Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reviews under Review

This week's Booking Through Thursday question:
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 never yet in the Long Life of this blog (heh) received a free book to review, but I would like to think that I would give my true opinion in the review. A reviewer who puts up a good review of a book she doesn't like is doing a disservice to her readers.

Of course, since I'm not a professional reviewer and I don't receive books on the condition (or assumption) that I'll review them, I probably wouldn't bother to review a book that I didn't like. I might mention it in passing but I don't know if I'd have the energy to write about something I didn't like. Maybe if I hated it ...

Personally, I think being a professional reviewer would be a pain in the neck. I don't like to finish books on deadline. And I don't like to be in a position where I feel that I must finish a book that I'm not in the mood for. That happens enough by being in two book reading groups.

How do you feel about it?

And while you are pondering, check out this unique performance of Mozart:


h/t Inside the Classics which found it via Andrew Sullivan.