Goodreads: I’m starting to not understand.

After seeing several references to Fifty Shades of Grey, and checking it out on Amazon long enough to determine I didn’t want to read it, I hopped over to Goodreads to see if anybody I knew had anything to say about it. Because even if I don’t want to read it, it’s one of those “everybody’s talking about it” books, so I’m curious to see what makes it tick. No friend reviews, but the first seven community reviews are of the type I’m seeing more and more over there: self-indulgent, one-star diatribes about how terrible the book is. These things are super long, which gets them to the top of the queue, and loaded little images that hop about and have nothing whatsoever to do with the book–prancing ponies or anime schoolgirls that somehow show the reviewers mood, that sort of thing. These reviews go into all kinds of detail, but the gist is always, “Omigod this was so terrible, I can’t believe I read it!” Followed, often as not, by an invitation to read their review of the next book in the series which the reviewer found even more awful.

I don’t know about you, Reader Zero, but if I get fifty pages into a book and decide it’s awful, I don’t read the rest of it. I’ve got limited time, and I’d rather be reading a book I like than one that doesn’t agree with me. And I’d much rather be reading a good book than writing a mile-long one-star review to showcase any savage cleverness I might imagine I have.

Those reviews get all kinds of comments and likes, though. I guess the moral is, “Be loud and combative if you want to be popular.”


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