Why So Positive?

Hey cHEwY gum gums

Hope everyone is safe, sane and staying positive. It’s easy to delve into the doom and gloom, but I always try to look on the bright side. It’s how I’ve been tackling my book reviews on my YouTube Channel (plugplugplug). Instead of giving the books a rating, I went down the path of ‘5 reasons why you’ll love…’ route, highlighting things that I enjoyed about the book. It’s a format that gives me scope to talk about whatever I like.

So why don’t I use a rating system? Well, it’s honestly because the books I review are from friends and acquaintances, and I don’t want to hurt their feelings. I want to promote these books. I choose to focus on their strengths. No book is perfect. Everyone’s tastes are different. Every book review is subjective and some can be quite polarising. It’s not common to see either scalding one star reviews or overly glowing five star reviews. Actually if you want to see my own reviews, check out my own Goodreads profile hehe.

Then again, book reviews are helpful for people to make decisions, so I respect the rating system. Life is too short to read dud books. When I used to visit school libraries in real life (hohoho), I would sneak a peek at Magpies, the Aussie librarian magazine, to see book reviews. Most of them would hover around 3 to 4 stars, with the occasional five stars. I did see one star review, which simply read Avoid. I’ll never tell haha. But most of the time, their reviews are doing the same thing as I’m doing, highlighting the themes and good parts of the book.

It’s funny because I tend to be more critical in movie and game reviews. I’m happy to rip Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker to shreds haha. But I do feel a little weird to do that to books, especially kids books. That’s not to say that I love every book I read. Some are better than others. But given that 2020 is a battle for discoverability, I want to give a signal boost for new book releases.

I’ll continue to review books on my YouTube Channel and Goodreads, I enjoy the process and I love the joy it spreads across the social media feeds. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how a book is reviewed. If it speaks to you and you love it, then that’s the only rating that counts.

Let me know how you review or recommend books out there.


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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