Do Reviews Influence Your Reading?

This year has been drama filled with nasty reviews, harsh responses to those reviews, and authors behaving shamefully. But, that’s not what this post is about. After reading one of the recent “incidents” where a reader changed her four-star review (which was based solely on the book’s merits) to a one star because the reader disliked the author’s (and those associated with the author) behavior, I started thinking about how much people rely on reviews and how they consider them.

If I get a chance to read reviews for a book beforehand, I look at all the reviews – not only the 5 or 4 star reviews. I look at the 3,2, and 1 star reviews also because I want to form my own opinion. What some may dislike in a novel might not bother me, or what some people praise in a novel may not be for me.

How do you look at reviews?
Do you have a specific site you visit? (I tend to stick with Amazon)
Do you look only at the extremes (5 and 1 stars)?
Do you now consider them at all?

2 thoughts on “Do Reviews Influence Your Reading?

  1. I’ve heard and read about some of the drama between authors and people who review their books. Some of them got pretty nasty. If I’m in a book store, my mind wanders off into the clouds and I do not bother checking reviews at all. The only times I check reviews about books is when I’m shopping for them online. I can’t help but look to see what other people have to say about a book. I usually look at the highest and the lowest. Sometimes I look at the 3 stars. If a book has very few reviews then I look at all of them. I go on both Amazon and Goodreads for reviews. I’ve heard about authors who pay people or ask friends to write 5 star reviews for their books just to get people to buy the book so I no longer trust reviews as much as I used to.

  2. I usually check the highest and lowest reviews to determine whether or not to read/buy books. Once I know what’s wrong, I know whether I can deal with it or not and make my decision that way. Typically, Amazon and GoodReads are my main sources. You made me recall when I was following a posted series on FF.net and I saw it was declining and I gave it an honest review as to why I was losing interest (she was losing review numbers overall). As you can guess, her FP/FF ego ignited and decided to tell me off for not simply posting “Great chapter!” I decided to quit reading/reviewing her after that. I lost interest in the story (not sure of the actual cause) and stopped reviewing her work at all since it was clear she didn’t care about anything but praise.

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