Thursday, 2 June 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Reviews

Do you read book reviews? Whose do you trust?
Do they affect your reading habits? Your buying habits?

Someone else's answer drew my attention to the fact that we've had this question before on BTT, about a year ago. So should I bother to answer it again? Surely all my faithful followers memorized what I wrote back on 24 June, 2010 - on my old blog? Haha, as if. [checking up myself what I wrote] Well, at least I still seem to basically agree with myself. (Is that a good thing?)

I quite often read reviews published in my local newspaper, or other newspapers or magazines I happen to come across. I don't go out of my way looking for book reviews unless there is some special reason. If I read reviews on the internet it's usually either because they were written by a blogger I already know and who also writes about other things than books; or because I have gone looking for reviews of a particular book (or books by a particular author). Sometimes I also read reviews after I have read the actual book, to compare my own impressions with those of others.

Blogs that consist of nothing but book reviews rarely interest me; unless the same blogger also has another more personal blog that I follow.

I guess the conclusion is that on the one hand I try to keep myself sort of generally informed (whether I actually get round to reading the books or not); and on the other hand I'm interested to learn what my friends read and like (or don't like). And just occasionally, I might be interested in collecting a wider range of opinions about something.

I don't have the ambition to read "everything". I guess I'm partly influenced by reviews, but not overly so. I borrow from the library quite a lot. Nowadays (since my bookshelves are already full) I rarely buy new novels unless I'm pretty sure I'll want to read them more than once, or be able to go back and look things up etc.


  1. Super answer! I think I'm about it your camp. I like to read and I like to read a lot, that's including newspapers and blogs. While I always form my own opinion on such things, I'm a social learner, a gatherer of communal ideas, if you will so it makes sense to me to read about what I'm reading about. Does it influence my opinion, over all? Not really. Is it still fun to read? Of course!

  2. I like reviews from the newspaper too. I especially like the guardian although I do prefer articles that are more generally about book rather than reviews themselves.

    I do that too. I read reviews of a book I have already read. It's a good way of clearing my thoughts sometimes. Occasionally (not often) I will feel guilty about reading a classic and hating it. I look to see if anyone else felt the same way.

  3. you already know my answer, if you can remember from last year. ha ha on that one. i remember what i said because it is easy. i don't read book reviews, have never read one, even ones posted on blogs, i just skip it that day or comment on the photo.

  4. Ever since I was a child, I loved to dig the book review section out of the paper and read it! At even ten years old or so. As an adult, I continued to read the weekly book review section in the paper, and also bought The New York times book review section, which is a huge weekly insert, but you can purchase it by itself without the rest of the paper. I also bought a few books with illustrations included on the best fantasy and science fiction books, the best ghost story type books, and book encyclopedias of the best books in all categories. I used all these to choose my books, and it worked well. Except that our little apartment was surrounded by books and bookcases everywhere and they ran us out of house and home. I never was able to read them all.

  5. Good reply.

    Here's mine:

  6. I like to read reviews after I've read a book just to compare opinions.

  7. Great points. I especially took note of your comment about not particularly caring for blogs that consist of nothing but book reviews. I have a book blog, but I try to put a lot of book and reading-related stuff in it, not just reviews. (I also have a personal blog that covers a wide range of subjects--Notes in the Key of Life

    Hope you'll stop by my BTT post and say hello!

    Cindy at Cindy's Book Club

  8. One's decision is not influenced by what others say, but yes there are times that after reading a book, it's nice to know what others think of it as well.


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