Style Saturday (January 7): Do Reviews Persuade You?

Style Saturday is a meme hosted by me where each week I present a prompt about reading style and explain my answer. Feel free to join in with your answer in the comments or leave a link to your Style Saturday on your blog.

Do you have a suggestion for Style Saturday? Let me know! (Seriously folks, my list of ideas is shrinking.)

This week: Reviews. Do they persuade you to read or not read a book?

I need to be interested in a book first of all. A book could have fantastic reviews but unless it interests me, I’m not going to pick it up.

I realize that reviews can be mixed and that reviews are personal. That’s why I like to look at many reviews before making a decision to read or not read a book. I like to have somewhat of an idea of what to expect when reading a book. Is it a fun book but not written very well? Is the author preaching for the whole book? I want to know about these things.

A single review (or even a few) is not going to push me one way or the other. If all the reviews seems to be praising (or criticizing) the book, I will take that into consideration. A poor review from someone who I trust won’t stop me from reading the but I would be a bit more willing to pick up a book he/she greatly praises.

Wow, that’s a bit all over the place. So in short, no reviews by themselves don’t persuade me. It’s a combination of several different things that make me want to read a book.

What are your thoughts?

7 thoughts on “Style Saturday (January 7): Do Reviews Persuade You?

  1. Agreed! Although I generally don’t read reviews of books that I haven’t read yet. I find that points that are mentioned by the reviewer tend to stay in the back of my mind when I’m reading it.
    For example, I was super excited to read (and love) The Night Circus, but talking to someone who mentioned a little thing about the book that they didn’t like, that’s ALL I kept thinking about. I try not to let other reviews bias my own opinions… I’ll write my review, and then go checking out other reviews to see what others liked and didn’t like about it!

    • I know what you mean about things staying in the back of your mind while reading. It’s a bit annoying. That’s why I just skim through reviews to get the general feelings before I read the book. After I finish it, I’ll go and read the reviews closer.

  2. It all very depends on WHAT is mentioned in review.
    If there are written general things only, just like “great story with a very deep thought in it, well done characters and blablabla”, review has no chance to change my mind in case I am not interested in book.
    There has to be something, what says about book more and at the same time it doesn’t spoiler any part of story… do you get me?

  3. I will generally only look at reviews if I am thinking about dropping some serious cash on a book. Mostly, this is if I am thinking about getting the hardcover or audio edition. If the book sounds interesting, but the reviews disagree, I am much more likely to pause before dropping $17.99 of my hard earned cash! Aldo, if I am considering adding a book to my class library or recommending it to a student without reading it, I will check reviews, particularly those about content.

What are your thoughts? (Comments are moderated. Yours will be up as soon as I read it!)

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