Fuse #8

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Banned Books Write-Off

First off, Banned Books week is nigh, starting today September 23-30. You have all sorts of ways in which to celebrate. You could read a banned book. You could give a banned book to a child to read. You could ban a book . . . no . . . no . . . wait, no. Scratch that one.

Or, you could participate in the Banned Books Write-Off. Here's the skinny. When I first decided that I wanted to review children's books and improve my writing skills, I needed a way to do so. So I turned to Amazon. Now, nobody in their right mind ever brags that they're an Amazon reviewer. I'm sorry kids, they don't. It's just not cool. If I'm at a publisher party and someone asks me who I review for, I may mention School Library Journal or my ill-fated stint with MyShelf.com. Rarely will I mention Amazon (which doesn't mean I'm not still thrilled to have hit 89 yesterday). But what do I mention even less than my reviews for Amazon? My reviews for Epinions. Now I don't know how many of you are familiar with the Epinions system. Basically it's like this: Epinions is like Amazon except you're expected to write quality reviews... and you get paid for them. Aw yeah, baby. Not a whole lot, of course. You see, other reviewers vote on the quality of what you've written and you get maybe $0.75 per review sometimes. I get a $15 check once every 6 months, but since none of my reviewing activities have ever equalled moolah, this is a big deal for me.

What does this have to do with the Banned Books Write-Off? Well, a fellow Epinions reviewer suggested it. Basically, she's asking that for Banned Books Week as many people as possible should submit reviews on Epinions of banned books.
"Review one of the books on the ALA list (I suspect there are other lists). Identify it as a banned book, and if you know why, address that logic somewhere in your review. Do you agree with the reason? If you wish to comment on that, please do so, it's not necessary, we can decide the reason for ourselves. Read one that has been banned and review it honestly."
It's just that easy. Fun too, though I am sad to say that The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein is not yet in the Epinions database. I'll give you $0.75 of my own cold hard cash if you can come up with a review half as interesting as there could've been for THAT.


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