Do you read our book reviews? I wonder why you read them?
Actually, no. What I really wonder is why I write them.
And I don’t mean that as some kind of existential quandary. I’m thinking more about their purpose.
I guess I also, therefore, have to wonder who reads them. Is it typical readers of “The People’s Friend”, or is it writers?
You see, it’s all relevant to my book choices — or at least to the books about which I go on to write a review.
What prompted the question is that given my job, I’m perhaps a surprisingly slow reader. When I’m reading a book, at least. I like to savour and reread almost every line, appreciating the words the author has chosen, trying to decide if I might have written a line differently. (As if!)
Not enough time
Like anyone, I have a limited amount of reading time. So, when I’m browsing a selection of the books that the various publishers routinely send me or allow access to, should I choose books that I want to read for myself, or books that I think “Friend” readers would be interested in and enjoy? The two categories are quite different.
Or maybe I should be reviewing books that fiction writers would appreciate?
You see my dilemma. I know it’s an enviable one to have: so many books, so little time.
It’s most recently prompted by two books, one just read, one that I’m a quarter of the way into. Neither are the type of short story or serial I would select for publication in “The People’s Friend”, because of aspects of the storylines. So reviews would be of little interest to the typical “Friend” reader.
Yet they’re good stories. I enjoyed the first, and am enjoying the second. So should I review them?
It brings me back to my opening query, about the purpose of our book reviews.
I’ll go ponder for a bit and you never know, I might have a book review for you next week!
To read some of the team’s book reviews, click here.