ALL the book reviews, ALL the time!

While browsing through my Twitter feed I discovered an article on Flavorwire about I Dream Books — a site that attempts to be to books what Rotten Tomatoes is to movies — a consensus of all the reviews. The first comment on the above article was someone saying, “HEY! This exists! Check out THIS SITE!”

So I did.

Quick Thoughts:

Both ARE similar, but the first thing I noticed: both are NEW sites. Competition makes everyone better!

They definitely LOOK different

The look: IDreamBooks has cute fluffy clouds and a very clean, Pinterest-like first page. The Critics & Writers site has a lot more happening on the first page, but it isn’t unappealing, it’s more traditional website than the simple iDreamBooks page.

Side-by-Side Comparison of a Book Page

The critics: Who are these critics?! It seems that both pull reviews from newspapers AND book bloggers. Where the reviews come from were a little easier to find on the iDreamBooks page, but Critics & Writers does let you take a closer look at each individual reviewer (theoretically — I could only seem to look at Ron Charles’ critic info when I clicked on Critics. Ahh, beta is fun!)

Extras: iDreamBooks has giveways. Critics & Writers has Interviews, Tour Info, and Featured Libraries (and you can donate to that library –?).

My question really comes down to this: are these sites necessary? It is nice to see a consensus from “professionals”. I also like perusing non-professional reviews on Goodreads, BN, and Amazon to see what people are thinking, but even Book Riot has a “Review GPA” feature. Perhaps these sites are filling a gap that I didn’t know existed. If I’m honest though, I don’t want to have to sign-up for another site no matter how cool and useful they might be (to “thumbs up” a review or “follow” a writer, critic, someone — you have to sign-up). When I sent the link to a co-worker, her reaction: Can’t you just go to Amazon? Interesting response, no?

Another question: Did some media congommerate develope these sites or are they new & independent?

Definitely cool sites and I’m interested to see what happens with both. (But can we get a single sign-on so I can try both without creating MORE usernames and passwords?)

What do you guys think? Necessary? Cool? Which do you like more?

Update: There’s also a lifehacker article.

2 thoughts on “ALL the book reviews, ALL the time!”

  1. Not interested in this sort of grouping of reviews. I’d personally rather get to know a reviewer & their tastes, see how they compare to mine and go from there. The ‘I Dream” page kind of hid the fact the columns are separate categories… it looked at first like a large thumbnail page of book covers to me. I did like the Critics & Writers “on tour” and “donate to a library” highlights. But the overall idea turns me off. I think I’m with your colleague (though I don’t go to Amazon for ideas in that sense)

    1. I agree about getting to know reviewers. I do like that feature of Critics & Writers if you’re looking for an idea of a critics tastes…I’m hoping that’s something they’ll get working properly.

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