For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tell Me Something Tuesday: May I help you?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general.

Join in by answering this weeks question in the comments or on your own blog.

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Question: What type of reviews do you find helpful in choosing (or avoiding) your next read?

Answer: I love reading all kinds of reviews. It doesn't really matter if the review is for a book in a genre I do or don't read. What I look for is the bloggers *voice*. If I enjoy their style then I read their reviews.

Now, when it comes to a review to help me choose a book to read - well, that's different. 

The most helpful review (for me) is on the shorter side. After all - I might be reading the book myself so I don't want too much detail but I will probably circle back to it when I'm done to compare thoughts.

Pros and cons. I love to hear what worked and what didn't. Even if it's minor.  I don't consider it "being negative". Those are the little details that help me choose if a book is for me whether it worked for that reviewer or not.

Ratings mean nothing to me. Let me elaborate...I have my reliable reviewers whose taste I know and are similar to mine so a 5 star read from say - Jen or Amber will definitely up the chances that I will read the book based on just their rating or rec. 

Overall though, ratings are just a jumping off point. I still need the pros and cons to know if it works for me. A 5 star romance review that says I cried so hard, or the ending was bittersweet, or I couldn't choose between all the boys she liked are all deal breakers for me. However, a 1 star review that says they needed more drama, this was too light, the guy was too boring - then I will check into the book. 

Not every book is for every reader and I appreciate having that added bit of info to help me decide. Books are expensive so I'd like to in informed before a purchase.

On Goodreads, I tend to stick with the 3 star reviews because I don't often know the reviewer ad they seem to have more concrete information explaining what worked and what didn't. 

What do you find helpful (or unhelpful) when reading reviews?

32 comments:

  1. I can definitely see that. I like longer reviews that give a lot of info. I don't like vague reviews, I want to now what it was about and if I might like it too.

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    1. I definitely don't like vague reviews but I don't want a super long one until after I read it myself.

      I guess I'm more looking for code words that I know will turn me on or off to a book.

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  2. I agree with shorter reviews. Those tend to better focus on the good/bad without long rants or wandering thoughts. I also like when the reviewer points out pros and cons, because sometimes I can't tell by the way someone says something. I differ with you that I need a rating. I need words and a number to really get a full picture. I only read reviews without ratings that are written by my friends.

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    1. I used to like ratings and I use them as a jumping off point on Goodreads where I only go by ratings but I find them so varied (no two rating seem to mean the same thing lol) that I go more by the reviewer.

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  3. Oh yeah, I tend to ignore ratings. They're so subjective. Three star from me is just fine... from others it could be a death sentence. LOL And I love a short and sweet review. It's easy enough to get a good feel for how the reviewer felt without giving me too much info (that I might want to discover on my own).

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    1. Yup. You said that better than me but all of this lol

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  4. I agree with a majority of what you said! I write shorter reviews because I know that as a reader I would prefer to get the main points. I also really like folks who do pros and cons, Shannon does this well!

    Also I have a 4.5 star adult fantasy you might enjoy!!

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    1. You doooo? Tell me more!

      I do like longer reviews just to read. Especially after I've read a book so I can get into the nitty gritty lol But I can't do that before. I feel like I'm too influenced going in.

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  5. I'm the same way- I'm there more for the blogger/ reviewer than the actual review. And long reviews- my eyes can glaze over, even if it's a book I'm interestd in. Although I used to write long reviews sometimes- oops.

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    1. "I love to hear what worked and what didn't. Even if it's minor. I don't consider it "being negative". Those are the little details that help me choose if a book is for me whether it worked for that reviewer or not."
      Exactly!

      I use ratings as a jumping point too - I usually start with the lowest, and if they point out things that the reviewer didn't like but I might, I proceed onto the highest.

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    2. Oops, I accidentally "replied" to Greg LOL.

      I also meant to say that I love the title you used for this post 😁.

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    3. I'll start at the 3's and go from there. But I'll read more 2's than 4 or 5's.

      They tend to give me more information.

      And thank you!

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    4. Greg - I'll write longer reviews too sometimes. It depends on my feelings.
      If I had strong feelings either way, they'll be longer so I can vent lol
      If I'm just sort of documenting that I read it I'll go shorter.

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  6. Well put, Karen. Although I guess my reviews probably aren't that helpful to you because mine tend to be long and since I really only read books I think I'm going to enjoy, most are rated 4 stars. With that said, I completely agree about the reasons behind the rating being important. That's why I like to look at top (4-5 star) reviews and bottom (1-2 star) reviews. Thanks!!

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    1. But you qualify under "reviewers I know and trust" lol And I don't think they're overly long. You bring up all the valid points So I can decide.

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  7. I can definitely understand the unpredictability of a rating system -- not all books are equal in rating. I also love short, succinct reviews. :)

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    1. I have to know the person to trust a rating. It's so subjective.

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  8. I put star ratings for most books on Goodreads, but I rarely share them on my blog or anywhere else because they don't really mean a ton to me when I READ reviews. I do like pros and cons. Like you said, some cons for a reviewer might make me WANT to read a book.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I only rate on goodness too. I think rating systems are hard because they're so subjective.

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  9. Aye, ratings mean nothing to me, only words

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    1. They're a jumping off point but the actual review is what I'm looking for.

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  10. Definitely agree with you! Like, I need a rating for context because my brain doesn't cope well without a concrete number? BUT then I want to see the reasons for it- because one person's 3 is another person's 5, you know? I also am not really here to read novellas for reviews, unless, like you said, it's after the fact and I am comparing notes!

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    1. Longer, more detailed reviews are fun after you've read it and I'll go back and read those.

      I don't use ratings on here (I do on Goodreads) but I have to know the reviewer if I go without.

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  11. Star ratings super subjective, and I'm not a fan, but I do use them as they do provide a clue as to what the over all feeling was... But I much prefer people's words. And short reviews. I don't want to read an 1800 word essay detailing every plot point.

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    1. I use them on goodreads because I'm dreaming with 100's-1000's of reviews from people I don't know. But I start with 3's them go from there.
      I used to use them on my blog but people would assume I didn't like something because I have it a 3, or miss important points with 4 star ratings without reading the whole review.

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  12. I completely agree about the rating - the number is so subjective between people. Like you, it's about the why for me - because what you love i may not like so much and vice versa

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    1. I know what the rating means for certain people but otherwise it's kind of useless for me.

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  13. I like shorter reviews myself for choosing books to read. I like reading longer reviews after I've read the book, to see what that reader loved/disliked about the book in more detail. I usually steer clear of longer reviews before I've read a book because I like to go into reading them as blindly as possible. 📚

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  14. I totally agree, I prefer a shorter review just because they tend to be more concise and less likely to spoil a book, which is good when it comes to a book I've not read myself. And ratings tend to not mean much unless it's a blogger whose tastes are similar to mine. It's only with books I've already read I want a longer detailed review because then we can discuss the likes and dislikes. The shorter are reviews are what I need to motivate me to pick it up in the first place. I don't know why I don't write more shorter reviews myself.

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    1. I'm exactly the same. I love to get into it deeper but only after I've read the book.
      I kind of let me feelings guide the review length. Sometimes I have a lot to say and sometimes I don't lol

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