I follow a large variety of book blogs – blogs that have a slew of positive reviews for almost every single book, ones that vary, and ones that all seem to be honest but extremely negatively critical. I’ve always respected each type of reader, but it recently made me think about those different ways of reading books. How does one reader’s opinion differ and how does it affect the way they enjoy books?
The easy-to-please reader is a reader who can pick up any book and see only the positive aspects in it; in other words, they’re an optimist. Most of the time, they’ll think the book is really well-paced, and that the love triangle is swoon-worthy and nicely done. Almost every book they read will be a 5-star read on Goodreads, and in their review, they will only focus on the positive qualities in the book.
On the other hand, the critical reader will inspect nearly every aspect of the novel and break it down – they will always find some sort of imperfection in the book. They rarely give out 5 star reads, and reviews are almost always written like an essay for class. Most of these critical readers are people who maybe recently left school and are still in that essay/critical/analytical mindset, where they must find the author’s purpose in narration, voice, choice in characters, etc.
You can usually tell if a blogger is the easy-to-please reader or the critical reader if you look at their average rating on their Goodreads profile. For example, the average rating under my profile picture says 4.08 avg. I’d like to think of myself as more on the easy-to-please reader side, simply because I give books mostly 4 stars, but round up to 5 stars if it’s 4.5. Then again, I DNF and don’t rate books if I don’t finish them.
However, I’ve seen bloggers consistently give books 1 or 2 stars for nearly every book they read – the critical reader. When I see this, I ask myself: How is it possible that they enjoy reading if every book is awful and not perfect and thus, not enjoyable? Isn’t reading supposed to be fun? It’s like being able to eat disgusting meals every day and keep doing it because you want to – how does that work?
I envy readers who see the very positive aspects of books. It seems like that would be the best way to go, because the act of reading would be extremely enjoyable then if you loved every book. However, as a book reviewer, it makes it difficult for the audience to gauge what book is actually good, and same goes for the reviewers who are all critical in a negative way. Which books are actually worth skipping?
Truly, I appreciate the readers who are in between. I’m pretty easy to please, but I think reviewers who are in that average rating of 3.4-3.9 are reviewers who I trust the most. Realistically, it makes me happy to see a reader who has an average rating of 3.7-4.3. There are so many sides to how a reader’s opinion affects their reviewing and how trustworthy those thoughts are.
What’s your say on the easy-to-please reader v. the critical reader? What kind of reader are you? How does this idea affect the blogs you read?