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Why No Bad Book Reviews?

December 6, 2007 - Amy Phelps
Hello, and welcome to my blog! For first-time readers, welcome! I am the Parent Magazine editor and the book columnist for the Parkersburg News. I read a variety of genres so a lot will be covered. I plan on posting my columns here after they run in the newspaper in case they're missed in the week they run, but also to write a bit more about what books are coming out, books that are on the shelf that are a good read, my favorite books, and whatever else you readers out there suggest.

For this first post, I thought I'd address a question a friend of mine asked a while ago. She asked why I don't write about how bad a certain book is. There's a couple of reasons for this.

Number one, there are ALOT of books out there. Go walk into Borders or the library. Check out the sheer number of books that are released every month in the many genres. That's a lot more than movie releases, especially considering the limited variety we get locally at the big screen. So based on that, why do I want to spend precious time and space talking about a book that is bad? Wouldn't you rather I talk about a book that is good, a book you should be reading?

Number two, if a book just doesn't appeal to me or there's something about it that bothers me enough to take me out of the story, I don't finish it. I couldn't give it a proper review, especially if I didn't make it past the first chapter. Yes, it is part of my job to review books, but when I have a stack of books and the one I'm reading is bad, I'd rather skip on to one that is good.

In a related comment, I don't always review the "big name" books. Why? You're not going to have a problem finding the next Stephen King book, but maybe you might have overlooked the recent Ted Dekker. Of course you've heard of Danielle Steel, but what about Naomi Bellis? I'd rather turn you on the great authors out there that may not have the biggest name recognition (yet.)

So pull up a chair, a latte, sit back and enjoy a book. And if you have any suggestions for things you'd like to see in future columns or a topic you'd like me to address, feel free to comment.


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