Saturday, 30 June 2018

Being a good book reviewer

Being a good reviewer of books comes with great responsibility.  I recently read that Australian book reviewers are poor at their job, perhaps not being intellectual enough to read deeply into the prose and narrative at hand, or perhaps too lazy in analyzing the writing enough; I don't know?

Considering I'm an Australian reviewer of books, I have to say I'm a little concerned, and now left questioning my own abilities as to whether I'm in fact a good or bad reviewer.  So, with that said, I've done a little research on what makes a good reviewer, and luckily enough I think I'm following the basic rules in giving the books I read justice, along with providing potential readers enough guts for them to establish if these books are for them.

Here, I want to share some of the golden rules of reviewing I've learn't and continue to build on when I'm writing my reviews; after all practice makes perfect so they say.

My take on Golden Rules for Reviewing:

1. Make every review engaging, up-beat and a pleasure for others to read.
2. Include, where you can, a taste of the prose and narrative (this gives the reader an idea if they would want to buy the book). I actually truly believe in this rule.  For one, I always read part of a chapter of a book I think I might be interested in when I pick-up a copy in a bookshop, just so I know if I like the style of writing; this is the same philosophy.
3. Understand and convey what you believe the author wishes to deliver to the reader through their writing. Here, you can provide a direct quotation.
4. Don't place too much emphasis on the plot summary and never, ever give away the ending.
5. Never make a review about the writer or the reviewer, a review is for the reader. It's about sharing ideas and information gathered through your reading, providing entertainment and education for the reader.
6. And always provide an honest review. What I mean by honest is if you didn't think the book works or conveys what is intended, then it is your job to tell the reader why, and show them evidence of your conclusion. Your job is not, however, to criticise the writer.

Reading is such a great pleasure to so many of us, so reviewers need to be committed, knowledgeable and just as scrupulous as their readers to remain successful at what they do.

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