Being a Book Critic: Books I Love VS. Books I Don’t

Posted December 30, 2015 by Christy || 15 Comments

On Being A Book Critic_Books I Love VS. Books I Don't

We all have our on style on how we review and rate books and today I want to talk a little bit about how I rate books that I read.

Basically, I rate based on how a book made me feel.

I’m not a very critical book rater when it comes to books that I love.  In fact, if I’m REALLY enjoying a book, I don’t  notice a lot of little things like grammatical errors, minor details not adding up, etc.  It’s amazing how much I can overlook if I’m invested in the characters and the story and most of the time, I don’t even realize that I’ve overlooked anything until I’m reading reviews after the fact and by that point I really don’t care.

However, if I’m not enjoying a book, that’s when the critic comes out.  If don’t have that entrancement with the story that I’m reading to keep me focused, I notice a ton of things in these situations that bother me.  Little stuff that I wouldn’t necessarily care about in a book that I love, can aggravate the crap out of me in a book that I’m not enjoying and when I’m writing my review and ranting about all the little things that bothered me, my rating just keeps going down and down.

Is this fair?  Probably not, but it’s how I am and how I’ve always been.

Lisa at Lost In Lit talked about this in her post on the 26th! I suggest you all check it out 🙂

What About You?

Are you more critical with books you’re not enjoying?

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15 responses to “Being a Book Critic: Books I Love VS. Books I Don’t

  1. I’m exactly like you! If I’m EXTREMELY into the book then I don’t notice the things that would usually bother me. If I’m simply enjoying the book or feeling meh or it’s annoying me, then woah, inner bitch comes out with like this *snaps fingers*

  2. I’m a little bit like you too. I wrote a post a couple of months ago about how uncomfortable I was with the label “reviewer” because I’m really not one. I tend to talk more about my feelings while reading a book as opposed to being critical.
    My critical side does come out more when I’m reading a book I dislike. It’s like the annoying parts become glaringly obvious for some reason.
    Great post!

  3. I’m a bit like you, too, Christy. Although sometimes I set aside my love for the book and still try to find out the bad points in it so I wouldn’t sound biased in my review. But still, I can’t help but overlook other stuff as well if the book really appeals to me. Then again, it’s my review, so. :p

  4. I completely agree with you. I rate and review more on when I just purely enjoy the book. but if I don;t like it at all i can point out everything that was wrong (in my mind). I really try to stay away from picking a book apart only because I read for the story and the escape. i don’t really care if its gonna be classic material or a real thinker. If it is well then more to love it for but really i just want to escape the real word and make some new book friends.

  5. Omg! That’s me. If I love it for whatever reason I don’t care about a few errors, inconsistencies, or whatever. If I dislike a book though then I can tell you everything wrong with it. Lol! Great post, it’s very interesting how different people rate books.

  6. Great topic, Christy! And I am *so* like you. If I like/love a book, I find myself willing to overlook a lot. When there is some element of the book that I love (a plot line, a character, a device/trope) I will give the boo.k overall a lot of leeway. On the flipside, if I’m not enjoying a book, it’s like a free-for-all. All of a sudden I’m nit-picking everything. LOL Like you said, not fair… but there it is.

  7. I think most people do that with anything, wether they’re reviewing it or not. It’s just how we see things I guess. We remember a lot of tedious things that make us pull our hair out, but if it’s great from the beginning it’s like this shining glory haha. That’s what I think happens with people and they’re nostalgia. BUT I will admit that I’m way nitpicking when I dislike the book, but for the most part I try to keep everything even.

    I always look for the same things when reviewing and reading a book, so it usually isn’t a huge problem.

  8. I don’t know if it is fair but I feel the same way. I always try to judge the development and writing, but honestly, when the connection I have with the book is too strong, I tend to overlook the mistakes, even when I see them because if the book made me feel good at this point of overlooking minor stuff, I give a high rate.

  9. Yes, I am definitely more critical with the books that I am not enjoying. Though I’m pretty critical of books I do enjoy too. Maybe that’s a good trait, maybe a bad. I don’t know. I always figured that if I ever do write, I am good at recognizing what mistakes people make.

  10. I love this! I definitely tend to criticize books more when I’m generally not enjoying them. If I just really LIKE the book, I’ll keep reading and reading without thinking too hard about it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it! Books and reviews and reading are all subjective 🙂

  11. I am absolutely the same way! I don’t even CARE if there are flaws, I will rate however I feel. I WILL point out the flaws, if they are glaring, but I also will say that they didn’t bother me because I was so entranced in the book. That way a critical reader can make their decision, and I have done my duty, but also, I can still fangirl and flail about the book 😉

    And I am SO with you on bad books. EVERYTHING becomes offensive to me. Every little thing. And that is why my 5 star reviews are so incredibly short, but my one star reviews are novellas 😉 Good thing there’s more 5s than 1s, or I’d never get anything done 😀

  12. “I don’t even realize that I’ve overlooked anything until I’m reading reviews after the fact and by that point I really don’t care.” <— Yes! I'm the same way when I really love a book, then when someone points something out in a review, it's like 'oh yeah, I guess, but I didn't even notice.' But when I'm not enjoying a book, I get picky. As a writer and editor, it's hard for me to turn off my inner editor at times, but it's much worse if I'm not enjoying the book and then I just pick it to death.

  13. I will admit to be overly critical to books that I dislike. Once I find one major thing wrong with a book, a lot of other annoying things about the book also start to bombard me. I try to be fair with my reviews by always acknowledging both the good and the bad of the novel. No matter how bad a book is, there has to be something good about it, so I try to find a silver lining.
    But, sometimes I do not notice anything wrong with the books that I love. For example, a lot of people hate on the Harry Potter series because everyone treats it as it is perfect. I love the Harry Potter series and I have not really noticed any problems with it. I know that there has to be some kind of mistake or something, no matter how small, wrong with it, but most people, including myself, choose to keep the series on its golden pedestal.

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