09 August 2012


I've come to the conclusion that discussing the supposedly relaxing hobby that is reading online has become something of a minefield of late.

There is the minefield that is online copyright. Once upon a time I would probably have included a minefield-like image somewhere in this post for your delectation, but I honestly don't even want to go there until I get my head around the do's and don'ts...

And then there is the minefield of online behaviour... Do I ignore author online behaviour entirely? Decide that there is a line and if an author crosses said line then their books are no longer included on my TBR list? And where is that line? It is too aggressive marketing? Is it aggressively defending one's book from reviewers? (Is it naive of an author to think that everyone who reads their book will be happy with it?) And the opposite side of that coin is reader/reviewer behaviour...where is our line? Should we not rate a book without explaining our rating? And what should go into a review? Do we only talk about the book? All of which leads to the discussion at GoodReads on the GoodReads Review and Author Guidelines. And what exactly is a 'quality' review?

For me, I try and explain in my reviews (if one can call them that) what did and/or didn't work for me. But sometimes I just don't have the time and there is no review. (I'm wondering if maybe in those cases I shouldn't rate a book at all?) The bottom line is I try not to say anything that I wouldn't say in person... As for authors and other reviewers, I don't like attacks. But then that's coming from someone who doesn't like confrontation full stop.

It all makes my head hurt. Is anyone else confused working out what's what and where the line is, or it is just me?


  1. I seem to spend most of my time trying to work out where that line is too, Orannia. I try to be respectful at all times whilst still being honest. Sometimes that isn't enough for some people, but most of the time I muddle along OK.

    As for the images thing. I don't want to encroach on anyone's copyright, but it's so difficult to determine what is copyright free and what isn't. I suppose I ought to go through my site and delete a load of pictures but it's such a huge job after 4 years of blogging that I keep putting it off!

  2. From where I sit, the line is wherever you need/want it to be.

    Some people are very comfortable being snarky, cynical, curmudgeonly, blunt, outright rude--you name it, there is someone out there who thrives on that. And others thrive on being unrelentingly cheerful and happy and positive and "nice"--in whichever interpretation of the word they like.

    And yet others must work their way through stages until they find their own voice so they can thrive in their own way.

  3. *hugs* Just muddle along as best we can, I 'spose. :)

  4. I'm going to continue as I do. Rate books sometimes without a review and sometimes review if I feel like it. I rate and/or review for myself and friends anyway so I don't particularly care if strangers on GR find it helpful or not, frankly.

  5. Aren't you the one who told me readers should never have to justify their rating? :) GR has been ridiculous these last few weeks. I enjoy the site, but it's turning into a Valley of the Dolls atmosphere over there.

  6. Jenre - muddling along is exactly what I feel like I'm doing ATM :) As for the copyright, I have pretty much deleted every image from my blog! It took a g e s! It's determining what the rules are that is frustrating!

    azteclady - it is trying to find your voice. My problem is I worry about offending people so much I sometimes wonder if I'm stifling myself. Something to munch on when I can't sleep :) And we won't mention images :)

    Chris - I'm definitely muddling :)

    Ivan - TBH I'd rather not rate at all. (And I find it hard to articulate myself generally, so trying to explain my response to a book is actually rather stressful.) The thing is I know those rating and reviews affect authors. *SIGH* I suppose with discussing books authors will end up being involved, but I sometimes wish they weren't...if that makes sense :)

    Tasha - did I? I can't remember that! *blushes* *Googles Valley of the Dolls* That sounds like a rather depressing book...