Rendering Book Reviews Meaningless


When I was in college, we had this really great library of film.  Included was a set of reference books of movie reviews so I could read reviews of movies I’d seen. It always amazed me how different the viewpoints could be.  The reviewer wouldn’t like a film that I’d immensely enjoyed.

Social media’s made reviews a flashpoint.  Netflix recently dropped their existing system in favor of a simple up or down.  Amazon is still struggling with this issue and has been trying to figure out how keep fake reviews.  But one of the biggest headaches is the five star system.  The selection of the stars is based on personal taste, and all the readers have different definitions!

Anyway, I’m in a social media business group.  The owner, like most business people, did a book on the system they’re selling.  All pretty routine.  I bought the book, I read it.

Then the owner pops up into the group with a post about her first one star review.  So it’s become this big event, and to her credit, she was trying to use it as a teaching point to not let negativity get you down.

(Uh, that’s why you don’t read the review.)

The problem: She called the reviewer a “hater.”

Thud.

Another person popped up and said that if she did research into who had given that one star review, she bet they would be a negative person who hates everything.

Double thud.

When the word hater was used, even in jest, I was very glad I hadn’t done a review.   I’d have probably given it three stars.

I don’t like the way hater is bandied about today.  People seem to use it when you don’t give an opinion they want to hear, which renders any opinion pretty meaningless.  I enjoyed reading those movie reviews in colleges because they were opinionated, and sometimes I had to see a film to find out if I agreed or disagreed.  I’ve bought books for the same reason.

6 thoughts on “Rendering Book Reviews Meaningless

  1. Harvey Stanbrough

    Agreed. Completely. For me, anyone who uses a word like “hater” evokes thoughts of the dumbing down of America and an image of a 9 year old standing on a street corner, pointing and yelling at his or her antagonists across the street who are about the same age. They’re bullies who want to leave no room for argument, so they use one word, then shut off all receptors in their mind.

    I much prefer a world in which citizens have learned to form and use actual original thoughts rather than opting for one-word, self-image-identifying bits of fluff like “hater”. Today when I hear that word, flung in my direction or otherwise, it’s all I can do not to laugh. So most of the time I do. While pointing, etc. (grin)

    Liked by 2 people

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