Don’t Look a Free Book In the Mouth

I have a Kindle e-book reader. It’s convenient, practical, and wonderfully easy to use. But this post isn’t about the Kindle. It’s about people who are complaining about free books. 
Yes, I said FREE. Forgive me if this seems out of line, but who is rude enough to complain about FREE things? I mean, if you go to a free luncheon and don’t like the entree offered, do you write a nasty letter to the editor about it? If someone gives you a free gift you don’t like, do you send them an anti-thank you note, letting them know you hate everything cardigan sweaters, or jigsaw puzzles, or scented candles, stand for? If you rummage through the free box at a yard sale, do you march up to the homeowner and lodge a complaint about the stained shirt or chipped mirror? I hope not! 

At any given time, Kindle offers free downloads for its clientele. I’m a freebie lover. I’ve downloaded any number of these free books from Amazon, read most of them, and deleted a few once I realized they didn’t fit my personal reading parameters. 
Many Christian fiction authors and/or publishers have made use of Amazon’s free Kindle book program as a marketing tool – a way to introduce that author or genre to the Kindle user audience. It’s a blessing for many of us with a penchant for fiction that doesn’t match our personal reading budget!
In the past few weeks, folks who’ve taken advantage of these free books have posted very negative reviews on a number of Christian releases. Not about the books per se, but complaining they’ve been “duped” into reading evangelistic literature.
Some of the reviews posted on Amazon are titled “Christian manifesto tripe disguised as secular escapist reading” or “Should have come with a warning label.” The reviewers claim they did not realize the FREE book was Christian fiction, and therefore it was a terrible book. Can I just say, for the record: NOT FAIR.
If something is free to you, and includes a description of the item, where it came from (in this case, the publisher), and takes no more than a couple of clicks to get it out of your system if you find it unacceptable, why are you so disturbed by it? Disturbed enough to take the time to gripe and gritch online in what is supposed to be a book review, not your personal opinion about Christianity? PUH-LEEEEZE.

As a fellow beneficiary of Amazon’s free Kindle books, I’ve downloaded more than one book that turned out to be “not my type.” Some were secular, some were Christian. Some were poorly written, some just did not interest me. Did I feel the need to post a review about the dangers of erotica to modern marriage? No. I kicked myself for failing to pay better attention to the publisher/author of that free book, and deleted it from my Kindle. Duh. Did I need to disparage the author, or the genre? No.
It’s probable no one who is in the habit of posting these snarly reviews will even read this post, but just in case… if you can’t review the book because you are so distracted convicted by the Christian content, then forgo a review altogether. In other words, either review the BOOK – character, plot, quality or writing, etc. – or keep your busy little fingers to yourselves.
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2 thoughts on “Don’t Look a Free Book In the Mouth

  1. Andrea says:

    My husband gave me the Nook for mother's day and I love it.

  2. Bonnie Way aka the Koala Mom says:

    I agree with you. I review books because I get them for free that way. If I don't like them, they go to the library, but I still review them and do so politely.

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