What exactly is it?
Is it a random, personal judgment of a book, an “I liked it. I didn’t like it” response?
Is it a professional evaluation of a book written by someone steeped in literary knowledge?
Or is it a casual evaluation?
How does one become a book reviewer?
Who are they?
Some publications provide book reviews anonymously. Why?
Other publications always give the name of the reviewer. Why?
Is a book review a buying guide?
Is it written with a specific reader in mind? A teacher? A librarian? Historian? Parent?
If a book review is written for a specific group, is it relevant for another kind of group?
Is it meant to provide judgment upon the writer?
Can/should a writer learn from book reviews?
What constitutes a well written book review?
Is there such a thing as a badly written book review?
Can you have a well written review of a “bad” book?
Or a badly written review of a “good” book?
Are all book reviews equal?
And those blurbs—usually found at the back of a book—are they reviews? Sometimes they are. Sometimes they are not. Can you tell the difference?
And when you read responses to books on the internet, on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and any number of blogs—which category of review— as listed above—if they are reviews—are they?
Are there good book reviewers, poor book reviewers?
Should you, the reader, learn to review book reviews?
How should writers respond to reviews? As a writer, I have heard writers say, “I never read reviews.” I have heard other writers say, “I read every review.” Then again, “I only read reviews in….” and they name a specific publication. I have had editors tell me, “Never read reviews on, or by….”
Yes, consider the book review.