Saturday, January 19, 2008
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?
Do reviews sway me - depends.
If it's a genre I don't normally read and might be interested in I'll spend lots of time surfing different books within the genre and scanning reviews offered by other readers to see if it's something I really want to invest with my precious reading time. I spend a lot of time on Amazon starring at the "stars." The more stars a particular book or author gets the more likely I am to give it a try. If I find that a particular book by a given author gets high ratings I'll review other books by the same author to check for consistency. If they have several books out but stars and reviews are all over board I might be a bit more reluctant to invest my time.
If the review is about a book/author that I've built up a long term reading relationship with I'll read the book no matter what a review states and make my own decision. There are long term reading relationships I've terminated because newer books don't appeal to yet the reviews are good. There are long term reading relationships I continue even though the book has been trashed. To each their own.
All readers enjoy something different as do TV viewers and movie goers so bad reviews might not have an adverse effect on me. With new books that receive lots of publicity and praise I might wait 6 months to a year before reading so that readers have time to offer reviews. This way I get a well rounded overview of what readers really thought instead of jumping on the bandwagon.
I've offered my opinion on books that aren't favorable yet someone else may absolutely love the book. I read books last year that were the talk of book groups, Internet book sites and high on book lists yet for whatever reason I didn't finish these books and didn't understand all the praise. Three that come to mind are Water for Elephants, The Book Thief and The Stolen Child. These books were not for me but were, and continue to be, very popular.
I exercise my right to read what I want on a daily basis and I don't apologize for my choices.