In a comment over at Alison Kent’s blog, Julie Leto posted something that surprised me:
In my mind, writing reviews like this one (not a bad review–a TRASH review) is the same as going to Walmart and standing in front of the romance section and telling people to put that book down. If you didn't like a book, say so–but you don't have to insult everyone while saying it.
Um, I have done this before. I have struck up conversations with readers browsing the romance aisles. I have offered up opinions to other readers at the bookstore to say, “I didn’t like this book but I really liked this one.” I didn’t realize that was insulting to the author. I mean, I guess it means one less sale, but I didn’t know it is a reader’s duty to not offer an opinion. Is it different if the person asks for your opinion? I’ve had that happen before. Reader stands in the aisle, contemplates a book, looks over at you and says “what do you think.” But now, I can’t respond lest I break some bookstore etiquette?
I know that I am rather new to blogging and there are certain etiquette rules that I am learning about. I have been buying romances for going on 18 years, and I didn’t realize that I wasn’t supposed to engage in conversation with other readers at a bookstore. I guess that is one more thing my momma never taught me (along with the whole “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” mantra). That momma of mine, she’s got a lot of ‘xplaining to do.