1. Describing literary writing that’s rich and descriptive as literary masturbation. I don’t even want to tell you what goes through my mind, but it involves alphabet soup, Dockers and a typewriter. Spare me that imagery. Here’s the correct substitute if you really feel the author let their words get away from him/herself: “his/her prose are ‘self-indulgent.’”
2. Rants. Don’t get your pages all in a bunch. Your rants are self-indulgent. [See? It works!]
3. War of the words. Sometimes I think the comment section for reviews should just be turned off after awhile. More often it feels like the New York Post, which is to say useless and trashy. Join a book club and torture readers who are on their third glass of wine. Me? I’m sober, not amused, and should be pulling weeds in my garden.
4. This: “I don’t understand why everyone loved this book and I didn’t?” Uhmmmm, because zombies didn’t attack and leave us all with one thought, like must eat yummy brains. (But I’m sure there’s a book out there about that.)
5. Spoilers without an *alert*. Too often I get blindsided. July 21, 2007, I still haven’t forgiven this: SNAPE IS GOOD!!!! If I had a wand, I would have performed the Avada Kedavra Curse on Anonymous Reader #72. Grrrr….
6. Giving reviewers a helpful vote only if they agree with you. First, you’re supposed to be reading reviews before diving in, but if you happen to have read the book, review it yourself if you have strong feelings or read for other perspectives. The voting system is used for finding reviews “helpful” or not — not “you have validated my opinion of this book and/or all that I live for.”
Example of a non-helpful review: I loved this book. It was great. Everyone I know loved it. I bought a copy for every one of my friends. I highly recommend!
This would only be helpful if, say, I held your hair in college while you puked Peach Schnapps and tacos in a 7-11 dumpster, or we had some other long-term relationship equivalent.
7. reviewers that pay no attention to gammer and punctuatetion
8. Reviewers outside their genre. It’s fair to say religious grandmothers won’t be buying copies of 50 Shades and those looking for a beach read wouldn’t pick up The Tale of Two Cities before hitting sun and surf. When you’re not the intended reader, your negative review means little.
9. Finally, don’t forget books are written by humans, humans have flaws, therefore books will too. Critique constructively. In addition to flaws, authors have feelings. You’re not reviewing the next iPhone 6. (But I hear it’s going to be great. And I highly recommend!)