Thread: MobileRead June 2013 *Category* Poll
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:10 PM   #30
Elfwreck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I didn't vote on Award Winners because I've read enough Award Winning books to know they didn't deserve the award. A lot of the awards are a (like you say) popularity contest and not an about how good the writing.story really is.
Awards are "someone liked this book well enough to recommend it." Usually, "a group liked this book well enough to recommend it." Sometimes the group claims to like books of a specific literary quality; sometimes they don't. Book awards are, by their nature, popularity contests; it's just that some of them claim to be popular with certain people of specific, supposedly discerning, tastes.

If those tastes don't match yours, the award is meaningless. The Pulitzer tells me that a book fits some set of qualifications for "literary excellence;" it doesn't tell me I'll enjoy reading it, nor that my life will be improved thereby. The Hugo award tells me that I'll probably enjoy reading the book, regardless of whether it's "well-written" by the standards the Pulitzer team uses.

I know I'd probably enjoy any book that's won a Rainbow Award. I might even nominate one. I know that the odds of it getting second-and-thirded would be very low, and the odds of it getting voted in as the selection are beyond negligible--not because MR readers don't trust the quality of the award, but because most of the readers here don't have a strong interest in LGBT-themed books. Likewise, recommendations from the ENnies are unlikely to get selected.

I would love the Award Winners category to avoid the larger, well-known awards like Pulitzer and Man Booker, and seek out smaller, oddball awards to say "here's something that you probably have never heard of, and wouldn't normally consider trying, but it did win an award so you know at least someone thinks it's good."

And whether or not the books from those awards get selected, we'd be able to discuss them and recommend books that might not come up on other topics. Most of the Rainbow Award books fit under "romance;" some are science fiction; some are mysteries--they could get nominated other months. The ENnie winners are in a niche industry that's hard to define; it often straddles the line between fiction and nonfic. (Is a gaming manual fiction or not?) Still, The Investigator's Guide to Occult London might be an interesting read even to people not interested in the RPG aspects.
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