Monday, April 07, 2008

Felt So Nice I Did It Twice

Galleycat has a piece on a Las Vegas writer doing two different--very different--reviews of a book about his city, one for USA Today and the other for Las Vegas Weekly. I did that a couple of times, reviewing the same book for The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and the New York Times (the Times didn't care so long as its review was published first) on the grounds that the audiences were so different, but it's really not fair. It's not fair to the book if you hated it, it's not fair to competing books if you liked it, and it's not fair to the reader if you contradict yourself. Plus, reviewing the same book twice is hell.


Anonymous said...

Color me confused. Roger do you mean that if you like a book you shouldn't review it in two places because that means it is taking up a spot that could have been dedicated to another book, and that's why two reviews are unfair? Or do you mean it is unfair to be inconsistent between reviews? What if, for example, you said the most recent Celebrity Book was no different from previous iterations of the same, and the offspring of NYT readers would lap it up like spilt milk, but you told Horn Book's readers it was the same old pap and not to buy it for their libraries?

Roger Sutton said...

I think I mean both. If I review a book in two places, I'm taking perhaps-valuable space that could go to another book or another reviewer's point of view. And to say good-enough-for-the-Times but not-good-enough-for-the-Horn-Book is just cynical.