Friday, May 2, 2008


I was reading through the latest Cardplayer Magazine today during lunch. It contained a review for a book that I had recently bought but haven't started yet. I started to read the review when it dawned on me that I could not remember ever reading a review in that magazine which was less than favorable. I love the magazine but I can't read it the book reviews because they have lost their credibility with me.

I understand that people want to talk about things they like. When I read a really good book, I get a lot of enjoyment telling others and talking about it with others who have already read it. But how can I ever trust their review when they never say anything bad? Are the books chosen for review selected because someone is advertising with the magazine, is the reviewer trying to help out a friend or is something else other than merit driving the review? The magazine holds a position of trust with its readers. When they only recommend books, am I supposed to believe that any book not specifically recommended is implicitly panned? The best example from my life was Doyle Brunson's online poker book. I grabbed it on a quick visit to the bookstore solely because it was written by Doyle. He had earned credibility with me from who he is and what he had previously written. I only scanned through it because there was a long line at the register. I am so glad I did. It was so superficial that it could only be beneficial to someone who was interested in starting to play poker. It would have been a horrible waste of money for anyone with any prior experience to pick up. Yet I don't recall Cardplayer or any other poker publication reviewing it and doing a service to their readers.

It's important to speak out truthfully if you ever want people to believe you. I encourage all print and online sites which offer reviews to keep their integrity by publishing reviews whether they be positive, negative or neutral.

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