The interview touched on what a fair review is, what an author wants from a review, and the delicate balance between being honest and being respectful. It's a good read for book bloggers, reviewers, authors, and really anyone that's interested in reviews of any kind.
What struck me as being left out of the conversation is audience. Reviews aren't primarily for the author nor are they primarily for the reviewer; they are for potential readers. One thing the author Greg interviewed couldn't see from the perspective of a guy with a book to sell is that calling a book mediocre is a great service to readers, who have to martial their time, money, and attention.
I have to admit I often forget that most people who read my reviews haven't, nor probably will they ever, read the books I am writing about. This frames the task quite a bit differently than how I normally approach it, which is to babble incoherently about stuff I noticed. The first and perhaps most important realization is that virtually everyone who reads my review is not me. This might seems obvious, but for many reviewers, your humble ape included, the expression of personal reaction is foremost in our their minds.
This led me to the idea of the "reader-centered" review, a review that exists primarily to serve readers. It seems to me that this way of thinking affect many aspects of writing a review, but my theorization here is still in a larval state.
So I put it to you: what do you thinking of this idea of "reader-centered" reviewing? Does it seems interesting? What about a review serves a reader? What kinds of reviews do not serve the reader?
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