Putting stock in reviews

This past month, studying for exams has kept me busy and limited my blogging time, but I’ve thought a lot about possible ideas for discussion posts (and got inspired by the strangest things) and this is my first attempt here. I’m not really sure how to write these, but I’ll get better, please bear with me.

So reviews. We all read them, right? My question is: how much stock do you actually put in them?

Whenever I find an interesting-sounding book, my first instinct is to look up at least a few reviews, see what other people thought about it. I’m honestly not brave enough to just buy a book without at least checking the general impression. The places I browse: Amazon, goodreads, and different book blogs. Although admittedly goodreads is my least favourite place for this kind of thing, couldn’t really explain why. I put the most stock in favourite bloggers reviews, and I suspect that’s going to be the case even more now that I interact with all of you personally.

What about you?

  • Which places do you visit for reliable reviews?
  • Do you have a preference?
  • Are there other review places you’d recommend?
  • Is there anyone who doesn’t read reviews before buying a book?
  • Can you afford to just buy any good-sounding book and risk hating it?
  • Are bad reviews enough to turn you off a book you really want to read? If so, how many? Is the opposite true? Are good reviews enough to make up your mind about a book you didn’t originally consider? If so, how many?
  • How much does a trusted blogger friend’s opinion matter?

Please feel free to sound off in the comments about any of the questions above or anything else you can think of on this topic.

P.S. Are these discussion posts a good idea? Or am I boring everyone? Should I stop? Should I come up with something more interesting next time? (My super confident self is wondering.)


6 thoughts on “Putting stock in reviews

  1. Nice post, I do buy some books on whim but they have to look amazing or I am in a bookstore. I read reviews from goodreads, it’s amazon I trust least, I also use waterstones sometimes. I am much more likely to buy/read books on recommendations from book blogs. A couple of bad reviews are fine, even Harry Potter gets it, but if it’s half or more, I probably won’t read it. I also discount ones that start with “This is not my usual type of book”, unless it’s a good review.
    I’ve not been blogging that long, so not got any trusted blogger friends, do have a few friends on goodreads and real life that I take suggestions from. But if a a blogger writes a rave review and the book looks good I will often buy it.

  2. Reviews are helpful. I put more stock in a detailed review, rather than something that just has a star rating. I will never understand why some people choose to flame authors and books, without any real reasoning. There’s nothing wrong in being honest, but I get royally annoyed at those that leave cruel and detestable feedback on Goodreads and Amazon.

    I think the blurb is most important. If I like the blurb I move on to the reviews. They allow me to gauge the more intelligent reaction to the book (I ignore the rude ones).

    So yeah, reviews definitely help in the decision process.. but I often buy books whilst in town, and I don’t have access to a review then.

    (and yes, you should do more of these discussion type posts. They’re interesting!) 😀

    • If there’s even one commenter, I’ll keep going don’t worry! 🙂
      I think the reason I don’t like browsing goodreads reviews that much is because there are so many rude 1star reviews full of swearing where someone just goes on and on about all the things they hated in the book. Poor authors. Unless it’s some real trash (we could name a few, right?) no book deserves that. Book blogger reviews at least try to find something good about a book (which tends to be my goal whenever I read one), or say something like “I didn’t like this one but you still might”.

      • Definitely! I always make a point of explaining ‘why’ something wasn’t working for me. There is never any room for rudeness when it comes to literature.

        I always say to myself ‘this may be garbage, but at least it’s published, which is more than I can say about my own work.’

  3. I typically look at the summary of the book, the cover and the rating, but I rarely read all or part of the writers review. I know that is horrible, but I don’t normally even read the back of the book because I don’t want to spoil the story
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    • Hmm, that’s not horrible at all! A very interesting approach! God knows looking at one too many reviews spoiled things more than once for me in the past. If I’m very interested in a book than I don’t let anything sway me and don’t really read anything about it, but if I’m undecided I tend to read a little too much about the plot which might be a bad thing.
      Thank you so much for stopping by!

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