Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Reviewing the Early Reviewer Program

I have been a part of the Librarything Early Review Program for almost five years. I sign up for books I think I would like to read, the publisher sends me one of them, I read it, write a review, and post it on their website and my own (if I choose).  I love this program and have been sent some great books over the years and also some real dogs.

On a few occasions, I never received the promised book, but for the most part every book arrived, pristine and new and I have read and reviewed every single one.  I usually receive memoirs and special interest books: Bonk, The Happiness Equation, Situations Matter.  I've read about gastronomy in France and Middle Eastern CIA agents, travel memoirs, self-improvement and cooking and eating.  I've learned a lot about subjects I never would have picked up a book on, and I have become better at evaluating writing.

I try to refrain from reading other reviewers until I have written my own, and am surprised when someone likes a book I hated or vice versa.  I have discovered that I should never request a mystery because I don't like mysteries, and once I looked past my own personal disdain for e-books and put in a request for an interesting e-book.

In the beginning I would get skipped over for a few months in a row but I have received a book pretty solidly every month for the past two years. I have gathered an impressive array of publishers proofs.  I think they know I am good for the review.

I stopped to write this review of the program, which I love, because I finally met my match.  I actually got a book a couldn't review or read.  Suffice to say it was a book in a genre I am not particularly interested in and have no experience reading.  I did not feel I could fairly evaluate it at all and I honestly did not think I could finish the book.   I have learned a lesson in reading the book descriptions more closely.

I think I will send the book to a friend who will like it and ask her to read and review it if she likes.  Sound good?  What do you do when faced with a book you should read, but can't?

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