Monday, April 15, 2013

Doubling Up: A Bonus Post from BigAl

From time to time I've had suggestions from a reader or one of the pals to have two people review the same book. The reasoning was sound. Doing this would give two perspectives on a book. Even if two reviewers were in agreement about a book's merit and ranked them comparably, their thoughts and justifications might be much different. (Even if what they say is much the same, that could still be of value to a potential reader.) And if their opinions are different, comparing those difference could be the most valuable of all.

However, whenever someone floated this idea I'd look at the list of books in our review queue with the knowledge that we were never going to get to them all and respond, "nah, I don't think so." Until the day I had a lightbulb moment. Although it may be hard to believe, I don't have complete control over everything all the pals read. Some of them were reading books because they wanted to, even though another pal was reading the same book to review it. If we were both going to read it anyway, why not both review it? I also realized that there were rare situations where two reviewers with different cultural perspectives might approach a book much differently and that their different takes could be interesting.

So, although it will be a rare situation and almost always one where two of our reviewers were going to both be reading the book anyway, we're going to start occasionally running two reviews of the same book. When this is done we'll either run both reviews on the same day or at times reprise a past review so you'll have a chance to compare and contrast. The first of these is a short story which will be reviewed by ?wazithinkin this morning. This afternoon I'll give my thoughts.