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Frequently Asked Questions

Since Blether was created we have had many questions asked of us, some we have known the answers to, others will probably remain a mystery, like "why did you replace the orignial distasteful shade of green with this hideous yellow?" Here we'll answer the most frequently asked, maybe shedding a little light on why Blether is the way it is.

Contents

  1. What is Blether?
  2. There are plenty of book review sites out there, why bother producing another one?
  3. What does "blether" mean?
  4. Can I write reviews for Blether?
  5. Can I request a review for a particular book?
  6. I don't agree with a review, what should I do about it?
  7. What do the ratings mean, and aren't they meaningless?
  8. Blether sucks, why is it so bad?

1. What is Blether?

Blether is a book review website, serving a couple of purposes. Firstly, if you're looking for a good book to read or to give as a gift, or for whatever reason, our reviews might help you make a better choice. Secondly, we hope our discussion forums will generate intense debate on all things related to books - what makes a classic, the merits of particular books or authors, how appallingly inaccurate a Blether review is and so on.

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2. There are plenty of book review sites out there, why bother producing another one?

Good question. We know there are a lot of review sites on the internet, but we haven't yet come across one that provide the sorts of features we'd really like in such a site, things like decent search facilities, reviewer information, discussion forums, mailing lists etc. Since we have the know-how and the enthusiasm for books, we floated the idea with a few folk and given the positive feedback we decided to develop one ourselves.

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3. What does "blether" mean?

"Blether" is a Scots word which can be used as a verb or a noun. The verb means to chat idly, to chew the fat, to pass the time of day (you get the idea), for example "we were just blethering", as my better half tells me after an hour on the telephone to her sister. As a noun the word is a gentle term for a liar or fibber, someone who is telling porkies (you get the idea again). Tell someone a tall story and they might proclaim you "a blether".

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4. Can I write reviews for Blether?

Yes, you certainly can, and we'd be delighted to recieve them! Details can be found on the joining page, but in brief we accept reviews of any book from anyone on any subject. All we ask for are some personal details to give visitors to the site a little bit of contextual knowledge about the reviewer, things like your particular areas of interest, your age, books you've particularly enjoyed and so on.

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5. Can I request a review for a particular book?

The answer to the question is yes, but don't expect anyone to take any notice! Our reviewers are able to submit reviews of any book they choose. Try posting a message in one of the discussion forums - someone might have already read the book and be willing to write a review, or at least give a quick opinion about it.

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6. I don't agree with a review, what should I do about it?

Tell us! Post a message in one of the discussion forums giving your own opinion, or write us your own review - we will publish more than one review for a single title.

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7. What do the ratings mean, and aren't they meaningless?

An explanation of the ratings can be found hidden away somewhere on the site - try here. As to their utility, we know that they are completely subjective, but we have tried to temper this in a couple of ways - firstly by giving a little bit of personal information about the reviewer, so you can see what sort of person gave the rating, and secondly by giving you the ability to rate the book yourself and give comments in the discussion forums. Finally, top rated books (those scoring a 9 or 10 and thus receiving one of our completely worthless awards) should offer entertainment for almost everyone.

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8. Blether sucks, why is it so bad?

We don't know. It just is. But we'd welcome something a little more constructive - maybe you could give us some idea of exactly what you find so awful through our contact page?

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