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Can You Trust Book Club Recommendations?

When it comes to whether or not you can trust book club recommendations, the answer is a resounding, 'Well, maybe.'

It appears there are two primary means of finding book club recommendations online: (1) those prepared by a book club for its members and potential members and, (2) testimonials from people who�ve actually read the book and want to share their observations with others.

Statistics show that nearly 65% of book club members read online recommendations, particularly those in the form of testimonials. Therefore, it is only logical that they trust these reviews to be honest and accurate when it comes to actual book selection.

+ Recommendations Posted by Book Clubs

First and foremost, it is important to remember the book club�s motivation. This is a business, after all, and their bottom line is to generate income. Obviously, they are not going to write or post a BAD recommendation.

A book club would never say a book is a 'slow read,' or is the author�s 'worst work to date.' Instead, a book club recommendation might say that while the novel 'isn�t another Moby Dick , it�s a good story and a stimulating read.'

Based on these considerations, online book buyers should utilize the tremendous amount of information that is out there on the Web when deciding which review they can trust and what books to add to their libraries.

When evaluating a book club recommendation, a reader should begin with their own set of questions already in place. For example, when choosing a book about gardening, does it cover everything from trees to bulbs? Does it tell you what supplies are essential or what types of fertilizers are best for your region? In other words, is it comprehensive; a 'tool' that you will keep for years?

+ Recommendations/Testimonials from Actual Readers

Whether this type of recommendation is found within a book club site such as Amazon (amazon.com) or Book-of-the-Month Club (bomc.com), it is definitely better than those recommendations prepared simply to promote sales. There are several sites where the truth is told and those making recommendations don�t hesitate to include such observations as 'poor character development,' 'strange characters,' or 'I liked his other three novels much better.'

In addition, some of the other things that are usually found in this type of recommendation are a succinct synopsis of the story or contents, a rating system related to the plot, character development, and whether it�s worthy of recommendation to a friend. Finally, this type of recommendation almost always gives the book an overall rating. When an A is given in this category, you can count on the fact that this book is truly excellent and worth buying.

+ The Bottom Line

Today, one of the best features of reading online recommendations and coming to trust them is the fact that members and potential members can actually see the book�s front and back jacket notes and front and back covers. They can also read actual excerpts from the book.

By evaluating the book itself � for example, if it�s non-fiction, does it have good graphics � and by taking the time to read several testimonials it may, indeed, be possible to trust book club recommendations.

Submitted by:

Vicky Slater

Vicky Slater is a freelance writer and researcher. She is a contributing author at 4BookLovers. For more of her work go to: About Books.


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