BookMusings: (Re)Discovering Pagan Literature

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Addendum: On Book Review Etiquette

A few months back, I wrote a post about proper book review etiquette. Most of it was common sense stuff: be polite, be fair, point out the good aspects and the bad. Well, I apparently forgot one obvious point of etiquette:

Use the book review space to write an actual review.

It turns out -- and this never would have occurred to me -- that one does not actually have to write a review in the review box. No. It can be used instead to ... oh ... ask for dating advice. Look for a hook-up. Play a furry rpg. Rail against those with different political or religious beliefs.

No, I am not making this up. See Thea Harrison's latest release Falling Light. Mina Carter's Solar Storm. And there are hundreds, probably thousands, more examples.  

Really? Really?! 

If you need dating advice, ask in the appropriate venue. You know, like on a dating site. Or seek out an advice columnist. Or talk to your friends. Heck, see a therapist if you need to do so. Same goes for seeking out a hook-up. All those folks out there playing a furry rpg -- for crying out loud! Build your own website! Use live journal, Facebook, myspace, whatever.

If you are going to use the review space, write a flippin' review! Anything else ... well, it's just plain rude. Impolite. Annoying. Frustrating. Juvenile. And rude!

Grow up. Respect the authors who put so much work into their books and write an actual review; don't skew the rating by giving a book you've never read five stars and then writing a rant about a rival furry clan. Respect the other readers out there in search of honest reviews, that they might responsibly spend their time and money; do you have any idea how annoying it is to see a new book listing, see the dozen four and five star ratings -- only to discover that every single one of them is part of conversation about Susie Q wanting to hook-up with Johnny at the prom?

Yeah. Ugh.

Take your juvenile conversations; obsession with others' sex lives, religion, and politics; and your furry playacting someplace else and leave the book review sites to people who actually read books and want to talk about them.

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Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine Eternal Haunted Summer. She is also the editor-in-chief of Bibliotheca Alexandrina. She thinks it is incredibly unfair that she must work for a living rather than being able to read all day. In her next life, she would like to be a library cat.

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