The NBCC has conducted an interesting poll that’s yielded a trove of info on what people think about ethics in book reviewing. What we need now is some sort of manifesto built from this and laid down on the populace like a blast from a water cannon at a riot.
68.5 percent of book reviewers think anyone mentioned in a book’s acknowledgements should be barred from reviewing it.
64.9 percent think anyone who has written an unpaid blurb for a book should also be banned from writing a fuller review.
76.5 percent think it’s never ethical to review a book without reading the whole thing.
And 52 percent think it’s not okay for a book-review editor, in assigning books for review, to favor books by writers who also review regularly for that editor’s book section.
Yes, it’s time again for “The Ethics of Book Reviewing,” an old NBCC favorite. From the numbers above, book reviewers sound like quite an ethical bunch, no? Yet not everything seems clear to them.