One of my goals for 2018 was to read more books. In the past few years, I’ve gotten so wrapped up in writing and editing that I stopped reading, and I really had no business writing or editing if I wasn’t reading!
With that goal in mind, I’ve been buying all kinds of books this year. My preferred reading is clean romance — it can be supernatural, contemporary, or historical, as long as it’s a sweet story with a happy ending. Not all of those novels are well written, however, and I wanted to see what else is out there, so I decided to do a few things:
- Read outside my genre.
- Read nonfiction.
- Read new authors in my preferred genres.
It hasn’t all been good, though, and that’s where I’m struggling. You see, the more I’ve learned about writing and editing, the more difficult it’s become to find a good book because I see mistakes everywhere. Some authors can make it work; their books aren’t technically perfect, but the stories and characters are so good that I read past the issues and enjoy the book. That’s not usually the case, though. More often than not, there are just so many issues that I can’t finish the book.
That’s put me in a bit of a pickle because I wanted to post reviews about all the books I’m reading, but I also don’t want to say bad things about anyone else’s books (especially now that I have my own book out there and I know how powerful reviews can be).
What do I do? Do I only post good reviews? Do I lie about the books I didn’t like?
I don’t want to be dishonest. I also don’t want to be cruel. And I most certainly don’t want to apologize for having an opinion that differs from everyone else’s.
At this point, I’ve decided to be honest but kind: I’ll let you know what books I’m reading, but I’m only going to review the books I would recommend. If I wouldn’t give the book at least three stars, or if I wouldn’t pass it along with a recommendation to read it, I’m not going to review it.
What do you think — do you read good and bad reviews about books? When you read a bad review, do you assume things about the reviewer or accept that maybe the book has issues that you didn’t see? I’d love to hear what you think about this topic!