Very recently, I read a discussion post by a blogger who was wondering why her reviews get the least amount of comments on her book blog and a tweet by another who had observed the same and felt a bit sad about it.
Have you observed the same on your own blogs? If so, why do you think people have a hard time commenting on reviews?
This happens to my own review-type posts, too, but I can't blame my readers because I don't usually comment on reviews, either. (LOL!) Based on my own experience, I'd say they hold back because they're not familiar with the books being reviewed or think that my strongly expressed opinions mean that the case is closed and that I don't welcome further discussion. (Sometimes they're right . . . and sometimes I have a chip on my shoulder that makes me sad when no one wants to knock it off. LOL!)
I'm not sure if I know why, but I don't comment too much either. I'll admit, I get a good amount of comments on mine, but there are some that I just don't know why people aren't commenting on.
I think some people feel dumb saying "I agree" or "sounds like a good book" that they just don't say anything. I think also, some people just don't think to comment. They read it, take it in, and move on.
That's true. There are times when all I can think of to say is, "Thanks for the helpful review" . . . but I don't like it when people say nothing but that to me, so I don't say it to them. =P
I also suspect there's something "closed" about the book review form that doesn't encourage comments, but I have yet to flesh that idea out.
Yes, I know! =) Writing nothing but "Nice review" in the combox is like writing only "Have a nice summer" in someone's yearbook. LOL!
Sometimes, when I'm feeling extra friendly, I say, "Thanks for the helpful review," and add a line or two about why it was helpful to me. But that doesn't happen often . . .
I skim reviews for the most part. When a review is helpful and after reading the review, I put the book on my To Read List, I let the blogger know that their opinion helped me want to read the book. One reason I skim is because I want opinions--without spoilers. I look for reviews that tell me about the author a little - strong prose, great characters, riveting plot - and leave the details to be enjoyed. Given the number of reviews I actually read, I'd say I comment more than half the time.
That's just my experience, though. ;)
I skim the discussion boards, too. This was a great question and I've enjoyed the responses.
Find something tangentially related but chatty to say? ;-)
I do that under the reviews of bloggers I'm already friends with. For instance, one of them recently reviewed a novel about zombies that she said wasn't really about the mayhem, but about the politics and drama among the survivors of a zombie apocalypse . . . and in the combox I asked, "Have you seen Day of the Dead? Your review sounds a little like my impression of that movie . . ." But I admit I wouldn't try this strategy with bloggers I'm not familiar with.
Thanks for seeing the joke! =D
I started this thread because discussion is the main attraction blogging has for me. One reason I don't do a lot of book reviews is that they don't get many comments, and so I feel they're a waste of time. Am I just in the minority?
RYCJ, I think you're right to say reviews are for authors. Reviews are the feedback a lot of authors want to get: the answer to each one's burning question, "What did you think of my book???"
But does that mean they're also for readers? Yes, they have the functional purpose of helping us decide whether an unfamiliar title is worth it or not, but "Should I read this next???" is a closed Yes/No question rather than a similar burning question that will ignite a discussion.
That's true, isn't it? There doesn't seem to be a lot to say to a review. I wonder why that is . . .
I tend to comment on other people's reviews of books that I've read, and I've had some great discussions that way. I find that more obscure books tend to get fewer comments, mostly because it's hard to discuss something you haven't read. I do enjoy comparing my thoughts about a book to someone else's, and I'm likely to read books that other people with similar tastes to my own have enjoyed/reviewed.