Do You Read Reviews of Books You Haven’t Read Yet?

Discussion Post

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?

 

 

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10 responses to “Do You Read Reviews of Books You Haven’t Read Yet?

  1. 😀 😀 Awww, thanks for the love! ❤

    I don't read all book reviews on blogs I follow. I'm really random and I don't know how I decide whether to read a review or not. I think mostly I tend to read 5 star reviews, reviews for books that I haven't quite made up my mind about whether to read or not, books that I've heard of but don't know much about. But it's kind of skim-reading? I usually don't read those reviews very carefully, just enough to kind of get the gist and make a comment if I have anything to say about it. Sometimes I do read reviews in detail, but not often. This is so that none of the review actually makes a very deep impression on my brain and I'll usually forget all about it by the time I read the book. I tend to just go on Goodreads a lot and skim-read the first three pages of reviews for any books I'm interested in until I've read some negative reviews and some positive ones so I can make my mind up.

  2. I read reviews of books I’ve read because then I know I have something to comment on, and maybe I can strike up a brief discussion. I also read reviews of books that I’ve heard only a little about, so I can learn more, and reviews of books I’m sort of on the fence about whether I want to read them. I am less likely to read reviews of books I haven’t heard of at all, unless there’s some hook like a gorgeous cover. 😉

    • That’s a good point…about not reading book reviews for books you haven’t heard of. I guess it depends, for me. Like, sometimes you can just tell that you’re not going to be interested — like if it’s a blog tour or something. But if it’s a blogger that I know fairly well and somebody that has similar tastes as me, I might check it out. And especially if it has a cool cover!

  3. Okay so I checked my stats while I was at work and on mobile, so I hadn’t read any posts yet today, but then I saw my views had rocketed up compared to the last few days. I seriously looked like this: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/009/709/dXuA0.png. And then I get to this post… and IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW. You are too kind Miranda ❤ Thanks for the love!

    Most of the time, if I haven't heard of the book at all, I try to read the review, or at least skim it. I mean, I blog to find more books – I can't be such a snob! But sometimes I read a review, and I know I don't want to read the book, so I skip over any other reviews. STUBBORNNESS to the max right there. I really do love it when someone reviews a book I've already read; that way I'm not scared of spoilers, and I can get into more debate and discussion rather than book pushing (still love that part though!).

    • Awww you’re welcome 😀 Glad that lots of people clicked over!!

      Yeah I definitely love reading reviews of books I’ve already read, too. I usually always have something to say, and I love discussing books 😀 Especially since I never really get to talk to my real-life friends about books we’ve both read…since, like, NONE of them read lol

  4. Pingback: Weekly Recap| June 1 – 7, 2014 | Oh, the Books!·

  5. I like to read reviews for books I haven’t read yet, but am interested in. I am the rare weirdo who doesn’t mind a spoiler, and I like to read the 2,3,4 starred reviews to see what’s the general consensus before putting on my TBR. For books I have read, bring on all the reviews! I love checking goodreads after finishing and rating!

    • Haha wow I think you’re in the minority there! But good for you 🙂 I wish I didn’t mind getting spoiled. It would make this whole “reading reviews” thing so much easier!

  6. Reviews aren’t really high up on my ‘things I look for in a book blog’. Probably because they are the posts I read and comment on the least. I know that I am happy when people read and comment on my reviews, and I guess my aversion to reviews makes me all the more appreciative when people give time to mine (which doesn’t make all that much sense but hey :D).
    I will only read reviews of books I’ve read and books I’ve read and loved (more so this one). I don’t want to find out things about a book that a blogger may accidentally reveal to me *shocked gasping* One of the best things about reading (for me) is that everything is new and shiny and mysterious, and reading reviews for books I haven’t read yet kind of takes away from that 😦
    Although there are some exceptions. I find that I will practically always read reviews of unreleased or unread books from Kelly @ Effortlessly Reading. I don”t know why she’s my exception, haha! I guess we have similar tastes and her reviews are fantastic, so I trust them.
    But still, I never let reviews sway my decision to read or not to read a book – that is always up to me.

    • “One of the best things about reading (for me) is that everything is new and shiny and mysterious, and reading reviews for books I haven’t read yet kind of takes away from that.”

      Totally agree with this!! That’s why I love going into books blind…without knowing basically ANYTHING about a book besides (maybe) it’s genre and (maybe) it’s average Goodreads rating. Besides that, I really just like discovering my own opinions about a book. So mostly I try to stay away.

      I also think it’s funny that I kind of have the same opinion as you about comments on a book review. Since they’re the posts I least comment on on other people’s blogs, I’m always like OMG YAY when I get one on one of my own haha.

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