Why Do You Read Book Reviews?
(Assuming of course that you actually do ;-) )
The driving force behind most book blogs is book reviews. Most of us came into book blogging because we wanted to write reviews of the books we read, and then we discovered all the other cool types of posts that people write as well (including discussions, yey!). Not all book reviews are going to appeal to you, however, and I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves skimming reviews in the reader or clicking to the new blog without commenting. What makes people comment is a whole other discussion, but I’m wondering why you read a book review. What draws you in and keeps your eyeballs on the page when there are so many other things you could be reading as well. Sure, you might not read every word, but most words counts as reading in this Internet age, right? ;-) I will be the first to admit that I am rather picky when it comes to book reviews. There are so many of them posted every day that I probably don’t read as many as I should. I’m curious from a book reviewer’s perspective what makes you want to read a review, and I’m curious from a reader’s perspective to see if I’m the odd one out on this front, haha.
The pretty cover catches your eye?
I’m a sucker for nice covers, especially when it grabs my imagination for what the book could contain. Magical looking effects on covers make me immediately hopeful that the book is an awesome fantasy, which keeps me reading the review to find out if my hopes will be correctly founded. If the cover isn’t striking, I often find myself less motivated to read the review. This is unfortunate because perhaps it’s a “don’t judge the book by its cover” moment where the book is actually really awesome. This also causes me problems when a book that is in my preferred genres doesn’t have a cover that evokes that genre in my mind because I might miss out on a great sci-fi book review because I didn’t know it was sci-fi….
Your favorite genre?
Speaking of sci-fi :D. I love it when people include the genre in the info about the book since I read pretty exclusively sci-fi and fantasy. If I can easily tell that a book belongs to one of my favorite genres, I’m much more likely to continue reading about the reviewer’s thoughts to see if it is a book I should check out. This also contributes to me skipping reviews when the cover and/or genre classification suggests I wouldn’t like the book based on genre. No offense to anyone, but I just don’t like contemporary and romance as much as others, so I’m not likely to read a review on a book in those genres.
You’ve read it and want to discuss?
It’s pretty fun to discuss a book with other book bloggers, that’s part of why we are book bloggers after all, right?? I’ve been most into reading reviews on books that I’ve already read and had strong opinions on because I want to discuss. However, I’ve realized that if the reviewer had completely different feelings than I did, I shy away from reading the review. This is for two reasons really: if the reviewer liked the book more than I did, I get all judgy (working on it, promise!) and if the reviewer liked it less than I did, I get all wounded (also working on it D: ). When opinions are too extremely different, it just doesn’t feel like a good idea to comment since I worry about angering someone.
However, if we have fairly similar feelings about the book, then it’s fun to fangirl together (or fanboy, guys welcome!). Comments seem like a fairly safe place to discuss the slightly spoilery things that don’t get included in a review, especially with the vague terms like “omg the ending right??” since you both know what you’re talking about, but it doesn’t give too much away, haha. This aspect of reading/commenting makes me want to read the popular books, since it seems that then I can engage in more of this.
A book you haven’t heard of?
When you see a review for a book that is new to you, do you get drawn in to find out more, or do you tune out and move on? I find myself a bit overwhelmed with all the books out there I haven’t heard of, but one of my favorite parts of book blogging is finding out about new books. I have to see several reviews for a book generally though before I start paying attention. This is something I’m worried is a bad habit, but a book has to look pretty freaking amazing for me to pay attention on the first review. Or it has to be a review from one of my top ten book bloggers, since there are some bloggers whose recommendation immediately hits me. I think between new to me books and books I’ve read, new to me books are more likely to be skipped over, though there are also a lot more of those reviews, so it probably evens out percentage-wise…. Or maybe it doesn’t, I don’t want to count, haha! *hides away*
So, I hope I haven’t disappointed you too much D: But I really want to know what are the factors for you. Why do you read book reviews? What draws you in or turns you away from a review? While commenting is a whole other discussion (have I written that post yet? I can’t remember, oh my brain), I’m also interested if there is anything that pushes you to comment on a review more or less.
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