Sunday, November 15, 2015

Is It Okay To Post Negative Reviews?

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A comment on a discussion post I did a while ago got me thinking - most people (myself included) read book blogs to discover great books to read.

But a huge part of being a book blogger is criticizing, not only praising the good stuff. To be fair,

I encounter more books that I dislike than books that I like. There are only a handful of books that I've given five stars, maybe five or six per 70 books I read.

Should We Just Keep Quiet About Disliking Stuff?

Especially on Goodreads, bad reviews are the ones that get the most likes. But if you're running an independent book blog, it doesn't seem to be welcome to dislike a lot of stuff, and certainly not the books that are popular right now. 
When I'm looking for a specific review of a book I read and liked, I personally want to see a well-balanced critique. Of course there is a difference between disliking something and being rude about it and writing a critique.

I was told that it's better for book bloggers to showcase good books than critique bad ones, especially you're a picky reader.
If we all collectively stopped doing negative reviews in order to avoid stepping on people's toes, I for example wouldn't be able to accept books for review anymore.

...and If We Did That It Would Also Mean...

No More Review Copies
A huge chunk of the books I review here were sent to me for review. I always promise my honest opinion. But were I to only publish positive reviews, I would stop accepting review copies altogether. It doesn't seem fair to me to receive a book for the purpose of reviewing it and then not doing it, simply because you disliked it.

No More Feedback
With the negative reviews gone, authors wouldn't get feedback anymore. How then do they sell their books? I wouldn't buy a book that only has five-star reviews. 

No More Credibility
Do you trust blogs that only rate books four or five stars? I'd think to myself after the fifteenth five star review that something must be wrong. I'd think that the reviews are paid for or the reviewer has no idea what they're doing. Liking stuff is fine and all, but can you really like everything?

In Consequence:

I'm still going to post negative reviews. And I'm still going to rate books zero stars and state that I don't like stuff. As long as I'm doing it respectfully, I don't really see what's wrong with that.

What do you think? 
Do you post negative reviews?

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