Before I talk about the other side of book blogging, I wanted to address some of the comments.
Sally said: "I'd like to hear what you have done when the book would be a rip-off for the public."
Well, as I stated in my original post, it takes a lot for me to hate a book. And there are some books that aren't necessarily my cup of tea, but I can see are quite popular with others. So...I guess I haven't experienced a book that I think would be a complete waste of money for everyone.
Jeanne said: "No one has said this yet, but it seems obvious to me that the answer to this dilemma is to choose and buy your own books. Otherwise, the conflict of interest is kind of like when doctors used to dispense medicine, isn't it?"
I guess what I was trying to communicate in my post but probably didn't come across as well as I would have liked, is that book blogging is not like regular reviewing. It's immediate communication. It's accessible to anyone and in many ways a form of dialogue. After all, comments can be left. Emails exchanged within minutes of a posted review. What accepting review copies and having author interaction has done is to make me aware that I am not sending my review out into space and faceless people, but rather to other flesh and blood humans. The internet and book blogging have removed the buffer between author and reader--sometimes to disastrous results, sometimes to wonderful experiences. I get author comments and feedback on books I purchase for myself as well those I receive for review. It's not getting a "free" copy that creates the "dilemma", it's the immediate accountability.
I am not dishonest in my reviews. It's not so much what you say, but how you say it and how you phrase it that's at issue. That's what I read everyone else saying, too, and they were being honest in sharing about the struggle :) The important thing to remember no matter where you fall on this issue is that the people on the other side of the computer are just as real as you.
Still much more to come on this topic, but I know it doesn't interest everyone who reads this blog, so I'll space out the posts! :)
As always your feedback is welcome.