This week’s question is suggested by Puss Reboots:

How much do reviews (good and bad) affect your choice of reading? If you see a bad review of a book you wanted to read, do you still read it? If you see a good review of a book you’re sure you won’t like, do you change your mind and give the book a try?

This is a great topic!

If I am in a bookstore, the first thing that attracts my attention is the bookcover (besides the names of the authors that is), but of course there is this famous saying that you can't judge a book by its cover, so I give each book a fair chance by reading the blurbs from the back covers. If it interests me enough, I will buy it. Occasionally (and if I have the time), I will also read the first few pages of a chapter to get a glimpse of the story premise.

But there are also times that I buy books online, thus I will read some reviews just out of curiosity. However, I try not to let a bad review affect my choice of reading because each person reading preferences varies. In fact, I have came across some bad reviews on a book, but I liked what I read from the blurb so I decided to give it a fair chance. And guess what, I ended up liking it.

On the other hand, if I came across a good review on a book which I don't think I will like, I will give it a chance too but this has to depend if I am interested in that genre. I read most genres, but I tend to shy away from sci-fi and I have no idea why. But if the story premise is real good, I think I will give it a try because well, you can never say never.
17 Responses
  1. Julia Says:

    That is the things, Melody. Which is why I don't always read the reviews from online, like B&N or Amazon. Book that reviews don't like, I end up liking it. See everyone had different opinion and interesting to see the why. :)

    Hope you have a good weekend ahead :)

  2. Kat Says:

    Most of the time I rely on what I think, not on what others do. I rarely read reviews either, and even if I do, I'd still follow my own opinion. :D

    However, if it's from someone I trust or am close to, then maybe it will have an effect.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I do read reviews, but usually after I've read the book. As far as blurbs are concerned, I never pay them too much attention. I mean, the publishers put them there to sell the books, didn't they? [wink] And I've read some really awful books with great blurbs on them.

  4. Alice Says:

    Wow Melody, we almost share the same answer! LOL. I do share your thoughts about book reviews.

    In fact, I'm currently reading a non-fiction entitled Faint Praises: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America. One of the things it talked about is unmerited hype and why bad reviews happen.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I'm not too influenced by the blurbs on the book itself, because of course those are all going to be positive, but I am influenced by other bloggers who I feel I know a little and whose tastes are similar.

  6. Jeane Says:

    Like you, I don't usually read books outside the genres I like, even if they get rave reviews. I tried a few, and still didn't like them, so I gave that up.

  7. Judy Says:

    Melody, I think I could have just copied your answer :-)

    I need to see if I can find a copy of the book Alice mentioned. That one sounds fascinating.

  8. Jane Says:

    Same here. I read blurbs but it is really the story I am interested in. I can spot hype a mile away and refuse to let it influence me. A good reviewer or blogger recommendation means so much more to me.

  9. Sometimes those amazon reviews are terrible: "This book sux." What kind of review is that? It tells you nothing. A well thought out review from a fellow book blogger is more likely to get my attention.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Yep you can never say never! I love picking up books with grat covers, I am such a sucker for them, but I do always read the blurb before committing to buying.

  11. Amy Says:

    I tend to skip book reviews on Amazon or BN but I do pay attention to the reviews of my blogging friends. :)

    Happy Thursday!

  12. pussreboots Says:

    I'm a sucker for cover art too. If I am drawn to a book by its cover I will read random pages of it (if I can) to see if I like it. Happy BTT.

  13. Melody Says:

    Hi everyone! Thank you for your comments. After reading all the replies, it does seems that most of us share the same opinion that we don't rely too much on the reviews, regarless if they are positive or negative because the decision still lies on our own. But still, it's always fun to read what other readers think of the books.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead. :)

  14. Hi, Melody! I think you have said it very well. :-)

  15. Melody Says:

    Thank you, Wendy! You have said it well too! :D

  16. Yep, what the plot is all about influences me greatly. I often use reviews (particularly Publisher's Weekly) to know if there's some technical reason to stay away from something -- like the plot rambles. I know my tastes enough to know I need to pass that one by unless a trusted friend tells me otherwise!

  17. Melody Says:

    Hi Susan! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's a bonus to me if a friend recommended something to me besides reading the great reviews because I can be sure it will be worth reading!

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