Monday, December 14, 2015

Agree to disagree: voicing opinions without being rude

You may not have noticed the slight change in my blogging schedule, but today would usually be the day for reviewing super amazing (or not so amazing) books. I decided this week to switch things up instead and discuss a topic that has recently been brought to my attention.

(Your regularly scheduled review will resume on Thursday.)

First things first. Sometimes we disagree. Period. It happens and it's honestly not that serious.

I have disagreed very strongly with reviews I've seen on blogs that I read daily. I've even given a book a five star review and then seen it with a one or two star review on the blog of one of my best  blogger buddies!

And you know what? That was okay. It wasn't the end of the world. I politely explained that I disagreed, gave a reason or two for my disagreement, went on to also point out some of the areas where we were in agreement, and told her I enjoyed her review anyway and to have a lovely day! This, in my opinion, is the correct way to handle a review you disagree with.

Here are some ways you should not handle a review you disagree with (in my opinion): 
  • » "You're wrong!" 
  • » "If it's so bad, then why did you read/buy it?" 
  • » "Other people liked it, so who cares?"
  • » "If you didn't like it, you shouldn't have reviewed it." 

I have never gotten that riled up over a book review.

I know, it may seem shocking that people would say things that are so unproductive on a book review. It's even more surprising when it comes from fellow book bloggers.

I've encountered these kinds of comments on both Goodreads and on my blog. I'd be lying if I said it didn't ruffle my feathers a little bit every time it happens, although I generally try not to take the bait.

Book reviewing is, by definition, the sharing of opinions about books. If we all agreed on everything, there wouldn't be any point to what we do as reviewers. And if I only shared reviews for books I enjoyed, I'd be a dishonest reviewer. As much as it pains me, I'll continue sharing one and two star reviews when that's the rating I feel should be given.

While I am not saying that my way of polite disagreement is the only way to do things, I am saying that there must be a better way of doing things than completely losing your cool.

If there's a valid reason, such as I missed a plot point, which caused me to dislike a book, by all means, tell me! Even if there's not a valid reason and you just don't agree with me, feel free to let me know and we can engage in polite discussion about it. But if you have nothing better to say that any of those things I've already listed, what's the point?

Is this an issue you've encountered on your reviews? 
How do you handle commenters who seem to be looking for a fight?