Monday 1 November 2010

Persnickety Snark Survey Results - Reviews

Readers were posed the question - what would make my reviews a better reading experience?

  • I think your reviews are great right now. I can't really think of anything else to suggest since they're well-written and I like that you're honest in your reviews.
  • I like that your reviews are honest.
  • I love your reviews. I've read several books that you have suggested here.
  • Sometimes i can't tell if you personally enjoyed the book - occasionally you'll review the book and talk about themes, quality, etc but i still can't tell if you recommend it as a book you'd pay money for, or if it's a book you'd recommend reading if it happens to be @ your local library (if you get what I mean).
  • Your reviews rock!
  • If it wasn't too much more work, I wouldn't mind reading your own plot summaries as well.
  • If you are thinking of a ratings system for a book e.g. 5 stars, or marks out of 10, I wouldn't prefer this. It is a reductive for a book to be labelled with a single number, and it's always pretty clear what you think in your reviews. I value your words, more than the number you give a book.
  • Nothing really - I think they are really well done.
  • I already really like the way you write them and they always seem to capture my attention and keep me interested.
  • I'm not sure, I like your reviews the way they are :) I wouldn't mind a rating system but that is no must for me.
  • I think your reviews are fine. They're honest and funny and when I've read the book I usually have a similar opinion to you or at least you point out things that I agree with. I trust your reviews and wouldn't hesitate reading a book you said was awesome and I wouldn't feel uncomfortable skipping a book you say sucks.
  • I think they're great! Maybe a list of your personal top faves (even just the top faves from this year) so I have a quick reference when I'm picking new books out at the library.
  • I think that the way you review is pretty good, actually. I can't think of anything I would change about it.
  • Actually, I like the reviews as they are. You're professional and honest.
  • I'm not really sure how to answer this question, because I legitimately love your reviews. They're very well written, well thought out, and of course, the staple honesty is always a plus for me. I'm open to change, but I'd be just as happy if your reviews stayed the same.
  • I'd love to see you try a hand at writing your own book synopses, especially since I think the way you write them has the potential to support your review's overall tone! But it is totally not necessary.
  • I would like to see your own summaries of books rather than those on Goodreads etc. I know from experience that it's not always possible, due to time or just a book that is difficult to summarise, but I personally prefer them.
  • Love them! One of my favourite sites to read reviews on, always honest and (makes me insanely jealous) amazingly well written.
  • I like the content you already have and the way you write, so nothing there. The layout is so much easier to read now so that is a big plus.
  • I think you are great the way you are so no need to change :D
  • Nothing - your reviews are awesome. (Wow. That's not helpful.) (But they are.)
  • Nothing, really. I think you do a good job of bringing yourself into them and showing that books have their flaws while still having good things with them. I read your reviews because I think they are amazing, and I don't have anything I'd feel would enhance them further.
  • Nothing, i love your honesty and realism present in your reviews.
  • Nothing they are great as they are.
  • Their sheer honesty.
  • You are by far one of my favourite bloggers thanks to your critical reviews and very informative content. I'd love to see more interviews, but beyond that just keep up the good work!
  • I think your reviews are pretty great as they are.
  • I find them very long. If they were shorter, but still did the great job of telling the reader the important parts of the book. I would enjoy and read more of you reviews.
  • I think that your reviews are very well thought out and honest. I don't think that a rating system is necessary because it is often very difficult to put a book on a specific scale. I think that your opinions and observations are enough of a rating.
  • I check your blog about twice daily and have gotten numerous titles from your reviews. I always look forward to the next book and I have yet to be let down. :) Thank you for taking the time and effort to do this.
  • Otherwise, just keep being your opinionated self! I like that you don't like everything, and that you really give your opinions some thought."
  • Take reader requests.
  • I don't think you should change the way you write your reviews, especially since your honesty is the main reason I visit this blog. Plus, you have this INSANE ability to articulate everything I feel about a certain book into words that makes your reviews so interesting to read. Honesty is definitely the best policy.
  • They are honest and I like that, so that's all I need.
  • I enjoy reviews about books that are not as well known and have not received buzz from the blogoshpere
  • I like them the way they are.
  • I really love reading your reviews because I know you won't sugar-coat a book you didn't enjoy, but will rave about those you did. A bad book is a bad book, and I like hearing your reasoning as it makes me think twice if I really want a book or not, or at least gives me some sort of warning of what to expect. (Plus, I'll consider other blogs reviews too to make a decision...) I also like how you're reviews can give dig deep into the plot, so really, I don't think there's anything to change about your reviews!
Adele's Response:
  • I have attempted to write my own synopsis once since this survey and I will do so again.  But I am lazy so it will take some conditioning.
  • Ratings - I added a specific question about whether or not people needed them and it slightly bent toward to the 'no'.  Like one respondent stated, I believe my reviews state what I think.  But alternatively another respondent said that sometimes they can't figure out what I thought.  It is something I need to think about but I hate the idea of narrowing a book down to a number.  How about a degree of difficulty?  :)
  • I have been overwhelmed with the positive responses.  It means an incredible amount and makes me want to dig deeper and make you laugh more often.
  • came up time and time again.  If that's what this website is known for then that's the best thing I could ask for.  Thank you for appreciating it!
  • Reader requests?  Love it.  But it is a matter of accessibility and finance here in Japan.  Thinking about how I could get this to work - great suggestion.
  • As for my personal faves....during the last ten days of the year I have a feature called the FIVE challenge where I list five books each day within different categories - favourite YA, favourite contemp, favourite blogs, favourite covers etc.  It's a ten day celebration of what I think is fantastic so make sure you swing by then :)
Thanks everyone for taking part in the survey.  

(Note - I haven't touched these responses with the exception to some typos and removing comments unrelated to the question (they will be posted later.)  The intent of the respondent has not be altered.)


Carla said...

This made me GIGGLE. Because I read them and recognised mine immediately ha

Nomes said...

mine is there too, haha :) You really do a fantastic job.

on a side note - half the time when I come here it causes my computer to freeze up and then have a spaz attack while loading your blog (since the newer layout). Kind of weird as it doesn't do that for any other site/blog (?)

BookChic said...

Something I've been doing lately is an Overall sentence or two at the end of the review which tries to sum up my thoughts on the novel. I have the same problem sometimes of my reviews not getting how I feel about a book across really. I find the Overall section helps. Maybe you could try that?