The book reviews that make it to this blog post are the ones I enjoyed enough to share, and books that, for the most part, I think I’d share with the blog’s primary intended audience – young readers.
My Contact Me page has everything I’d like prospective inquirers to know before asking me to consider reviewing their books. But people don’t seem to get it it. Am I not clear enough? How can I be clearer than this?
I’ve read books I didn’t fully enjoy from people whose kinship I cherish. I was honest about the areas I felt made me uncomfortable, and tailored my audience/age-range recommendation accordingly. But what irritates me most is when I’m approached by strangers – who surely acquired my contact information from the page containing this information – who ask me to read books that outright disrespect my stated preferences. Nobody’s sent me outright adult-oriented literature, but I’ve been given gory, disturbing novels, fiction with theological motifs, and novels with strong, vulgar language. It’s almost like there’s an intentional conspiracy to make me read stuff that makes me uncomfortable.
Are you a mean-spirited prankster who thrives off the misery of others and oppresses the hypersensitive?
Do you feel it’s your duty to liberate the killjoy prudes of the online bookish community?
Do you believe it’s your mission as writers to save my soul from eternal damnation because I don’t subscribe to your religion?
But such speculation borders on paranoid. Heck, it might just be paranoid. Either way, you really should know better. I’ve kept silent out of politeness on plenty of matters, but certainly not this one.
I’ve been raised to always give people the benefit of the doubt and try to judge favorably until proven otherwise. Do I always? No. But I’m going to try here and now. I’m going to assume that people simply don’t read my policy on book reviews before they approach me, because it’s poorly presented somehow. That said, what can I do to make it better and more palatable to people who probably see yet another blog that’s willing to do book reviews and are in a rush to contact ’em all?