Even though I don’t give ratings in my own blog reviews, I always look at the one-star reviews of books I want to read on Amazon or Goodreads and sometimes wonder what compels people to write them. The number or proportion of these one-star reviews and the amount of venom contained within them – justified or otherwise – can often determine whether or not I am likely to buy the book. As with the purchase of any product, it seems natural to seek out what the worst case scenario might be in order to evaluate the risk of potential disappointment.
Tag Archives: Amazon
Set in small town Ohio in 1977, ‘Everything I Never Told You’ by Celeste Ng tells the story of sixteen year old Lydia Lee who is found dead at the bottom of a nearby lake in a suspected suicide. Her Chinese-American father James and her Caucasian mother Marilyn are completely distraught as are her older brother Nathan and her younger sister Hannah. However, one of them may know more than they are letting on about what really happened to Lydia before she died. Continue reading
For the printed book purist, the mere suggestion of libraries lending eBooks conjures up images of empty shelves, redundant librarians and tumbleweeds drifting across abandoned buildings. However, leaving aside sentimental arguments about the superiority or inferiority of the different formats, the reality is that many libraries now offer a selection of eBooks available for download. Although eBook lending is growing, several questions need to be asked about the future development of this new technology. Most importantly, with so many libraries under significant financial pressure, are eBooks actually worth the investment?
This week, I found a very interesting post by Amanda Nelson on an awesome website called Book Riot which lists the sort of things that a stereotypical book snob might say and then a “translation” for what they really mean. It’s a very humorous and tongue-in-cheek piece which isn’t meant to be taken very seriously but it got me thinking about book snobbishness and which statements are the sort of things that I might say…
E-reading isn’t REAL reading. = I need my personal preferences about my hobby to be validated as the only right and moral way do to a thing.
Not guilty. I read printed books and I read eBooks. As I have said elsewhere, e-readers are great for travel but I still read a lot of printed books. Continue reading
This week is Independent Booksellers Week. An interesting article in The Guardian yesterday outlined five reasons to support your local indie bookshop. In order from worst to best, they are:
5) To maintain property prices in your area: Maybe this is because I am neither a Daily Mail reader nor a property owner, but this seems like a very strange reason to support an indie bookshop. I suppose there is a tenuous link in that independent shops are generally found in nice places to live. However, it isn’t really at the top of my list of priorities…
Here’s one way of preventing Amazon’s hegemony over book sales: in France, book prices are fixed by law so they cost the same amount whether you buy them online, in a chain shop like Fnac or in a small independent bookshop. When I was living in Paris during my year abroad, the stingy student side of me was a bit miffed that it was impossible to get new books at a discount. On the other hand, it means that there are still a lot of independent bookshops which are managing to stay open (about 400 in Paris) and that can only be a good thing. Continue reading
The eBook debate continues to rage incessantly and provoke some very important questions. Is the controversy less about the value of books and more about the development of modern technology? Who are the winners and the losers in this supposed eBook revolution? Does it really matter what format books are available in? For many people, it certainly does.
Although I don’t actually own an e-reader yet, I do plan to get a Kindle soon (hopefully for Christmas this year) after borrowing my sister’s one earlier this summer. I will be using it almost exclusively for when I’m commuting by train as it is the practical side of e-readers which appeals to me the most.