For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Friday, January 4, 2013

Let’s Talk: Book Influences


Let’s Talk is a fun new meme to discuss an little bit of this & a little bit of that (not always bookish) hosted by Smash Attack Reads and A Book Obsession.

This weeks question: Do reviews often influence your book choices, or are you someone who doesn’t read reviews until after reading the book?

Yes & no. Reviews may get me interested in a book but they are never the only reason I pick up a book. I’m much more influenced by a tweet frenzy which leads to impulse buying. (Not necessarily reading mind you & I’m trying to get better about that)

I do read or skim reviews most of the time before reading any book but it’s not the deciding factor. I have a few friends who know my reading tastes so well that I will read a book if they tell me too – no questions asked.

A tad off topic but….it’s often the negative reviews that influence me the most. I could read 100 OMG BEST BOOK EVER reviews and still not be convinced but one negative review that gives me a clearer picture into the pros and cons of a book will sway me to read it.

I find the OMG reviews – and yes, I do write a few – set my expectations too high and doom the book once I read it.

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value of book blogging survey

I wanted to let you know about The Cost of Book Blogging survey that In the Midnight Garden is compiling. The results should be fascinating & sobering! The deadline is January 20th. The more bloggers that participate the better the results.

I don’t keep accurate figures on how much I spend but it’s A LOT so I’m really looking forward to hearing what everyone else has to say.

23 comments:

  1. I'm wary of a lot of "OMG reviews" too - I like to skim reviews a bit, but the books that get a lot of stellar reviews all over the place make me worry that the hype has gotten to be too much and then my expectations will be too high. I've found that a short, interesting tidbit or blurb from a reviewer is much more effective at convincing me to try out a book.

    I'm going to check out that survey now :)

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    1. I have written a few OMG reviews - mostly because I suck at writing rave reviews lol - but as a reader they don't tell me much or make me decide to read a book.

      I think that's why tweets will sway me more. A good quote or enthusiasm as they read will convince me.

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  2. Yes its the Best book ever and if they always do that kind of reviews --that makes me wary of the reviews . I agree the negative ones are just good for me to try a book or if someone I know read a book...I will form my own thoughts about the books.
    Like my local friends adored incarnate and another shatter me...I thought they were meh or they weren't for me.

    But there are books with hype like shadow and bone which I adored ...

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    1. I do resent people for loving a book or writing a rave review. I have definitely written my share when I love something but often negative reviews help with be deciding factor.

      One reviewer might score low for violence or language but that may be the thing I
      m looking for in a book.

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  3. Same here, I read and skim. And I will not buy a book if it has only OMG! reviews. Sometimes I fear that authors do not get that. Something in me these days just make me not trust them. I need negative ones too

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    1. I wish authors weren't so sensitive about the negative reviews. They all help sell a book and too many positive reviews (without any negatives) make me start doubting the reviews.

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  4. Same here! I will say that there have been a few times that a review has made me buy a book but it is someone that I know reads the same things as me. I am more likely to skip a book because of a review than buy one (which is something no author probably wants to hear).

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    1. Yes, I agree. If I know the reviewer or if we have similar reading tastes then I'm more likely to take the plunge but reviews aren't the only thing that make me buy or read a book.

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  5. I don't get swayed too much by reviews, but I do get swayed by the overall star rating on Goodreads and Amazon - a bunch of 1/ 2 star reviews and I probably won't read a book. But, my biggest influence is probably just the book summary itself. If it sounds like something I might like, I'll read it.

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    1. That's a good point. An overall 4-5 star rating won't make me read a book but 1/2 star reviews would be a red flag. Although I have read & enjoyed books with horrible reviews too.

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  6. So true and that is why Amazon is cracking down. I like hearing the negatives and even the middle of the road reviews because they seem to be more honest. However, if a book has like 50 5 star reviews, then I would trust it a tad more.

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    1. That's true. If it's overwhelming then it's probably a book wrath looking at. Although if it's NYT best seller type book that EVERYONE loves I find that I usually don't.

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  7. I think you're absolutely right about negative, or at least more critical, reviews. When a review has specifics, and even if they consider it a negative, it's something that I DO like, I find it very helpful.

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    1. I'm exactly the same. A review that is 5 stars - best book ever because of the love train gel will be a do not read for me but a negative review that deplores the violence or graphic language may be right up my alley.

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  8. I think a lot of people feel that way about the OMG review because it sets the expectation high. I like the Twitter frenzies, too. Damn impulses...

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    1. It's not so much that other people love it. I have written my fair share of those reviews - I'm thrilled for them - but then I EXPECT the best book ever lol

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  9. I must find all the wrong reviews b/c I find all the bad reviews full of .gifs with absolutely no substance. I cringe at .gifs in reviews. Just give me one well-written negative review... ugh!

    And who can't resist hype?! I can't tell you how many hyped books sit on my shelves unread b/c I HAD to have them (Divergent is one...) LOL

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    1. Ahhh I went on a twitter rant about this the other day. What is up with all those gifs?? I tried to look up a few books last week and the first 10+ reviews were all gifs. I got a headache from all the flashing and gave up.

      I'm getting much better about hype for the exact reason you mention. I must have those books NOW and then I can't get to them lol

      Having said that....read Divergent! hehe

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  10. I'm rather leery of the OMG reviews too. Not saying there's anything wrong with them, we all write them from time to time when a book blows us away. It's just that it seems that the 2-3 star ratings seem to have a broader pros and cons review, and help me make my best decision on whether to purchase. And thanks for that link. The survey was LONG, but interesting.

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    1. I agree -t o hear the pros AND con can help me decide.

      Yeah - that survey was really long but thorough. I can't wait to hear the results. It will be scary & shocking I think.

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  11. I find the OMG reviews completely unhelpful. And I also find the snarkfest reviews pretty unhelpful too. Just tell me what you liked and didn't like and let me make up my mind.

    If I know I will be reading a book, I do try to avoid reviews until I've finished the book and written my review. If I'm on the fence about a book, then I go on Goodreads and see what people have to say.

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    1. I struggle with the OMG review myself. When I really love a book I tend to blather on. I find that once I start looking at the pros and cons - even if I'm in love with the book - then it ruins it for me.

      I loved Defiance. LOVED but then when I started thinking about it for review I kept poking holes in the plot or characters. I decided to just let it go and not review it. I had fun reading it and I'll leave it at that.

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  12. I actively read negative reviews for the very same reasons - I want to know what didn't work for people so I can judge whether that's an issue for me.

    OMG reviews I always take with a grain of salt - we all know how easy it is to get caught up in the excitement!

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