Do you think there are readers who post reviews for books they did not finish? Like, they just did not like it, so they didn't read the entire book and then just posted a negative review on that portion. Do you feel that it is ethical to only read half a book and then post a review? I'm just curious. I mean, some books don't completely unfold until halfway through, right?
I put up some new review policies on my web site recently, and one of the things I ask for is the first chapter of the book. I'm hoping this will help me weed out books that are badly written or don't capture my interest before I even accept a review copy. I don't exactly feel obligated to finish a book I've accepted for review, but I feel bad when I don't, so I'm hoping this will help. (I'll let you know! :) )
That's a great idea Christine! I know I've started reading some free Ebooks, that I did not review, and only got part of the way through the first chapter because of the tremendous amount of errors. As a writing instructor, I can overlook some minor errors, but I just can't turn off the editing button and continue reading if the errors ruin the story. I don't think I could honestly review one like that. I would have to return it to the author/ publisher with a nice note telling them I couldn't review it because...
Ethan, I think I would have to do the same. If I accepted a book for review, I would want to give a full review and in order to do that, I would have to push through to the end. There are some genres I don't like to read, but if it's well written and a good story, I think I could review it. If I couldn't do it, then I would have to return it. Maybe the key there is to do what Christine suggested and have them submit the first chapter. That's a really good idea!
I'm about 1/4 of the way through a new one that seriously needs an editor. But in this case, I'm enjoying the story and story-telling (so far). The first chapter only had one or two errors, too -- I think they must have picked through it more than the rest. I'm still reading, but I keep trying to figure out, in the back of my mind, what I'm going to say about the book overall. (This is a new one for me -- most of the time when the typos and grammar errors are this bad, the story is just as bad, and I can easily put it down!)
Well, I think I would begin, just like an instructor, with the good points of the "story-telling." You and I have seen the looks on writing students' faces when they see negative comments. It's easy to be tactful and suggest that the author send the book to an editor it the next section of the review. Chances are with that many mistakes it's self published, so it can be edited and republished.
I think that's always the way to go when reviewing. Find the good points, discuss them first, then tell your readers about the bad points of the book. That's an honest review that can be easily rated.
I just struggled with this issue myself. I decided to to let my followers know that I did not finish the book and why. I didn't rate it and I didn't call it a 'review'. I think, as a blogger, I have just as much responsibility to write negative reviews or note that I did not finish a book as I do in writing a review on a book I did finish.
I tried to politely explain why the book just wasn't for me. I think that is fair. We can't love all the books we read.
I finish my books but if I did not, I would also explain why. I had one book that kept falling apart and did put that in my review. The book was good and I found other reviewers had the same problem.
I'm sure many do this. Like Christine said it's not unethical if you explain why you gave up on the book in the first place. A review doesn't have to tell the story but it can explain why is the book worth reading or why it's not. I do think it's unfair if you review a book that you know you didn't finish reading, but unfortunately we can't always know who does this. Reviews are helpful but I don't place everything on them if I want to read a book I will for I prefer to judge for myself. In due time I will know if the book is worth reading or not.
I think it is fine provided you say explicitly that you have not completed it....
Yes I believe It is a review even if you didn't finish the book. I didn't finish it because it was a horrible book. And I feel like my opinion should be heard on that portion of the book.
What should I do, force myself to read a book that I don't want to read. That's like watching a movie, I don't want to watch or eating somewhere i don't like to it.
If you cant hook me within the first few chapters or its poorly written with plain characters, there is just nothing I can do. But I have been thinking (now more since I read a few of these posts) that I should give a neutral set of stars to a book that I don't finish rather then a one! Sorry i wont continue reading if I don't like it, no matter if it does get good in the end.
I agree. I know this is going to sound harsh, but I'm speaking honestly as a reader. I don't have any obligations to an author to finish a book. The way I look at it is the author has an obligation to me to write a good book- a book that hooks me from the beginning, that's well written, etc. I have 4 years worth of books on my Goodreads TBR list and that's not even all the books I own. I don't feel the need to waste my time on a book I don't like- unless it's a classic or a book club read.
If I feel like a book was badly written and that's why I had to stop reading, I do review and rate it. If I feel like it was just my mood, then I'll put it to the side and try again later.
But in your review, do you tell the reader that you didn't finish it and why?
Thanks for all of the input. I was just curious whether it happens, or not, and how to handle reviewing if I decide to do some.