Honesty – Booking Through Thursday

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This week’s question is suggested by JM:

I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.

Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’™t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?

I have received a few review books and have found it quite difficult to deal with them when I didn’t like them, but I hope that I have always been fair in my criticism. I wouldn’t want to trash any writer’s work, but I certainly don’t think that because someone has sent me a free book that I should give it a positive review, but I do feel obliged to review it.

I’ve received books through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Programme but I have only requested books that look as though I would like them, after all why would I want to read something I don’t like? I don’t finish books I’m not enjoying and I don’t write about those books.  But if it’s a free book for review I do feel it’s only fair to read all of it before expressing my opinion. There have been a few books I’ve received that I haven’t particularly liked and I have found myself reluctant to read them, let alone write about them. There are many, many books I want to read and not enough time to read them all.

10 thoughts on “Honesty – Booking Through Thursday

  1. I don’t finish a book I don’t enjoy; and like you, I don’t write about it either.
    I wish I’ve more time to read the review copies, besides my own books that is. 😉

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  2. I agree with you. I, too, don’t finish books I don’t like (I used to not be able to do this) and if I am set to review one, I’ll ensure I finish it to give it a fair chance. So many good books, so little time!

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  3. I’ve only actually had one ARC to review so far. It was not an easy read and several times I wanted to abandon it but, as you said, I felt obliged to finish it. In the end I was glad I’d persevered because it was quite a good book but with a couple of major faults. I hope I was fair in my review, and the author and and publisist were quite happy as it turned out. It put me off reviewing free books a bit though. I didn’t like not being able to stop reading something that was hard going, even though I ended up liking the book. So in that respect it was quite good discipline I suppose but I still haven’t taken any more of the review books I’ve been offered since.

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  4. I agree. Just this week, I opened a book and knew almost immediately that it was not my kind of book. I read a bit to confirm that thought, and the following day, contacted the publisher, expressing my feelings. She wrote back that she totally understood my position. I will not read nor review that one. However, if I have spent my time reading a book I will review it. Please come see my answer.

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  5. I competely agree. I’ve become very selective about the books I accept for review. If I’m going to invest time and effort in reading and reviewing, I’d like it to be a positive experience all round.

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