Reading Too Many Reviews

André Kertész, Carnival, Paris (woman reading behind stage), 1926

“I wish they would stop publishing reviews for a year.”

“What?”  When I got the New York Times on Sunday, I didn’t read the news; I read only the Book Review.  But it seemed my friend had the internet, while I only had AOL.  I did not admit it, but I had thought AOL was the internet.

“There’s so much there.  There’s too much there.”

And then in 2005 we finally got an internet connection. There is too much.   There are American review publications, British review publications,  Goodreads reviews and discussions, blogs, the Barnes and Noble Review, the Amazon Review, online publications like Literary Hub and Book Riot, and, if we’re really bored, BookTube… It just goes on, on, and on.  And now, like my friend, I feel overwhelmed by access to so many reviews.

And do you have trouble deciding what to read next? Do I want to read Alexanderplatz Berlin (I saw copies of it everywhere in London), finish Victoria Glendinning’s brilliant biography of Elizabeth Bowen, reread Flannery O’Connor, or dip into Rachel Kadish’s The Weight of Ink, which I read part of last summer.  I am probably not missing anything if I skip The Weight of Ink.  It got good reviews but the  truth is that not all books are for me.

And  I was dismayed to realize a few months ago that we have run out of space for books. Books literally have fallen out of a bookcase onto my head!


Is Snoopy’s bookcase made of particle board?

4 thoughts on “Reading Too Many Reviews

  1. Totally agree! I need to read the approximately 2000 unread books in my basement, yet I can’t help jotting down titles with every blog I read. A good example of that would be Late Call by Angus Wilson- I read your review yesterday, and unfortunately, I work at a university, where I can walk straight the library to pick it up! I don’t even have to go outside 🙂


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