To the Editor.—
Dr Gilchres1 might find a source for objective book reviewers if she were to turn to the consumer for help. I suggest putting a self-addressed tear-out card in each issue of the Archives along with a form that would enable readers to pass judgment on books they have read. Let them rate the book on a number of points, such as clarity and educational value. Unless a sustained effort is made by an author to have friends stuff the ballot box (would anyone be capable of such a thing?), after a few months, the reaction from the readers will be more objective than a single reviewer's saccharine comments could ever be. Such a printout might not have the entertainment value of a "robust review" or a bit of "Kligmania,"2 but such is the nature of raw data.
Gormley DE. Objective Book Reviews. Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(11):1381. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660110029006