Proposal: *Book Review *

A sample question:

Did anybody read the book: Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition, by 
Kimberly Elam? Requesting for concise review.  

Another could be this:

   I am willing to study the concept of Homomorphic filtering. Out of the Books A & B 
   which one gives a detailed description of the concept with implementation guidelines?    

1-This will generate good traffic, because the questions will not be subjective and will be extremely helpful for people looking for a review of a book before actually buying the same. The same question will be applicable to many people.

2- This will produce constructive questions.

3- By voting system of stackexchange one can rely on the review with the most no. of up votes.

4-Tags will be from different subjects, from humanities to science and technology.

5- People will be able to choose the right book out of two or many available editions. Often we have confusions which edition to buy for the current concept we are looking for.

6- As the stackexchange has users from diverse background, this will be single platform for everyone looking for a review. This in-fact translates to more traffic.

7- Of-course we will have to set guidelines regarding the manner in which the reviews will be provided, for example it should be concise and to the point, supported by proper references.


This will generate good traffic, because the questions will not be subjective

This will produce constructive questions.

By what definition of "not be subjective" and "constructive"? The "not constructive" close reason states:

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

A review is subjective by its very nature. A request for a review doesn't seem to fit "answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise".

By voting system of stackexchange one can rely on the review with the most no. of up votes.

That's hijacking the SO model to turn it into a popularity contest.

  • Nocol, Its not for popularity, but for Reputation.... otherwise why people invest time here?
    – gpuguy
    Jul 15 '12 at 3:24
  • @gpuguy: The upvoting system is intended to be at least someone objective, since answers are supposed to be fact-based. If the answers are subjective, then voting is a popularity contest: the review that's funniest/wittiest/whatever gets upvoted the most, even if it's not "the best" (which can't be objectively determined). Imagine the reviews for a controversial book like Twilight or something. Jul 15 '12 at 3:58
  • Don't you think people would downvote all the funniest/wittiest/others? Why would not they?
    – gpuguy
    Jul 15 '12 at 4:07
  • @gpuguy: You're asking the wrong question: why would they? On a subjective site, like the various Metas, upvotes mean "I agree" and downvotes mean "I disagree." Furthermore, voting patterns depend on who the community is. And the community on subjective sites like this is going to be more accepting of these sorts of things. Not unless you can pre-seed the site with serious literary criticism before it's open. And even that isn't necessarily going to guarantee anything. Jul 15 '12 at 4:23

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  1. Book reviews don't fit with the Q&A format, as @NicolBolas pointed out in his answer. Most book reviews are, as he said, subjective by definition. (I liked the way the lead character interacted with his mother..., I wish the author hadn't used so many puns., etc.)

    The only way to write a completely objective book review would be to only review the technical details of a book (which might be valid, in some narrow context, for technical writing), or only to talk about statistics of the book, which is no longer a book review, per se.

  2. There are already sites that do an excellent job of providing book reviews in a format that is constructive. Amazon and GoodReads jump to the top of the list in my mind. Use one of these sites. They're actually designed for this, and do it exceptionally well. They also allow you to vote on the reviews you like and don't like!

    (Side note: Don't try asking about programming best-practices in your amazon book review--do that here. Their hammer doesn't work for everything,either.)

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