Recently, I posted a discussion entitled Why I Don’t Follow Your Book Blog, in which I talked about all of the things that make me add (or don’t add) a blog to my Bloglovin’ feed. One of the things that came up a lot in the comments, but I actually didn’t mention in my post is…book reviews!
This seems like a no-brainer, right? We’re book bloggers. We read books and write reviews. It’s kind of the whole point! So somebody’s review style and/or taste in books should be a huge reason why I would or wouldn’t like a blog, right? Well, for me, it’s not! A lot of people commented on my post to say that it’s one of their most important criteria for choosing whether or not to follow a blog, but personally it’s just about the last thing I look at.
First of all, most of the blogs I come across are YA. That’s kind of a given. It’s extremely rare that I come across a new-to-me blog and it’s focused on anything other than YA. Because it’s the circle I’m in, that’s just how it works. And beyond that, I don’t really care what kind of books you read, like, or review. Especially since my own tastes are so diverse. Basically, as long as you’re writing about books, I’m interested.
The biggest reason why I don’t care about reviews, though, is because I rarely read book reviews on the blogs I follow.
Exceptions to the Rule:
- I fucking love your writing style. (I’m trying out this whole “using more swear words” thing after my recent post on swearing in blog posts 😉 ). A very small number of people fit in this box. Mostly: Jellyfish Reads, Emily May, and The Thousand Lives. There are probably a few others, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Their reviews are amazing, they don’t have spoilers, and I love them…so I’ll read anything they write!
- It’s a book I’ve already read. If I see a review for a book I’ve already read in my RSS feed, I’ll most likely read it. I don’t have to worry about spoilers anymore and I’m interested in other people’s perspectives of books I already have an opinion about.
- It’s a book I’ve never heard of. This happens pretty rarely since I’m a little bit of a catalog-stalker, but if you have a review of a book that I’ve never heard of on your blog, I’m more likely to read it, especially if I already know that I like your review style. It’ll give me an idea of whether I should add it to my TBR shelf or not.
The reasons why I don’t read reviews other than in those three circumstances is because: (a) I don’t like to be spoiled, (b) I like going into a book “blind,” and (c) I don’t want any of somebody else’s review to get into my brain and then have myself subconsciously remember it and regurgitate it into my own review. I want my opinions to be my own, not accidentally yours.
I feel bad that I so rarely look at people’s reviews, but there is one thing that makes me feel a little bit better about it. If you cross-post your reviews to Goodreads and we’re friends, I probably will end up reading your review eventually. After I read a book and write my own review, I’ll go to that book’s Goodreads page and read all of my friends’ reviews of that book! So I’ll probably get to read your thoughts at some point…it’s just that you might not get a comment and it could potentially be weeks/months/years after you’ve written it
What’s your opinion about reading reviews of books you haven’t read yet?