To review or not to review – a book lovers conundrum
I don’t think I want to review books anymore. I haven’t done it that long on this blog and honestly, I don’t think I am very good at it. I don’t care about how a book is written; the proper grammar, the style, the structure (although there absolutely must be correct spelling!). All I care about is the energy, its rhythm and the feeling it evokes, whether I’ve learned anything from it and whether or not my spirit feels expanded for having read it (I’ve read books that have actually made me feel dumber – that to me is a horrible book.) I’ve maintained my belief that reading is a quantum experience and because of this, book reviews will always be subjective.
I read other people’s book reviews not to get a sense of the book, but because I like knowing how the reader felt about the book – that is much more interesting. It is fascinating to have a reviewer go off on a rage-fueled tirade about why they disliked a book so much. There is nothing sweeter than feeling the love a reader has for a book that has them on cloud nine. But rarely do these reviews push me towards reading the book itself.
This is where the snob in me comes out – I have my own tastes, my own questions in life, my own perceptions, beliefs, values, morals and ethics. This colours my taste in books. If I don’t take other people’s reviews to heart, why the hell am I writing them myself? Because I feel I have to due to this being a blog about books?
I don’t like romance novels – I tried enough of them in my early twenties and eventually got bored with them, annoyed by the same stories over and over. They didn’t tell me anything new, they didn’t provoke me or move me to questions. I don’t care how awesome a review about a romance novel is. I don’t care if the review of said romance novel was so powerful that the love the reviewer had for said romance novel moved me to tears. I don’t like romance novels and in this present moment of my life, I ain’t gonna read it. My tastes, my likes, my beliefs, my thoughts, my values – they form a certain frequency around me that draws me to a specific kind of story. This frequency of energy finds its like energy, is attracted to like energy and lo and behold, I find a new book in my hands. This is the spirituality of books.
I intended to review books on this blog, but this blog has taken on a life of its own. It seems now that this blog is more a love letter to the world of books and the people who write them. It is my love song to fellow book lovers and defenders of imagination.
So the conundrum is this; when I love a book, I want to talk about it. When a book makes me so mad at the story and the author, I want to talk about it. So if not review them, how do I talk about them?
I don’t think reviews are bad. I enjoy reading other people’s reviews and I enjoy the book bloggers who write them. I love seeing the passion for books. But I don’t think reviews are right for me. Case in point – the two books that I talked about in this post but refused to give a review or rating to because they both were so damned special that I felt reviewing them would trap their beautiful souls.
Well, I guess I made my decision.
I will eventually do away with my Book Ratings page and just focus on what this blog is telling me it wants to be – a place where books can run free and where fellow book lovers can get their bibliolove on.