“The Bookshop has a thousand books, All colors, hues, and tinges, And every cover is a door That turns on magic hinges.” ― Nancy Byrd Turner
Walking into a bookstore with the intention of buying a new book is probably one of the most exhilarating feelings for an avid reader. The problem faced by many of us, however, is deciding which book or books we want to buy.
Perusing the aisles of a bookstore with a completely blank slate normally causes individuals to resort to their particular habits of judging whether or not a book is worth the read. What is your method? Maybe you read only the first page, only the last page, the back of the book or literally judge a book by it’s cover. While this type of book-buying experience can be spontaneous and lead to some great finds, it shocks me that not many individuals resort to book reviews when searching for their next literary escapade.
Book reviews can match readers with the perfect book for them because they offer the genuine and honest literary opinion of a fellow book-lover. Reading a book review provides more insight than just skimming in the bookstore. The writer of the book review gives specific observations about the style of writing, plot, and other important elements that can indicate whether that book would be considered a “good” book in your eyes.
Book reviewers normally spend quality time on their reviews and feel passionately about the literature they are writing about. It seems lucrative that we honor their efforts and utilize the information they are readily providing us with. Taking book-choice advice from other avid readers and writers seems like the obvious choice, however, book reviews still go unjustly underappreciated.
This illogical dismissal of book reviews is exactly what National Book Review Month (NaRMo), created here in Geneseo, aims to combat. Celebrate NaRMo this February by checking out some of the book reviews on the NaRMo website as well as writing and submitting reviews yourself.
While the magical quality of bookstores that Nancy Byrd Turner points out is undeniable, there is also a certain magical quality ingrained in book reviews encouraging us to read. There is nothing more magical than feeling a connection to something a book reviewer has written and, in turn, heading out to purchase that exact piece of literature. As a community of writers and readers, we have to rely on ourselves to make suggestions to one another and ensure that quality literature is properly appreciated. Next time you are searching for a new read, jump down the book review rabbit hole and your next favorite book awaits.