Thursday, January 17, 2008

Let's Review


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?

Interesting question!! In the year or so that I have been blogging, there has been a lot of "controversy" over blogger reviews. It seems that many "literary" critics don't like the influx of bloggers that review books. For some reason they think it devalues what they are paid to do. I always review the books that I've read here. I started this blog for that very purpose. But I did it for me. It gave me a chance to put to log the books I've read and give reasons why I liked them or didn't. The fact that others read this blog now is just cake for me.

I DON'T usually pay attention to the so-called literary reviews. If there is a book out there that I want to read, I'm going to read it. Regardless of a review. And if I don't think I'm going to like a book, even a good review doesn't change my mind. I know what I like and what I don't. With that being said, I actually do pay a lot of attention to the BLOGGER reviews. And I'll tell you the reason why. I have come to "know" a lot of bloggers over the past year. When someone I "know" recommends a book, I weigh that a little bit more. And I usually have a better understanding of why that person liked a book. I also know that the average blogger doesn't get paid to review a book. Most bloggers review books out of sheer love. And that to me is worth a lot more than what I can find in any literary review!!

Happy Thursday!!

19 comments:

Chris said...

I was thinking more of blogger reviews than literary ones for my answer. I don't pay attention to the literary ones at all! I trust the opinions of fanatical readers more than someone who studies a book to get paid.

Nymeth said...

I think that good reviews influence me more than bad ones. If someone loved a book, I am likely to get interested. But if someone didn't like a book and the premise sounds cool to me, I will still want to read it, because I know people react to books differently. Of course that goes for positive reactions as well, but ah well :P

And of course, the opinion of someone I know matters much more to me than the opinion of some random professional I know nothing about.

CoversGirl said...

Well said! I don't know how "literary" the reviewers at the Brisbane paper are, but they do tend to choose literary-sounding books I'd never read. Still, I have the paper to thank for getting me hooked on John Connolly, so I can't complain too much!

Jeane said...

You've made a very good point. Bloggers aren't paid to review, so their opinions are probably more honest! I didn't think about that before. I like to read blog reviews because they're fun and interactive. They don't usually change my mind about books to read or avoid, but they do introduce me to many new ones.

Debi said...

Nicely put.

The only bad thing about all these wonderful blogger reviews out here is the damage that it's done to my wallet!

Melody said...

Well said, Stephanie! I love your answers. I'm still chuckling over Debi's remark, that is so true!!! LOL.

Happy BTT!

Jaimie said...

I read blogger and Amazon reviews. Literary paid for reviews have way too much hype for my taste. Is it pretty good, really good, or a dog, that is all I need to know from a reviewer. It doesn't sway me much but that is a start.

gautami tripathy said...

I seldom read literary reviews. Blog reviews count more for me. Does not matter we get paid or not.

Amy said...

I started my blog for the same reason and I have made some great friends. You're right, all of that is cake.

A bad review only influences me if I was on the fence anyway but I do give much more credence to the reviews of my blogging friends.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

You're right on with this.

A bad review, though, will make me think -- I have to evaluate why the reviewer didn't like it. If it's something like they didn't like the use of the f-word, no problem. But if they say the POV is all over, or the author doesn't write in full sentences and it's not a style thing, then I'll skip it.

Stephanie said...

Chris - When I read the question, the first thing that popped into my head was a review from the New York Times...or something similar. I don't usually put a lot of faith in them or whether or not they like a book.

Nymeth - You are right. I think I am a lot more influenced by good reviews than bad. If I'm going to read a book, I'll read it regardless of a bad review. But if I am uncertain about a book, a good review might just push me over the edge!

Coversgirl - I agree. Most of the reviews I read from NY Times or even the Chicago Trib are books I haven't even heard of!! But if they brought Connolly to you, then that's all good!! I've only read The Book of Lost Things, but it was excellent!

Jean - They usually don't change my mind too much either, but I love to read them!!

Debi - Don't I know it!! I have add an exponential amount of books to my list to read someday just because of blogger reviews. I'll never get to all of them in a lifetime, I'm afraid!!

Melody - Thanks!! Yeah, I'm going to be in debt...but at least I have good books to read!

Jaimie - I do read a lot of Amazon reviews as well. They usually don't sway me too much...but I like to see what other people think sometimes.

Gautami - I agree. I love to read blog reviews.

Amy - Isn't it funny how much having a blog has changed the way you read...and what you read?? I really didn't think anyone else would read it. Amazing to me sometimes!!

Stephanie said...

Susan - I never really thought about the WHY's before. Besides, reading is so subjective. Nothing will appeal to everyone!!

Rhinoa said...

I do read literary reviews as well as blogger reviews from time to time and both are useful for different reasons. I listen to the good reviews more than the negative ones and it has done wonders/horrors for my TBR pile!

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

I totally agree. I don't tend to put a lot of stock in "literary" reviews, but I do, more and more, on fellow bloggers that I know share my likes and dislikes.

Happy Reading!!!

Marg said...

I don't pay attention at all to literary reviewers. If someone happens to like a book that I like great but other than that....forget it!

Bookfool said...

Yep, I agree. Blog reviews are much more valuable because you get to know the author's taste. Great answer!

Book Calendar said...

Only if the revew is exceptionally bad. There has to be a specific statement about why a person didn't like a book. People have very different tastes.

Literary Feline said...

Blogger reviews tend to be written on my level, which is another reason I prefer them to more academic or professional reviews. :-)

Reviews can push me over the edge if I am on the fence about a book, but that's usually about it. If I have set my mind to read a book, I will, regardless of a bad review.

Blogger said...

I make $20 for completing a 20 minute survey!

Guess what? This is exactly what large companies are paying for. They need to know what their customer needs and wants. So large companies pay $1,000,000's of dollars per month to the average person. In return, the average person, like me and you, fills out surveys and gives them their opinion.