HW Assignment: Prompt #2

Ebook only books, which are increasingly popular (especially in the romance genre) see little to no reviews in professional publications unless they have a big name author, and then still it’s usually only RT Reviews (formally Romantic Times) or other genre heavy publications. How does this affect collection development?
It seems like there will be disproportionately fewer eBook only books compared to those that are published in print as well. They’re likely not going to be on librarian’s radars like other more marketed books will be. In addition, I think patrons are more likely to come in, browse the shelves, and then leave with a few print books. It doesn’t seem like eBooks are as popular with most libraries as print books are. Because of this, it doesn’t make as much economic sense to spend money on eBook only books when you could be purchasing books that will have a wider appeal simply because of format.

I have posted two more documents in the week five files. One is two reviews of an ebook only romantic suspense novel, one from a blog and one from amazon. Look over the reviews – do you feel they are both reliable? How likely would you be to buy this book for your library? Is this ebook even romantic suspense?
I think the reviews are reliable to a point. Some of the things mentioned by the reviewers seem like they’re probably true—it’s a clean romance, the plot doesn’t make much sense. However, both reviews could’ve used a round of editing. While this does detract from the reviewer’s credibility (it sounds like a review coming from my neighbor rather than a reputable publication), it doesn’t take away from their opinion and what they thought of the book. Sometimes it’s still valuable to see that information. I would not be very likely to purchase this for my library. The reviews lean towards positive, but it’s not compelling enough for me to justify the money spent on it. I would not classify this book as romantic suspense—it seems more like a straight romance.

The other document contains some reviews of Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt, an incredibly popular memoir. These reviews are all from professional publications, feel free to find more on your own I just nabbed a few from the Book Review Digest database for you. How do these reviews make you feel about the possibility of adding Angela’s Ashes to your collection?
I would definitely consider adding this book to my collection as it sounds like it has a lot going for it—well-written, emotional, and descriptive. The reviews are very good at explaining what the book is about and praising its strengths.

Do you think it’s fair that one type of book is reviewed to death and other types of books get little to no coverage? How does this affect a library’s collection?  And how do you feel about review sources that won’t print negative content? Do you think that’s appropriate? If you buy for your library, how often do you use reviews to make your decisions? If not, how do you feel about reviews for personal reading, and what are some of your favorite review sources?
I don’t know if “fair” really has anything to do with it—it’s just the way it is. In my experience, if a book is good it will gain traction. I tend to distrust review sources that only print positive content. It feels like they’re not giving me the whole story—like anything I read from them is biased. I don’t want to only hear good things about a book and then be disappointed that there are some glaring problems that nobody mentioned. It’s a reviewer’s responsibility to be honest with their opinions, whether good or bad. I feel that this is the purpose of a review. If there is a book that I know I want to read, I stay away from reviews because I would rather go into the book with an open mind and form my own opinions. If it’s a book that I’m on the fence about, I’ll usually look at some reviews on Goodreads or from some of the book blogs that I follow to decide whether or not to read it. After I’ve read a book, I’ll often read reviews from other blogs just to see whether other people feel the same way that I did.

ANNOTATION: The Amber Room by Steve Berry


The Amber Room by Steve Berry

Genre: Adventure

Publication Info: 8/26/2003, 416 pages

Plot Summary: When Rachel Cutler’s father, a WWII survivor, passes away under suspicious circumstances, she’s launched into a dangerous treasure hunt. Using clues unwittingly left by her father, Rachel travels to Germany to discover the truth behind the stories of the mysterious Amber Room. Followed by her ex-husband, the two go on a deadly adventure to find out just what happened to the Amber Room during WWII and where it might reside today.

Characteristics of Adventure: Treasure hunt, foreign setting with detailed descriptions, the sense of a ticking clock, main characters encounter multiple dangers, extremely evil villains, extravagant characters and far-fetched plot.

Appeal Terms: Descriptive, suspenseful tone, character-driven

Read-alikes: The Istanbul Puzzle by Laurence O’Bryan; The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown; The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry