Thursday, June 11, 2009

Who are the readers of book reviews?

Today, I was reading a comment that someone made about my review of Magic Squares and the Tree of Life; it reminded me how hard it is to write book reviews and please everybody (the same holds for articles, lessons, and books).

Especially if you are trying to address the entire range of possible readers.

In the case of this book, the range was from true neophyte to advanced adept. Any review that excludes a section of the audience is incomplete, but any review that attempts to be complete is going to upset those who do not realize that you are trying to address the review towards the entire audience.

I will admit with this review I leaned towards the complete neophyte. Of course, part of the reason for that is it takes time to create a magic square of this size, and months (if not years) to properly evaluate whether it actually delivers.

And in the end, this is the review that I think needed to be written. It is not the adept that needs to be warned that this book is an instruction manual requiring a lot of work to be completed; it is the complete neophyte that needs to know that their money is better spent elsewhere.

Maybe I made the wrong call, but I stand behind the review I wrote.

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