Thursday, September 5, 2013

First off, I just want to say that I just love the book blogging we come together in support of each other and the books and authors we adore.  

And we also fight together when the situation warrants, which is more often than it should be.

That said, sometimes I think we can be a bit judgmental of each other, even a little harsh at times.  

There's the trolling of reviews (on blogs and on Goodreads -- especially Goodreads).  Someone will post a dissenting opinion on a book, and of course, someone else disagrees.  That's two people will share the exact same opinion.  That's what this community is about, after all:  finding those who share your likes and dislikes when it comes to genres, authors and all things bookish.  And it's fine to share your reaction, even if it's the opposite of the rest of reviewers.  It would just be nice if everyone could do so in a way that doesn't promote such negativity.  Don't get me wrong, I love snarky and gif-tastic reviews as much as the next girl, but even those can go too far at times.  As can the comments on them.

There are also those people who judge you solely on what you're currently reading or what you've read in the past.  This type of assessment probably bothers me most because I've read a lot of YA novels that I probably wouldn't give a second glance now, but I wouldn't hold it against anyone else if they still enjoyed them then or continue to do so in the future.  (But I still wish I hadn't rated them so highly.  *sigh*  That's a conversation for another day, though.)  Hell, I still like a lot of books that others don't.  You can't please everyone, am I right?

What prompted this whole rant was a post recently on Twitter from someone who proclaimed that they wouldn't accept friend requests on Goodreads from anyone who's average rating was 4 stars or higher.  This was weeks ago, but it still bothers me to this day, so I felt the need to discuss.

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I mean, my average rating is 4.08 stars.  And I feel like I'm probably in the norm, but I didn't do any checking to find out.  I honestly don't care where my average rating fits in the scheme of things.  Because, the fact of the matter is, I like to enjoy what I'm reading.  I try not to pick books that I likely won't find entertaining and will therefore rate lower.  It's a waste of my time to read something that's going to bring out the snark in me.  If it makes me all snarktastic, I'm more likely to simply DNF it rather than rate it really low. In fact, I rarely ever rate below three stars because if I've found a book worthy of a lower rating, I'm not going to finish it.  But that rarely happens because I know what I like.

I don't know...that post just irked me, and I needed to vent.  What are your thoughts?  Do you tend to not friend people because of what they choose to read and how they rate their books?  Or are you an equal-opportunity friender?


  1. I feel the same way. I don't know what my average rating is on Goodreads. I would have to heck. I am sure its high though. I sometimes feel bad my blog has barely any 2 stars and no 1 stars but that is how I read and rate. I enjoy most of what I read because I also know what I like and I am easily pleased. I also don't know how to review books I don't like at all. Something I need to work on probably but I just prefer to stay positive. I do look at what people read for most of the blogs I follow... but its very generic. Oh you read YA I follow... oh you read adult smut.. nope not so much follow. Only because I have no desire to read or see any of those books. On Goodreads I friend everyone!!!! Great rant!

  2. YES, Jen! I completely agree with everything you've said.

    I believe that reviewers can write the reviews they want, but I won't read the reviews that seem to be more about getting attention than actually being thoughtful.

    Also, the whole thing about people who rate books highly: Like you, there are some books that I wish I could go back and re-rate (and I have before), but I know what I like, too. There's nothing wrong with seeking books that you believe will be a good fit. I'm not paid to review, so why would I punish myself like that?

    Anyway, this is an excellent post. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  3. They said WHAT? Haha, that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

    I don't know what my average rating is, nor do I ever look at anyone else's. What does it matter? It just means the person is lucky enough to have picked books they actually enjoyed! I wish I was that lucky, because I've lost a lot of money on books I wish I hadn't :P

    The last few books I've read I've rated all of 4 stars because they were GOOD and I enjoyed them. I'll rarely even bother to review a book on my blog if I really didn't like it!

    - Allie @ Little Birdie Books

  4. My average rating is 4.12! I never look at anyone elses average rating! I do the same thing you do, I try to pick books I know I'll like. Why waste my time on books that I'll hate? I sometimes try to finish them even if I didn't like them, mostly because I feel bad if I don't finish it.

    I hadn't realized there were people who judged because of that. I know that I got a lot of hate on Goodreads by a guy because I rated a "Twilight" book 4 stars. He told me that he couldn't take my reviews seriously, thus leading me to tell him where he could stick his opinion (in a very respectful, yet snarky way).

    Whoever said that is just being ridiculous and a little bit presumptious.

    -Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

  5. I had to go look up my review average - 3.73, phew, I'm safe, lol.

    I friend everyone. I love being able to see differing opinions, both positive and negative for books. Everyone is able to set their own review standards and guidelines, and I think it's just rude to bother other people about their personal choices, whether they DNF or only review 5 stars, or whathaveyou.

  6. Yikes! That rating thing as a requirement is harsh. Can't say that I gave that much thought as a factor for a friend request. So far, I haven't turned down anyone. The only ones that I accept reluctantly are the ones that seem to only be on there for solicitation purposes particularly for books that aren't in my interests which I share about in my bio and by my shelf categories.

    I don't read the reviews that are full of a lot of attention seeking snark particularly when there isn't much substance to the review to show why they arrived at that conclusion or THE WORST when they go after the author's person because they didn't like their book. Not cool!

    Nice discussion topic! Thanks!

  7. This is a fantastic post! If they are going to be like that for whatever reason then just as well, you don't want to be friends with them.

    I think the book blogging community is fantastic and luckily haven't faced any judgemental situations like that yet, but I'm sure it will happen from time to time. To each their own hey! You've just prompted me to look at my average rating which is 3.85...never realised it existed! But you had a great reason why yours was higher.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  8. My average rating is around 4 stars as well. I'm good at picking out books I like, so I usually enjoy them. Don't let those silly opinions bother you :)

  9. Really? I've not heard of anyone not friending someone because of high reviews. That's odd to me. I typically want to read books I love! I rate a lot of books 4 and 5 stars. I typically know my taste and pick up books I'm going to love. I don't enjoy reading stuff I don't like so like you I DNF.

    My Friends Are Fiction

  10. I just checked my average and it's 4.33 stars. I was actually surprised it was that high, but then again I've read a lot of really amazing books this year.
    I don't accept all friend requests, but that has nothing to do with their average rating. It's more about what books they read. Also, If they have like 10 books in total but 1000+ friends that's a no-no for me. I don't need people spamming me or people who never share anything about the books they read anyway. I'm also a bit wary about accepting friend requests from indie authors to be honest because I always fear they'll bomb me with review requests/promo and the like. Of course if their books sound amazing and not like hundreds of others out there, that's a different story.
    Great post, Jen! I've recently seen a lot of this going back and forth about people giving too many positive reviews and I think it's fairly ridiculous. Some people like complaining about books they 'wasted their time and money on', others are apparently luckier in their book choices or just prefer not to dwell on the bad ones *shrug*

  11. You make me feel so...happy. Just happy. Because of this post. In some twisted way, I can kinda see what they're saying because they think that the 4+ star reviewer is being fake or too nice or one of those "don't be mean!" bloggers...but I agree with you because I think that's totally unfair. BECAUSE I am so with you on the reading. I honestly don't know how people can stomach through a book that they just flat out dislike. I'll read a book that's meh and somehow finish and THEN pick at it and realize that I didn't like it. But I will NOT go through a book, read it, review it, and give it a low rating when I could just DNF it. I want to read things I like. Period. Bravo, Jen.


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