Almost every day another envelope comes with another worthy book. The pile on my desk is getting higher and higher and I am tempted to start another blog just for book reviews. In order to get your book reviewed on this worthy bookshelf of a blog you, or your publicist, will have to pay a certain price. If you want your book to get to the top of the pile it will be more expensive. If you want a good review it costs more. If you don’t pay anything you get a lousy review.
I’m just kidding of course, but it used to be that there were such things as book editors of newspapers and they were paid to winkle out the good from the bad from the indifferent and they sent these books out to be reviewed by intelligent and learned people. The book editor was paid to do so and he had a budget to pay the book reviewer. The payment actually ensured a fairly balanced and objective review would be written. Now, however, all that has gone out the window. Instead the publicists send out the review copies to people like me expecting me to take time to read the book, think about it and write a review. All of this, I am expected to do out of the kindness of my heart.
I truly don’t mind doing it, in fact, if I were independently wealthy and did not have a vocation to the priesthood there’s not much I would like better than hunkering down in my study to read all day and write book reviews, and I’m flattered that they think that the attention of Father Longenecker is worth something, but I suspect they don’t really think that. What they think is that any exposure–even by poor old Fr Longenecker is worth trying to get. This is a problem for me and it is also a problem for me because if I reviewed all the books I get this blog would be clogged with them, and I don’t think you my dear readers would really want to read nothing but book reviews.
So what shall I do? Be cruel and heartless and simply put the books I receive onto my Amazon seller’s list with the sad listing, “New–unwanted review copy” and hope that someone buys the book from me? Do I spend money on more bookshelves to keep all these books? Maybe I just skim them, put up a note that I have received them and do my best.
Any creative ideas to the combox please.