#BeCritical Discussion

Usually making a video would happen before a blog post ever does, but as a writer (at least I sort of consider myself one), I get my thoughts out better through writing rather than speaking aloud.

A wonderful booktuber (I'm not being sarcastic), Barry Pierce, brings up really great discussions on things we should be thinking about. Recently, it's the idea being critical towards the books we review. (The hashtag #BeCritical on Twitter is great to look through!) I love it when people bring up really important topics like this, because as @StokedRaspberry (on twitter) mentioned, "it's what makes our community grow."

I love that this, specifically, was brought up because it made me think of how I see negative reviews. (http://youtu.be/zltq5GRLSbE) In this video I take about I how much I hate them... but now I can say that I used to hate them because I didn't like people saying negative things about books I really liked and agreeing with them. In the end, I was bitter that people didn't like my favourite books as much as I did. Now I realize that this is not the right attitude to have because everyone is entitled to their own opinion whether negative or positive. 

As well, #BeCritical has made me think of my own ratings on Goodreads and how true to my enjoyment of the books the ratings are. If you look back at some of my reviews now, and find that my Goodreads rating doesn't match up, that's why. I went through all of my "read" books on Goodreads and made sure that I felt confident about it's rating. 

In the end, I read for pleasure. I don't consider myself a professional reviewer, (although if I'm interested in a book a publisher may want to send me, I will accept it in exchange for an honest review) and so I don't really have to look at any of the books I read, critically. However, I think it's important that if I am willing to put my opinion of a novel out into the world that I look at it critically and completely honest. 

For the most part, I try not to take myself too seriously, thus the many tags I have fun doing on my channel; but I want to make sure my subscribers/followers can trust that what I say about a book is exactly how I feel. Now you can expect equally negative and positive things on the books I read because I never love every single thing about a book.

How to you feel about the #BeCritical movement? Do you just not care? Has it changed your outlook as it has mine? Let's discuss!


  1. It's definitely made me go back over my LibraryThing ratings and look at them again. I'm not a massive 5-starrer, but I do tend to 'look on the positive side' and give a lot of 4-star ratings, often to books that I've enjoyed well enough but that I've completely forgotten within weeks. I think what I'm planning to do now is go through each year's ratings when the new year starts (so I'll look over my 2014 reading this January) and double check that they still hold true.

    I don't review that critically - not any more anyway, I used to review far more thoroughly a year or two ago - but people DO read my mini reviews and look at my ratings, so I don't want that overused 4-stars to become meaningless.

    P.S. Barry's possibly my favourite BookTuber precisely because he pulls no punches. I don't agree with him all the time (he doesn't offend me in the slightest, I just read more widely than he does) but I WILL say that when he gives a book 5 stars, I pay attention and usually end up buying it because I know it's got to be something special!


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