpose of informing people what they want to know. How many of us think, “I need to write about this because my readers want to know!”? They have Google for that and I certainly believe not all of us are humanitarian. We review books because we have already committed to ourselves that we must analyze and deeply understand the works of these authors and what better way for us to show our appreciation than to write what we understand and how we have come to understand? That in itself gives way more satisfaction to me than gaining followers and earning stars for like. At the end of the day, whether people read my reviews or not does not matter. At all.