It’s been a while since I’ve written a book review of any kind. While I have no problem doing reviews for television, movies and games, books are not on my list anymore. I’m still reading of course. The writer who doesn’t read is basically covering his ears, screaming at the top of his lungs. Very annoying and very close minded. But I don’t want to do book reviews anymore.
I have my reasons.
There are many books out there that could have been great if the author put a spot more effort into it. Or editing that could have used more polish.
Sometimes, the only reason a story suffered was due to production limitations. Other times, maybe the writer needs considerable practice.
One of the interesting aspects about writing, from an economic perspective anyway, is the incentive for writers to cooperate rather than compete. We’re very used to the concept of competition in the marketplace. And fictional books belong to a very, very wide market with many, many alternative products. Why read a book when you can watch a movie, play a game, go drinking with friends, take a vacation, so on? It’s all the same thing: Entertainment.
But cooperation has considerable value as well. Some have argued, and I am inclined to agree on many points, that cooperation is more valuable than competition. As such, we find ourselves pitching for story anthologies rather than striking out on our own. We swap stories for review, proofing and editing. Word of a new anthology or publishing company is passed around.
Your writing rival today maybe your editor tomorrow, so consider that incentive to mind your words and actions.
That is the primary reason why I no longer wishing to judge the work of others, at least not openly and publically. Or at the very least, not in a negative tone. When in doubt, silence is golden.